Why a Mobile Strategy Is Essential and How to Do Mobility Right

Monday, May 22nd, 2017 by MEDIA MEDIA

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Your company has a “mobile strategy” even if you never deliberately set out to create one. The fact is, employees have mobile devices with them all the time, and they will use them for work tasks, whether your company assigns employees mobile devices or whether they use their own.

It’s critically important to get out in front of mobile use for work tasks because mobile has risks that traditional office-based tasks do not. If you haven’t tackled a well-thought-out, written, mobile strategy, then now is the time to do so. Eighty-nine percent of people’s time on mobile devices is spent using apps. Does your team have the work apps they need to maximize efficiency? Can they do so without unnecessary security risks?

Benefits of a Strong Mobile Strategy

A strong mobile strategy works in several ways to sharpen your company’s competitive edge. Why have your field techs wait to jot down notes and document their service calls once they return to the office when they can use a mobile app to do so during the call?

Employees who travel frequently for business appreciate having a mobile workflow to document business expenses as they occur, or while they’re waiting for a connecting flight somewhere. The IT service professional who carries a tablet around to different departments on service calls can do so far more efficiently. There’s far less paper and less room for error.

The Big Challenge: Data Security

Data security is a big challenge for companies whose employees use mobile workflows. Fortunately, there are numerous cloud solutions that can mitigate security risks.

One thing most companies do to cut security risks with mobile devices is to implement remote wiping capability. If, say, a marketing rep loses a smartphone containing proprietary information, you can erase all the data on it from the office. If it’s never recovered, you’ll have fewer worries about data falling into the wrong hands.

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Build security contingencies like remote wipe capability into your mobile strategy.

Your Mobile Strategy Should Reflect Business Strategy

Your mobile strategy should be aligned with your business strategy. How have you been running your business until now? If you differentiate your company through above-and-beyond customer service, then your mobile strategy should help your team continue to provide the sterling customer service they’re used to providing. If speed and agility are differentiators, your mobile strategy should be geared toward streamlining workflows as much as possible, so there are minimal delays once a work process is started. Consider your workflow software when designing your business strategy. Is it up to the challenges of mobility?

Workflow Software Needs to Be Mobile Friendly

Workflow software hasn’t always been mobile-friendly and, with some legacy products, making them mobile-friendly can be more trouble than it is worth. If you’re just now implementing workflow software, or if it’s time to upgrade your old system, be sure that mobile-friendliness is built in, so you and your team can take advantage of all the efficiencies that mobility offers.

PerfectForms is workflow software that is both secure and mobile-friendly. Plus, it’s powerful and flexible enough that non-technical users can design their own custom workflows for use in a desktop environment, on mobile devices, or both. PerfectForms has successfully helped clients in a range of industries – from insurance to education to healthcare – put their mobile strategy to work and reap the benefits without having to hire a programmer or app developer. We encourage you to read through some of our many case studies. See for yourself the ways PerfectForms has put automation and mobility into the hands of clients, saving them time and money and helping them be more competitive.

Develop a Strong Receiving Process as Your Business Grows

Friday, May 19th, 2017 by MEDIA MEDIA

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If you run a very small business, then dealing with vendors may not be a complicated affair. Perhaps you or your assistant have no difficulty carving out the time to receive a shipment without going through a long series of steps. Delivery drivers don’t want to waste time, so simplicity benefits them too.

The problem is, as your business grows, your receiving needs grow too. Maybe you’re receiving shipments more frequently, or receiving larger quantities. Your receiving process must be absolutely accurate in order to avoid losses. However small your business, you need to establish efficient receiving workflows.

Consequences of Not Having a Good Receiving Process

Receiving errors can be a major – if not the primary – cause of “shrinkage.” Some receiving shrinkage comes from processing errors rather than physical theft. Either way, the numbers will be skewed and possibly cause you to make decisions you wouldn’t if they had been accurate.

Shrink and inaccuracy aren’t the only consequences of having overly complicated or manually intensive receiving processes. Your relationships with vendors could become severely strained. The Walmarts of the world may not worry about losing vendors, but for smaller independent retailers, it can be a real possibility.

Are You Over-Managing to Avoid Negligible Losses?

Suppose you run a small, independent grocery and have a receiving process that is complex and hands-on. Your ice vendor would like to come in, fill the ice box, see the receiving clerk, and get paid. But your process requires that they first find your receiving manager, then pull the truck to the rear door, have every cart hand-counted by receiving workers, then find the receiving manager again, have the manager verify the ice box is full, record the vendor information, provide receipt copies, and then have the vendor sign back out. Sure, you won’t “lose” any ice, but think of the resources you have spent receiving a product that’s cheap and requires no additional work.

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Overly complex receiving processes can be overkill for regular or simple receiving scenarios.

Tailoring the Receiving Process to the Product

With the right receiving workflow and the right workflow software, however, you can tailor the receiving process to the product or product class. High-end items like big-screen televisions might need more touchpoints in the receiving process, while low-value items can be simpler and involve fewer people. Your ice vendor could, for example, fill the box, record the numbers on a tablet, and have the bill automatically emailed. A shipping clerk could check shipments to ensure accuracy and not have to spend a lot of time tracking down every last cube of ice.

Maintaining Strong Relationships with Vendors

A receiving workflow can strengthen your relationships with vendors. They will know that you value efficiency and that your efficiency benefits them by allowing them to make their other deliveries in a timely manner.

When your workflow software is mobile-friendly, any receiving clerk can be ready to process receipt of products instantly. When high-value items are delivered, automatic checks and balances can consistently ensure accuracy. You’ll have fewer vendors backed up waiting to have goods unloaded and receiving personnel who aren’t weighed down with Byzantine processes and paperwork that must be manually tracked.

PerfectForms is powerful workflow software that is flexible, and secure enough to be put to work managing your receiving processes with efficiency and accuracy. It is designed so non-technical users can create custom online forms and workflows that are mobile-friendly and secure. The people who actually use the workflows day in and day out can design them to perfectly meet their needs. You won’t have to rely on someone else’s idea of what a receiving workflow should look like because yours can be designed exactly the way you need it to be. We invite you to watch our demo video and see for yourself how our workflow software can power business processes throughout your organization. 

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Create an Employee Evaluation Process That Fulfills Key Goals

Monday, May 15th, 2017 by MEDIA MEDIA

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Employee evaluation can feel stressful, but it can keep everyone aligned toward the right goals.

The employee evaluation process is important not only to your managers and HR people but also to employees themselves. Employees want to know what is expected of them and how well they have measured up. Most are ready to address shortfalls when they are presented tactfully and constructively.

By performing regular employee evaluations, you keep lines of communication open between employees and their supervisors, and you can keep emerging employment problems from gaining traction. Tracking and documenting employee performance is essential, particularly if you ever have to fire or discipline a worker: having a “paper trail” showing that you gave notice and worked with the employee to correct a problem can help prevent legal problems should it come to that.

But most of the time, employee evaluations offer the people on both sides of the table an opportunity to reassess progress, reflect on what has gone well, and resolve to take care of any areas where there is room for improvement. Believe it or not, your form software can make a difference in how well your employee evaluation process goes. Here’s how.

Create Standards and Ways to Measure Them

It isn’t fair to assess employee performance when you haven’t spelled out what is expected of them. Training programs, daily communication, and other notifications should make clear what each person’s responsibilities are and how you will determine if they are meeting them. If for example, a clerk is expected to process at least ten application forms per day, it’s important for them to know that and to know what will happen if that number falls to seven, or five, or if productivity drops for a period of longer than a day or two. When both employee and supervisor know what is expected and how progress is to be measured, there will be fewer surprises at evaluation time.

Track Employee Performance

Tracking employee performance does not mean micromanaging them. And fortunately, micromanaging isn’t necessary if you use form software that automatically tracks work processes. You can create online forms that recognize when a particular user logs in, adding time and date stamps automatically. Furthermore, your online forms can be made to send data to other spreadsheets, databases, or software, so you can easily keep track of which employee has completed which process, and how many times they have done so in a given time period. The right form software can automatically generate periodic reports containing this information.

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Many employee evaluation metrics can be tracked automatically with the right form software.

Offer Evaluation At least Once a Year

For most workplaces, annual or semi-annual employee evaluations are enough to keep everyone on the same page and to address any emerging problems before they can worsen. Some industries, however, may find that quarterly evaluations are better for everyone. You’ll have to consider all the factors and determine what evaluation schedule is right for you. The important thing is that your employees know how often they will be evaluated, and what they will be evaluated on, and they understand how their performance is measured. Spelling it all out with each new employee that is brought on board will prevent misunderstandings.

Let Your Form Software Help You Throughout

PerfectForms is a form software that lets you create online forms for employee evaluation that are custom-tailored to your business needs. If your team members regularly use certain forms or processes, their interaction with the forms can be automatically logged and time-stamped. And PerfectForms can be made to gather data and create informative reports at regular intervals. If you want to know who has completed how many processes each week, you can easily do so. By logging everything automatically, aspects of performance can produce a fair evaluation of how well each employee is doing.

The cherry on top of all this is that you can try out PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial. Discover for yourself how easy it is to create the online forms and workflows that streamline operations, document critical metrics, and help your employees perform to the best of their ability.

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How BPM Software Can Help with Business Forecasting

Thursday, May 11th, 2017 by MEDIA MEDIA

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There are far better business forecasting tools available to you.

If you’re planning an important outdoor event, you pay attention to the weather forecast. Likewise, when planning for the future of your business, you must pay attention to the business forecast. That way you can anticipate problems and act (or react) accordingly to minimize problems and maximize success.

Of course, no one can see into the future, but you can make accurate predictions based on relevant data and past history. Your workflow software can be a strong ally in collecting the data that fuels your business forecasts. But it all starts with a review of your business plan.

Reviewing Your Business Plan

Business plans aren’t carved in stone, and yours has probably evolved since the day you first opened your doors. But if you haven’t revisited your business plans in six months or more, you’d be wise to get it out and read it. Does your business plan still make sense in light of what you have learned over the past several months? Are there parts of your business plan or objectives that you have forgotten about or let slide? It’s good to remind yourself why you went into business, even if how you run your business isn’t quite as you had imagined it when it was only a concept. Once you have reacquainted yourself with what you do and why you do it, reviewing your workflow software is the next step in learning to make informed business forecasts.

Workflow Software Helps You Forecast with Accurate, Relevant Data

If you use workflow software and don’t take advantage of it to collect data, you’re missing out. And if you don’t use workflow software at all you’re missing out even more. Workflow software allows you to take key business processes, like order collection, and streamline them so they’re as efficient as possible. With the right workflow software, you can collect key data at multiple points throughout the process – data that may be useful when preparing your business forecast. Suppose that your order fulfillment workflow aggregates geographic data, alerting you to the fact that you sell heavily in a region you hadn’t even considered. This data will become important in your next quarterly forecast.

Understanding Your Target Market Is Essential

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Whether your target market is shepherds, neurosurgeons, or barbers, understanding them is crucial to accurate forecasting.

Other data that your workflow software collects on your target market is essential to accurate business forecasting. The better you understand your target market, whether it’s housewives, truck drivers, or accounting firms, the better you can make your business forecasts. Fortunately, your workflow software can go a long way in helping you understand your target customers. In fact, the right workflow software will make it easy to delve into data, make sense of it, and create reports that are informative and useful for planning your future. If for example, you learn that an increasing number of customers placing large orders are doing so on mobile devices, you can help ensure resources are devoted to shoring up your mobile strategy.

Forecasting That Is Pragmatic Rather Than Wishful

Business forecasting shouldn’t be the same thing as wishful thinking. Rather, it should be based on history and data. Your workflow software can collect data and help you understand your business history more thoroughly, so you can create business forecasts that make sense and that produce actionable conclusions. Business forecasts based upon what people hope will happen, without data to back up those hopes, can fail and fail spectacularly. But business forecasts built on pragmatism and real life data are more likely to pan out. Assuming you have planned for forecasted scenarios (and have developed contingency plans for the unexpected), the forecasts you create with the help of your workflow software will help your company move forward with confidence.

PerfectForms is workflow software that makes it easy for non-technical users to design and create automated workflows that not only streamline business processes but also collect important data as they proceed. With its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface, PerfectForms allows the people who are most invested in workflows to design them to their specifications, helping them work more efficiently and learn more along the way.

Data you collect from your workflows can be sent to databases automatically, collected for future reporting, or used to determine the next steps in a process. And finally, did you know you can sign up for a free trial of PerfectForms? Learn for yourself how easy it can be to automate workflows and collect critical data, so you can make better business forecasts starting today.

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The Subscription Economy and How It Affects Your Workflows

Friday, May 5th, 2017 by admin

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Music subscription services have upended the record and radio businesses.

The subscription economy is expected to be worth at least $100 billion by the year 2020. Consumer behavior is evolving, especially among younger consumers. Owning and accumulating goods isn’t as big a priority as it used to be, while the experiences are increasingly important.

Amazon and Netflix are two of the giants of the subscription economy, but the range of possibilities for subscription-based businesses is nearly unlimited. People can sign up to receive a monthly box of cosmetics or cat toys, and they use software as a service (SaaS) routinely because, in many cases, it beats loading software onto a computer or server.

If your business is considering offering products or services on a subscription basis, you must appeal to people’s desire for convenience and positive experience, while retaining customers long enough for them to have loyalty value.

Convenience Is a Primary Factor in Choosing a Subscription Service

Signing up for Amazon Prime or Netflix is easy because consumers, whether in a B2C or B2B context, expect convenience for all subscription services. Byzantine signup processes simply won’t fly, so you have to make sure you provide a sleek, efficient procedure. At the same time, you need to be able to collect analytics from customers so you can learn what they use most and where problems tend to arise. Competition in subscription-based services can be steep in many industries. If you don’t provide the simplicity and convenience that customers want, you’ll struggle to get ahead.

How Long Must a Customer Subscribe to Become Profitable?

You also need to determine in advance how long a subscriber must stick with your subscription-based service to reach your targeted customer lifetime value. How many subscribers are needed to support your SaaS product, plus upgrades and technical services? The good news is that subscriptions can be easier to sell because of the lower buy-in cost associated with them.

Most of your lifetime customer value arrives in installments with subscription-based products and services. The length and strength of customer relationships are even more important in subscription services than in a traditional business model.

Subscription Workflows Must Be Flawless

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A simple, straightforward subscription process is key to winning new customers.

The workflows involved with acquiring, serving, and retaining customers must operate perfectly. They should also collect relevant data, including usage, clickstreams, and location so you can understand how your customer base uses your product or service. Analytics are the key to keeping existing customers, attracting new ones, and finding new opportunities for monetizing products and services.

Workflows must be flawless so that customer experiences are consistent and problem-free. The right workflow software can be of tremendous importance in making sure the customer experience meets or exceeds expectations.

Customer Service Workflows as Important as Ever

The workflow software that powers your customer service workflows is at least as important in a subscription-based business as it is for traditional methodology. Not only must you do what you can to ensure that people remain with you after their free trial period, you must be ready to tackle problems immediately when they arise. It can be all too easy for a customer to decide to switch to a different provider when their current one is not living up to expectations.

Billing mistakes, for example, can be a major cause for customer service problems, so the workflow tools that manage billing must work consistently and accurately every single time. Not only do your customers want an easy and memorable user experience, they have high expectations that your company will make things right when there are problems. The right workflow tools let your team focus on customer relationships, rather than individual transactions. That’s the key to success for subscription-based services.

If your company is planning to step into the world of subscription-based services, outstanding workflow software is essential. PerfectForms is workflow software that is flexible and powerful enough to be applied to processes as diverse as new employee onboarding and collection of customer data.

Subscription-based businesses are growing because of their convenience and reasonable buy-in costs. Succeeding in a subscription economy means your efficiency and workflows must be in top form at all times. PerfectForms invites you to watch our demo video. You’re sure to be inspired with numerous ideas for making sure your workflows are efficient and effective enough to meet your exacting standards.

We’re a Small Business. Why Do We Need Business Process Management?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 by admin

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Many small businesses are established on shoestring budgets. Founders wear many hats and take on tasks that result in a lot of work hours – the price many entrepreneurs pay to turn their business dream into reality.

As a consequence, many small businesses forego tools they think won’t have a speedy return on investment. Sometimes this decision is short-sighted. Business tools that were once considered only for large, established enterprises are now available to smaller businesses. Yet, many smaller businesses overlook these tools, thinking they can always implement them later, once they’re turning a bigger profit and operating predictably.

BPM software is one example of a business tool that some small business owners imagine is too expensive or has too long an ROI to be worthwhile in the early days of the business. In reality, BPM solutions have much to offer small businesses, and the ROI of the right BPM tool can be surprisingly swift.

Consistency Is One Key to Scalable Growth

Trying to scale a business that doesn’t have high levels of product or service consistency is a recipe for disaster. BPM software is designed to help businesses develop levels of consistency and efficiency that increase profits. BPM software makes it easier.

With BPM software, your small business can develop logical business processes that help everyone on the team stay aligned and perform at their peak. Without it, tasks may be accomplished in a haphazard or inefficient manner, making consistent quality elusive. BPM solutions open the door to not only smarter processes, but easier scalability.

BPM Can Prevent Development of Organizational Silos

Without BPM software, business processes that develop “organically” are at risk of team members becoming territorial and overly focused on their part of a process. That myopic point of view eventually leads to the creation of organizational “silos” that are essentially walled off from each other. Graphics may have a particular way of doing things. Marketing may have another. When Graphics and Marketing functions are not integrated, frustration and resentment can build between the two departments when they must work together.

Companies that implement BPM solutions allow all process stakeholders to take a more holistic view of processes, learning what other people and teams are doing, and why they’re doing it. The simple act of being able to check the status of a process using BPM software can save tremendous amounts of time and effort.

Measuring Success Is Important from Day One

The right BPM software makes it easy for your team to designate important metrics and key performance indicators, helping you to build a track record that you can eventually use to predict trends and forecast staffing and vendor needs more accurately. Business processes can be defined so that data is automatically collected with each step, making it far easier to analyze successes and failures, create insightful reports, and even demonstrate compliance with applicable regulations. If you start out your small business using BPM software, you gain all these advantages from the beginning, and you won’t face the disruption of organically developed processes having BPM solutions applied to them.

Sticky Notes, Emails, and Spreadsheets Won’t Do It

If you experience any growth at all you will rapidly outgrow the capabilities of ubiquitous office tools like sticky notes, emails, and spreadsheets. All three of these have their place in business, but ensuring consistency, scalability, quality, and regulation compliance are not in their purview. Your boutique law firm or small consultancy can try to standardize processes using spreadsheets or emails, but the time will come sooner, rather than later, when errors creep in, messages are lost, or people simply forget what happened when.

BPM software like PerfectForms can prevent many of the “growing pains” businesses experience when scaling. BPM offers consistency, precise tracking, simple reporting, and perfectly customized business process designs right out of the box. You won’t have to hire a programmer because PerfectForms features an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that allows process users and owners to build processes that are perfectly tailored to their requirements. We invite you to read through some of our case studies. See for yourself how the right BPM software can open the door to success.

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Four Nontraditional Businesses That Benefit from Workflow Automation

Friday, April 28th, 2017 by admin

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Workflow automation software sounds very straight-laced, doesn’t it? In fact, it is about bringing order and consistency to business processes, but it can be applied to just about any business in any industry.

While it may be obvious how workflow tools can benefit an insurance brokerage or publishing house, it’s not quite as obvious how they can benefit nontraditional or offbeat businesses. But rest assured, there’s a place for workflow automation in these off-the-beaten-path businesses too! Here are four examples of nontraditional businesses that can benefit from using workflow automation software.

1. Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ markets are simple in concept: bring together local food producers and consumers on a scheduled basis. Behind the scenes, however, is significant organizational work, from securing a location to getting press coverage to soliciting farmers to managing all the vendors and collecting market stall fees to pay expenses. Workflow automation software helps you create custom workflows for countless tasks, from distributing rules and bylaws to assigning spaces to arranging schedules.

2. Food Co-ops

The food co-op concept is similar to that of a farmers’ market, but it generally involves ordering food beforehand and may include the sales of meat, poultry, and game in addition to produce. Before doing anything, it’s essential to inquire about and comply with local laws governing food co-ops. To succeed, these community-owned entities must be run with precision to make it worth everyone’s time. Workflows for taking orders, tracking deliveries, and issuing receipts are just a few examples of the processes involved. Sustaining operations involves the coordination of many moving parts, and workflow tools are designed to do this job optimally.

3. Architectural Salvage Business

As people retreat from the “house-flipping” mindset from before the housing bubble and start looking at their homes as long-term investments, they are also starting to appreciate many of the features of older style homes. In many cases, their features can’t be bought new or, if they can, the reproductions aren’t nearly as high-quality as the originals.

Architectural salvage businesses “rescue” things like door frames, decorative windows, mantelpieces, and banisters from buildings that are scheduled for destruction, then resell them. Keeping up with stock, scheduling acquisition, and remaining aware of buildings set for demolition can be done with far greater precision and efficiency with the help of customizable workflow software.

4. Online Bookstore

Like many architectural salvage businesses, many online used bookstores “rescue” books disposed of by local libraries to make them available to readers, students, and collectors online. Not only must new titles be entered into the online store system, they must be organized, shelved, and processed when someone places an order.

With workflow automation software, facilitates getting a book from the shelf to the packing material to the shipper to the customer with great efficiency, helping keep costs down and keep customers happy. If special procedures are required for purchases of rare, first editions or otherwise collectible books, these can be put into their own workflows. The result is a well-run bookstore that gets the books people want into their hands efficiently.

Just because a business is nontraditional doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have to abide by smart business principles to thrive. Whether you operate a consignment clothing boutique, a tutoring service, a food truck, or a dance studio, keeping track of vendors, customers, deliveries, and the dozens of other details necessary for running a successful business is mandatory. Workflow automation software that can be customized to any use rises to the occasion beautifully.

PerfectForms is workflow automation software that is customizable to any business in any industry. With its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, PerfectForms allows non-technical users to create online forms and workflows that are exactly suited to their needs. Since it is run in the cloud, PerfectForms doesn’t require investment in lots of IT infrastructure or on-site servers. Plus, all forms and workflows can be made mobile-friendly for maximum convenience.

Best of all, you can test drive PerfectForms for free. Just sign up for a free trial to discover for yourself how the right workflow tools at your fingertips can make running your nontraditional business efficient, cost-effective, and best of all, responsive to an appreciative customer base.

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Making Online Forms Fit Your Style of Team Interdependence

Monday, April 24th, 2017 by admin

Online forms

Some teams are made up of members whose specific tasks depend on what others do.

Many types of work teams exist. Some operate completely within one department, while others span departments, divisions, and even time zones and continents. No single type of team works for every situation, and a single company may have many types of teams, all of them with important roles to play.

One thing all teams have in common is that they must work together at some point, whether that’s on project or task details, or something peripheral, like recording their work hours and turning them in so they’ll be paid. Teams range from the highly-individualized (which you can envision as something like a gymnastics team, where individual performances go toward aggregate success) to the highly interdependent (which could be imagined as a baseball team, where multiple players are involved in every aspect of the game).

However individualized or independent a team is, all of them can be made more efficient and effective through the use of online forms for planning, recording, and submitting critical information. Here’s how.

The Highly-Individualized Team

Suppose you have a team of field representatives dispatched far and wide. Each is expected to make sales, and even if everyone is paid by commission, the individual successes add up to team success. Such teams are increasingly common in today’s broadband- and mobile-connected business world. A company could be headquartered anywhere, and easily have team members in different cities, states, or countries. When the members of these teams have the tools and training they need to perform with excellence as individuals, they not only succeed personally but also contribute to organizational success.

How Online Forms Help Individualized Teams

Having online forms that are designed specifically for your highly-individualized team members not only gives your team more cohesiveness, it makes managing independent workers far easier. Simple document management forms help ensure that everyone’s work is acknowledged when submitted, and can be used to resolve problems if there should be a disagreement later. Logging of hours or deliverables can be done from anywhere and at any time if your online forms are mobile-friendly. The right form software allows you to customize online forms for the precisely defined needs of your team.

The Highly Interdependent Team

Online forms

Teams may share an office or span continents.

Many work processes must be carried out by teams that are highly interdependent. One person may be required to initiate a process, while someone else takes care of steps further down the line. Many people’s hands may have touched a product or deliverable before it is finished, and without each team member being aware of what others on the team are doing, problems can arise. If, for example, your work team tests new equipment, someone receives the equipment, someone else may schedule use of a test facility, while a third person carries out the tests. Another person may take the data and turn it into a report, while someone else calculates everyone’s hours.

How Form Software Helps Interdependent Teams

Just as online forms help dispersed, independent teams stay on the same page, they keep highly interdependent teams on track and knowledgeable about project status at any one time. Has time in the equipment test facility been scheduled? Checking with an online workflow made up of all the online forms that go with the process can provide this information instantly. Interdependent teams are similar to Swiss watches in that each part must interact with other parts in very specific ways in order for a function to be carried out. Form creator software helps ensure everyone knows what to do, and when to do it, and documents each step.

Form software should help you bring your unique team together to accomplish what they set out to do, allowing everyone the flexibility to proceed and document steps exactly as they happen. PerfectForms offers users outstanding flexibility, making it easy to create online forms to your custom specifications through a convenient drag-and-drop interface. When online forms are linked into custom, online workflows, users can stay apprised of their own and others’ status at any time, wherever they may be. PerfectForms is mobile-friendly, so team members can update forms and workflows anytime, anywhere. We invite you to watch our demo video, so you can see for yourself how PerfectForms can bring together any type of team and help them perform better.

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Why BPM Won’t Go Away in the Age of Robots and Automation

Friday, April 21st, 2017 by admin

BPM software

Robotics are affecting industries in ways we may never have imagined before.

People in all regions of the world worry about the effect that automation and robotics will have on their employment prospects. Electronics and manufacturing have been hardest hit by advances in automation and robotics, but many other industries are ripe for disruption too.

Clearly, some jobs are difficult to imagine being done by machines, but automation is threatening jobs that many people thought would be safe for a long time, like transportation jobs. So, if everything is going to end up automated anyway, is there any place in the modern economy for business process management (BPM)? The answer is yes!

Automation Requires Extensive Domain Expertise

For automation to be developed, implemented, and properly managed, extensive domain expertise is required. That expertise so far cannot be duplicated by artificial intelligence. In general, innovations in automation technology tend to go along with the creation of newer, more complex tasks that are accomplished by humans. Ultimately, labor and employment levels are restored after a technological disruption.

It only stands to reason that these newly developed, more complex tasks that come about as a result of technological advances will cause the creation of new jobs for people, and the intersection of the human and the automatic is where BPM tools excel.

Technology as a Service and BPM

Companies that may be disrupted by automation are finding that while automation changes things, it doesn’t make BPM software obsolete. Offering different combinations of technologies as a service is expected to become reality as more automation becomes normal and as robotics take over many of the tasks that used to be handled by people.

Where BPM software can prove its mettle is in allowing companies to “shrink wrap” services around technologies, allowing client companies to pick and choose technology bundles to suit their unique needs.

BPM Tools: Bringing Provider and Client Technologies Together

BPM software

BPM software may help providers bridge their technology with that of their clients.

Another important role for BPM software in a more automated future is in facilitating creative partnerships. When two companies have complementary technologies, BPM tools may make the difference between their being able to combine them practically and successfully, or not. The upshot could be better utilization rates, as companies are better able to outsource certain tasks while putting their own machinery to use during off-hours. If, say, your company only needs access to a particular food processing machine at certain times of the day, it could provide those services to other businesses during the rest of the day, improving efficiency and boosting ROI.

BPM Software Has Long Been About Automation of Routine Processes

Vulnerability to automation is highest for routine tasks. Yet BPM software has been automating routine processes for years. Will BPM software become obsolete as more jobs are automated? Probably not, but its role will undoubtedly change. BPM may become more of a tool for matching up complementary technologies and for offering technology combinations that the companies of tomorrow will need. As long as technology requires human intervention at all, BPM tools will have an important role to play.

PerfectForms is BPM workflow software that offers remarkable flexibility and power, with an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface. You can manage business processes as they stand rather than having to create processes that mesh with your BPM software. It can be put to use as an intermediary between processes in different departments or divisions, or as a way to bridge technologies and create more efficient processes.

Businesses, public sector organizations, and nonprofits in all industries have put PerfectForms to use for their BPM needs, eliminating duplication of effort, accelerating processes, and saving massive amounts of time and money. And did you know you can test drive PerfectForms for free? Simply sign up for a free trial and you can experience for yourself how skillfully PerfectForms automates processes, brings together different processes, and generally maximizes efficiency, whatever type of organization you’re part of.

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Three Essential Building Blocks to Great Workflow Implementation

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 by admin

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Think what you could do with the time efficient, automated workflows could save you.

Implementing workflows intrinsically sounds like a smart business decision. Why wouldn’t a business want to standardize processes that produce strong results? Why wouldn’t they want more efficiency and easier documentation of workflows?

But you can’t just buy workflow automation software, assign someone to create workflows, and expect everything to magically improve. Software merely offers you workflow tools. While those tools can be powerful, tools of any kind that are misapplied can cause bigger problems than those they were designed to solve.

To build great workflows that raise efficiency, reduce costs, improve consistency, and help your company conform to applicable regulations, you need three critical building blocks: innovative workflow design, excellence in workflow documentation, and the establishment of workflow ownership and accountability.

1. Innovative Workflow Design

Work processes that are predictable and repetitive are excellent candidates for workflow automation. Creating an automated workflow is similar to setting up a domino chain, where setting the workflow in motion causes all subsequent “dominoes” to fall in turn. Many parts of workflow design are asking and answering, “When this happens, what comes next?” You have to break down workflows into discrete steps, all of which must be accounted for.

Even the tiniest procedures, like “Notify Al that his signature is required” should be declared as steps. When you see all the steps laid out end-to-end, you can sometimes see where bottlenecks occur. For instance, if dozens of people at once have a “Notify Al” step, then perhaps it’s time to determine if someone else can pick up some of the slack.

2. Excellence in Workflow Documentation

The right workflow automation software serves as its own workflow documentation, in that you can always go back to it and see all the components of a given workflow. This alone is powerful, but when you build specific documentation steps into your workflows, you can more easily comply with regulations or reporting requirements.

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If your company is ever audited, you’ll be glad you designed documentation steps into your workflows.

Suppose you run a business that is subject to HIPAA privacy rules. Violations can be prohibitively expensive, so you need to prevent them. A step in a workflow documenting, for example, that a customer electronically signed a form stating they have read and understood your privacy policy can make all the difference if your company is ever subjected to an audit because workflow tools let you retrieve critical documentation at any time.

3. Workflow Ownership and Accountability

Some workflows are small and simple enough that having a single “owner” for that workflow makes sense. With larger or more complex workflows, you may assign ownership to individual steps rather than the workflow as a whole. Either way, pairing up workflow steps with the person responsible for them helps ensure consistently superb results and makes it easier to find and fix workflow problems.

Say Tabitha in Finance is responsible for steps in a travel reimbursement workflow that involve reviewing employee reimbursement requests. When designing the workflow, you need to inform her of which workflow steps she’s accountable for. An automated email alert sent to her workstation or mobile device when an electronic reimbursement form is submitted can prompt her to take care of her steps once she’s back in the office, or even on her mobile device if the workflow is mobile-friendly.

The Right Workflow Automation Software Brings It Together

Workflow tools are available at all price points and all levels of sophistication. It’s up to you to determine which choice in workflow automation software meets your needs in terms of power, flexibility, ease of use, and total cost of ownership. You don’t have to use one type of workflow automation software for the IT department, another for the secretarial pool, and a third for facilities management because the best workflow automation software packages allow you to work across departments seamlessly.

PerfectForms offers workflow automation tools that are so easy to use that your non-technical workflow users can create innovative, customized workflow designs. It also allows easy email alerts at any step of a work process and collection of information for making reports and demonstrating compliance with regulations your company is subject to. Plus, it lets you build accountability into workflows so that no one will be able to say, “I didn’t get the form.” We encourage you to read over some of our case studies so you can see what the building blocks of outstanding workflows looks like in action.

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