According to the 2018 AIIM Industry Watch Report Digitalizing Core Business Process, 75% of organizations view process automation as “important” or “very important” to their organization. This high percentage is surely the result of organizations trying to reduce their operating costs, improve productivity, and streamline their processes.
Organizations must digitally transform to stay competitive and improve their overall efficiency and the first step in this transformation is digitizing their content.
Moving from paper based documents to electronic ones is considered the first and most essential step in the digital transformation journey and without it organizations can’t start automating their departmental processes thus missing on increasing productivity and eliminating manual tasks.
The power of ECM solutions is that they can be used for multiple purposes in the digital transformation journey. Organizations can use them to digitize and organize content, automate and streamline processes, and to transform how they operate.
Check my article on how ECM and digital transformation relate.
Automate Organization Processes
67% of organizations report having less than half of their processes automated.2018 AIIM study
Organizations should start automating vital processes having the biggest impact on productivity, efficiency, and provide the highest rewards for their efforts such as office administration (leave management system, travel request, etc.), human resources, or any customer experience related process.
NB: It is a good practice to revisit and streamline each process you have prior to automation.
BPM Module in ECM Solutions
The BPM module will allow organizations to improve accountability by digitizing business processes with easy to use electronic forms which will result in
- Analyze & Redesign critical processes
- Improve Overall Process Efficiency & Responsiveness
- Monitor Business Processes Flow
- Align Business with IT
When deciding which ECM solution to chose from, you should make sure that the selected one has a powerful BPM module supporting low code – no code BPA tools.
Low code – no code BPA Tools
A powerful BPM module should give the ability for business managers to automate their processes without any coding skills. Experts in different departments should be able to use the BPM module in the ECM solution to drive the automation initiative without the need of any IT expert.
For the above to happen, you should make sure that the ECM solution has the below components.
Visual Workflow Designer
One of the BPA tool set to be available in your chosen ECM solution is the ability for business users to visually design their workflows. The tool should be very user friendly and allow designers to drag and drop workflow elements and steps and incorporate business rules where necessary. In addition, the tool should support
- Routing Activities
- Manual Tasks
- Sending Emails
- Parallel Activities
- Forms Binding
Visual Form Designer
In addition to the visual workflow designer, the BPM module should have the power to allow designer to visually design their forms using drag and drops. The form designer should have the below main set of features
- Components (image, text, etc.)
- Components properties and styling
- Data Binding
- Data Source
- Validation Rules
- Dependency Rules
- Responsive design (to work on mobile)
Role Based Access
The most important factor in any module of the ECM is security. The BPM module should give the ability to set group permissions on the below
- Who can create, edit, and update workflows.
- Who can create, edit, and update forms.
- Who can see the forms and submit them.
Powerful Administration Module
A powerful administrator module will make life easy during the automation of any process. The administration tool should be designed to
- Trace and monitor processes.
- See all available workflows.
- Pause, stop, and run a workflow.
- See all available forms and the ability to delete any.