How Do I Choose the Best Document Workflow Software?

D. Nelson

Document workflow describes the process through which a document passes in an organization's regular operations. For example, a manufacturing company's document workflow might begin with a model designed by engineers, which is then passed to a professional who creates a bill of materials based on that design. Once cost and suppliers are determined by a professional, he or she might then pass that document up to a manager or professional who can edit and approve the order. Professionals who use document workflow software are concerned with creating a clear and transparent process that can be automated and which can help an organization to become more efficient. To choose the best document workflow software, it can be helpful to consider the needs of your organization, the quality of software, and to determine which modes of access best fit your needs.

One type of document workflow software allows users access to template documents, and can be synced with email systems.
One type of document workflow software allows users access to template documents, and can be synced with email systems.

Some basic kinds of document workflow software allow users access to template documents and can be synced with email systems, this way users automatically can attach documents to email messages. These basic systems also allow workflow managers to create simple systems with a set of stages through which a document must pass. These systems are ideal for smaller businesses that are concerned primarily with internal document workflow.

More complex document workflow software enables users to create their own templates and generate reports regarding the efficiency of a workflow process. These systems may also enable users to create client interfaces. These interfaces can be accessed by clients who would like to place orders or applications. This kind of software is often favored by professionals whose workflow systems extend beyond the interior workings of an organization.

User friendliness, accuracy of reporting, and the ability to run without malfunctions are factors that can impact quality. Some tips for choosing the highest quality document workflow software are to ask colleagues in a similar industry for recommendations. Many professionals find that trade publications are great resources that provide in depth examinations and assessments of various kinds of software.

In general, there are two different modes of access for document workflow software. On one hand, larger businesses may prefer to purchase software that can be installed in the computers of an organizational network. In these cases, an organization owns software and is responsible for updating features and security.

Smaller businesses may benefit from software on demand. This is software that users can access online. Software on demand normally requires that an organization pays usage fees. A benefit of this method of access is that users can depend on a software host to upgrade security and features, allowing for less dependence on computer technicians.

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