Marty Herbert at NeoSystems recently blogged about “Common Pain Points in Goverment Contracting” and brought up a great point about the importance of having “the ability to identify bottlenecks” in a business process. While it’s especially true in the government contracting sector, bottlenecks in any business process are likely costing more than frustration and damaged morale, they’re costing real money.
We see countless examples of customers who finally went looking for a workflow management solution, not because they were frustrated with how slow and inefficient they felt a particular process was but because they realized they were ultimately losing money. Sometimes that’s what it took to get executive buy-in to start looking for a solution.
Take, for example, a capital expenditure process. A department head has determined that by investing in new factory equipment, she can increase production to meet growing demand in a new market. She follows the organization’s process for requesting the expense, which is to complete a paper form, scan it and send it to Finance for review. She sends the scanned form and waits to hear back. After weeks of checking in with Finance she finds that the request has been sitting, printed, on someone’s desk the whole time because they had a question about some of the figures. It’s likely going to take several more weeks of back and forth to shore things up and get it approved.
How much money has the company lost because of the delay in acquiring the equipment? How much farther ahead are their competitors in the new market? What if they’ve already begun marketing and can’t fulfill the orders coming in for another two months?
Needless to say, if the bottleneck in the process had been discovered weeks earlier the request could have been sorted out quickly and the equipment could have already been on it’s way for installation. Having workflow managment in place helps organizations identify where business processes are bogging down and keeping the business from reaching its full potential.