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Automating WAWF (Wide Area Workflow) – What is it?

Automating WAWF (Wide Area Workflow) – What is it?

The first time a caveman discovered that he could use a sharp rock to make marks on a cave wall, he started using a better tool to complete a desired task. Men eventually found that hammer and chisel made better tools to record their thoughts. Pen and paper were later discovered to be a better technology for this task. Men invented better and better tools-printing presses, typewriters and eventually personal computers.

Ever since the dawning of the personal computer era there have been many improvements in software applications, as they have become more powerful and specialized over time. Each step along the way, from the caveman with a sharp rock to where we are today, could be described as further automation.


WAWFebook-thumb1[1]What do caveman have to do with Wide Area Workflow (WAWF)? The government provides to US DOD (Department of Defense) suppliers the ability to enter data into WAWF through a web browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox). And like the hammer and chisel, this web browser method may in some cases and for some suppliers be the best tool for the job.

However, many suppliers will find that further automating this process will greatly increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve payment cycle time.  WAWF Automation can make your job easier and reduce your frustration. After all, isn’t that what you want from a better tool?

STOP – I am already automated … right? 

Maybe you already use WAWF. You type invoice and other information into WAWF and your data appears on computer screens for your government contacts. Money shows up in your bank account. Isn’t this automation?

Well, yes and no.

WAWF is an automated system. It automatically receives contract information from government contracting systems. It automatically sends receiving and acceptance information to government payment systems. It automatically sends data to the UID Registry. It automatically communicates with other government systems.

So WAWF is an automated system in the way it communicates with other government systems. And it automates the flow of your data, once you get it into WAWF. But if you are typing your information into WAWF through a web browser, then WAWF is not as automated for you as it could be.

WAWF Automation is…

When we talk about WAWF Automation, from a DOD supplier perspective, we mean:

  • Little or no typing data into a web browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox) to get data into WAWF.
  • Sending data to WAWF in electronic transactions, kind of like emails.
  • Receiving data from the government in a format that can be used without re-typing, to feed into the WAWF transactions.
  • Using the same data for labeling and WAWF transactions.

Learn more about WAWF automation  in our eBook DOD Suppliers Guide.