Why You Might Need a Formalized Workflow Tool
By Clinton Jones on April 23, 2015
Every organization has business processes, irrespective of size or industry segment, and each process has one or more workflow.
When a workflow only involves one person, we typically think of it like a task list. As soon as you have others involved in the workflow, you’re shifting the execution of work step to the next person in a chain or hierarchy to either contribute, comment or approve.
Many organizations handle workflow through playbooks or procedures that involve handing off work to various people or groups periodically or after a particular event.
The need for a purchase order to be raised on a supplier may require you to draw up the requirements of what you need, identify and call out one or more supplier and then present all of the requirements and research to someone in purchasing to close out the creation of the formal document. Many of us understand this as the purchase requisitioning process.
Failure to formalize the process leads to incomplete requirements, cycles of clarification and a lack of transparency in the process. The purchasing officer may have to check with finance to determine if there is any budget available for the purchase and you might only find out the purchase order has been issued, when the vendor informs you, or when the product appears as a delivery.
It’s easy to understand that you might need a tool if you want a structured way of gathering requirements, and want all necessary approvals and considerations to be applied to the purchase request; and of course, the need for transparency in the process and progression of the request.
As part of the complete solution platform, Winshuttle provides two types of workflow approaches to managing data outside of your core ERP or system of record. The first of these is standard workflows that are included as part of the governance and compliance framework encapsulated in the product Central.
Organizations that want to manage users, templates, scripts and interactions centrally and on-premise can deploy Central with Studio and Runner clients. These out-of-the-box workflows provided by Central address the most simple scenarios of a requester and approver. Along with logging and audit reporting, these workflows are often sufficient for most initial installations.
For situations where custom workflows, and automatic postings to ERP systems are required, a more sophisticated option of Winshuttle Foundation is provided. Foundation includes a workflow Designer that is intuitive and easy to use. It also allows you to incorporate Studio scripts with Excel templates or web forms, according to your requirements.
About the author
Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.
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