In a document-management context, workflow signifies the flow of documents among people or groups of people. Business processes typically involve such distribution with different persons responsible for creating, updating, reviewing, and approving documents. Document distribution might also be necessary to provide decision-support information before initiating actions.
Using PRESENCE, you can improve your workflow's by automating document routing and processing, providing interfaces between different applications and integrating the workflow.
Dealing with both physical and digital documents can be one of the most challenging aspects of any organization. PRESENCE can improve how you approach this information in a variety of ways:
Enhance your office infrastructure by capturing paper, e-mails, and other files to a central repository.
Automate your approval processes and streamline document workflow.
Access your information the moment you need it
Manage it more easily with a bespoke document management system.
In the context of documents, workflow means moving documents through your business. Goods Delivery Notes accompany merchandise and come back to the seller duly acknowledged by the buyer; Invoices have to be sent to the buyers; Checks have to be sent to suppliers; Letters have to be sent to many persons and organizations; and so on.
In addition to the external communications illustrated above, there are internal movements of documents. Time cards have to be sent to the payroll clerk; Pay sheets have to move to accounting and treasury departments; Memos have to move from person to person.
Unless the flow of documents is controlled through carefully developed policies and procedures, results are chaotic. Goods Received Notes acknowledged by customers can be misplaced leading to disputes about invoices. Intended recipients of official memos might dispute ever having received the document. Employees might not get paid correctly or on time.
The issues of confidentiality and business interests might also be compromised unless the flow of documents is controlled properly. Legal regulations require you to keep several kinds of data confidential. Business interests might require that you keep certain sensitive data accessible only to a restricted few. If you have inadequate control over the document flow, confidential and sensitive data can easily fall into the wrong hands.
With PRESENCE you can take control of all the different types of electronic and paper document that may arise in your organization.
Text Documents: Letters, Reports, Statements, Contracts
Drawings: Blueprints, Organization Charts, Workflow Charts
Printed Materials: News articles, Reference materials
Forms: Invoices, Orders, Attendance cards, Bin cards
Almost every one of these documents involves some kind of workflow. Information has to be gathered from other documents for preparing a letter or report. Contracts have to be reviewed before signing. Information from other documents, collected from other persons or departments, have to be summarized for preparing statements like a sales analysis.
Policies and procedures, carefully developed and properly implemented, are the key to document workflow management. Implementation also involves adequate training to personnel who handle the documents.
The policies seek to identify opportunities for saving costs while meeting different requirements. In the absence of such policies, it's quite easy to incur unnecessary costs. For example, documents can be kept for unduly long periods, or in perpetuity, because no one knows when a document can be destroyed, or how to destroy it.
Procedures implement the policies on the ground. Documents will be routed efficiently to all concerned persons. Access to sensitive documents will be controlled through such means as passwords and permissions. Needed actions will be flagged as they become due.
With PRESENCE we can develop flexible, bespoke applications that are based on your policies that monitor, automate and control the document workflow's throughout your business.
The basic functions are summarized by three words: Capture, Manage, and Distribute.
Data has to be captured at the best point considering convenience and cost. The captured data has to be managed effectively to serve intended purposes while keeping the data safe. Data and documents need to be distributed to concerned persons in a manner that ensures their safety and minimizes the cost involved.
And the basic workflow pattern is summarized by: Creation, Updating, Review, and Approval.
When data is captured, a record or document is typically created. The creation process must be designed for ease and error-free operation.
Created records and documents typically need to be updated, changed, worked on further, or deleted. This must also be an easy and error-minimizing process.
A single person rarely has complete control over a document or record. Proper authentication and prevention of errors and frauds typically requires that one or more persons, not involved in the creation or updating, review the created/updated documents.
Another typical practice is that while the creation or updating is done by operations personnel, it has to be approved by a supervisor or manager before it's put to intended use. Thus, approval is usually the last process before the workflow moves to the next stage.
PRESENCE technology can provide solutions for all your document capture, management and distribution requirements.
If you observe the operations in an office, you would typically find the following processes taking place that can be improved or even automated using a PRESENCE application:
Writing or typing
Getting written or printed originals or copies
Moving these documents to another person, either inside or outside the organization. (This might involve some preparations like putting a document in an envelope or other protective packing)
Monetary transactions based on documentary authorizations
Storing documents away, safely and in an organized manner
Document management systems have undergone a radical change since the appearance of computers and Internet. So has workflow.
PRESENCE can integrate all the parts of a modern computerized and connected office to enable the smooth workflow of documents, including,
Creation of digital records on computer disks
Sending records to other persons using digital means
Getting printouts at the points needed (instead of sending printed documents by hand to various places)
Scanning to convert printed materials into digital format
Using OCR technologies to make the scanned documents editable
Making copies as needed instead of preparing the maximum number of copies at the stage of document creation itself
Using fax and e-mail for mailing documents
With PRESENCE you can take advantage of all the existing technology in your business to improve the efficiency and reduce the costs of your workflow's, including:
The modern workflow consists of typing at computer terminals or scanning printed materials, printing needed documents at your desktop or a central printer, and e-mailing or faxing the documents to concerned persons
The appearance of digital signature protocols is eliminating the need for paper documents even further.
PRESENCE can also provide you with a complete content management systems, where many people access a central database and work collaboratively on documents, have made the document workflow and its management far more productive.