Document Workflow

Document Workflow

Smoothing document paths through your business, boosting efficiency

Did you know you use document workflows every day? If you have ever had to obtain approval for a proposal, expenses or some other important document from another person, then this is a document workflow. Put simply, if there is more than one person involved in the process then this step-by-step procedure is known as document workflow.


You probably know first-hand that workflows can be frustrating. Think about how you handle the logistics of getting a document to the right people for approval. Do you send it by email or request a meeting? And what about proof of approval? Do you have to save multiple emails and meeting notes? Consider all the future problems you could face if you’re unable to demonstrate you attained approval from the right people.

  • Automate the approval process.
  • Stop lost documents.
  • Improve customer service by quickly locating documents and the stage they are at.
  • Reduce staff paper processing costs.
  • Improve efficiency in managing and tracking paper based workflow.
  • Reduce the time and cost of moving paper between offices.
  • Meet compliance requirements for audit or security.

Electronic document workflow automates the steps in a process, simplifies work tasks and provides real-time monitoring to optimise any document-based business routing.

Systems Technology can help you design and implement a document workflow solution to help your business become more efficient. Let us show you how.

Read more: What is Document Workflow?

Learn about Common Workflows

Accounts Payable Workflow

Accounts Payable (AP)

Increase speed and reduce AP costs

Perhaps the most prominent application for document workflow is in Automated Invoice Processing. Using the full range of features, purchases orders and invoices are scanned, and their data captured using OCR, extracted, matched, coded, authorised and stored.

Automatic Invoice Processing offers faster processing speed at a reduce costs, with enhanced visibility and control. The improvement in accuracy provides better data quality, assisting the approval process and enhancing cash management and accounts payable insight.

  • Automate invoice processing
  • Reduce administration costs
  • Enhance data quality and accuracy
  • Improve cash management
  • Benefit from early payment discounts

Customer Services

If there’s one thing that can dramatically improve customer service, it is speed of response. You most likely already have customer engagement procedures to help respond to customer correspondence, applications or complaints. A Customer Service Workflow helps to speed up and improve your existing customer engagement procedures by streamlining and improving these processes. A good example is being able to set the priority of the request, helping to ensure that urgent cases aren’t ‘lost in a pile’ and are responded to first.

  • Enhance customer engagement
  • Resolve complaints quickly
  • Increase accountability
  • Prioritise response
  • Document the process
Human Resources Workflows

Human Resources

Using HR Document Workflows your departmental functions can be brought online. Existing recruitment processes, leave requests, detail change administration and leaver processing workflows can all be sped up and optimising by using a document workflow system. Even simple yet time consuming processes, such as holiday requests, can be handled more efficiently, freeing up managers to be more productive and profitable.

  • Holiday request forms
  • Sickness forms
  • Job applications
  • CRB checks
  • Employee onboarding and offboarding
Sales Order Processing Workflow

Sales Ordering Processing

Sales order processing, particularly in the B2B market, is still incredibly slow. Salesmen’s handwritten paper orders need manually checking by sales managers before being sent to sales administration for ordering and onward to accounts, which can take days. If you’re in such as business, think about the number of steps involved and the problems that can occur with lost documents and query resolution. With sales order processing workflows, we can help you to create agile steps to fulfil your orders within specific timelines.

  • Remove bottlenecks
  • Quickly resolve order queries
  • Track progress
  • Fulfil orders more quickly
Finance Document Workflows


Accounts departments least productive time is spent processing expenses and other ad hoc business costs, which rely on submissions being made on time and in the correct format. Document workflow makes the submission, reviewing and authorisation of such finance tasks, more streamlined; taking up less time and resulting in reimbursements happening more quickly.

  • Expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Credit card statement processing
  • Mobile phone bills
Contract Workflow

Contract Workflow

Before you sign on the dotted line, it pays to make sure your contracts have been through the right workflow. Contract Workflow and Approval processes exist to reduce the cost of reviewing low risk deals and to streamline the review of high risk deals. Low risk deals can be automatically approved, whereas high risk deals can be routed through the legal departments or commercial departments before executive approval.

  • Automatically approve low risk deals
  • Route high risks deals for review
  • Reduce overall contract administration costs
  • Ensure accuracy through revision and approval
  • Reduce contact review bottlenecks
Digital Mailroom Software

Digital Mailroom

If your organisation uses a traditional mailroom, you will know how inefficient they are. Mail arrives and has to be manually sorted and distributed throughout your business. But what if you have more than one office, or your employees are mobile? Mail circulated to these employees may take days or weeks to arrive.  Confidentially is also a risk, with private correspondence potentially being viewed en route to the recipient. Digitise your Mailroom with document workflow software from Systems Technology.

  • Speed up decision-making by converting paper mail to email
  • Cut the cost of circulating correspondence by sending it digitally
  • Reduce physical storage costs by digitally archiving and destroying documents securely
  • Enhance customer service and improve the ability to answer questions quickly
  •  Enhance security and meet compliance rules with ease

Read our 4 step guide to Document Workflow

You can quickly create, manage and reuse document workflows with sophisticated steps and notification and approval processes, all of which are securely managed by you.

Workflow Steps

1. Workflow Steps:

All workflows consist of a series of logical steps, where each step is a decision, process or task that needs to happen. Using a flowchart can be a helpful way to visualise the process and to design and implement the workflow. We can help guide you through this process.

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Notifications and Approval

2. Notifications and Approval:

Your workflow has been designed and there are documents on the move. But what happens if a person is away, or if there is an unexpected document type, and what about approval?

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Compliance, Security and Audtiting

3. Compliance, Security and Audtiting:

With the prospect of important documents flowing electronically around your business, how can you reassure others about security concerns?

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Compliance, Security and Audtiting

4. Integration and Backup:

A document workflow is the journey of your document from the start to the finish. The start typically involves scanning a paper document and converting it into a digital file, but what happens to that file at the finish?

Read more

Implementing a Document Workflow Process

Document Workflow Flowchart

Our professional services team are here for you

Document workflows can range from just two simple steps, all the way to complex multistage processes involving dozens of participants and tasks. However easy or complicated your workflows are, Systems Technology’s professional services team will work side-by-side with you to provide you with training, help you design your workflows, and provide support for how long you choose.

Talking to colleague about document workflows

Guide to implementing document workflows

There is really no reason for businesses to continue using outdated and inefficient workflow processing methods given today’s availability of affordable and easy to use workflow software. Yet many businesses continue to do so, despite knowing better.

One of the questions we often get asked by prospective customers considering a document workflow is, “Where do we begin?” With so many existing business processes the task can seem a little daunting. Our answer is to start with just one:

  1. Pick a workflow or process that you’re already familiar with
  2. Breakdown the process into the actual physical steps
  3. Spend time with each person involved along the way
  4. Discover what tasks occur at each step, the exceptions for each decision and;
  5. Where the document goes once it leaves that step.

By following the existing workflow steps through to the end, you’ll have mapped out a design that’ll be good enough to try. A common way of visualising this is to draw a flowchart. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but the act of drawing your processes can be very enlightening and, perhaps, fun. You might not get it right first time, but you’re on your way to dramatically improving your business processes.

Timing your workflow for success

Quantifying the results

When you make the transition to automating document workflows in your business, you should be able to measure improvement in your processes. The obvious starting point is the time it takes completely to process documents from start to finish. If you perform a simple time study on the process before and after implementing your electronic document workflow solution, you can compare the average process time from start to finish.

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