Automating Business Processes: ERP Modules vs. Autonomous Workflow Systems
When an organization grows dynamically, it inevitably faces the challenges of optimizing costs and resource allocations. One solution, the automation of business processes, can be achieved by either:
- Using whatever mechanisms are available in your ERP system.
- Implementing an autonomous workflow system.
Both capital groups and individual companies use ERP systems. These are large solutions that offer a wide range of possibilities, including workflow systems.
Unfortunately, there are several factors which make automating business processes via an ERP system a suboptimal solution for universal usage.
First of all, the costs and time needed to implement an ERP solution may turn out to be a significant barrier to entry for this type of solution.
Secondly, limited scope, most often ERP solutions focus on standard processes and have few options for implementing non-standard processes. This is the reason many companies look for additional external solutions, e.g. Excel spreadsheets.
Thirdly, lower flexibility, the need to use costly support to introduce even the smallest change to a process limits your ability to use ERP solutions in dynamically changing environments.
Fourthly, ERP systems often require the installation of modules on users’ computers. This results in a complex and inflexible user interface, and higher support costs.
Autonomous Workflow Systems
The second option is an autonomous workflow system, which offers more flexibility and scalability. These can also have specialized functionality, such as reading data from documents automatically, document repositories, full-text search, and can add further functionality through a simple integration with other systems (including ERP systems) via an API. And, importantly from the user’s perspective, all of this functionality is presented by a user friendly interface which shows each user only as much complexity as they need to complete their tasks.
These features, and many more, are part of the AMODIT platform. This workflow system is a web application that offers users a simplified user friendly interface, especially when compared to the complexity of ERP systems. At every stage of a process, the user receives exactly what information they need to make a decision. This makes the system easier and less stressful to use, and automating business processes easier.
Web applications such as AMODIT have reduced delivery and maintenance costs and, because all changes are introduced centrally, they are immediately available to all users. The result is a dynamic, yet cohesive, work environment.
The AMODIT platform provides comprehensive support for every aspect of processes:
- digitization of paper documents
- support for barcodes (Both recognition and generation.)
- automatic data capture (e.g. Entering OCR data from invoices into fields.)
- automatic process starting (e.g. After receiving an e-mail.)
- attaching any type of document
- simple document search engine (Filtered by the user’s access rights.)
- creating your own statements and reports
- simple integration with ERP systems (Which allows AMODIT to play a central role in companies which use multiple domain specific systems.)
At first glance, using ready-made ERP modules may seem like a logical approach, but there are actually many issues to be considered.
When all things are considered, many companies decide to use autonomous workflow systems due to:
- lower licensing costs
- shorter development cycles and lower deployment costs
- a central easily searchable document archive
- a central approval register with full audit control
- additional functions such as automatic data capture
- easier user access (Including granting access to external users.)
- universal process platform (No typical domain specific limitations.)
- simple adaptation and deployment of processes to changing needs
When you look more closely and take these points into consideration it becomes clear that an autonomous workflow system, such as AMODIT, gives you more flexibility and control, while saving you time and money.
To find out more about how AMODIT can help automate and improve processes in your organization register for a Free Demo.