Running an organization without standardized procedures is a key barrier to growth. Using a workflow automation application helps organizations to minimize variations, reduce wastage, increase consistency and ultimately improve the quality of their results.
In today’s competitive global market, one of the key operational constraints that businesses face is procedural violations during normal operations. This leads to operational inconsistencies which affect product/service quality and financial performance of the company. Consequently, organizations have found a need to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) to maintain business processes which ensure services and/or products are delivered consistently every time
Merriam-webster.com defines SOPs as “established or prescribed methods to be followed routinely for the performance of designated operations or in designated situations.” Obviously, SOPs need to be documented with written procedures or flowcharts and, where possible, also supported with video instructions.
One way to guarantee consistency is by automating the management of SOPs using workflow engine. A workflow represents a series of steps or actions that constitute an operational procedure for a business process. Workflow automation will improve operational efficiency since it provides an organization with the opportunity and tools for standardizing and automating operating procedures.
Below are 6 advantages of automating SOPs monitoring through workflow engine;
- Improved process monitoring for enhanced productivity
Intelligent workflow strategies are implemented to extract operational knowledge by analyzing event logs of how users execute procedures during a business process. Through automation, it becomes easier to review transaction history and make decisions about loosening or tightening approval thresholds. Consequently, organizations are able to continually evaluate and improve their business processes for better productivity.
Additionally, through the automation of SOPs, managers are able to monitor the transactions pipeline on a real-time basis. This way, they are able to balance workloads more easily. By digitizing procedures, companies guide operators, track actions and events for reporting, and empower workers to do more with less.
- Better audit trail for document management
When it comes to SOPs, it is critical that there is a mechanism for document creation, editing, finalization, and approval. Workflow systems provide great functionalities for the automation of movements of documents or items through a sequence of actions or tasks that are related to a business process.
For example, PT. Timah Tbk, one of the Indonesian government enterprises that deals with Tin mining have an e-approval system specifically for payment processing. Their approval process and forms creation processes have been automated and documents are easily traced as they go from one stage to another in the approval process. This improves the efficiency of the document generation and management process.
- Simplified compliance monitoring
In most countries, there are regulatory bodies charged with the responsibility of ensuring compliance with food, drugs, or environmental regulations. Workflow automation is critical in the circumstances where organizations have regulatory requirements for compliance with external bodies. This is because automation facilitates auditing and version control for the SOPs. It helps businesses to manage and audit their production processes more effectively and consistently.
Tracking of compliance with internal SLAs is also an important component of workflow automation. This has been incorporated by CIMB Niaga, Indonesia’s 4th largest bank by assets. They are upgrading their existing workflow application into our solution for a system according to their latest working condition with SLA monitoring. In this application, we ensured that the system has a time limitation for each task in the approval process and there are facilities for manual reassign, auto-reassign or re-routing of tasks. Moreover, the system has a dashboard to display each employee’s performance.
- Improved accountability
By implementing automated workflow application, each step in the workflow is stamped with the user ID of the person who performed it together with the date and time it was performed. This transaction history eliminates any ambiguity as to who performed what task and when. It is critical in improving the accountability of the employees for their deed or misdeeds in the business process and contributes towards consistency in operations.
In the PT. Timah e-approval application mentioned above, the system maintains a record of who performed what action and when. Using such information managers are able to hold employees to account for their actions whenever there are exceptional events during processing or unwarranted delays in the approvals.
- Proper process management for consistent results
With automated monitoring of SOPs, organizations can drive the right actions at the right time, every day – from common tasks to corrective action on out-of-spec events and critical emergencies. All the steps are performed in the correct sequence thus minimizing errors and risks, reducing waste and guaranteeing consistent results. When it comes to consistency and adaptability in the business processes, our highly customizable BPM software has the capacity to easily adapts to changes in the business process using a drag-and-drop Workflow Editor.
An example of how you can use a SOP automation to optimize the recruitment process is our e-recruitment system for Elnusa Tbk. Indonesian government’s energy services company. Our system automatically analyzes candidate scores at each stage and using a parameterized criterion, in their case 70%, the system is able to filter out the candidates to progress to the next stage. Such system eliminates the risks associated with subjective human actions and guarantees consistency in the results.
- Improved business Process documentation for effective knowledge transfer
Repeatable quality requires consistency to avoid variation that includes occasional poor quality results. As organizations grow and expand, there is always a need to translate the initial success into scaled, repeatable success.
Automation of SOPs using a workflow application enables the business to document processes and transfer knowledge – for consistent, repeatable operations as well as to share production best practices and collaborate on processes. Additionally, the software does not require complicated coding in order to plug into new integration with external applications.
Running an organization without standardized procedures is a key barrier to growth. Using a workflow automation application helps organizations to minimize variations, reduce wastage, increase consistency and ultimately improve the quality of their results. Our competent team has implemented successful SOPs monitoring projects for our clients. For further details on how we can partner to implement similar projects for you, please contact our team here.