Studies we have conducted, as independent consultants, of thousands of enterprise and departmental processes find that 5% to 30% of the work performed is manual, duplicative, and unnecessary. And with most organizations being supported by 250 to over 750 processes, that can be a lot of wasted time, effort, and expense.

    Can digital workflow technology help? Workflow automation can reduce the time spent by customers, employees, and internal operations torequest, enter, order, route, process, approve, and follow up.

    “Digital workflow automates enterprise and departmental manual work, eliminates the need for phone calls and emails, and abolishes the time to enter data to numerous data systems. Orders and requests, instead, can be made through mobile devices/computers, routed electronically, approved, and measured in real-time.”

    Where can digital workflow be used? Our studies find that at least one-third of an organization’s processes can significantly benefit from workflow (efficiency above 30%), with another third providing good benefits (efficiency of 10% to 30%), for all industry sectors. Areas of an organization that can benefit including Administration, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal and Compliance, Marketing, Operations, Real Estate, and Sales.

    Example process/workflow that can benefit include accounts payable, asset management, case management, changes, close, customer service, document production, field service, help desk, hiring/selection, incident management, moves, off-boarding, on-boarding, order entry, returns, risk and compliance,room scheduling, security, and virtual agent.

    What are the benefits of digital workflow?If properly deployed, enterprise and departmental efficiency is improved by automation of manual tasks, quality is enhanced through consistent decision making, service is improved via reducing time to complete a request or order, and governance/compliance is increased through automated measurements. Areas that benefit range from simple high volume repetitive tasks, to low volume complex tasks.

    What is a six-step approach to determine if Digital Workflow is right for your organization?

    ·Step 1: Develop an enterprise workflow study to identify high-value areas, return on investment (ROI), project roadmap, and budget.

    ·Step 2: For areas identified, conduct process improvement before deployment of digital workflow to clean up and improve processes before automation.

    ·Step 3: Develop application and digital workflow requirements to guide the implementation team.

    ·Step 4: Involve department executives, directors, managers, and staff in steps 1 to 3 to ensure their support of workflow automation and changes in processes.

    ·Step 5: Document a change action plan to ensure procedural and technology changes are put in place.

    ·Step 6: If you have not yet purchased a digital workflow product, make sure to conduct a comprehensiveassessment of vendor ability’s to meet your organization’s requirements.

    George Dunn, President of CRE8 Independent Consultants, is a worldwide digital workflow and process improvement (LEAN, Six Sigma, BPM, TQM) consultant, speaker, and author. Since 1995 he has assisted hundreds of organizations with planning for workflow technology, across numerous industries, and trained thousands of individuals. For more information regarding digital workflow. You can also contact George directly, follow him on Twitter @CRE8consultants, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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