Consider for a moment the physical concept of momentum. Something with a lot of mass doesn’t need a lot of speed to have a lot of momentum. Likewise, something with plenty of velocity doesn’t have to be big to have a lot of momentum. Companies tend to grow, and as they grow, they tend to slow down. After all, they don’t have to have the alacrity and speed they used to have to keep the momentum going.
A problem occurs when another business disrupts the industry. Often, when this happens, velocity trumps size – at least for a while. Larger, well-established companies can be nimble and light on their feet, if they’re not afraid of innovation and change. Questioning the long-held beliefs that hold up the dominant business model in an industry can be the beginning of greater dexterity and a renewed sense of mission and purpose. If your organization lacks flexibility, workflow automation may likely be the key to becoming more adroit and able to tackle whatever challenges the marketplace wants to toss your way. Here’s how.
Embrace Innovations in Customer Relationships
Expectations for customer service have changed significantly in the past decade. No longer satisfied to dial a toll-free number and wait for the next available agent, today’s customer wants to reach out via social media, as well as their favorite brands’ websites. The great news is, workflow automation can be used to take in customer service information and requests and instantly and automatically deliver them to the appropriate recipient. Less time is spent typing what a customer is saying over the phone, so more time can be spent getting to the heart of the matter and solving the problem.
Activities Can Be Intelligent as Well as Efficient
Suppose you have a split purchase request process where purchase requests of more than a certain dollar amount must go through additional approval steps. Smart workflow solutions make this easy by using the dollar amount of the request to determine which approval process is to be used. Furthermore, the request can be automatically forwarded to the correct approving authority or authorities so no time is wasted reading a paper form, determining who it should go to, and then delivering it by hand. Another reason workflow automation is “smart” is that it’s far less prone to errors than manual processes involving paper forms.
Managing Resources Effectively Can Free Up Capital
Have you ever purchased, say, a kitchen gadget only to get home and find that you already had one? A similar thing happens to businesses. Nobody knows about the unused laptops in HR’s storage room, so someone orders a batch of new laptops for the summer interns. Workflow automation allows organizations to keep track of assets like tools and computers, as well as to whom they’re assigned, their repair history, and many other pertinent details. It’s one of the best ways to prevent unnecessary expenditures and ensure resources are distributed optimally. Can your existing workflow solutions do this quickly, automatically, and without error?
How Can Technology Help You Innovate Costs?
Workflow solutions save companies money too. Take only a handful of paper forms and make them electronic and you immediately start saving in terms of paper, ink, and printing costs. Create workflows that automatically route those electronic forms upon submission, and you save considerable time as well. Workflow automation can prevent careless errors, like losing or damaging a form and having to start all over again. Customer requests won’t get lost, purchase orders won’t mysteriously disappear from the approval cycle, and the IT department can do away with all those sticky notes they use to record IT requests.
Your company may be established, and it may be large, but that doesn’t mean it has to be “entrenched,” or “unwieldy.” With workflow automation, processes prone to bottlenecks can become unstuck, and inefficient processes can be revamped to cut out unnecessary steps and save money and time. PerfectForms is the ideal workflow automation solution because it allows non-technical people to create pixel-perfect electronic forms and workflows with a friendly, drag-and-drop canvas interface. No major IT projects have to be funded, and innovations can roll out quickly. You can try PerfectForms for free, too. You’ll quickly discover workflow solutions that will immediately start making your organization more adept and skillful.
Business process automation (BPA) and business process management (BPM) sound an awful lot alike. While the two are related, and in many ways complementary, they’re not the same. BPA is about automating processes, while BPM is about managing processes, which may or may not involve automation. In other words, you can consider all BPA to be a form of BPM, but not all BPM may include BPA.
Both these concepts are important to the business world, and they apply in industries as diverse as food services, precision machining, and healthcare. The goal of both BPA and BPM is to make work more efficient, cut out unnecessary steps, and streamline workflows for greater productivity, better morale, and happier customers.
What Is BPA Software?
BPA software enables activities or services to be automated. A simple example of BPA would be software that takes a converts a paper form into an electronic form that is automatically submitted to the proper recipient upon completion. BPA software may be used in just about any department, including HR, supply chain, and IT.
Business processes that are amenable to automation are typically those that are started by a specific, triggering event. For example, the filing of an expense report may trigger a pre-defined succession of steps that ends when the employee receives a reimbursement check (or electronic funds transferred to his or her account). Sometimes BPA software is aimed at a single initiative (like expense reporting), but it may be part of a larger BPM strategy.
What Is BPM Software?
BPM software is more comprehensive than BPA software, because it is designed to manage multiple workflows within an organization. Rather than focusing on automating a single process, BPM software allows businesses to achieve greater overall efficiency and evolve along with changing business needs. Another result of a successful BPM software implementation is reduction in human error (because, for instance, less manual data entry is typically involved) and clearer understanding of roles and responsibilities.
BPM is a systematic approach to improving processes. When it is successfully implemented, everyone understands better how they contribute to the achievement of business goals. This generally leads to a happier, more productive workforce, which tends to result in happier customers, higher revenues, and lower costs.
Workflow Automation Software and Business Processes
Workflow automation software with built-in flexibility, usability, and power can help an organization embark on business process automation or full-scale business process management. Many companies begin by automating a single process as a pilot project. For example, a company that is used to submitting IT help requests via phone or sticky note may develop an electronic online form that employees can use at their workstation or from their mobile device to request IT services. Once any unexpected wrinkles are ironed out and the new process proves its utility, the company may expand and automate other processes, such as new employee onboarding, travel expense reporting, or building maintenance requests.
Not Just Any Form Software Can Do the Job
Forms software is widely available, but that doesn’t mean that one software package is as good as another. Don’t settle for form software that has a clunky or difficult user interface, or that locks you into pre-existing templates that aren’t right for your needs. Rather, you should choose form software with an intuitive user interface that doesn’t require users to know how to program in order to create useful, aesthetically pleasing electronic forms and sleek, automated workflows.
Many companies prefer cloud-hosted software so that they don’t have to worry over on-site servers and their maintenance. Does your form software offer a cloud-hosted option? Technical and customer service after the sale are also critically important, so be sure to read case studies or contact companies that have used a product before you commit to it. If the form software provider offers a free trial, check that out too. This way you can make an informed decision that can make a measurable difference in your organization’s workflows and efficiency.
PerfectForms offers tremendous power through an intuitive interface that allows users to easily drag and drop form or workflow elements into place on a virtual canvas. You can start with a range of included, fully customizable templates or begin from scratch if you want. Organizations that automate one form or workflow with PerfectForms soon find countless other applications for it. Why not sign up for a free trial and discover for yourself how powerful and easy-to-use PerfectForms software is?
CAPEX is short for capital expenditures. These are expenses associated with the purchase of significant physical assets for a company. Examples include manufacturing machinery, major office equipment, or real estate for physical expansion of a business. If upgrading or repairing existing physical assets is significantly costly (such as a major machinery repair), it can count as CAPEX too.
In a company’s accounting record, CAPEX aren’t recorded as expenses. Rather, they are recorded as so-called fixed assets. Fixed assets are recorded as expenses over the course of an applicable useful lifetime – typically five or ten years. So, if you buy a piece of machinery for $10,000 and expect it to last for 10 years, you could record $1,000 in CAPEX amortization per year for the equipment.
Spreading fixed costs in this manner is known as amortization. Most companies set a dollar threshold where expenses become capital expenses. When a proposed purchase exceeds, say $10,000, the company may require that the purchase be processed through a special approval workflow. Excellent tracking of CAPEX is essential to a company’s financial health.
How Online Forms Can Boost Your Reputation with Investors
Tracking CAPEX used to involve stacks of papers and thick files. In the hands of a competent filing clerk it could work well, but tracking CAPEX on paper is a lengthy, detailed process. By putting the forms used to track CAPEX and the process of handling them online, you show potential investors two things:
One, you understand how important tracking CAPEX is to your company’s financial health, and
Two, you value the efficiency and accuracy of online forms over the clumsiness and error risk associated with tracking CAPEX on paper forms.
If your company is looking for outside investors, demonstrating that you track expenses accurately and make decisions based on solid financial data will make your company more attractive.
The Right BPM Software Can Make the Difference
Business process management (BPM) doesn’t just apply to CAPEX, but to every type of business process. If you select BPM software with care, you can use it to manage processes as simple as requesting maintenance to replace a light fixture or as complex as tracking and reporting upon capital expenditures. The key is using BPM software with both power and flexibility, so your team can put it to work in the ways that are most meaningful to your business operations. Tracking CAPEX and producing quarterly or annual reports that provide all the pertinent details are two BPM software uses that are sure to establish your software’s return on investment clearly.
Put Forms Online, Not on Paper
With the costs associated with IT infrastructure becoming more reasonable every day, it makes sense to have company’s forms on your company network rather than in a filing cabinet. Not only are they easier to locate, they won’t get lost en route, and they can be set up to be submitted to the correct recipient automatically upon completion. Many businesses are choosing to put forms online with the help of cloud form software that relieves them of the burden of maintaining the software on servers on the premises. Cloud software is widely appreciated for helping reduce and sometimes eliminate capital expenditures, which is one reason the cloud is so popular with small and medium sized businesses.
When Form Software Is Powerful Enough for BPM
Form software that is powerful and flexible enough to take on BPM isn’t just something for a wish list. While you can obtain simple form software that creates forms and allows you to do limited things with them, most businesses assess the situation and conclude that form software that also functions as BPM software makes more sense. This level of form software allows you to create not only forms, but also workflows, the status of which can be determined by authorized users at any time. In other words, there is absolute transparency throughout the process. The result is faster workflows, fewer errors, and lower expenses.
PerfectForms is form software that is fully capable of taking on BPM tasks, including tracking CAPEX. With an intuitive user interface and easy integration with web forms and databases, PerfectForms can save massive amounts of time and money. We invite you to read some of our case studies to see how powerful and easy-to-use PerfectForms is. You’re sure to come away with ideas for how it can streamline your business processes too.
Hello PerfectForms Community,
Today I would like to give you some useful notification tips. PerfectForms notifications are much more than simply passing a message. In addition to providing a message, the Notification Attachment Feature offers 3 additional functions: Insert, Print, and Existing Instance. By utilizing any of these 3 functions you can maximize efficiency when passing data.
The Insert functionality will allow you to pass a file attached to a form instance from a notification. Insert can expedite portions of your workflow where the passing of attached files is necessary.
Print is a very handy feature for those of you who need a paper copy of a form at any point of your workflow. The Print functionality can be used to send a PDF of the form as an attachment instead of opening up the instance and clicking a print button. Print can be beneficial as a PDF can be sent to a user without granting access to the form itself.
Existing Instance is a functionality that can be used to send a copy of a different instance from your form or an instance of a separate form. This can be very handy with linked or parent-child forms as you can produce a copy of every instance created in the workflow.
With PerfectForms Notification Attachment Feature, you can build a form that shares information in a streamlined manner. PDF or file attachments in a notification can lower the level of effort needed to pull data from a form, allow for files to be transferred directly, and share vital information while keeping access limited. I hope this post helps you with your form design, if you have additional questions or comments please feel free to post below.
Thanks for reading and happy form building!
Hello PerfectForms Community,
Today I will be going over the ability to use a pop-up and conditional logic to build an in form wizard. A wizard is a user interface with a sequence of dialogue boxes that are used to lead the user through a series of steps. This functionality should be used for tasks that are complex or unfamiliar. By the end of this post, you will be able to utilize simple questions to populate your form or run additional behaviors.
We are going to begin with a base form that will allow you to build, test, and apply your behaviors. Let’s jump to a fresh canvas and drag on the following objects:
• Button Object ‘Test Logic’
• Text Field ‘Pop-up Return’
• Text Field ‘Answer Field’
Be sure to label each object to help identify as we build the behavior.
Our next step is to begin working on the behaviors. The Button object we added to the Canvas will be used to build and test our logic. On the ‘Button is pressed’ action you will want to drag on the following Behaviors:
• Show Message
• Set Field
• Simple Branch
• Set Field
• Set Field
Please use the image and description below to configure the Behaviors on the Canvas.
• Show Message
o The Show Message will need to be configured to ‘Ask for Confirmation’ with ‘Stop Execution If no’ being left unchecked. Unchecking ‘Stop Execution If no’ will allow us to build out branch logic instead of ending the path.
• Set Field
o The Set Field will be used to set the helper ‘Pop-up Return’ to the value of “Behavior – Last Command’s Error Code.” This can be found in the ‘Special’ drop down during configuration.
• Simple Branch
o The Simple Branch will be used to check the helper field ‘Pop-up Return’. Yes, or OK will be followed if the value returned is 0 meaning any other value will be No or Cancel.
• Set Field ‘Yes”
o The set field will set the ‘Answer Field’ to Yes.
• Set Field ‘No”
o The set field will set the ‘Answer Field’ to No.
In my demonstration, I am using 2 different Set Fields to express a Yes/No result. By having unique results I am able to check that the proper path is being followed. You will be able to test each portion of the wizard by clicking Preview and running the behavior. Once you are satisfied with my result the behavior, they can be moved to their trigger of choice. Once all behaviors are complete and placed on their proper triggers be sure to run through full testing to ensure the holistic goal is achieved.
I hope you have enjoyed learning how to design an in form wizard.
Thanks for reading, and happy form building!
Employee evaluations are viewed with a certain amount of dread on the part of those being evaluated and those who do the evaluations. Employees want to believe they will be evaluated fairly, and those who perform evaluations want a fair process that isn’t too cumbersome or time-consuming.
Exceptional employee evaluation forms are partly a matter of the forms’ content and partly a matter of execution: how practical, relevant, and straightforward they are. The right form creation software allows your HR professional to create forms that make sense, that are easy to process, and that are trackable at all times in the evaluation process. Here are some tips for designing excellent employee evaluation forms using form creation software.
Create Forms with These Elements
It’s important that employee evaluation forms include clear instructions and that they proceed in a logical fashion, so there’s no need to jump around and cross-reference to find specific information. They should be written with your particular “corporate language” so that they make sense to all parties involved. The information requested on these forms should be information that specifically helps you achieve the goals of the evaluation process.
Many companies create different forms for different roles, tailored to evaluate relative competencies. Forms should list appropriate competencies for the job, along with clear and relevant descriptions of the level of competency expected in the role. The 5-point scale is a popular rating mechanism, though many companies also require some evaluation to be expressed subjectively, so space for notes is important too.
Since not all competencies are of equal value, prioritize the competencies that are most important and list them first to ensure more time is spent discussing them. The goal is to provide employees with feedback to help them do the best work possible. Focusing on key competencies is the best use of that feedback.
Avoid These Mistakes with Employee Evaluation Forms
Managers simply don’t have time to evaluate every conceivable criterion. If you include too many criteria when you create forms for evaluation, you make the process superficial. It’s better to have fewer, more relevant criteria for evaluation. It may be a mistake to use a single, universal form for all employees. A pipe-fitter needs to be evaluated differently than a receptionist. However, forms may contain a handful of company-wide criteria for everyone.
If you require free-form comments, they should apply to all employees. Some companies only require comments for the very best or the very worst employees. This can have the unintended consequence of supervisors avoiding giving out the best and worst ratings (even if they are deserved) because they don’t want to bother with comments.
Use Form Creation Software to Do Away with Paper Evaluation Forms
Form builder software is the key to having an employee evaluation process that makes sense and is easy to track. Not only does form creation software allow you to do away with paper forms and the hassles that go along with them, it also allows for easy compilation and reporting of results, and can allow you to funnel data from the forms into other programs or databases. This helps ensure that mistakes are avoided, particularly if the data is used to calculate raises or other benefits. Make sure your form creation software is mobile-friendly so that those performing evaluations can accomplish their work on a tablet or laptop with maximum convenience.
Keep Supervisors Engaged by Providing Outstanding Employee Evaluation Forms
If your supervisors have employee evaluation forms that are created without thought or logic, everyone will dread evaluation time. Supervisors will be frustrated because their forms are needlessly complicated or irrelevant. Employees will understandably be wary of being evaluated by harried supervisors who don’t have adequate evaluation tools. Make employee evaluation time mean something. Produce clear results by designing evaluation forms that measure what’s important and that are easy to understand and use.
PerfectForms is form builder software that lets you create HR forms, like employee evaluation forms, and link them into more complex evaluation workflows. Programming is not required, since creating forms is done by dragging and dropping elements into place on a virtual canvas. You can build pixel-perfect forms, map workflows, and integrate your evaluation forms with other systems and you can use PerfectForms’ outstanding reporting features to better understand the results of employee evaluations. Watch our demo and see for yourself how easy it can be.
Online business forms can be designed for internal use by employees or external use by customers. Poorly designed online forms may have only minimal advantages over paper forms, but user-friendly online forms can transform how business is transacted.
Form software is readily available, but the ability to create a form that will accelerate processes and capture valuable and accurate information is an acquired skill. Like photo-editing software, form software in the hands of someone with a clear plan for creating and using forms is a wonderful thing. In the hands of a person who doesn’t care about the user experience, the result can be unsightly, confusing, and off-putting. Here are five ideas that will help you create online forms that people will be happy to use.
1. Ask Yourself These Two Key Questions
Although you don’t have to worry about paper usage with online forms, you need to keep online forms concise. For every element you consider including in an online form, you should ask yourself two questions:
1. Is the information in this field valuable to us?
2. Is it so valuable that we’re OK denying users access to whatever is beyond the form if they don’t want to provide the information?
If a piece of information provides no real benefit (such as a field for “salutation”) or isn’t essential for completing a transaction (phone numbers sometimes fall into this category), it’s best to omit it.
2. Labels and Fields Should Make Sense
Users should understand exactly what a field is asking for, what format to enter it in (for example, Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX), and whether entering the information is mandatory. Nobody wants to fill out an extensive form only to discover that something like “Middle Name” was mandatory and they must start over.
The blanks themselves should be sized appropriately, which helps reinforce what’s supposed to go in them. Say your form has a field for ZIP code that occupies an entire row of the form. Not only are you wasting space, it’s not as obvious what goes there as it would be if it were the exact size for the number of digits in a ZIP code.
3. Infuse Your Form with Good Manners
We’ve all been there: Making a mistake filling out a form only to be chastised by an angry X and a description of our transgression in red, suggesting we’re incompetent, malicious, or both. People make mistakes filling out forms. When you have to issue error messages, they can be polite and still be effective. When users complete a form, they should be presented with a message confirming that the form was successfully submitted and that expresses thanks for their participation. This reassures users their data has been entered properly.
4. Keep Form Designs Consistent and Brand-Relevant
Perhaps your website includes several different forms, such as order forms, landing page forms, and registration forms. You’re wise to keep designs consistent and relevant to your brand. Many companies include a logo or brand colors in their forms. When this is done consistently throughout the website it reassures users they are indeed in the right place. But if, say, a registration form and a purchase form look completely different from each other, it can make users uneasy and make them wonder if they’ve been taken to another site altogether. Consistent design makes sense for online forms.
5. Understand the Strategic Use of “Whitespace”
A winning form is as much about what you don’t see as what you do see. Not only should online forms only ask for information that’s necessary so people will stay around long enough to complete them, they should make judicious use of white space between fields. This makes forms less confusing, gives them a clean look, and makes life easier for mobile users who may have difficulty trying to tap onto a tiny field before entering information. Even if your form is brief, if it is all jammed into a small space it can look as uninviting as an extended form that asks the user for extensive information.
Anyone can create online forms with PerfectForms. They can do so with ease and include powerful integrations without knowing how to program. Not all form software is user-friendly and easy to integrate into other programs and information sources. PerfectForms, however, gives you all the tools you need to create online forms your users will be happy to complete. Have a look at our demo. You’re sure to gain several terrific ideas about how you can put PerfectForms form software to use.
The goal of using electronic forms is to accelerate processes, not drag them out. If you don’t keep some elementary design principles in mind, you can end up creating online forms that frustrate or confuse users. For example, thinking, “With digital forms, we don’t have to worry about wasting paper, so we can ask for everything under the sun on our forms,” will almost certainly backfire. Here are some ways you can develop your expertise as a form creator.
Some Best Practices for Creating Online Forms
Use directional cues and visual contrast to make online forms easy to read. Few people can comfortably read a form made from white letters on a yellow background, for example. Whether you place directional words “First name” to the top or left of a blank, or inside a blank to be written over depends on factors like whether most people will access the form in a desktop environment or on mobile (where the limited screen space must be used wisely). It’s important to make the “Submit” or other call-to-action button stand out visually so users will know where to click once they have completed the form.
Things to Avoid When Creating Online Forms
Avoid input validation rules that aren’t clear. For example, if you expect a phone number to be entered with parentheses and hyphens, set up the blanks to include them so the user’s data entry automatically assumes the correct format.
One of the most important practices to avoid is making forms longer than they have to be, particularly if you’re collecting information from potential customers. If people open a form only to discover dozens of blanks asking everything in the world, and no clue whether all questions are mandatory, many of them will simply decide it’s too much trouble.
Ask yourself a few important questions before including any new feature in your online forms:
- Will the feature work with older browsers?
- Will it work with older devices (early iPhones, for example)?
- Does this feature make the form needlessly complex?
Nice Extras for Online Forms
Some “extras” make the form-filling process better for users. Password strength indicators to the right of the blank where the user creates a password can be reassuring. In-line form validation, which approves or asks for correction as the form is completed (rather than waiting until the form is submitted to spit it out and ask for a do-over) is appreciated. Make sure the form is optimized for mobile. That means keeping data entry to an absolute minimum, using generous-sized squares for users to tap, and detecting user location if relevant (as with, for example, a repair technician in the field).
Ways to Make Online Forms More Enjoyable
When you have great form creation software with a friendly, powerful user interface, you can actually make some of your forms fun to fill out. The so-called “Mad Libs” format, where the user fills in blanks in a narrative similarly to how it’s done with the Mad Libs word games, can be a nice diversion. The form may include something like, “Hello, my name is _____ and I would like my username to be _____ and my password to be _____. I am interested in _____ (possibly with options from a drop-down menu). If you show your users that you understand that filling out forms isn’t the most enjoyable activity and that you’re making an effort to minimize the hassle, you can engender significant good will.
PerfectForms gives even non-technical users the power to create great-looking, effective, online forms. Whether they’re for internal use or customer-facing use, you can make custom forms exactly to your liking that your employees or customers will appreciate. Your forms will look and function just like those created by professional designers, with your choice of colors, typefaces, and logos, as well as terrific features that make it easy to include things like drop-down menus and in-line form validation. Sign up for a free trial of PerfectForms and you can discover for yourself how easy it is to make forms that do exactly what you need.
The paper-free office has been promised for decades now, but many offices are still awash in paper despite technological advances. In fact, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper every year. Plus, the cost of using paper in the office adds to the cost of the paper itself, not to mention the burden on the environment, even when recycling is encouraged.
Making the transition from paper to electronic forms and documents will require some upheaval, but it’s an investment with a quick return. You’ll not only reduce capital outlay, but work processes will go faster, records will be more complete, and your organization will quickly become leaner and more competitive. Here are some specific ways electronic forms help you eliminate the expenses associated with printed forms.
Equipment Costs Decrease
When your team prints less, you need fewer printers, and the ones you have may last longer. Going paperless lets you cut down the number of photocopy machines your business needs, and you may finally be able to say goodbye to your fax machine. Think of the costs associated with using all that equipment: Copies that don’t turn out well and have to be redone, printers that jam, requiring the user to re-send the document, and the tedium of having to send faxes back and forth the old fashioned way. A reduction in equipment required is a sure sign of improved efficiency in terms of both time and money.
Supply Use Drops Drastically
Everyone jokes about the high cost of printer ink and toner cartridges, but it’s no joke when your company is repeatedly spending a lot of money just so you can print our documents and forms. Imagine if you were able to cut your use of printer ink or toner in half. For most companies that would represent a significant cost savings over the course of a year. And, of course, you’ll use far less paper, which means your office will generate less waste and be friendlier to the environment. Reducing usage is always better than recycling. One sure way to reduce paper usage is to transition to electronic forms.
The Need for Storage Space Goes Down
Did you know the typical four-drawer filing cabinet costs >$25,000 not filling with files is space that could be used as more office space, a break room, a conference room, or even be sublet to another business for additional revenue. Combine the switch to electronic forms with an electronic archival project and you can free up significant physical space.
Electronic Audit Trails Can Save More than Money
Do you work in an industry that’s subject to government or industry regulations? If so, you know the fear that the word “audit” can prompt. But audits happen to more than just accounting and healthcare businesses. Any business that uses software is subject to software license audits, operational audits, and audits from “you know who.” (We won’t name them, but their initials are I.R.S.)
Producing paper documents to answer an audit is astoundingly time-consuming and takes your employees away from core business tasks. Even if you have an outstanding filing system, facing an audit with paper documents is a tough. When you create electronic forms, however, you can generate an automatic audit trail each time someone interacts with a form. This information is readily available and can be called up instantaneously, making audits far less of a headache.
Printed forms have numerous associated costs: paper, ink, storage, transportation, and time, to name a few. Make the transition to electronic forms and not only will you save on all these costs, you speed up workflows, increasing business efficiency. The result is a stronger competitive edge.
PerfectForms allows you to make beautiful, functional, electronic forms and connect them into electronic workflows. You don’t have to be a technical professional to use it, either. PerfectForms features an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes sense right from the beginning. And it allows you to easily interface with web forms, data bases, spreadsheets, and other software. We encourage you to browse some of our case studies and see just how much money organizations of every type have saved by using PerfectForms to take cumbersome manual workflows involving paper forms and making them sleek, streamlined, and electronic.
Maybe if you operate a one-person business you can get away with relying on memory to get things done and keep records. But that can be a problem, depending on what industry you’re in. Documentation is like an EKG for your business in that it tells you what is going on when, and helps you spot problems before they can spiral out of control.
We all like to think that we’ll remember that the petty cash drawer is empty, and that it’s time to order more quad pads for the engineering department, but we probably won’t. When it comes to business, over-documenting can be better than under-documenting, and forms are one of the primary ways that businesses ensure processes are recorded promptly and accurately.
Consequences of Not Documenting Processes
When you don’t document what goes on in your business, before long it’s as if it never happened. If you neglect to document something important, like overtime hours, you could be in for a world of trouble. But even recording less critical things, like what day you ordered toner cartridges, can benefit your business by preventing duplication of effort and letting you become aware of problems (like toner cartridges that don’t show up on time) early enough that they can be easily fixed.
Benefits of Excellent Process Documentation
There are innumerable other benefits to comprehensive documentation practices in your business. Even if you’re a one-person shop, excellent record-keeping assists you at tax time. Record-keeping also helps you spot trends and understand your business better. It can be mandatory if you are in an industry that requires certain documentation practices. Documenting what goes on in the day-to-day operation of your business helps you forecast budgets more accurately, and gives you a true picture of the health of your business.
Automation Makes Documenting Processes Easier
Fortunately, most documentation can be done electronically, with documents being submitted, approved, filed, and archived automatically through process automation. You may have relied on paper forms for years, but converting those forms, and the processes they’re a part of, into electronic, automated workflows is easier than you may expect. You could take an everyday process, like business travel reimbursement, from a 10-step process that involves paper forms and receipts to a much sleeker process where everything is done via online forms that can’t be lost or misplaced.
From Form to Record
Forms can be thought of as company records under construction. When they’re electronic, and when your forms and workflow software is able to interact with other software programs (like databases and spreadsheets), your forms can tell a more detailed story about how your business is faring. Whenever your business is audited for any reason, gathering up the documentation to prove your case is infinitely easier than it was in the era of paper documentation. The investment you make in electronic forms and workflows pays off both immediately and over the long term.
You Can Create Perfect Custom Forms
Maybe you’re worried that the transition from paper to electronic forms will be difficult for your team. But, what if you could easily create exact electronic replicas of your most commonly used forms, right down to fonts, logos, and colors? Then the form that people encounter on their screens is familiar, and it’s obvious how to fill it in and submit it electronically. If multiple forms are involved in a process, they can be linked together into logical workflows that are significantly faster than workflows that involve filling out paper forms and manually moving them through the process or the chain of command.
PerfectForms offers forms and workflow software that allow the non-technical user to create pixel-perfect forms using an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface. Moreover, these forms can be connected into workflows with the same drag-and-drop convenience. The result is a sharp decrease in physical resource use (like paper and ink), processes that happen considerably faster, and the creation of an audit trail at every step of a process. With PerfectForms, record-keeping is more closely woven into processes themselves. The result is less wasted effort, money, and time. Why not sign up for a free trial of PerfectForms? Learn for yourself how easy it can be to leave inefficient paper forms and manual workflows behind while vastly improving your business record-keeping.