What to Consider When Choosing an Application – Processes & Automation

by Mateusz Kuczera

Published October 16, 2023

“Misty, would you mind sending an invoice reminder to Joblite Construction?” asks Gordon, Leaky Plumbing’s president. “They’ve been overdue for like two months.”

Misty rolls her eyes and replies “it’s going to be like the fifth reminder I send them. They’re a waste of time…”

“Listen, Misty,” adds Gordon. “If we don’t do that, they’ll never pay. At least with reminders, they just pay late.”

“Fine,” finally agrees Misty. “But do you think we can find a way for me not to do this? It’s just boring and repetitive.”

“Yeah, I know,” says Gordon. “It’s been on my list for a while now. Let me work on it this week.”

Using apps to manage different aspects of a business is not only useful but also necessary. However, using several disconnected and independent applications can lead to redundant and repetitive work, decreasing engagement and making administrative work a burden. To minimize the load, it is important to consider apps with embedded process flows as well as automation.

Embedded Processes

Whether business owners realize it or now, business processes are the foundation of running any successful business. Everything consists of sequential and parallel steps. It starts with a supplier providing an input which is then transformed into an output and delivered to a customer. In short, a SIPOC. The biggest difference is how those processes are executed. Some may be manual and on paper, and some may be partially or fully automated with the use of one or many applications.

When choosing an app, it is important to understand that business processes will most likely be embedded. If so, some level of adaptation to the existing company processes may be required. However, with some level of customization, the business will come out improved from choosing an app with some pre-programmed business processes.

Automated Workflows

Almost all apps available nowadays include some level of workflow automation. QuickBooks online will automatically generate sales tax statements, Zoho will fill in customer information based on the value of a field, and Outlook can clean an inbox with simple rules. However, the true power of automated workflows comes from the connections between different apps serving different business processes. For instance, having an app which can quickly and easily generate a quote based on requirements, get it accepted online, then schedule the work and invoice when work is done, all within one app, is of tremendous value. Considering out of the box automation when choosing an app is paramount.

Everything that is not automated within and between the apps can be supplement with another layer of automation. Robotic Process Automation (RPA), or more recently Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), is a set of tools which further automates a business’s processes. IPA is an advanced version of RPA which includes some level of Artificial Intelligence, making business processes even more efficient and easy to manage.

Connections & APIs

Despite the level of completeness of some applications, it is very unlikely that a single application will come to rule them all. Some may get close, but it will all depend on business needs. For instance, an e-commerce company may be able to use only Odoo, which includes a front end for customers to purchase goods, and a back to manage everything related to resource planning. Even internal company management will be taken care of.

On the other hand, a company designing aerospace components will only be able to use and ERP for the operational side of things. If the software has a Product Lifecycle Management capability, it may also be used to track product lifecycle. However, a design and analysis software will be required to do the actual design. Such a software requires a complex set of mathematical models which only specialized companies are able to provide. Out of the box ERPs will most likely never incorporate such functions.

Additionally, some companies may already be using some applications for some processes and want to supplement those with another set of tools without discarding the old method of working. For all those reasons, and sometimes more, connections between applications become necessary.

Therefore, when choosing an application, it is important to consider how easy it is to integrate with other software applications. Knowing if there are embedded or readily available connectors, how easy it is to connect third party API tools (such as Zapier), or how easy it is to customize are important considerations for the selection of the solution.

Business Process Management

A fairly old concept, business process management is the set of tools which allow a business to understand how it functions. Despite its age, we believe it is becoming more and more important. And with recent developments in machine learning and AI, business processes need not be mapped manually anymore. However, they still need to be mapped.

Understanding how business processes flow within a company, with or without software embedded processes, is very important. It can identify redundancies, inefficiencies, gaps, and risks, which can all eventually lead to unhappy customers. An app to map such processes should be seriously considered by any business.

A Note on Agile Continuous Improvement

Agile continuous improvement is not a software app. It is more of a concept and culture. However, it is particularly important for any business, large or small, to work towards having a culture of agility in improving. Since the world has shifted from predictable events to Vulnerability, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA), businesses need to be more adaptable and agile. With a culture of agile continuous improvement, businesses will not only survive but become more competitive and thrive in a VUCA world.

With people always comes communication. And when considering communication theory, the correct use of digital tools becomes clearer. Using synchronous and asynchronous methods each have their optimal use cases, and specific applications can be selected to ensure communication flows well. And even in our digital day and age, we believe that good old face to face discussions still have value despite the growing popularity and usefulness of digital tools.


Choosing an application to suit the business processes can be challenging but is necessary. But considering aspects such as embedded processes, automated workflows, and ease of connections and use of APIs can significantly help the choice. Mondro’s advisors are experienced at recommending specific software applications for specific needs, and include all of the considerations above for the selection. Contact Mondro to learn more about the topics above!

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