Consider this common scenario: An account manager generates a quote for a customer in Salesforce, who responds with a purchase order. A sales administrator updates an ERP system so people in Engineering know what they’re going to build. Purchasing agents order materials and components, fabrication and assembly are completed, products are inspected, etc. Next, warehouse personnel add the shipment to their queue and schedule a technician to do the installation. Somewhere along the way in this process, generating an actual invoice begins and suppliers get paid.
This is actually a relatively “simple” example. Depending on the nature of the business, a number of other systems and processes could be involved. Some of the numerous requests and approvals involved in a process require documents to be emailed, printed, signed or scanned. If anything changes, or if issues occur, more documents are created, and parts of the process might be repeated. In general, business processes are rarely simple, and often involve multiple departments or parties.