How to Make the Perfect Workflow

 In Best Practices, Blog, Business Intelligence

News flash: Every business is different. Surprised? No? We’re not either. Even though every organization in the history of forever is different from others in some way, there’s a huge uniting factor across most (if not all) businesses. Any guesses?

All companies have some kind of process in place for managing their day to day operations. Some are clearly defined, while others are entirely based on the memory of those involved. They might not all be a good processes, and you may already have experienced the effects of a poorly implemented process, but we’re here to offer some encouragement.

You can actually revolutionize your business process through the use of a well-crafted workflow. Both of our flagship products, SalesPad Desktop (for use with Microsoft Dynamics GP) and SalesPad Cloud (for use with QuickBooks Online) support customized workflows that can be finely tuned to perfectly assimilate into your business. You ready? Viva la revolución.

Identify the steps in your process.

In a perfect world, translating an existing process into a concrete set of steps would be a cinch. Unfortunately, we live in the real world where things like cold coffee, the break room running out of plates, and ambiguous processes are commonplace. Keep that chin up though, and get that cold coffee nuked and ready, because we’ve got exactly what you need to get your process translated into usable workflows.

A surefire way to outline an active business process is to start at the very beginning and make a flowchart. In SalesPad, the Workflow module is designed with a document’s entry as the starting point. In order to kick off your flowchart, we’ll assume you have a sales document entered into your system. The decisions begin after you have a document entered and saved. There are likely many decisions made during your own business process, but here’s a quick example that could serve as a first step.

Workflow graphic

Don’t be afraid to get complex with your decisions, either. SalesPad can be used to evaluate customer credit limits, verify payment totals, check profit margins, and much more. Anywhere you make a “yes or no” decision regarding the movement of a sales document, you can use a workflow to keep this process clearly outlined and effective.

When it comes down to it, making a useful flowchart is as easy as asking the right questions (something you are likely already doing in your everyday life). See the example below. 

Workflow graphic2

What happens next?

Sometimes it’s not a matter of “yes” or “no,” but more a matter of “now what?” If you’re having trouble identifying the steps in your typical process, asking this question can help you find the way forward. This can also be an effective way to identify areas where there may be some ambiguity, which can help you clearly define next steps.

Let’s use another example.

The document has been entered, saved, and there have been a few decisions made. The sales document is currently sitting in a “Credit Approved” batch (a batch is SalesPad’s term for a stop along your workflow), but no one is sure what the next step is. From the far end of the table, quiet until now, someone pipes up and asks, “What normally happens after a document receives a credit approval?”

A few people come to the agreement that, after a document receives the credit approval, it moves to the warehouse for picking. On certain special occasions, the document might need another management check before moving to the warehouse, so it’s agreed upon that for these situations, documents for sensitive customers will move to a Management Review queue before moving to the warehouse for picking.

Finalize and confirm.

Once you have the entire process on paper, be sure to closely review it for accuracy. Is there anything you may have missed? Who will be responsible for what? Do you have the resources needed to carry out this process?

It’s also highly recommended to have a second (or third) set of eyes look over the workflow proposal to make sure you’ve got everything covered. Getting people from all areas of your business involved will help with accurately identifying each individual step in your workflow process.

Need a little help? No problem! SalesPad has a ton of experience creating the perfect workflow for our customers. If you’re looking to get a bit more advanced in the ways of the workflow, you can check out our recommended workflow tools.

If you’re looking for the ideal way to map your existing process into a concrete set of steps usable in SalesPad, please contact us!


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