Eliminate Waste with Approval Tracking Software

Every enterprise has at least one set process for approvals. That makes sign-offs simple, right? A quick review of traditional approval processes highlights the multiple headaches that manual approvals can generate – headaches that the right approval tracking software can eliminate.

What problems arise with traditional, non-automated approval tracking software systems?

Time: Companies without approval tracking software spend a great deal of time obtaining and keeping track manually of approvals—time which might otherwise be spent on production, customer service, or other key tasks.

Efficiency and effectiveness: Managers cannot make good decisions in a vacuum. They need to know that their inputs for approvals are sufficient to make the right call. Lack of the right data and insufficient data both lead to hasty or faulty approvals.

Standardization: How standardized is your enterprise’s approval process?

Accountability: Who in your enterprise is responsible for ensuring that all appropriate approvals have been obtained?

Consider this: approval tracking software would standardize tasks, send out ticklers for needed and time-sensitive approvals, create efficient workflows for obtaining approvals, track the approval process from beginning to end, make related data transparent for approving managers, and retain a record of the entire process—and accomplish all this perhaps in minutes instead of hours.

What types of approvals benefit from automation?

Virtually any type of approval falls under this category. As long as there is a workflow that leads to a required approval to be completed, automation makes that approval process more efficient and effective and more easily able to prove compliance with regulatory agencies.

“Take, for example, the role of a marketing manager or executive in a consumer products company. A marketing manager … plays a critical role in driving sales by tailoring corporate strategies to specific products and markets. Today, this involves several time-consuming activities such as reviewing data from the field to inform pricing decisions and generating estimates of material costs for production. These activities can be automated with currently demonstrated technology, completing the analysis more quickly and accurately than the manager ever could.”

In the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article, How U.S. Manufacturing Is About to Get Smarter, Christopher Mims tell us: “The goal is to break data out of its silos—the machine, the factory floor, the shipping, and logistics system—and pool it in a way [that] allows for real decision-making.” He offers these examples: “deciphering how ambient air temperature affects the productivity of an entire factory. Or ramping up and down production in a way that is more responsive to sales.”

That is, approvals from a factory floor’s air temperature to production goals per day or week or month are optimized when automated.

Routine benefits of approval tracking software

The biggest benefits of approval tracking software

Just how efficient would it be to start using approval tracking software to automate some of your enterprise’s decision-making? The biggest bang may come in the time saved. We look to the HBR article for an idea of the time saved: “We estimate that activities that account for 10% to 15% of the marketing executive’s time can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated the technology.” The authors underscore how automating approvals leads to better ways to apply the time saved:

“When you’re bringing in automation you need to think about two kinds of payoff—returns you get by using machines rather than labor for activities (investments in automation can generate benefits worth three to ten times the cost, we estimate, much of it from better performance rather than reductions in labor costs), plus the value derived from activities that employees carry out in the time that [they] formerly used for work that is now automated. In the case of the marketing manager, this could mean more time to work on new product ideas, supervise direct reports, collaborate with managers in other functional areas, or develop new strategies.”

One eye-opening benefit of automating approvals is that for the savvy executive team, it may lead you to begin to review and optimize the application of automation throughout the enterprise—which then opens the door to disrupting your company’s workflows. As the authors of the HBR article teach us:

“The largest benefits of information technology accrue to organizations that analyze their processes carefully to determine how smart machines can enhance and transform them—rather than organizations that simply automate old activities.”

In other words, optimizing workflow automation translates into optimizing the talent in your workforce.

If you are ready to explore the benefits of creating customized approval tracking workflows that will streamline your approval processes, the Tallyfy team stands ready to assist with their app that can be tailored to the needs of your enterprise.

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