Every company from time to time needs to order business cards for its employees. But when a staff has 100+ specialists, business card requests turn into a real time waster. Collecting requests from everyone, double-checking them, keeping track of everything—this is usually the job of the office manager or HR officer. In a large company, fullfilling business card requests alone can take up half the day of an HR officer. Just imagine: half of a person’s time at work is spent on business cards!
Ordering business cards is an ideal candidate for business process automation, especially for newcomers. This is a simple, straightforward, and predictable process. This could well be the first process that you’ll create in Workflowsoft.
Let’s get down to business: first we’ll see how a preset process works, then we’ll learn how to build it from scratch. This example is based on the real business process in a company with 3,000+ employees.
Click Business card order in the process list, complete the fields, and then click Start this process. It couldn’t be easier: clear instructions, a few fields to fill in, and a start button.
If everything was done correctly, you will receive a notification shortly to collect your business cards and rate the quality of service.
However, if you find yourself waiting for a long time for an answer, you can open the process chart and find out what stage the request is at now. For instance, right after the start, we see that the request is out for approval by Peter, HR manager.
The system assigns Peter his task automatically: verifying the data and approving the business card order. If everything looks good, he will click the Approve button, otherwise he can click Reject.
Please note that a new request has two possible routes. Peter (on the left of the chart) receives requests with an address of the company’s New York office (the address is selected in the request from the dropdown list). The requests from Chicago go to the right in the chart, where they are approved by another manager, John, who works in the Chicago office.
Peter approves the request, and it is sent to the assignee. The external assignee works in a printing house that processes their orders frequently, so he also receives a new Workflowsoft task to make the business cards.
Do not worry that the third-party employee may see some undesirable information—Workflowsoft has an effective access right rules, and external users can see only their own tasks.
This capability saves you a lot of time, as you can work with your partners directly in Workflowsoft. You don’t have to bother with back and forth emails, nothing is lost, and you can easily see what has already been completed for any task.
The employee of the printing house handles the printing and mails the business cards with a courier. The courier delivers them, and the applicant is requested to collect the business cards. When everything is done, the request starter assesses the work of their colleagues.
This is the point when the request is closed. The resulting workflow is very simple: approval by the manager, execution in several steps, assessment, and request closing.
Let’s add a new process, Business card order, and create the fields required for the business card: name, telephone and email are text fields, and the office address is chosen from two possible options (to make a selector field, just enumerate all the possible values in separate strings).
Next go to the process chart by clicking the Edit workflow button and create all the required tasks and the connections between them.
The first two tasks follow from the start: the Approve business card order task for Peter, and the same task for John; routing is chosen based on the Office address field. By default, the task has just one button, so we add the second one and name it Approve and Reject. We assign it to Peter (or John) and give them 1 day for approval. Clicking Reject finishes the process, and clicking Approve advances the process to the next task.
The next task is assigned to an external employee of the printing house. So we create the task, select the assignee, add the File with a corporate template field, and then attach our corporate business card template to it. The printing house will make all the business cards according to this template.
The printing house employee prepares the layouts for all the business cards. The first day of every month, the printing house sends all received orders for printing, and then delivers them to the company with a courier. When the business cards are printed and the courier leaves the printing house, the task is completed, and the applicant receives the next task: collect the business cards and assess task execution quality. Let’s add a button named Redo order—the applicant will click it if it is necessary to remake the business card. Then the process will be redirected back to Peter (or John if the request was registered in the Chicago office), and they will send a repeat order to the printing house. If the business cards were made correctly, the applicant assigns a grade in the mandatory Assessment field, completes their task, and the process is completed.
Do we need to explain in more detail how to create a workflow? This would be probably be a bit much. All the actions—adding a field, adding a button, creating a new task, making a condition-based link to the task—are so simple that any experienced PC user can make their own real workflow on the first try. The most important thing is that changing the workflow (for instance, adding one more field or one more approval) does not require expert assistance as well—you can do everything by yourself.
Ordering business cards is now a fully digital process. Unlike in an email, the order is registered in the system, reminds participants about their tasks, and helps them do their job on time. The current request status can be browsed at any moment.
Benefit No.1: measurability. We can see clearly how many tasks each employee has and what stage they’re on. We know how applicants assess their colleagues and can use this as a KPI (many companies are doing this today). We can check with the request history at any moment and search for previous orders.
Benefit No.2: elimination of the human factor. The assignee won’t forget about their task, the task will not be lost, and the system will remind you about the due dates.
Benefit No.3: labor productivity. Experience shows that information exchange in a formal request is much less of a hassle and results in less mutual misunderstanding, format mismatch, etc.
So why Workflowsoft? The system is really very simple, and almost everyone can successfully create a simple process on their first try. The system gets regular updates and offers new features based on user feedback. It is priced reasonably, and it can be tested for free on quite a large scale. For example, the business card order workflow described above can be easily created under a free account.
Work smarter with Workflowsoft!