Tommy and Clerius are facing a new and big problem: their cashflow has worsened dramatically. Could the cloud workflow tool they have chosen help them?
Before we dive into our hero’s issue, let’s take a moment to identify what is a Cloud Workflow, and why is it so important.
What is a Cloud Workflow?
A very simple way to understand what is a workflow is to think it as a path that connects a serious of tasks or data manipulation, from the beginning when something (or a certain process) is undone, until it’s done. So, it’s a series of sequential tasks chained all together, and describe how a process must be carried out.
A Cloud Workflow is just the same, the only difference is that we model the process, or series of tasks, in a suite that is hosted on the cloud. It makes it easier to access, and in companies that means that is easier to implement.
From zero to a Cloud Workflow
Like our friends, Tommy and Clerius, are about to do, defining and formally modeling a workflow means to have the ability to optimize a process. Ultimately this transforms in a better management of resources, time and money.
For starters we have to identify the task that cloud workflow must have, or in other words, stages the process must go through to be completed. We start with the form, where we are going to set the fields for the information we need. Here is where every time we start a process, we are going to add the necessary information or data.
Then we will “draw” our workflow with the necessary tasks like we mentioned before. Why do we “draw” it? Because it’s easier to recognize what to do when we have it visually displayed. For example, we could use a standard notation, like BPMN, to ensure that everyone is using the same language.
But, all of this has to be happening in a Workflow Management System. Sometimes, those systems are part of a bigger BPM suite, so the automation of a whole process is much easier. Here is where a Cloud Workflow and cloud BPM suite are so important, because it means that is in a Cloud Software, which are generally much more affordable than a on-premise solution.
Tommy and Clerius surviving through a Cloud Workflow
In past chapters, Flokzu (the cloud workflow they’ve chosen) helped them with their growth problems, with their deliverable approval workflow, with complaints and claims, and ultimately to implement the discipline of process management.
Now the situation is very complicated. To clarify, companies go bankrupt when their cashflow is broken. With the size of the CleTo firm, this would be a disaster for many people…
(Obvious?) solutions to a complex problem.
Tommy, with his characteristic pragmatism, said to Clerius:
I see two paths, not mutually exclusive. Sell more. Spend less. Certainly, the second is difficult without affecting the morale of the team, but maybe we can have more controls and reduce some secondary items.
To sell more, it’s important that we track better business opportunities (leads). Don’t let any of them fall asleep or be forgotten. Our sales team must continuously monitor, have alerts if several days go by without a response. And above all, the quality of our proposals must be the best to beat competitors.
To spend less, we must focus on secondary items (that do not affect salaries). We can put the magnifying glass on purchases, with better controls to optimize expenses. And the same with expenses reimbursements.
Cloud workflow to sell more.
A well-defined and automated process to identify and track business opportunities (leads) will enable CleTo to:
- Record all leads. Consequently, don’t forget to follow-up any of them.
- Know at all times in which step (stage) of the sale is each opportunity, and take appropriate action.
- Involve different experts in the development of the proposal. This is a game-changer for Tommy and Clerius, in order to build the best proposals and beat competitors.
- Obtain key performance indicators (KPI’s), custom reports and statistics, to objectively manage the sales team.
- Have all the versions of the proposal, the discounts granted, and the final approved document, in just one place.
- Manage the available knowledge. For example, to reuse previous proposals, allowing to deliver more proposals per unit of time.
A (very simple) example of commercial process, modeled in BPMN could be the following:
Based on this model, a BPMN process engine will allow new opportunities to be registered. And it will follow them throughout their life cycle.
Cloud workflow to spend less.
To spend better (or directly less), Clerius came up with two ideas:
- Implement a cloud workflow for the reception and analysis of purchase requests. Based on this example, Clerius adapted it to the particular needs of CleTo, and in a couple of hours, made it available to everyone. For example, making mandatory to justify the purchase, ask for three quotations, and argue why one was chosen if not the cheapest. In other words, he established minimum controls to improve cash flow.
- Implement another cloud workflow for expenses reimbursement. Starting from this example, Clerius adapted it to Cleto’s specific needs. Above all, people will be able to take a picture of the receipt and immediately start the process, avoiding emails, papers and spreadsheets. As a result, this automation with a cloud BPM tool created more time to revise and control each expense.
A properly configured cloud workflow can improve an organization’s cash flow considerably. In other words, automating sales and expense processes make possible to sell more and spend less. It is not magical, but a matter of optimizing the organization’s operations, maximizing sales and reducing avoidable costs. Most importantly, a cloud BPM Suite allows to do it in short times and without requiring technology experts or software development.
In Flokzu we offer a free trial of our Premium service for 14 days. We also offer free advice to help you set up the first process and start automating your processes, without pain.
You can also schedule a work session here to model a real-life process in your organization together.