The Partner Integrated Workflow program involves streamlining business processes among multiple organisations, allowing them to become more efficient in their business practices and thus gaining a competitive advantage in the market.
Partner Integrated Workflow involves a single business process spanning across several organisations or organisational departments. The business process can be viewed as a chain of activities that are performed by different organisational entities. A strategic relationship is formed between these entities to produce a close working partnership. The traditional model of integration would involve these enterprises creating a few points of contact where data would be exchanged and fed into each organisation's systems. While this is an improvement on earlier data exchange between organisations, this is not a truly integrated partner workflow.
With an increasingly competitive global business environment, many organisations need to move to the next level of business process integration to become more efficient. Doing this requires the removal of the multiple business processes that each organisation currently undertakes, and in their place creating a single business process that spans both organisations.
Often, these processes are mirror images of the other, e.g. the procurement process from the consuming enterprise and the order fulfillment process of the supplying enterprise. Because of these similarities, there are multiple opportunities to reduce workflow complexity and duplicated tasks. The result is a single process or chain of activities performed by two or more different organisations. The corporate boundaries between organisations has been removed. The benefits are plentiful and result in considerable cost savings for all of the process actors:
- No duplication of process activities (e.g. re-entering data, or both parties completing what amounts to the same checks and certifications). These activities are currently completed once by each partaking enterprise and they result in the process taking longer than it should. Partner Integrated Workflow results in the eliminaion of duplicate activities, saving valuable processing time.
- Reduction in errors arising from data bridging corporate boundaries. Excessive person-hours are spent in resolving data exchange and transformation errors, or misunderstandings due to data being passed around from organisation to organisation. While this time is usually not tracked, or considered to be time spent "on doing business", it is real and adds up quickly. With Partnered Integrated Workflow, this time and effort is eliminated.
- Greater insight into the overall business process. A single process spanning multiple organisations allows for a truly transparent business intelligence capability. All of the partners can view real time information that can be used for reliable forecasting, reporting and performance measurement. The result is a truly agile supply chain with the ability to make pro-active decisions based on accurate data. Response times become lightning fast.
- With all of the time and effort that is freed up, enterprises can reassign employees to focus on customer needs.
By implementing a Partner Integrated Workflow solution, businesses achieve a reduction in cost, and increase in utilisation and improved transparency, resulting in a real competitive advantage.