Workflow’s 5 Major Roles in Your Business Operations

 In Best Practices, Business Intelligence, Order Processing

Warehouse workers determining workflow

When it comes to running a business, cooperation is a cornerstone to productivity. There’s an infinite number of moving parts that go into ordering, picking, packing, and shipping a single order, involving employees from every branch of your company. Inevitably, navigating all these steps can get tricky. While the change to creating a smoother system might not happen overnight, there’s one tool in your arsenal that’s powerful enough to provide meaningful transformation to your everyday processes. We’re talking, of course, about workflow. You’ll be so well-coordinated, it’ll make early 2000s boy bands jealous. 

Workflow: The chameleon your company needs

Designing and adopting a workflow is an essential move, especially for a growing business. It’s your blueprint for success and your method for ensuring accountability. When working for a growing company, it’s nearly impossible for you to have someone manually track every single sales document’s process, from creation to fulfillment, without a little help.  

Enter automated workflow, and all the life-improving features it has to offer. Workflow allows you to plot out the movement for each type of document you work with, ensuring that there’s never a lagging moment or a misstep when it comes to getting your documents into the right hands. 

While workflow influences your processes in many ways, we’re going to break down just a few of the major parts it can play in improving how you do business. 

Workflow as a customizer

We’re big fans of personalized software solutions, and workflow is no exception. In order for your business to reach its full potential, you need tools that were created with your business in mind. Each business is unique, and your workflow should reflect your company’s needs. 

In SalesPad’s software offerings, a workflow configuration operates based on a set of rules, where you create batches for each document type (invoices, purchase orders, transfers, etc.). This is your roadmap for all documents in your company. It determines where documents need to go, who needs what, and what action needs to be taken before they reach the next batch. You can get as specific as you like, building out what the ideal process for getting the order fulfilled would look like. With workflow, the world is your oyster. 

As a precedent-setter 

Accuracy and efficiency are everything to a product-centric company, and both of these things depend on your ability to stay consistent. By adding a workflow, you have a great opportunity to set expectations for your sales document’s journey. This is also a great opportunity to ensure that your sales documents’ journey is simplified and can be easily learned by all your employees. While your existing method may work for the time being, as your company grows, a standardized document movement process will be essential for increasing your efficiency and ensuring heightened accuracy.   

With SalesPad Workflow, you begin by assigning a workflow type in order to establish unique expectations for every type of transaction that comes your way. When you’re able to sit down and map out the journey all your documents take from start to finish, you can determine who’s accountable for each step. Any future complications can be easily traced to their source. Once you’ve laid this groundwork, workflow makes the process easily repeatable. And as we all know, repeatability means reliability. 

As a communicator 

Your documents make their way through several departments in your company, and it’s vital that movement between these stopping points is smooth sailing. The big benefit of using a workflow is that you can unite all cooperative departments of your business. This way, the minute the document falls in a new user’s hands, they know exactly what is it and what needs to be done with it. 

By making sure your documents are always in the right hands at the right time, you’ll minimize wasted effort, and quickly communicate the status of each order, especially if your business is operating from several different warehouses. You’ll see the progress in its totality, and eliminating any confusion over who is responsible for what. SalesPad’s workflow is also equipped to integrate with mobile solutions, so that your sales, warehouse, and delivering staff can all access necessary documents whether they’re on-site or on the road. 

As a magnifying glass 

Often, that all-important “step back” to observe the efficiency of your operations is put off for too long. Implementing a workflow may very well be the first time your workers see the entire order of operations from start to finish, and this is the perfect opportunity to scope out areas for improvement. 

You can use this new visibility as an evaluative tool to better identify where your operations seem to lag most frequently, but the improvement need not stop there. Once a workflow is established, you can also take the time to evaluate how effective your new system is. If you discover that it requires any tweaking, SalesPad’s workflow allows you to edit existing workflows, so you can continue to specialize your operations when needed. 

As an efficiency boost 

A solid workflow can help iron out those tedious, in-between tasks by introducing the power of automation. After determining your rules for individual batches, documents will automatically be sent to the next responsible party once all dependent tasks have been completed. 

You can further optimize your workflow with other integrations as well. With Smart Printing, documents will automatically print documents once they’re prompted to do so in the workflow process. This way, you have all the connective tissue between batches in your workflow sorted out. By automating what would once require additional human input, you’re cutting out unnecessary steps and giving yourself the peace of mind to know that you won’t have to waste time with checking (and double checking). 

There are few tools as versatile and lastingly relevant as an order-to-cash workflow. There’s so much to be gained from implementing one, and it all boils down to time and effort saved for you and your employees. If you’re thinking of trying out a new workflow for yourself, check out our documentation on getting started! And, in case you’re looking to brush up on some other ways to reinvent your operations, try out our ebook on tried-and-true operational efficiencies that are perfectly tailored for product-centric businesses like yours. 

10 operational efficiencies ebook

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