If you’re in the manufacturing industry, then you know that things can get hectic. Between production schedules, quality control, and personnel management, it’s hard to keep track of everything.
That’s where workflow software comes in. Workflow software can be used to help manufacturing organizations automate their processes and improve communication between departments. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 reasons why your business needs manufacturing workflow software.
What is Workflow Software?
Workflow software is a type of business process management (BPM) software that helps businesses automate their processes. Workflow software can be used for a variety of tasks that impact areas such as plant operations, quality control, personnel management, and more.
5 Reasons Your Manufacturing Organization Needs Workflow Software
Now that we’ve discussed what workflow software is, let’s take a look at five reasons why your manufacturing business needs it and what makes it so crucial.
1. Plant Operations
Workflow software can help organizations automate their plant operations. For example, if you run a manufacturing business, there are many daily operational tasks that bog down the efficiency of your staff. One example is the evaluation and approval of purchase orders (POs). As these orders are received, various stakeholders may need to review the current capability to deliver on the promise–often materials inventory and labor capacity must be considered for this decision. Each PO’s evaluation could require multiple individuals to coordinate and collaborate. You can use workflow software to streamline the process of evaluating POs along with tracking and logging the decision process. In addition, you can provide a dashboard for leadership to review and even communicate the final decision back to the customer.
In the same vein, workflow software can also be used to greatly lessen the burden of processing RMAs. Returned materials typically travel down the path of being authorized, received, inspected/tested by staff, and possibly restocked. By having a defined and trackable process that is digitally aligned with your plant’s overall operational strategy, your organization can save time and money.
2. Personnel Management
Workflow software can also be used for personnel management. For example, you can use workflow software to give employees a self-service portal that allows them to submit time off requests. These requests can be reviewed by their management and the approval (or denial) can be communicated via the portal or with an automated email.
The use of workflow software to automate the process of onboarding new employees reduces human effort and helps drive efficiency. Onboarding can be a very time-consuming effort since new accounts need to be created, access needs to be granted, various approvals may need to be obtained, etc. Workflow platforms effectively coordinate people with various kinds of tasks, but they also can be used to integrate with other software to automate what used to be manual steps.
By automating the most time-intensive and manual personnel processes, businesses can also improve communication between departments and avoid errors.
3. Quality Control/Quality Assurance
Another reason your manufacturing business needs workflow software is for quality control and quality assurance (QC/QA) processes. QC/QA processes are critical for manufacturing businesses, ensuring that products meet certain standards.
Workflow software can be used to automate QC/QA processes, such as creating and approving test plans, managing standards, executing tests, and tracking results thereby providing a clear audit trail. By automating these processes, businesses can improve their overall quality control and quality assurance procedures.
4. Identify Redundancies
One of the benefits of workflow software is that it can help businesses, in a broad sense, identify cross-disciplinary redundancies in their operations. By identifying redundancies, businesses can eliminate waste and improve efficiency.
Lean manufacturing is focused on achieving high quality while maximizing profitability at every step. Workflow platforms give manufacturers a way to bring visibility and order to practice areas that were once nebulous and ad hoc.
5. Increase Accountability and Reduce Micromanagement
Last but not least, workflow software can help organizations increase accountability and reduce micromanagement. By fostering clean and clear next steps for every work task, businesses can set clear expectations for employees. Employees will know what is expected of them and they will be held accountable for their work.
Additionally, by automating tasks and processes, businesses can reduce micromanagement. Micromanagement often leads to disgruntled and frustrated employees, bringing along with it errors and mistakes. Both management and employees benefit when the work that needs to be done is both clearly communicated and tracked by all parties involved. How ExpressAbility Can Help
Workflow software is a powerful tool that can help businesses automate their processes, improve communication, identify redundancies, streamline their processes, and increase accountability. If you run a manufacturing business, consider implementing workflow software. Doing so will save you time and money.
If you are in the market for the right workflow software for your manufacturing business, ExpressAbility can help you. We offer a workflow automation platform called Decisions, a flexible, easy-to-use solution that will help you in the streamlining of your business. To learn more about Decisions and how we can help you, contact us today!