Run workflow software like a boss

Maybe your business has recently expanded and you’re having some trouble keeping up with the demands of the growth. Or perhaps you’re looking for a way to save money and increase efficiency. Whatever your reasons for considering workflow software, there are quite a few ways for you to benefit from the technology. Workflow applications are quickly becoming some of the best tools a manager or administrator can wield in the modern workplace. The following are just a few advantages your company can enjoy when deploying full-featured workflow software.

 

Minimized Dependence on Technical Resources

 

Workflow software should be all about streamlining your workflow, not making things more difficult, right? With the correct software, even your least technically minded employees can take full advantage of the program’s features. No prior experience or specialized coding knowledge is required to create powerful workflow applications, both increasing your efficiency and reducing your dependence on technical resources. Decreasing your development and deployment time means your employees will be spending more time doing their jobs and less time preparing for them.

 

Improved Communication

 

Breakdowns in communication are not only frustrating, but costly. No project ever runs like it was intended, and even the smallest change can drastically alter an entire undertaking. Workflow software helps eliminate mistakes and confusion created when you and your employees fail to communicate properly. With workflow software, no longer will anyone have the excuse of not knowing about the latest changes, updates, or any other crucial developments. Leave the “he said, she said” to the office gossip, and use your workflow software to ensure that you and your employees are all on the same page.

 

Increased Visibility and Oversight

 

One of the biggest benefits you gain from workflow software is visibility into your entire workflow process. With this kind of oversight, you can see who is working on what, which tasks are being escalated, and what problems may have arisen. Workflow applications can even give real-time updates and notifications to keep you up to date as things are happening.

 

Substantially Reduced Costs

 

As a manager, more often than not, the bottom line is your bottom line. After all, what reason is there to improve your efficiency if not to help maximize your revenue? After reading through the previous benefits, you probably see just how a workflow program can help save a few bucks. Increased efficiency, reduced dependence on resources, incredible oversight, and clear and effective lines of communication are just a few of the ways you and your company can lower your costs and increase your profits with workflow software.

 

Workflow software provides managers and administrators with the capability to manage their operations in a way never before possible. From better communication and visibility to a decreased reliance on resources — not to mention a ton of money being saved in the process — workflow software is the perfect way to streamline and maximize the efficiency of your operations. Why should you have to deal with endless micro-managing when you can be focused on what really matters? (We don’t just mean your golf game. Though, after all, you are the boss.)

BPM vs workflow software: Which is right for you?

For many people in the business world, the terms “workflow” and “business process management (BPM)” are synonymous. This is unfortunate, because workflow management software and business process management software are two different beasts, each designed to serve a separate purpose for a company. For businesses, understanding the differences is key to taking advantage of what each solution has to offer. It is only by understanding what separates workflow from BPM that one can decide which tool is best for a particular company.

 

What is workflow management software?

 

According to Gartner, workflow technology has been around for more than two decades, and has allowed countless companies to improve the interactions between software systems and the people who use them. Workflow software gives organizations a way to coordinate systematized and manual tasks so the efficiency of both is improved. While it originally existed in many variations, it has now become a free-standing technology that is used across a range of applications.

 

Workflow software can be found in many different forms, based on what it has been specialized to accomplish. Some of these iterations include workflows for different areas of business, such as human resources, accounting, shipping, sales, marketing and customer support.

 

What is BPM software?

 

BPM software is a newer approach to coordinating work – one that attempts to tackle the problem holistically and cover all of a company’s resources. BPM also coordinates the interactions between manual and systematized tasks, but instead of doing so for a single application or discipline, it synergizes every task within a company using the same approach across all of these systems. It is designed to be familiar to any employee who has access to the system.

 

How are they different?

 

Workflow software technology has proven incredibly useful, and continues to provide specific solutions to various situations faced by an array of businesses. However, there are substantial advantages offered by BPM technologies. As a more advanced iteration of tried and true workflow technology, BPM takes what works best in workflow and improves it.

 

With workflow software, if a company needed a workflow solution for sales, it could create a specific workflow for the department. This would not be difficult to accomplish, especially using the improved design systems that are now available. Once a company created the workflow, it could use this as needed – but only in the sales department. A company would have to develop a new workflow for each department and then train each department how to use the software.

 

On the other hand, if a company implemented a BPM system, the majority of departments would already be accounted for. Ideally, everyone would receive training on the new system and department-specific workflows would be integrated into any department where they could be of benefit. Even if no ready-made solutions existed, it would be easy enough to create a new one using the existing template provided by the business process management software provider.

 

Which solution should you choose?

 

There are still many companies that use workflow management software exclusively. If the need for workflow software is limited to a few areas of an enterprise, there may be no real need to install a full business process management software solution.

 

For businesses that want the highest level of control over all of their systems, along with greater data collection and analyzing abilities, business process management software is the obvious choice.

Stop student major changes from being a major pain with online forms

There seem to be two constants with college students: They like to change their minds, and they leave it to the last minute to get things done. In the United States, most college students will change their majors at least once during their academic careers, and they love to wait until the end of the semester to file a change of major request. This generates a significant amount of paperwork, clogs administration offices with concerned students and puts a strain on academic counselors. Automation of the major change procedure with online forms eliminates many of the headaches administrators face.

 

Cost Reductions

 

Traditional major-change request forms need to be printed in large numbers and made available for students in the administration office. A small school needs hundreds of copies, while a large college or university has to provide thousands every year. At a time when institutions must save every available penny, it’s impractical to pay for printing. Additionally, colleges save on labor and administration costs when they evolve past the paper-based process because they do not need to have as many employees on hand to take care of accepting and processing the change of major paperwork.

 

Quicker Processing

 

In a college administration office, everything seems to move at a snail’s pace. Students expect to wait in the office just to ask a simple question and more complicated matters might take their entire days. Change-of-major requests are particularly time-consuming, especially at the end of the semester when the system is overloaded. Part of the problem is that these forms require approval by several different people, some in the administration office and at least one in the student’s new major field area, and students have to wait for professors or administrators to pick up the documents, sign them and return them to the office before approval. Online forms can be approved in bulk and sent instantly from one office to the next. Instead of waiting days or weeks for notification about their requests, students can know in a matter of hours or minutes.

 

Ease of Use

 

Online forms are simple and easy-to-use for students. The forms can be completed in a couple of minutes from the comfort of the student’s home or dorm. Dropdown menus ensure students always enter the right college or major codes on their forms, reducing stress on administrators. Colleges can modify forms to meet their own unique needs, so they can better evaluate the requests and aid students in their quests to graduate on time.

 

Online change-of-major forms are beneficial for both students and administrators, saving time, energy and money. With these forms, a major change doesn’t have to be a major pain.

How workflow management software can help automate your small business

Is there ever an end to the tasks that need to be done in order to keep a small business running? Sometimes it seems there isn’t enough caffeine in the world to keep a business owner going long enough to cross all the items off his or her to-do list. Once those items are crossed off, there are just going to be more items to be taken on tomorrow, right? This is where automation of business processes comes in and workflow management software saves the day.

Workflow management software could help preserve your sanity and free you up to focus on the tasks and processes that really matter thanks to the following features.

 

Creating forms

 

How many times have you been inundated with requests, be they technical or personnel-related? What about your customer support processes – how are they run? A good software option should include the ability to quickly and easily create online forms that will capture the information you need and present it to you in an easy-to-digest format. Who has time to check in with the tech department every time a field needs to be changed or a new form created? The right software will allow you to do it yourself.

 

Reducing paper clutter

 

Let’s face it – no one wants to deal with hanging file folders or stacks of paper any more than necessary. With the world becoming more virtual, being able to conduct business with the help of a software system is a lifesaver. All of your reports and other important deliverables can be generated and distributed automatically.

 

Improving efficiency

 

Imagine receiving a notification when an employee has completed his or her step in a project and then having the next responsible person getting an alert to get started. Not only does this let employees know when they need to get started on a project, but it tells them exactly what they need to do with regard to timelines associated with their individual tasks. No crossed wires, no “I didn’t know it was time for me to start on my piece” – just seamless communication, which translates to greater efficiency and fewer headaches.

 

Increasing control

 

Having much of your business’ day-to-day activities tracked via workflow management software grants you improved visibility and therefore increased control over what’s going on across your organization.

 

Workflow software offered by PerfectForms is the key to making your life easier and keeping your business humming smoothly. Such products allow you to automate where you can and focus your energy and attention on what you do best: building your business.

50 shades of confusion: BPM vs. workflow software

Understanding the difference between workflow optimization and business process management is important in pinpointing the right software for your organization. The differences between these two types of software are often poorly understood, even by IT professionals.

The major difference is that BPM encompasses much more in terms of facilitating activities of an organization while workflow directs activities between individuals. BPM is an entire series of different functions that can be addressed apart from specific applications. BPM not only handles workflow processes, but is also capable of creating them through its capacity to model and optimize workflow.

BPM and workflow are similar in that both are responsible for maximizing operational efficiency by automating core processes. An important aspect of both BPM and workflow is eliminating bottlenecks from core processes that hinder progress in carrying out necessary activities.

 

Workflow 

 

Organizations use workflow to automate business processes, but workflow software does not test whether automated models maximize efficiency or even get tasks done adequately. Rather, this solution will send documents and assignments to a particular user. It keeps track of files and makes sure projects are completed on time. Overall, workflow maps out processes and facilitates their completion.

 

Business Project Management

 

BPM software goes much further in facilitating organizational processes than pure workflow software. In fact, workflow features are only one of about 10 different features offered in a BPM software package. While BPM software may handle the tasks addressed by workflow solutions, it enhances workflow processes by adding modeling and optimization features to the automation and management of business processes offered by simpler workflow software.

BPM software will integrate itself with diverse systems, various business rules, recipients, templates, and data at an organization, carrying out tasks such as modeling processes, creating an integrated business rules engine and forms designer, simulating processes, optimizing methodologies, and monitoring and reporting on organizational activities.

BPM software offers a more holistic approach to handling business processes. The solution takes into account all resources used, including people, data, machines, and systems. This contrasts with workflow management technologies, which generally only address the interactions between individuals and software. While BPM software handles workflow tasks, it does this in a fundamentally different way than workflow tools, seamlessly integrating workflow tasks with many other technologies, such as BAM, UI generation, and an environment that offers graphical authoring.

 

PerfectForms software offerings

 

PerfectForms offers both workflow and BPM software. While there is some overlap between the functions, these two different software programs offer different focuses and capabilities.

 

PerfectForms workflow software:

  • Streamlines workflow processes
  • Carries out tasks such as automation, web form design, and real-time reporting
  • Can be used to carry out business processes in many different types of organization departments, including human resources, marketing, sales, and more

PerfectForms BPM software:

  • Offers flexibility to accommodate organizations operating in a wide variety of industries
  • Improves business processes through modeling, automation, and optimization
  • Can be tailored to meet the unique needs of an organization thanks to the option to custom-create applications

 

Determining your software needs

 

Now that you understand the difference between workflow and BPM software, you can determine which solution is the best fit for your organization. Once you implement the software that’s right for you, your company will go from 50 shades of confused to humming with efficiency in no time.

3 warning signs that your company needs BPM software

Has your company recently experienced rapid growth and is now struggling to scale to meet the new demand? Are you used to a workflow management process that’s stayed the same for years and aren’t convinced it needs to change? While companies can greatly benefit from business process management software to help manage their workflow, many have yet to embrace any sort of workflow software. Three warning signs that your company may be in need of a new workflow solution include your legacy software no longer meeting your requirements, an old server wasting your resources, and little transparency into who is working on what project. If you find yourself relating to any of these indicators, it may be time for your company to invest in a reliable workflow management system.

 

Relegating Legacy Software to the Past

 

Nobody likes change, right? Older software typically does not provide the level of automation and simplicity that comes with newer BPM software. Instead of getting rid of your legacy software consider choosing a platform that works well with what you already have. PerfectForms offers both on-demand and on-premise deployment options for easier and faster integration.

 

Avoiding Local Server Maintenance

 

Does your company have to keep a local server lying around to maintain its current workflow software, while burying your IT department in support tickets? For many firms, IT resources are a precious commodity. Local servers can go down, copies of BPM software need to be installed and maintained on several different devices, and expenses can grow out of control if you need to update your server to accommodate additional users. Tying up your staff’s time and resources maintaining a local server when it’s not necessary can be costly and inefficient. All the heavy lifting can be done on our servers, reducing both your costs and the burden on your IT staff.

 

Addressing Poor Employee Transparency

 

As a manager, you know that two of the keys to any successful process are efficiency and accountability. Both you and your employees need to know who is assigned to which tasks and when these tasks are expected to be completed. Once you start to lose track of this, projects become delayed, inefficient, or even grind to a halt. Imagine a project that requires multiple teams of employees to coordinate several interconnected assignments. If one team makes a change to an assignment that impacts the work of another team, it is vital the second group be informed of the changes. If they aren’t, the work they are doing could be negatively affected.

Situations like this obviously present major visibility and efficiency issues if not handled correctly. Using BPM software, managers can oversee the progress of individual processes and update the workflow accordingly to prevent problems that arise from lack of visibility. BPM software can pay for itself by eliminating potential costly inefficiencies.

 

BPM Software Could Solve Your Problems

 

If your legacy software’s capabilities leave much to be desired, your local server is more trouble than it’s worth and your projects are suffering from a lack of transparency, consider upgrading to BPM software and save time, money and manpower.

Find the right workflow forms to run your business like a pro

Are you wondering how new workflow form software can give you the tools to run any business like a pro? Oftentimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. Here are a few examples of customizable workflow forms that have allowed myriad business owners to run happier, more consistent and efficient workplace environments.

 

Timesheets

 

Keep completely consistent records of employee hours with new timesheet forms that can be maintained online instead of in written form. This will prove to be not only more convenient for many employees, but will benefit your own record-keeping as well. It’s also much safer to keep important data, such as information related to employee hours, in a digital format – either in a cloud server or locally based server -  as written time sheets can be easily altered, accidentally destroyed or lost in the shuffle of day-to-day business. Time sheet forms kept online can also save your business a lot of money in the long run when it comes to reducing paper waste.

 

Vacation Request Forms 

 

If your business does not currently have vacation request forms, investing in workflow form software to make your own may be well worth your time. Submitting templated requests will allow employees’ desired days off to be clear and organized for management. Switching to online vacation request forms will also speed up the application process and make it easier to keep correct historical records of requests submitted and approved.

 

Expense Reports

 

Every business has a unique way of crunching numbers and interpreting data, so it is integral to have access to flexible workflow form software that can adapt to your line of work. This solution allows businesses to automate the calculation of repair costs, inventory or other expenses and determine employee salaries and payroll scheduling, ensuring every individual gets paid in a consistent, timely manner.

 

Employee Applications

 

Many businesses have started to do away with paper applications altogether to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Duplicate existing job applications for candidates to fill out online or simply create your own. Many business owners today prefer electronic applications because they are much easier to organize and keep safely stored on a server for evaluation at another time. Going digital reduces clutter and paper waste as well.

 

Customer and Employee Surveys

 

It’s always important to stay in touch with how customers and employees are feeling about your business. Create surveys that ask the questions you want to know and gain fresh insights about areas to improve upon. For best results, consider posting both employee and customer survey forms online and allow answers to be submitted anonymously, as you will be much more likely to receive honest, useful feedback in this way. Also, online customer and employee surveys will save on paper costs, make data collection more efficient and ensure that all anonymous surveys are securely stored. Being receptive to the concerns of clients or co-workers in the workplace is a vital component to running a smoother business.

 

The right workflow form software should improve virtually every aspect of your business, not make it more complex. If you are disappointed with your current workflow forms, consider investing in PerfectForms, one of the most reputable workflow software solutions available today.

 

The surprising link between an energy company and a community college

You may not think there are any similarities in the day-to-day business of an energy company and a community college. However, Houston Community College and energy company Trilliant Incorporated have one surprising thing in common. Both organizations needed to increase efficiency and decided that the way to do it was by reducing their paper usage.

 

A Need for Change

 

For Houston Community College (HCC), making the transition from paper-based processes to an electronic approach was top priority. Most of the school’s applications were paper-based, and filing such a large volume of documents was becoming a time issue. Many of these forms were used for simple, common tasks like renting AV equipment and approving day-to-day requests.

In a different industry, Trilliant was having the same problem. Customer service has always been a top priority for the energy company, so it was looking for a way to handle customer requests more efficiently. In order to decrease response time and streamline workflow, Trilliant decided to change the way it worked.

 

The Results

 

Form software gave HCC the opportunity to make many of its forms electronic. This simplified the whole process of granting requests, as it cut down on the time it took to both submit a form and grant approval. The result was so impressive that the community college decided to convert its hiring process for part-time workers from paper-based to electronic forms. As a result, applicant information could be pulled from other digitized forms and imported into the employment application.

Using form software was equally successful for Trilliant. By replacing older infrastructure with a more modern, electronic framework, the firm accomplished several things. It was able to map business processes, and in doing so identified weaknesses in its practices and found ways to address these shortcomings. Ultimately, both time and resources were saved. Trilliant was also better equipped to respond to customer requests and provide a high level of service to its clients.

 

Overview

 

HCC was able to increase the efficiency of its business operations, create forms with ease, and integrate all of its documents thanks to the simple transition. Similarly, Trilliant was able to improve its day-to-day performance and simplify its business processes. PerfectForms helped save money and time for both organizations.

Digitizing certain aspects of business can make major improvements in the daily operations of a company. PerfectForms provides business solutions for enterprises in a variety of industries.

Create your online employee application form in 10 minutes or less!

Few factors impact your performance as a company more than the quality of your employees. Hiring the right workers isn’t an easy task in the modern world—a generic resume can only tell you so much about the person writing it, and two individuals with identical qualifications may be very different employees. Figuring out which applicants will make the best members of the workforce requires companies to collect the right data during the hiring process, and in order to do this, firms must develop the right forms. Fortunately, putting together an application form that gathers the data you need in the format you need it takes very little time with the proper preparation and software.

 

Preparation

 

Before you lay your hands on any form-builder or business management software, you need to have a firmly established idea of what you want from potential employees. What skills matter to you? What factors will make for uniquely qualified hires at your company? How you phrase your questions and what details you look for can greatly affect the information you collect.

Of course, the more opportunities you give applicants to fill in boxes on their own with nonstandard entries, the more difficult the application becomes to parse with management software and implement into general workflow solutions.

With that in mind, here are the questions you should ask as you make your form:

  • What do you need to know about the hire?
  • What do you want to know about the hire?
  • How quickly do you need to be able to go through applications?

Honestly, this is the hardest part. Creating your actual online application will be the easy bit!

 

Making Your Form

 

So, you’re sitting down to start your form. Begin with a strong piece of form creation software, ideally something that integrates with other business management software. Then, you’ll want to start with a template—all these programs will have this option available—and work from there.

The basics will already be in place, but it’s up to you to decide the details. With the questions above in mind, you can add and adjust questions as needed. Modern workflow software makes it easy to change and add blank spaces, checklists, multiple-choice questions, and any other data entry styling you need. Base the entry style on how you value the information.

Don’t get distracted by questions of font, fancy headers, and backgrounds. If someone has your online application open in front of them, he or she doesn’t care about the window dressing.

 

Needs vs. Wants

 

Needs: The easier it is to sort out unqualified applicants and find the ones with your basic mandatory skills, the better. That means implementing a few questions using formats that you can sort by—multiple choice, checklists, limited-length forms. These are answer types that a machine or a person in a hurry can quickly sort through.

Wants: Your wants offer more flexibility. After you sort by your needs, you can take the time to read a paragraph of free writing on what an applicant expects to offer the team culture, what unique skills he or she would bring to the table, his or her favorite Ninja Turtle, whatever. Make wants free-form and use them to get a read on the potential hires.

For example, say that you need an employee with four years of experience. With a dropdown box “Years of Experience,” you can easily remove people with too few years from the pile. In no time, you’ll have the perfect form in front of you, ready for applicants to submit–in fact, it probably took you longer to read this article than it will to create your online employee application form.

Create a paper trail without the paper using capital expenditure forms

Developing a more consistent approach toward tracking and organizing financial information is an excellent way for any business to improve efficiency. Getting bogged down by paperwork involving capital expenditure forms or tax documents can take up precious time and resources. However, with the right workflow software, it’s easy to keep track of capital expenditure forms or tax data, allowing you to focus entirely on growing your business instead of staring at a mound of documents.

Easily Organize and Store All Capital Expenditures

CapEx workflow forms can improve the transparency and accuracy of all your tax information, ensuring there are no lost records or confusion. Accessing and reviewing capital expenditure information is made much simpler through customized automation processes and more intuitive organization of data. Also, since CapEx workflow forms can be stored on servers, you will never have to worry about misplacing a single invoice or receipt. No more scrambling to find one specific receipt or document when tax season comes around. By using the right workflow software to calculate and store your capital expenditures, you can rest assured there won’t be any accounting surprises. Today’s best capital expenditure workflow forms can do the organizing for you.

Reduce Overhead Costs

Save money by reducing paper waste with digital CapEx workflow forms. Considering how much is spent on printing documents and tax papers, businesses may enjoy reduced overhead costs by utilizing CapEx workflow forms in a digital format. The money otherwise spent on printing, materials, or organizing all the paperwork can be used to provide pay raises for employees, perform renovations to your business or purchase new equipment.

Automated Updates and Invoice Notices

The best CapEx workflow forms should allow you to receive automated emails within voice receipts or the payment statuses of purchases. This way there is little margin for error and any potential issues can be immediately brought to your attention before they become bigger headaches.

Online workflow forms for capital expenditures provide in-depth spending analytics versus revenue to help your business identify areas for improvement. Find out exactly where your money is going and easily track every single invoice or utility bill. Evaluate precisely what products or services are producing the most income and what inventory may no longer be needed.

If you would like to approach capital expenditures in a new, more intuitive way, PerfectForms may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Leave a paper trail without any annoying paper by utilizing workflow forms engineered to make your workplace operate much more proficiently.