By: Matt Waldock
It’s not difficult to find the phrase ‘workflow management’ or ‘workflow automation’ in big and bold letters on any technology company’s websites. Nowadays, it’s all about automating the workflow management, and rightly so.
For the media and broadcast industry, the same holds true!
General awareness of business process management and the rapid advances in digital asset and cloud technologies have created some high expectations in workflow and ERP management – expectations that are rarely met.
What is Workflow Management & Workflow Automation Management?
Workflow management is the manual act of managing a process or amount of work from an office, department or employee.
While workflow automation management refers to the process of using structured logic to launch sequenced tasks, without human interference.
When a company is built on ‘workflow management’ or ‘workflow automation’ most people automatically make two business process assumptions:
- There are some technical components involved
- There is a linked supply chain
Furthermore, an expectation is formed around the promise of quicker on-boarding, faster turnarounds and technical precision.
What is the Workflow Automation Management Perception?
If the result is faster and cheaper, then it’s better.
However, we all know shiny and polished presentations isn’t always the reality – most workflow components in the business process aren’t linked or automated.
As a customer you might not care – deliver the service as promised and you’re happy. As a Vendor you might not care either – the contract is won, the customer is happy and the margins are reasonable.
From both a customer and vendor point of view, a failure to address personnel resourcing issues within workflows should be a little concerning. If the Vendor comes unstuck, as some did during the height of lockdown, no one wins.
The Personnel Problem in Automation
For the media and broadcast industry, there are many manual inputs including a variety of creative elements. It is common to see many human hours invested in both technical and mundane administrative processes.
This issue must be addressed to maintain the competitive edge. In today’s marketplace, no company can afford inefficient operations leading to higher costs.
Who is blocking the Workflow Management Automation Utopia?
A workflow process doesn’t start and end with the clever software tool in the middle. It starts with an instruction and it ends with an invoice. This process leads to comprehensive reporting, analytics and KPIs. The analytics are the true end of the process.
Many companies still execute their workflows through manual tasks and a disjointed inventory of tools. For example, a customer requests a Netflix delivery. You have a great bit of transcode equipment including profiles taking any digital asset format and creating you the output you need. This is your transformation addressed.
- What about the email that asking for the delivery in the first place? Someone has to make considerations about the specific preferences for that customer.
- What about the extra manual QC you simply have to do after the issue you had last week?
- What about the tracking against an SLA and getting the correct rates on your invoice for a speedy delivery to your customer?
The all too frequent answer to these questions is a human.
How ‘true end to end workflow management’ helps solve the people problem
True end-to-end workflow automation considers the entire workflow and seeks to automate as many workflow tasks as possible, speeding up and reducing human error in the process.
It requires an intelligent, dynamic workflow management tool with comprehensive APIs to absorb and store metadata and control 3rd party technologies.
Here at Xytech, we have seen a clear pattern – our MediaPulse solution delivers the capabilities to manage the end-to-end workflow and provides our customers with the ability to cut costs, deliver quicker and more accurately and realize plans for further growth.
MediaPulse uses its dynamic workflow tools in conjunction with REST APIs to manage the core technical processes whilst delivering automated order creation and managing human task scheduling, invoice automation and dashboard reporting.
While our journey towards true end to end workflow management is ongoing and has been challenging, with our customers collaboration it’s a rewarding journey and our software is constantly evolving to meet the new business process challenges presented.