Business Process Automation

Business Processes are sets of activities and tasks that accomplish an organizational goal - whether it is delivery of a product or service, or an internal process such as finance, audit or compliance. The collection of processes in a business or organisation represents a template for how they do business. The pressures of competition and advances in technology mean that every business needs to ensure its processes are ever faster, leaner and more efficient. The mantra is "do more for less, and do it quicker!" For government agencies, councils and non-profit organisations, the issue is driven by concerns around best value for money spent. Can a service or organisational goal be achieved more efficiently at lower cost?


"...manual processes are typically slow, expensive and error prone - automating processes is now an imperative.."


Why Are Manual Processes So Problematic?

Many businesses rely heavily on ad-hoc business processes which have developed over time to achieve their goals. These processes might rely on bits of paper shuffling from pile to pile, emails flying around, random conversations with colleagues and various interactions with legacy IT systems. Often these processes are not fully understood end-to-end by anybody with the business and are very likely not documented.

This exposes the business to the following risks and inefficiencies:

  1. Existing processes typically have wasteful redundant steps and duplication of effort
  2. It is hard to enforce process compliance, if the process is not documented and managed.
  3. It is impossible to measure and improve process efficiency in any systematic way.
  4. Paper documents can be lost or damaged, and slow processes down whilst they are stuck in somebody else's in-tray or out-tray.
  5. Almost impossible to keep an accurate audit trail and monitor current status

Automate, Accelerate and Control

What is the alternative to the swamp of manual processes? Forward looking businesses are facing the dual challenge of increasing productivity and lowering costs by adopting the FlowMatrix technology platform to help automate their business processes. Automation means implementing the business process on a suitable technology platform to work primarily with electronic documents and data and removing as many mechanical manual steps from the process as possible. Process automation takes away a lot of the "grunt work" but can also apply smart algorithms and OCR for document processing and rules-based decision making. This all adds up to process acceleration as almost every step in the process happens quicker and with less human involvement.

Invoices that pass all the rules are routed straight through to your accounts system for payment processing. If there are any inconsistencies in the invoice data then these can be handled by the accounts clerks in the Invoice Processing client application, which is a fast an intuitive tool for work with the 'problem invoices'.

Implementing a business process on the FlowMatrix platform also means visibility, automatic reportable audit trails and process control. Managers are empowered as they can see the current state of processes from a dashboard review and received regular throughput and user productivity reports sent out automatically by email. The compliance department are happy that there is a full end-to-end audit trail for every stage of the process. The Customer Service departments are happy that they can easily find out the current status relating to a customer's enquiry.

Empowering the Workforce

Many business processes have stages that require human intelligence - a judgment call, an expert decision etc. These are key points in the process where very important decisions are made. These types of decisions are things that people excel at and computers don't. Implementing your business processes on FlowMatrix removes the vast majority of the mechanical steps in the process freeing up your workforce to concentrate on the tasks where they really add value. The FlowMatrix client applications enable the workforce to interact with the automated processes at key stages - to make the all-important judgement call, or to resolve an anomaly or exception. The client applications are controlled within the overall FlowMatrix business logic framework, so the right balance between knowledge worker judgement and enforcement of business process rules can be achieved.

Breaking Silos and Unifying Technology

One of the major problems in the way technology has been designed for businesses is that each specialist system or database can exist as an independent silo. The gaps between the systems ended up cancelling a lot of the assumed productivity gains from the systems themselves. FlowMatrix is built on an extensible architecture and has an eco-system of plugins which enable the automated processes to link into all the other systems within the business - such as databases, EDRMS, Active Directory, email, MS Office & SharePoint, cloud systems, web services and the print infrastructure.

When you consider the advanced capture options within FlowMatrix modular solutions - such as digital mail room, web forms and distributed capture - you quickly see how FlowMatrix is the perfect technology platform to handle the full document lifecycle. The FlowMatrix platform is the high-tech "glue" that pulls everything together - handling in-bound and out-bound documents and data and managing them within automated business processes in a fully integrated an unified IT environment.


Key Benefits

  • » A cost-effective solution to rapidly increasing productivity

  • » Faster processes, lower costs

  • » Full document and process lifecycle management

  • » Rapid implementation of the automated processes, no big consultancy fees

  • » Powerful and flexible workflow engine can handle practically any process

  • » Integration to new and legacy IT systems, databases and ERP for a fully unified solution

  • » Cloud and hybrid solutions