Document Workflow Management

With the new “normal” trend of remote working that rolls over from 2020 into 2021, businesses that have transitioned to digitizing their resources and making them available over the internet via cloud. However, there are challenges to achieve the same levels of organisational workflow they had before. Although there was the simple exchange of data and files through digital systems, there was always the option to simply carry a paper file to a colleagues’ desk and discuss the workflows and methodologies with them face to face.

A framework to handle the documents, organising and forwarding them to specific members, is necessary to maintain accuracy and efficiency. Improper allocation of documents, e.g. a document sent to the wrong employee, won’t just waste their time dealing with it and deciding where it should of gone, but it also wastes the time of the person who was supposed to have received the document, possibly delaying the process overall.

What is Document Workflow Management?

Once a document, be it a letter, email or indeed any other type, arrives in the firm, there are certain steps in the workflow to distribute that document – now converted into an electronic format if it wasn’t already.

This involves, preliminary screening of the document to understand its nature, and forwarding it to the relevant department e.g. to the sales department if it is a new sales enquiry, quality control department when it relates to customer feedback, etc. Once that department receives it, they need to take further actions – allocating the case to a specific executive or member of a team, and someone needs to have regular updates to monitor that it has been appropriately actioned in a timely manner.

A proper understanding of the workflows can help in designing a framework that avoids the guesswork and makes the overall process stress-free, efficient and simply easier to manage.

When you install a document management system, they may well have a document workflow manager in-built as part of the overall system. It is then a case of applying your framework to customize and automate your workflows in the software.

What are the Benefits of Document Workflow Management?

Document management systems are really a basic need of any firm in today’s work environment. However, there is a significant difference between pure “document storage” and true “document management”, and workflows is one major differentiator. Think of document storage in the same way as a metal filing cabinet –just sat there stuffed full of documents. They will only find their way into that storage when they have passed though someone’s paper-based in-tray and been dealt with…does anyone else know there are documents in someone else’s in-tray awaiting action? With an electronic workflow, that document has been safely filed as soon as it has been processed and is also sitting in an electronic in-tray for someone to deal with, as well as in a supervisor or manager’s tray for his information and awareness.

Where do I start?

You will need a document management system with integrated document workflow features such as Docusoft¸ and you do need to spend a little time deciding on your distribution policy and framework before configuring the workflow manager – although it can be tweaked and updated as staffing, work procedures and systems change.

Contact us for a demonstration.