Think about how often your employees use a request workflow on an ordinary day. They may have trouble logging into their workstation, so they request IT help. Down the hallway, the light over someone’s cubicle may have burned out, so they make a building services request to have it fixed. Over in HR, a new employee is starting today, so the manager puts in a request to have office keys issued.
Request workflows are central to countless work processes, and the more efficient and accurate they are, the more efficient and accurate employees can be. Streamlining request workflows can be an investment with a fast, impressive return on investment. Here are 6 benefits of a streamlined request workflow.
1. Less Paper
Rare is the request workflow that can’t be made paperless. Paper may have been necessary to streamlined workflows at one time, but we have much better options now. Paper forms take up space, can be lost or damaged, maybe illegible, and must be routed by hand throughout the chain of command. Electronic forms linked into workflows, however, require no filing cabinets, won’t be lost, and are always legible. Plus, they can be routed swiftly and securely to everyone whose input is necessary.
2. Easier Tracking
Old, cumbersome workflows were hard to track. You left the form in the correct person’s inbox, but did they see it and act on it? More broadly, how many times was that manual, paper-based workflow used last quarter? Last year? Unless someone is manually keeping track, it’s hard to know. Electronic workflows allow transparency at every step. Whoever initiated the request can track its progress anytime, and whoever is in charge of the workflow can automatically collect statistics such as the number of requests, number of requests approved, and how much money was spent fulfilling them.
3. Better Budget Forecasting
If thirty IT requests were made to complain about a malfunctioning printer, maybe it’s time to budget for a better printer. If the transportation pool is experiencing waiting lists for vehicles, perhaps buying or leasing more vehicles is a smart step for the next fiscal year. When request workflows are electronic and easily trackable, you can see what resources are most in-demand and how your budget dollars can be spent most wisely. While this could be done with manual workflows, it was much slower and prone to mistakes. Electronic request workflows can do a lot of the statistical work for you
4. Greater Hiring Accuracy
Last year you expanded the accounting department, and this year the IT department is stretched thin making sure all those new accountants have hardware and software in working order. The data provided by request workflow histories can make clear where your hiring efforts should be focused. If you plan to issue tablets to all engineers to use in the field, you may conclude that hiring an IT expert with experience in mobile device management is the best use of your resources and will improve ROI on mobile devices.
5. Less Duplication of Effort
Often, if a paper request workflow is initiated and something goes wrong, there’s no choice but to start over. If more than one person in a workflow has the authority to approve or deny a request, what happens when multiple people make decisions that conflict? In cases like this, wasteful duplication of effort results, making workflows take longer and ultimately costing the company more money in terms of time and resources. The reduction of duplicated effort alone can be a good enough reason to invest in electronic streamlined request workflows.
6. Monetary Savings
When you don’t need paper for workflows, expenditures on paper and printing supplies drop precipitously. When a workflow that used to take a week now takes a day, efficiency jumps significantly. The bottom line result is that the cost of doing business drops because you’re able to do things faster and with greater accuracy and transparency. Streamline just one request workflow in each department, and the savings can add up impressively over the course of a year.
Flexible Workflow Software Lets You Streamline Countless Request Processes
You don’t have to buy separate request workflow solutions for IT, HR, transportation, building maintenance, and other processes if you have powerful software like ProcessMaker. With ProcessMaker, non-technical personnel can create straightforward, accurate, electronic workflows that are custom-tailored to their exact needs. And you can try out the ProcessMaker Enterprise Edition for free or download the ProcessMaker Community Edition for free. Streamlined request workflows are within your reach, starting right now.