When you think of workflow software, it is easy to think of the movement of process automation. After all, flow implies constant motion, and you use the software to move through the steps of a given process. However, there is an often-overlooked element of process automation using workflow software: The process has to start with something.
In many cases, a workflow begins with someone filling out a form. It could be an order, a lead, a request for information, an insurance quote, or a mortgage application. These types of workflows begin with data entry. As that data is passed along through the process, different things happen based on the information provided. If there are any errors or missing data fields, it could result in a breakdown of the process or an error in the end result.
Workflow software helps you get your processes off to a good start by allowing you to improve data entry productivity and reduce some common issues when it comes to using forms as a part of your business process.
One of the most common fields on a form asks for the user’s street address. Unfortunately, this common field is the source of many workflow errors. Address entry problems can occur because of anything from non-standardized city and state fields to slight variations in the spelling of road names. These kinds of errors result in dirty data that could cause issues throughout the process. Workflow software can connect to the US Postal Service address verification system to ensure standardized address fields.
Other elements of form validation are also possible to ensure consistency with:
Duplicate entries consume resources—not only storage space on your data servers but also the time it takes to find and remove them. If duplicate entries aren’t removed, you could run into process issues. There are times, however, when duplicated data is unavoidable; for example, there may be multiple systems collecting information. The right workflow software will help you by acting as the master system of record, allowing you to take data from multiple systems and clean the data prior to moving the records to a data mart for use in the various processes.
Workflow software regularly pulls data from multiple sources. When a business is required to integrate these different sources, getting data to flow can be a problem in and of itself. To make things more difficult, data integrity can be challenging when data is moved from one system to another.
One way that workflow software is able to maintain data integrity is through data mapping. By taking data from disparate systems, you can map and transform data from one structure to another. This not only allows the data to share the same definition but also translates it into something that is more easily understood by users.
These days, automation is almost synonymous with improved productivity. When you leverage workflow software in your organization, you enable your team to up their productivity game in a major way.
As you are able to automate your business processes and workflows, your team will experience fewer blockers. Approvals, routing, or any other type of task or movement can be either eliminated by automating workflows or audited with workflow software. Even if a person or team is holding up a process, you will be able to track that and address it using the management capabilities in your solution.
The right workflow software solution also helps you gather data and information, which reduces the need for manual data entry. Not only does it help collect data, but the validation capabilities and checks put in place also help ensure that the data is valid, accurate, and not duplicated.
Decisions workflow software provides you with all of these capabilities for dealing with data structures and more. Users are able to build business logic and automate their workflows without needing to know how to program or write any code. A simple user interface allows you to perform data mapping, build processes, and create forms with the proper validation without needing to involve your engineering team.
If you are looking for more information on how you can improve and automate your business workflow processes, follow the Decisions blog. You will find a wealth of information and advice on workflow solutions from true thought leaders in the industry.