Original Article URL: https://blog.docuware.com/document-management/how-digital-workflow-automation-connects-multiple-office-locations-to-achieve-business-goals
Original Article Title: How Digital Workflow Automation Connects Multiple Office Locations to Achieve Business Goals
Original Author: Joan Honig
When you automate the flow of key business processes, also known as workflow automation, you free employees from tedious, time-consuming tasks and the frustrations of not being able to find information quickly. It can also be instrumental in enabling your organization to improve the efficiency of collaboration with employees and vendors at multiple locations.
If your workforce is distributed in multiple offices, whether across town or internationally, it’s important that employees have immediate access to the documents they need to do their jobs by using a central digital repository. Digitization of processes such as order management, employee onboarding and invoice approval can be designed for your precise needs.
Automation enables sharing information with anyone on your team who needs visibility into a workflow process, no matter where they are located. Every employee responsible for completing a task can view it in the office automation solution. Email updates can be sent to alert employees to new tasks in their work queues. At a glance, a manager can see what steps are complete and what remains to be done.
In the case of vendor relationships, it’s likely that many of your supply-side partners already have electronic processes in place. So, automating workflow has a greater positive impact on overall productivity than ever before. You are not only are you digitizing your own internal paper-based processes, but also extending your digital workflows to these external organizations.
Below are two success stories about DocuWare users who have implemented streamlined, digital processes across different locations. When you’re interacting in an entirely electronic environment, documents like invoices, purchase orders and service orders are processed faster and with greater accuracy. This enables employees to focus on reviewing and making business decisions with the data instead of keying it in.
If your workforce is distributed in multiple offices, whether across town or internationally, it’s important that employees have immediate access to the documents they need to do their jobs by using a central digital repository.
Shopping for better accounting processes at a natural foods market chain
Gourmet grocer Kowalski’s Markets, headquartered in Woodbury, Minnesota, implemented DocuWare to manage their accounts payable and accounts receivable processes. The solution was piloted in the headquarters store for a few months, then rolled out to all 12 stores, over the course of the next 3 months. Today, invoices are scanned at each store and automatically indexed using DocuWare’s Intelligent Indexing, which is a cIoud-based service that uses artificial intelligence to learn how to “recognize” index terms wherever they are on a page.
Next, the invoices are electronically routed to the department head, who fixes any missing or incorrect index terms and reviews the costs. Using an electronic stamp, the invoice is routed to the corporate accounting office where it is given one final review before being stored in DocuWare. In addition to streamlining work processes, they improved vendor relations and run cost analysis with ease.
Kowalski’s has eliminated more than 40 hours a week in data entry time and their employees have more time to dedicate to the key part of their jobs. The accounting department can instantly answer vendor questions about why they may have been paid less than the invoiced amount and other issues. One of the biggest benefits the accounting department has seen is that they no longer look up information for department managers as these managers now have searchable, self-serve access to important accounting information.
Kowalski’s has eliminated more than 40 hours a week in data entry time and their employees have more time to dedicate to the key part of their jobs.
Meeting seasonal deadlines at Rawlings Sporting Goods
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., established in 1887 and based in St. Louis, Missouri, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods in the United States. They develop and produce innovative, high-performance equipment and protective apparel for the professional, amateur and entry-level player.
The Rawlings customer service team works with clients to create custom products such as apparel, uniforms, sporting equipment and other licensed items. With so much information to manage for each order, Rawlings found it challenging to tie custom specifications and artwork back to the original order and effectively communicate this information to their vendors. They needed a solution that allowed document and file sharing with vendors across the globe while maintaining version control.
With DocuWare Cloud in place, Rawlings easily acquires approvals and shares artwork and ordering information with their vendors. They provide vendors with a login and a password for permissioned access to DocuWare. The solution improves the quality and accuracy of each customer order by giving vendors self-serve access to the final artwork and relevant customer notes, eliminating confusion and potential delays. Rawlings’ purchasing department works with vendors to make sure they have the correct materials to fulfill each order. Due to short lead times for playoff games and materials constraints, Rawlings often splits one order between two suppliers. Items need to be identical and with DocuWare in place, the company gives each supplier access to the information to make that happen.
“The relationship with our vendors has improved because we now have a consistent and reliable way to communicate order information. We’ve found that better vendor relationships support better customer service.” Sally Vandegrift Yeast, Vice President of Customer Experience & Analytics for Rawlings. “The ultimate impact of implementing DocuWare is that it has sped up our business and production processes and raised customer satisfaction. Uniforms, season and special games are time sensitive. You don’t get a second chance to deliver goods on time,” she explained.