DreamWorks Busts Roadblocks with OnBase Workflow Tools
Remember how DreamWorks saved a third of its contract management business cycle time using HP and Hyland Software’s OnBase enterprise content management (ECM) solution? And how a smooth, efficient and fast contract management process can reduce a company’s administrative costs, provide better accountability and compliance, improve financial forecasting and, in many cases, ensure happier customers?
There’s a crucial component to the process that facilitated that time savings: workflow management. And with this final post in our DreamWorks series, we’ll take a peek behind the curtain to see why automating its workflow made DreamWorks a more efficient company.
What is workflow and why do I need it?
Workflow is the term we use to describe the steps it takes to complete a task. In a way, workflow is like a recipe. Certain actions must be taken in a predetermined order to successfully achieve the desired outcome – say, bake an apple pie. A misstep in the process – no apples, too much salt, over baking – creates a roadblock that can, at worst, derail the project altogether. No one wants burnt apple pie.
In most companies, workflow is a complex “recipe,” one that includes many people, multiple programs, several processes and a lot of information. For some organizations, there are as many workflows as there are people and programs. And those workflows can vary in complexity, overlap and work in cyclical fashion. In other words, ample opportunity to burn the pie.
For DreamWorks, that was a contract management process that consisted of a lot of manual processes and paper trails that would shuffle from person to person to person, from office to office to office. Teams of employees attempted to review and approve more than 200 contracts a month through that process. Bottlenecks abounded – lost documents, multiple versions of the same document, information tucked away in a box in the basement, you name it – and those bottlenecks affected workflows all across the company.
But smart workflow solutions automate the complex routing of documents, tying together multiple programs, people and processes. Done right, a strategic workflow solution is easy to configure and maintain, saving time and money by decreasing dependency on paper and manual processes. And without digitally transforming its workflow process, DreamWorks may never have realized its reduction in contract management cycle time.
Higher employee productivity
If saving time and money isn’t enough to compel you to digitize your workflow process, consider your employees as another reason to make the move. Removing the usual bottlenecks found in a manual process – or, rather, the things that keep people from getting their jobs done – makes your employees’ job easier to do.
That ease often translates into both higher productivity and more attention to detail. Automated workflows can even help promote that productivity and attention to detail by providing employees with the information they need, when they need it.
But the thing to remember throughout all this is that, even though a smart, strategic workflow process is built from a sequence of well-defined steps – multiple steps completed by different people - it should be flexible, adaptable and responsive to shifts in the company and as the company grows. Achieve this by choosing a workflow solution that is easy to configure, can start small and evolve with the company.
That was DreamWorks goal. And now the company is considering new ways to leverage its workflow solution across the enterprise, from accounting and purchasing to trademark and copyrights.
In other words, get good at baking the apple pie first. Once you’ve done that, you can open up the bakery.