For organizations that have established an effective document management process, often the next natural step is automating additional tasks through workflows. Workflows are specific to the organization using them, and you may be unsure of how they work and the difference between Basic and Advanced Workflows.
What exactly is a workflow? It’s the sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion. Some of these workflows are relatively straightforward, like making a chocolate cake (the tastiest type of workflow) while others may be far more complex, like building a skyscraper.
Within document management, some sample workflows might be requesting approval, PO requisition, or onboarding.
Workflows are incredibly important, they help provide transparency within key processes, and allow you to identify any potential red flags. Also, like a recipe, it moves along processes so you can get to a successful end result.
By creating workflows then using Reportworks to review them, you can ensure that the processes you work to build are successful.
What is the difference between Basic Workflow and Advanced Workflow?
Basic workflow is single steps with sequential actions. The easiest example of this is a recipe, each step leads to the next and even though you started with just a few ingredients, you wind up with a great finished (and hopefully delicious) product! In DocStar, standard workflow is included in the base product. Known as a 2-step workflow, it relies on if/then logic then stops. 2-Step workflows are full-featured but limit administrators to only one step with no branching.
Advanced Workflow is 3 step (or more!) workflow that relies on if/then/else logic, that’s when you can really streamline a process. It adds in things such as conditional logic and chaining of multiple workflows to allow complex processing and routing. This would be like if you were making a recipe and depending on what ingredients you added it would go to a different step, but end up even more delicious!
How can workflows be utilized?
While there’s a place for a custom workflow, whether it be Basic or Advanced, in just about any part of your business, our most common use cases are within accounting and finance.
An example of an Advanced Workflow would be in scenarios within Accounts Payable approvals where different approvers would be notified based on the department making the request. Utilizing branch conditions within Advanced Workflow means the right approvals go to the right people at the right time. Additionally, multi-step advanced workflow can be seen in situations where a workflow needs to search and compare a value on an invoice (such as PO number) to an existing PO in Docstar with a matching value and determine if the total amount of the invoice matches the total amount of the PO. If the totals don’t match, you can easily be notified and work towards getting that rectified quickly, having spent little-to-no manual work on catching the error.
Additional ways advanced workflow can vastly improve your document management process include multi-level approval routing exception reports, matching, mathematical equations to capture options like OCR, barcode, separation, and image enhancement. But with advanced workflow, the possibilities are practically endless.
How PiF fits in
As an automation solution provider, we typically see clients who start out using our ECM solution then progress into advanced workflows and added products to improve their efficiency. After implementing advanced workflows, they quickly see a transformation in how they process key documents. PiF has created countless custom workflows for clients, and we’d love to show you how your organization could directly benefit from them.