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You can think of an effective workflow like a well-oiled machine. When all of the components are working in sync, passing tasks to one another without delay, the machine hums. When a workflow isn’t well defined, when individual players have trouble understanding their roles or executing them, the machine will sputter and clang.
Workflow management software (WMS) can serve as a conductor, keeping everything in rhythm. With automated workflows, there are no more awkward miscues or failures to understand what comes next. Additionally, as the business changes, it’s also important to ensure that a workflow solution can easily and rapidly be modified in order to ensure that company workflows always remain agile and up-to-date. This combination of flexibility and automation allows the machine to hum right along even as operations evolve or as new opportunities arise.
To know whether it’s time to bring WMS into your operations, consider these signs:
1. Consistently missed or confused steps throughout the workflow:
Good businesses rely on staff members to carry out prescribed workflows, and that’s the way it should be. Unfortunately, human error has a way of introducing itself.
Well-designed workflows can go awry for any number of reasons, distracted staff members being chief among them. When a workflow step is skipped or mismanaged, it can take days or weeks to recover. With workflow management software, you can set up notifications to alert the appropriate people when a crucial step is skipped or done incorrectly, saving countless dollars and grief.
2. Customers complain about miscommunications:
Without the help of WMS, it’s not uncommon for manually recorded workflow steps to result in confusion and operational mistakes that are (unfortunately) transparent to your customers.
According to Help Scout, 78 percent of consumers have cancelled a transaction or decided against making an intended purchase because of a bad service experience. So it makes sense to avoid confusion as much as possible.
The right WMS helps you answer questions and meet deliverables without error or delay, saving you and your customers from a bad experience.
3. Constant confusion about task or project status:
If you’re getting confusing or muddled status reports about tasks and jobs, that’s a problem. Not only does it demonstrate a lack of understanding from team members, it makes it difficult for managers to do their jobs as well.
Businesses that face this dilemma consistently should consider a new solution that can provide clear and instantaneous visibility into how things are going and where gaps might exist.
4. Lack of accountability:
Any executive knows that accountability is a critical factor for maintaining efficient teams and a profitable business. Without accountability, it’s impossible to fix problems and improve as a company. Too often with manual workflows, it’s impossible to tell who was closest to a task when it went awry or who was responsible for an objective that was not met.
A survey conducted by Talent Culture found that while 82 percent of respondents can’t hold others accountable for mistakes, 91 percent of respondents consider accountability one of the top needs for their organization.
Because WMS can keep track of who is responsible for each step and whether or not it is completed, it will be clear who is carrying their weight and who should be held accountable for mistakes.
5. Impossible to take on more work:
One of the most powerful ways to use workflow management is for automating approvals, which frees managers to spend time on more important tasks like developing new business goals and exploring new markets. The days of handling requests and approvals through email or on paper should be behind you.
WMS can also be leveraged to analyze a business’s processes and find room for improvement, freeing up staff to focus on quality and speed.
Entrusting your workflow to an automated, agile system can help you move tasks, approvals, and projects from start to completion faster and more accurately, keeping the machine of your business humming.