According to the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), the most important trend is manifesting global virtual workforces. The goal for companies: global interconnectivity workflow automation.
MAPI’s hit on a need spanning all business category – company staff utilizing available, affordable technology to continue their ability to unite each of their locations (and remote workers), increasing efficiencies towards achievement of a one-company environment.
Back-office workflow automation is an impactful capability to impact the global interconnectivity design. Its universal appeal is applicable to all organizations’ efforts to increase speed and lower cost, particularly in the functions of Accounts Payable and Order Processing.
Deloitte states workflow automation reducing business process costs by 30%. This accounts for interdepartmental staff time savings and accuracy improvements, with each transaction’s documentation being captured and organized, accessible and trackable throughout process lifecycles.
Workflow automation is powered by enterprise content management (ECM), software that enables lifecycle management of project and transaction documentation. It encompasses capturing paper and electronic documents in all forms and from all sources, identifying necessary information to populate integrated ERP and business system fields. It reduces or eliminates manual keying of data into systems, providing straight through processing, while validating accuracy among system databases. Once documentation is captured and organized, company process-specific workflow provides desktop and mobile accessibility for collaborative input and expedited approvals.
Ultimate ECM automation’s success is predicated with ability to integrate with any ERP/business system utilized within a company. This enables any department’s documentation capture, with each specific process mapped, creating an enterprise-encompassing environment of workflow automation without cumbersome infrastructure transformation. One ECM system for an entire organization’s needs, converting process based on business rules defined per department’s function.
ECM is best suited for organizations having geographically uniform processes and needing to reduce related cost to be more competitive and achieve a superior level of operational excellence. It accomplishes the global interconnectivity workflow automation objective, while creating economies of scale through higher ROI per expanded department and function.