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Brochure with screenshots
of workflow and scheduling
Functional and technical
overview of the modules
Four steps to profitability
Workflows in post-production,
for example pre-mastering

Workflows for People

1. Cooperation in Processes

As already described in the Introduction to Workflows, what workflows mean to people is the dramatic reduction of coordination and harmonization efforts, in that the exchange of information is structured and automated, so that employees can concentrate fully on their core tasks.

How specifically does this take shape? In a process, steps for people (internal/external employees, customers, suppliers) are presented as forms. Therefore if a workflow is started for a specific project or order, then an employee gets the first task delivered to an area called e.g. home or tasks basket, which looks like an e-mail list in a mail program. The difference: when a task is opened, the task is not described in a text or an attachment, but a form. This work order form (WOF) shows in a meaningful way only the information necessary for the process step. The employee can also determine how the form will look the best during the design process i.e. where he needs which information displayed.

New information, which may be necessary for the further processing can be entered to the form in a structured way. If the employee has completed his task, he can finish the process step and the task disappears from his home page and ends up in the list of his completed tasks. Based on the data input to the form and the workflow rules, the system can now decide which employee or software system gets which task with what information, so that the previous user does not have to worry about it. No hundred e-mails, no Excel, no meetings, no phone calls, no having to copy and paste anything into other programs, et cetera.

The system coordinates the tasks, monitors time, and provides data collection and information distribution, enabling a faster and more focused collaboration of teams, groups and entire supply chains. It relieves employees of the usual stress of coordinating and managers need only intervene if there is a problem (management by escalation). Everything is faster, clearer, better and more relaxed.

2. Dynamic Web Form Server

The forms for humans are actualized from common elements and groups in the scope of designing the workflow and implemented with the form server. This handles the display and subsequent storage of information in a database.

Now, form servers are usually relatively simple and static, so that complex tasks with major applications can only be inadequately and inconveniently mapped. Therefore, our workflow engine's web-form-server has some special features, which allow information and GUI elements to be changed dynamically on several levels. Thus, a form fits very flexibly to the current requirements so it can be conveniently edited in one view.

As well as this dynamism, a form has much other functionality that facilitates work, such as:

  • Explanation and help for each GUI element
  • History for each GUI element so that previous data can be viewed
  • Visualization of changes for each field, so that changes by others will not be overlooked,
  • Input validation and error visualization on field level
  • Entries using stored form templates
  • Editing multiple forms at once
  • Sub-forms in windows on the main form
  • Field magnification if needed for small items with lots of information

3. Document Management

Digital workflows are replacing more and more purely document-driven processes in that structuring, standardization and processing of data is partially automated. However, processes can never be mapped 100% as workflows, so the phone, meetings and documents will still be used but much less than before. The usage of these conventional tools applies only to the remaining small percentage such as exceptions, errors and rare or highly specialized operations.

Therefore, documents such as Word, Excel, sketches, etc. can be attached to forms and other objects in the workflow system. This way, unstructured information can be involved in the work and made available to the participants in a process. The files must be no longer be laboriously searched for in the file system or a web platform and are easily administered (file structure, naming, versioning, rights etc.).

By simply checking in and out, sequential processing and logical versioning of all files is guaranteed and a history is automatically maintained. Access is controlled through the workflow forms and can further be restricted based on roles e.g. a document can be attached to an order and made accessible for internal employees but not for external customer users. If companies have further requirements for a document management solution (e.g. DMS, CMS, ECM etc.) these can also be integrated into the workflows in place of our module.

4. Reporting/Generator/Dashboard

With the integrated reporting server ActiveReports.NET, information that is available in the system can be aggregated and displayed in various ways: as lists, forms, graphics, PDFs or for printing. On the one hand, there are many pre-made reports utilizing precise capabilities of the system, such as

  • Quotes and invoices
  • Delivery notes and labels
  • Flow charts for DVDs and Blu-rays (see below),
  • Task lists and schedules

but also for visualization of process data from workflows, such as:

  • Dashboards, key metrics (KPI's)
  • Balanced scorecards (BSC)
  • Business activity monitoring (BAM)
  • Business analysis reports (BAR)
  • Statistics
  • or for the monitoring of SLA's

For example, a complete authoring flow chart (e.g. for DVD, UMD or Blu-ray) can be automatically generated in various formats and can be edited afterward. You can see examples as PDFs here: Complete Flowchart und Abbreviated Flowchart.

If data volumes for real-time processing become too large or advanced analysis capabilities are required, such as individual ad-hoc analysis, then, an arbitrary amount of data can be passed de-normalized via bulk export to business intelligence systems (OLAP).

All reports can be freely parameterized using the report generator, and can automatically be created at any time (vs. manual call through the GUI) so that documents can be viewed at any time, for instance through an external portal or a file server.

The Web Framework is a type of CMS, with which arbitrary branched, multilingual sites can be built, and information from the workflow system can be visualized. These can be management overviews, process visualization at the enterprise or department level, or staff roster plans for display on large color monitors.

Business Activity Monitoring can display operational and business transactions in real-time. This enables management to get a direct overview of the status and results of the company's business processes, in order to make decisions and react quickly to problems as they arise.
A Business Analysis Report is a report about strengths and weaknesses, business expenses, costs, profits and losses, goals and objectives (company objectives, vision) of a company.
Balanced Scorecards - a semi-standard structured report containing a mix of financial and non-financial information for decision making.
A Content Management System is a system for the collaborative creation, editing and organization of content.
A Document Management System is a computer system which is used to store and manage electronic documents, such as text files or pictures, and to track changes to these.
Enterprise Content Management involves the technologies for the creation, administration, saving, maintenance and release of contents and documents to support organizational processes in a company.
A GUI, graphical user interface, is the usual means by which information is presented for computer-users using elements such as tables, menus, buttons etc.
Key Performance Indicators describe parameters based on which success of a particular activity can be measured, or critical factors for an organization's success can be measured and/or calculated.
Online Analytical Processing is a special software approach for the fast response of multi-dimensional analytical queries.
Service Level Agreement is a contract defining parameters such as reaction time and speed of solution and limits of variation for these parameters in the scope of IT service provision.
Sony's Universal Media Disc is storage medium for the Sony Playstation Portable