When you have a paper document that needs to be touched and seen by multiple people, the chances for inefficiency are staggering. No one enjoys pushing paper and filling out forms in triplicate anymore. In today's modern era, there is really no good reason to be burdened by paper documents. Updating your internal business processes is the way forward to a paperless work environment and the increase in efficiency that comes along with it. Let's take a look at a typical paper-based business process. A document might go from an employee to another employee, to a manager, to the AP team, to the ordering team, with gridlock and misrouting being a likely obstruction. What would the same process look like once it has been automated?
When you have a digital business process in place, the workflow is streamlined and much more time-efficient. The employee fills out their request online rather than in a physical form. The system automatically routes the request through the approval process. Gatekeepers are pinged to notify them that they have a new request to approve or deny. Employees are able to independently check on the status of their request without having to make calls or send emails in the hope that someone gets back to them.
Have you ever wondered what happened to all of those triplicate forms after you had your requisition approved and processed? In a paper-driven world, they are filed and stored, taking up physical space for years on end. They may never be looked at again, but they must be retained for reporting purposes or in case there is a future question or discrepancy relating to the process. In paperless environments where digital documents have taken their place, these files may be uploaded for cloud storage and the paper form destroyed. Even in the second scenario, the piece of paper is being handled too often to allow for any type of efficiency.
With a digital workflow, it is simple to adjust the process when necessary. Is an approver on vacation? No problem. Rather than have requests fill up their inbox, the workflow can be changed to temporarily allow for other stakeholders to approve the request. This system is far more streamlined than having employees wait or try to find some way around the approval process that will be at a standstill for the entirety of the manager's vacation.
With an automated document management system in place, employees can concentrate on the work at hand rather than spending their time searching for documents and tracking down signatures. The added benefits of a digital record that requires no filing, scanning, or uploading speak for themselves.The digital files are then stored in an easy-to-access location that has ample security measures in place. You are setting your employees up for success when they have the tools to work more efficiently and collaborate more effectively.Knowing that they won't be spending all day searching for files and jumping through hoops just to get their job done is a great way to keep your team engaged. Overall, less paperwork can lead to a culture with high morale and positive outlook on the workday.
Are you beginning to think that a comprehensive workflow analysis is the logical next step for optimizing your business? Contact ACP today to get started.