Why Use a Workflow Engine
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Imagine that you run a company and each day you have to deal with vast amounts of data. You need to allocate tasks to various executors and monitor all the activities in a workflow. At times, hundreds of small tasks should be performed to complete a certain process. How much time and money will it take to manage all these processes?
Whether we are talking about a growing business or a large corporation, it is essential to be able to quickly monitor the state of activities in a workflow to be able to undertake efficient actions in a timely manner. The ability to monitor the status of each process/task is crucial for effective business management. Accordingly, instead of spending a considerable amount of time on coordination of their resources, managers can dedicate their attention to business development, thus, increasing their revenues.
Introduction of a workflow engine component into their IT infrastructure helps companies to coordinate and facilitate their business processes. Imagine that you run a large company where all departments are highly dependent on each other, and you need to send an agreement to your customer. There are plenty of small steps that are necessary for the completion of this task. First, a manager creates a draft, then a lawyer verifies it and returns it to the manager. Afterwards, the document arrives at your desk for you to sign it. Only when all these steps are completed, the manager sends the required agreement to the customer. It is possible to spend a whole day on this task trying to reach people via Skype/e-mail or wandering in-between departments.Alternatively, you can implement a workflow engine component automating this process.
Based on predefined conditions, workflow engine is capable of defining which tasks should be created, when and by whom, and notifying employees when to complete a certain action. For instance, once a person reviews a document, it is automatically transferred to a signer. Besides, some of the engines also allow you to set timers that will trigger a transition from one activity to another, being able to define during which amount of time a certain task should be performed. In most of the cases, that brings the number of e-mails and memos written by the staff to zero.
In total, an integrated workflow engine frees employees from coordination tasks, allowing them to focus on their core activities. Moreover, since employees receive JIT notifications, company’s processes run faster.
It is crucial that all the processes are clear for all members of the staff. Adoption of a workflow engine enables employees to view all activities performed in a workflow. Workflow engines also help managers take better control over process execution. For instance,they can quickly check document status and see whether or not a document has been signed. Managers can do it at anytime and at any stage of the process. Given that, integration of a workflow engine contributes to increased transparency for both management and employees.
The introduction of a workflow engine to their systems empowers companies to make quicker and faster decisions. In practice, it means that there will no longer be numerous papers and documents travelling physically across company’s departments and offices. It is a common situation when managers and employees may spend a whole day managing these activities. With these tasks fully automated, the time is brought down to several minutes. In addition, there will be no more delays caused by the necessity to physically move hard document copies in-between departments. Besides, the usage of a workflow engine leads to automation of administrative tasks executed by employees every day. When employees spend less time on routine tasks they have more time that they can dedicate to their core activities, thus, increasing their efficiency.
Workflow engine suits your business if you:
have large document circulation and are not able to quickly monitor heavy document flow;
lose your documents in a daily workflow;
want to free up the time spent on staff coordination and management and dedicate it to business development;
want to increase management transparency and efficiency.
If you have decided that workflow engine is necessary for your business you may consider the following options:
In this case, you will have a custom-made solution that can be fully tailored to your needs. However, if you choose this option you should understand that it will be costly and take quite some time.
Integration of a ready-made workflow engine into your solution reduces the development time greatly. All that developers need to do is to adjust the processes to the needs of the company. As a result, this option saves you resources and lowers TCO, given that support plans are available.
Besides, your developers will be happy to work with a ready-made workflow engine since they won’t have to code from scratch and dig deep into the abyss of BPMN, state machines, etc.They won’t need to spend long hours trying to figure out how to build such a system and how to make it work.
Effective coordination and structured work is crucial for any business. To achieve this, businesses should consider integrating a workflow engine into their IT infrastructure. The introduction of this component will undoubtedly result in synchronization of information flow, transparency of all the processes for employees and managers and higher administrative control, enabling you to concentrate on core activities and business development rather than excessive management.
If you made up your mind already and decided that the second option is the only way to go, we kindly invite you to try out Workflow Engine, our flexible and easy-to-use component that can be incorporated into your business system to facilitate business process workflows.