5 Easy Tasks that are Harder Than Creating Online Forms with PerfectForms

Online forms

 

It used to be that to get great looking electronic forms required custom programming. For people running small businesses that could present quite a problem, because how many small business owners can afford to hire a programmer to create online forms?

All that has changed now, because today anyone can create online forms without programming. All it takes is the ability to drag and drop, and the result is pixel-perfect forms that can even be customized with logos, graphics, and color schemes. In fact, with PerfectForms, you can probably create online forms easier than you can do other supposedly simple tasks, like these five.

 

1. Leaving an Eloquent Voicemail Message

What is it about that beep that turns so many people into a tongue-tied, inarticulate mess? Even if you prepare yourself for the possibility of having to leave a voicemail message, or go so far as to write down what you want to say, it can be unnaturally difficult. You forget something important you should have said, so you have to call back, or you mispronounce a word, or perhaps nervousness manifests by making you blather on and on, straying progressively further off-topic. It’s almost a shame that corporate training doesn’t offer classes on leaving a good voicemail message along with safety training.

 

2. Setting Up a Wireless Printer

Once your wireless printer is all set up, it’s the greatest thing ever, but getting to that point can be fraught. Generally you have to go to the manufacturer’s website and download the most current drivers. Then you have to ensure your printer knows the name of your wireless network, something the printer manufacturer may or may not have made simple and straightforward. And you have to press various buttons on the printer in specific combinations for specific lengths of time, but not too long, because that will reset everything. At some point you begin to wonder if you would be better off using a typewriter.

 

3. Putting Paper in the Copier

We’ve all been there: you just need to make a few copies of a pre-electronic document, or something that for whatever reason can’t be printed. But before you even open the platen cover you notice the “LOAD PAPER” message. The last time you tried this, you jammed the copier and sneaked away so nobody would know it was you. Which drawer do you open? Where is the extra paper kept? Why won’t the drawer close again once you’ve put paper in? What’s that burning smell? The guilt of not being able to reload the copier can lead you compensatory actions, like making a new pot of coffee even though there’s still a little left in the pot.

 

4. Spelling “Millennium”

Everyone has words they never spell correctly on the first try. And if you’re in a hurry, trying to get a report finished and on the boss’s desk, that’s when you’ll see that annoying red squiggly line under what seems like every third or fourth word. Now that a decade and a half has gone by since Y2K, “millennium” isn’t cropping up as often, but people still have trouble with “definitely,” “separate,” “questionnaire,” and “conscientious.” And when was the last time you ordered office supplies and were confident that you spelled “manila folders” correctly?

 

5. Sending a Fax on an Unfamiliar Machine

Find an online discussion thread about technology that should become obsolete any day now and you’ll find people who can’t wait for the demise of the fax machine. It’s loud, it’s clunky, and all too prone to errors. But there are some professions, like the legal profession, where the fax machine still has a place at the technology table. Using someone else’s fax machine, particularly in an urgent situation, is anxiety-ridden. Do you load pages face-up or face-down? Does it use regular paper or that curly thermal paper? Do you press send before the beep or after? There should be support hotlines available for this situation.

Maybe you’re incapable of leaving a voicemail message that sounds like it was spoken by a human, or you left a note for the administrative assistant to get you a new pair of “scissors,” but you can still create online forms without breaking a sweat. PerfectForms has an intuitive graphic interface that lets you drag, drop, and create online forms that look and work exactly like you want them to. You can even assemble them into automated workflows just as easily. You may not be able to fold a map correctly to save your life, but you can look like a champ when it comes to creating perfect online forms. Why not try PerfectForms out for free and see for yourself?

Workflow Tools: Has Your Company Entered the Reduced Error Era?

Workflow tools

 

The pace of business today is brisk. Clients and customers expect their products and services to be delivered efficiently, without a lot of extraneous procedures and needless delays. What’s more, clients and customers won’t tolerate mistakes, because they know technology is available to make things faster and more accurate.

There are some processes that can’t be automated, but there are many that can be, and when you put workflow tools into action, you gain efficiency and reduce frustration. Just about every business can use workflow tools to be more productive, whether you shoe horses or help people prepare their taxes.

 

Workflow Tools Speed Processes

Suppose you have a database of customers that you created from customers filling out forms by hand. That’s great, but not only do customers have to accomplish the tedious task of completing forms manually, someone has to decipher that information and type it into a database. But what if you made it so new customers could enter their information into an online form? Not only does that save them time, the data can be automatically entered into your database, so nobody has to retype it. In other words, workflow tools accelerate processes, so you can spend more time on business functions and less on administration.

 

Workflow Tools Reduce Errors

Manual processes are subject to mistakes. We’ve all lost paper forms, entered the wrong information in the wrong blank, or accidentally shredded the document we were supposed to make copies of. When you get processes off of paper and take handoffs out of people’s actual hands, the chance for errors goes way down. A completed request form that’s sent to the purchasing department electronically isn’t going to get ruined by spilled coffee or accidentally left under a stack of file folders.

 

Common Roadblocks to Automating Workflows

One of the biggest roadblocks to automation happens when companies allow departments to develop their own workflow tools in silos. It’s great that both HR and payroll have online forms for new hires, but wouldn’t it make sense to integrate them so new hire information entered once could populate forms in both departments?

Automating inefficient processes simply makes for faster inefficiencies, and that’s not what you’re after. Workflow tools should work together, across departments if necessary, to streamline procedures. Taking a holistic view of automation means using workflow tools to transcend departmental boundaries, not just speed things up within departments.

 

A Great Way to Start: Online Forms

If you’re ready to take your business into the faster, more efficient world of automation but don’t know where to start, a great place is with online forms. As workflow tools go, online forms are terrific for making a positive difference right from the start. Instead of submitting a paper form to HR to request vacation, workers can fill out an electronic form and submit it electronically. The system can automatically notify relevant parties when a form is received and when there is a reply to it. You’ll save time, save paper, and reduce mistakes with online forms, and today’s form creation software makes it easy to make custom forms tailored specifically for your needs.

 

Next Step: Link Forms Into Coherent Workflows

Maybe you have a process, like equipment purchasing, which requires multiple steps. Making the forms required for purchasing equipment electronic is a start, but linking them together into a coherent workflow is where the rubber meets the road.

Say an engineer submits a request for a piece of equipment and submits it. It costs more than $500, so departmental approval is required. The workflow automatically flags the form and sends it to the appropriate departmental authority, along with an email alert. Once the department signs off electronically, the forms go to the purchasing department, which takes the information directly from the electronic forms and creates a purchase order. There’s no physical handoff of paper, every form contains accurate information, and there’s an electronic audit trail for budgeting purposes. Any number of office processes can be linked into similar electronic workflows.

 

Conclusion

Nobody has time for inefficiencies arising from manual, outdated work processes, and many companies join the automation revolution by creating electronic forms. With PerfectForms, you can create great looking, customized forms with your company colors and logo using an intuitive drag and drop interface. And once you create your forms, you can link them together into coherent workflows with drag and drop convenience too. From the first day, efficiency increases and error rates drop, for a fast return on investment. Have a look at the PerfectForms demo video and see for yourself how easy it can be to create workflow tools that take your business to the next level of efficiency.

5 Benefits of a Great Workflow App

Great workflow ap

 

A great workflow app is one that is created after you’ve identified how processes are done and where the pain points in the process are located. When you break workflows down into discrete steps, it’s easier to see where inefficiencies lie and where the app can help minimize those inefficiencies. The right workflow app isn’t always the most obvious workflow app, and the right app for your company may not be the one your competitor uses.

Breaking down a workflow, and then considering where and how each step is completed is the starting point for creating a great workflow app. The person using the app in the field probably needs to do things differently than the person sitting at a desk so develop the process from the end-user’s point of view. Once you learn to develop workflow apps with the help of outstanding workflow software, you’ll notice several benefits. Here are 5 of them.

 

1. You’ll Annoy the IT People Less

Need an app for an approval cycle? You no longer have to go to IT and ask that they develop one for you. Workflow software standouts like PerfectForms let you define workflows and put them together into an app without writing a single line of code. Let the IT people worry about network speed and printer problems. You can write the apps that HR, sales, or marketing need to get their work done more efficiently.

 

2. Workflow Compliance Becomes Easier to Enforce

When you break a workflow down into steps and assemble those steps into an app, everyone knows what to do next, because the app walks them through it. If a form has to be submitted before they can go to the next step, the app makes it easy to submit the form before taking them to the next app screen. An app lays out the workflow and makes sure that nobody can cut corners, or wants to for that matter, because apps make things faster and are great for trimming the fat off workflows.

 

3. You Can Cut Operational Costs

Say you don’t have a workflow app for requisitioning equipment. Someone starts a project and neglects to go through the inventory management system before ordering new equipment. They could be unaware of the fact that equipment they need is already available on-site and expend resources acquiring redundant equipment. An app would step the person through each phase, including a query to inventory management, which would notify the project manager that equipment is already available and ready to go. Significant time and money can be saved this way.

 

4. Processes Become More Efficient

Paper-based processes can be horribly inefficient. Some people are just bad at paperwork, and anyone who has had to decipher a messy, handwritten form knows how hard it can be to extract information. An app can take clunky manual processes and make them electronic. No longer does someone have to hand a piece of paper to someone else, but submits a form electronically. The risk of forms getting lost, coffee-splattered, or being misinterpreted essentially goes away when forms can be completed and submitted electronically.

 

5. Processes Become More Visible

Creating a workflow app forces you to define the steps of a process, which makes it easier to see if there are any unnecessary steps. This alone makes it easier to identify inefficiencies and eliminate them. Everyone using the app follows the same steps and knows what his or her job is and what is supposed to happen next. Workflow apps are great for helping employees “get” what a process is all about and understand why a workflow is the way it is.

 

Conclusion

When you have workflow application development software like PerfectForms, you can use a visual, drag-and-drop interface to create custom workflow apps that suit your processes perfectly. You don’t have to shoehorn your processes into someone else’s app, but can create one that does exactly what you want without knowing how to program. You can get the user interface exactly how you like it, define the workflow, and even integrate your app with other systems, like your CRM system. Add notifications and escalation procedures and keep everyone informed at every step of the process.

You’ll be amazed how easy it is to create custom workflow apps with PerfectForms. Have a look at our demo and see for yourself how you can reduce inefficiencies and accelerate any number of work processes with a custom app created by you.

Daddy, Where Do Online Forms Come from?

Online forms

 

If you’ve ever worked in a business that relied on paper forms, you’re probably acutely aware of the many problems paper-based work processes can cause. Maybe the usual administrative assistant is out sick and the substitute doesn’t know where the expense account forms are filed. Or perhaps the form you need was printed on a machine that was almost out of toner and you can’t read the instructions.

Electronic forms that you can access online take care of these problems handily. With online forms, you don’t worry about running out of copies or getting an illegible printout. Most people can type information into forms much faster than they can fill out a form with a pen, and you don’t risk putting online forms into the wrong stack of papers and accidentally chucking them in the recycle bin.

 

How Are Online Forms Created?

The oversimplified answer is that online forms are created using hypertext markup language, or HTML. HTML is the computer language that allows creation of websites. The more complex a website (or online form), the more complex the HTML is required to create it. HTML is constantly being upgraded and revised as the internet audience expects more from websites and new tools are developed. An HTML expert creates online forms by writing code that translates what a form designer sketches out into what is seen on the screen and makes it so users can type information into the appropriate fields.

 

Isn’t There an Easier Way?

Maybe you don’t happen to have an HTML expert available to turn your paper forms into online forms, so what do you do? You could outsource the job, of course, but that can be expensive, particularly if you want to take a whole suite of paper forms and make them electronic. Fortunately, as HTML has evolved, so have tools that allow non-programmers to make use of it without having to know how to write code.

 

With the Right Tools, You can Make Online Forms Yourself

Online forms can now be created easily, through an intuitive visual interface with online forms solutions like PerfectForms. You don’t have to know the first thing about programming or HTML to use PerfectForms because it presents you with an easy-to-use, graphic interface that lets you drag and drop elements into place, creating forms that look exactly the way you want them to. You can even customize your forms by adding your company colors and logos.

 

Online Forms Can Be Assembled Into Automated Workflows

Even better than being able to make online forms with ease is being able to assemble online forms into streamlined workflows. Suppose your company’s expense reporting process involves completing a series of forms, each of which must be approved by a particular person. With PerfectForms, you can create online forms that look just like your paper forms, and you can put them together into a logical workflow that automatically submits completed forms to the right person in the approval cycle. It’s faster, more accurate, and there’s no worry about forms getting lost in the shuffle.

Any number of business processes can be made into automated workflows using online forms, and you can do this with PerfectForms with the same drag-and-drop convenience with which you create the online forms in the first place. Processes that are error-prone and cumbersome when done on paper become more accurate and faster when done with online forms and automated workflows. Maintenance requests, new employee on-boarding, and ordering of supplies are just a few processes that can be made more efficient with online forms and workflows.

 

Conclusion

Paper forms and manual workflows have many limitations. Maybe you’re interested in online forms but don’t have the budget to hire a programmer or don’t want to dump more work onto your IT team. With PerfectForms, you don’t have to know how to write code to create pixel-perfect electronic forms and assemble forms into seamless, automated workflows. The time savings can be immense, and time is money. If you’d like to try PerfectForms out for yourself, why not sign up for a free trial? You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to create online forms and make your work processes infinitely more efficient.

5 Workflow Solutions You Might be Overlooking

Workflow solutions

 

Workflow solutions simplify processes so they’re faster, more effective, and less of a hassle. Typically, workflow solutions involve making tasks electronic, but that’s not always the case. How your company uses workflow solutions depends on a lot of factors, from your budget to your unique corporate culture, and there can be more than one right way to simplify a process.

The benefits of implementing workflow solutions are clear and long-lasting. Not only can you save money that you can then invest in core business functions, expansion, or research, you can make your company more environmentally friendly, more secure, and generally a more pleasant place to work. Here are 5 workflow solutions your company could be overlooking.

 

1. Automated Notifications

Sometimes a simple “Heads up!” can make the difference between someone being prepared and being caught off-guard. Suppose a software license is due to expire in six weeks. An automated notification sent in advance to the person responsible for keeping licenses up-to-date lets him get his ducks in a row, see if perhaps a bulk license agreement could save the company money, and most importantly, not let the license lapse. Automated notifications can alert people to looming deadlines, budget thresholds that are approaching, or that someone whose work a person’s tasks depend on is close to completion, and a handoff is imminent.

 

2. Reduced or Eliminated Copying and Pasting

Sure, copying and pasting save massive amounts of time over manual re-entry of data, but there are situations where even copying and pasting can be eliminated with the right workflow solutions. Say one of your HR workers has to fill multiple forms with identical information when a new person is hired. Rather than copying and pasting the information from one form to the next, you can set up workflow solutions that allow her to enter the information once and have it populate multiple forms automatically. You can also incorporate data validation rules to ensure the information is correct.

 

3. Locating Office Equipment for Maximum Productivity

Where you put major pieces of office equipment can affect productivity and also how much paper your office uses. If the person who needs the most access to the all-in-one print-copy-fax machine has to traverse a good part of the office to get to it, simply picking up a report can take much longer than it should. It’s a good sign that either that person’s office or the machine should be moved. On the flip side, an all-in-one machine that’s too conveniently located to too many people subtly encourages people to print things they don’t need to, ultimately slowing work down and increasing paper consumption.

 

4. Making Forms Electronic

Businesses use forms because they standardize processes and ensure consistency. That said, forms don’t have to be on paper and filled out by hand. Paper forms tend to get left behind or coffee-stained, and the person who receives a paper form can lose or damage it too. And if someone loses a form containing sensitive or personal information, the company could violate industry or government regulations. Making forms electronic ensures they’re automatically submitted to the right person, that there are no concerns with penmanship, and that forms won’t be left next to the office microwave by mistake. Electronic forms are also important in industries that must follow strict regulations and create electronic audit trails to prove compliance.

 

5. Reduction or Elimination of Manual Paperwork Handoffs

There’s no denying that it feels good to deliver a thick report onto a supervisor’s desk. That stack of paper shows clearly what a person has been doing. However, handling paper can be fraught with problems. Sensitive reports can be physically lost, businesses can consume far too much paper, and it can be too easy for someone to deflect blame by saying he or she “didn’t get the memo.” Workflow solutions that hand off documents electronically eliminate these problems and save significant time and resources. Forms automatically go to the proper recipients, documents are automatically distributed to their intended audience, and there’s much less paper sitting around on desks for things to get lost in.

 

Conclusion

Workflow solutions may apply to situations you never considered before, and they can make an immediate and long-lasting positive difference. With terrific tools like PerfectForms, you can automate processes easily and quickly. PerfectForms has an intuitive interface that lets you drag and drop to create custom forms containing exactly the fields you need. And you can connect forms into automated workflow solutions with the same drag-and-drop convenience. The only limit is your creativity in discovering new ways to automate processes. Why not sign up for a free trial of PerfectForms and see for yourself how easy it is to speed up workflows?

How Form Software Prevents Manual Errors

Form software

 

The so-called human touch is important in running a successful business, but let’s face it. Humans are distractible, unpredictable, and prone to making mistakes. Manual business processes are subject to errors with every point of human contact, even in organizations that pride themselves on great quality assurance practices. People are going to make mistakes. While certain processes, like taking care of customers, require individual attention and good human qualities, there are countless essential processes that can benefit from automation. The use and routing of forms in business processes is one example.

 

Hidden Costs of Manual, Paper-Based Processes

Think about it: manual preparation, routing, information entry, exception handling, approval, indexing, and filing slow processes down and make them more costly end-to-end. The more times a document is physically handled by people, the greater the chance it will be lost, damaged, or misfiled, and this increases costs all the more. The Association for Information and Image Management says that the cost to locate a missing document can go as high as $120 when all is said and done, and replacing it can cost $220. Automation through the use of form software can eliminate many of these hidden costs and prevent a number of types of errors, like the following ones.

 

Problems With Gathering All Necessary Forms for a Process

Say the process for requisitioning new office equipment is a manual one involving paper forms. Someone is going to have to locate all the forms necessary to the process and ensure that the person requisitioning new equipment has all of them. Maybe you’re out of a specific form that’s required when a purchase goes over a certain dollar amount. Now someone has to find or print more copies of it and make sure the person who wants the equipment has a copy of the form. With a complex process, simply getting the process user ready to go can take an unreasonable amount of time.

 

Forms With Unclear Instructions Waste Time

With paper forms, unclear instructions can lead to wildly inaccurate information. With electronic forms, your form software can be made to understand that a certain field must contain numerical information, or should contain a middle initial rather than a middle name. Form software can enable help screens that prevent confused phone calls and mistaken actions. When a manual form is filled in wrong due to unclear instructions, the form recipient has to track down the person filling it out, explain what he or she did wrong, and then wait around for them to redo the form correctly.

 

Propagation of Mistakes in Manual Processes

Errors on paper forms have a way of propagating as more people in the process handle the forms. A slight misspelling or unclear handwriting can eventually turn “Luna Enriquez” into “Lunchbag Rodriguez.” With electronic forms that are put together into automated workflows, errors don’t magnify like some slumber party game of “telephone.” In fact, form software can be used so that someone enters information once and it instantly populates multiple forms, so they don’t have to keep entering the same information repeatedly.

 

Lost Forms Waste Time and Result in Redundant Efforts

Finally, manual processes involving forms depend on all the necessary forms being submitted to the right people. Depending on how complex the process is and how many people have to handle forms along the way, it’s all too easy for one form in a package to be lost, necessitating the frustrating retracing of steps and possibly filling out the form all over again. This annoys multiple people and slows the whole process down. But when your form software automatically routes completed forms to the correct recipient, forms don’t slip to the bottom of a pile of paper, or accidentally get left in the break room.

 

Form Software Prevents Errors and Saves Money

Form software that lets you automate workflows greatly reduces the opportunity for error in processes. By always having the right forms for the process, and ensuring they are automatically routed to the right person, the process is faster, forms aren’t lost, and nobody has to worry about filing them alphabetically.

PerfectForms makes it easy to automate processes using custom electronic forms. Simply drag and drop fields to create pixel-perfect electronic forms that can even be branded with your company logo and colors. You can then arrange forms into logical workflows and ensure that completed forms go to the right person every time. Error rates plummet, processes go faster, and companies spend less time chasing down errors and lost forms. What’s not to love? To find out more, check out our demo and see for yourself how easy error-free electronic forms can be.

BPM software and Why Your Company *Really* Needs It

BMP software

 

Business process management, or BPM, is defined by Gartner as the discipline of managing processes for improving performance outcomes. In other words, instead of managing tasks, an organization should manage processes, which may cross organizational boundaries and systems. The goal of good BPM is optimized processes that minimize resource use while maximizing productivity. Proponents of BPM say it makes organizations much more effective and efficient than the traditional, hierarchical management process.

While BPM doesn’t have to involve software, it usually does. Regardless of industry or process, the basic approach to BPM includes several steps:

• Designing a business process
• Modeling the process to maximize chances it will do what it should
• Executing the process
• Monitoring the process to see if it works better than what it replaces
• Optimizing and fine-tuning the process to make it as effective and efficient as possible

 

What Are the Benefits of Using BPM Software?

BPM software that works with your existing business apps is preferable for most organizations, because nobody wants to tear out existing processes and replace them if it’s not necessary. When BPM software integrates with existing processes and applications, it can really shine. By automating and accelerating parts of complex processes, BPM software produces many benefits:

• Increased accuracy – by eliminating redundant processes that increase the probability of errors
• Speed – when repetitive manual processes are automated
• Cost savings – when resources can be taken from repetitive, manual tasks and reallocated to core business processes
• Increased revenues – because you can do more in less time, make fewer errors, and serve more customers better

In short, business process management software puts technology to work for you, so you can devote time to more important things than the necessary, but mundane tasks that have to be taken care of.

 

Some Examples of BPM Software Uses

BPM software is flexible enough to be applied to just about any business process you can think of. For example, if your company spends too much time processing employee expense reports, BPM software could help you create and automate a standard process with online forms. Rather than dealing with paper forms, employees can be stepped through the expense reporting procedure online, with appropriate personnel notified at applicable stages in the process. There are no papers to lose, and no worries about deciphering someone’s handwriting. With no manual handoffs, the entire process happens much faster.

Some companies use BPM software to ensure regulatory compliance. When a process has to comply with industry or government regulations, you have to have consistent compliance, and often you have to have a paper trail. By using BPM software to create a step-by-step process for ensuring regulatory compliance, you can be confident employees are following the required steps, and that any necessary documentation is created along the way. You can even use BPM software to generate periodic reports on compliance activities.

Purchase management is another popular use for BPM software. The approval process can be complicated, but BPM software puts forms conveniently online and performs handoffs electronically so there’s far less chance of skipped steps or mistakes than there would be with a manual, paper-based process. And BPM software will ensure that everyone follows the same procedure for consistency and predictability.

 

How to Bring BPM Software Into Your Organization

Back in the day, you might have to initiate a major IT project to implement business process management. Today, that’s not the case. In fact, you can automate BPM processes without knowing the first thing about programming. BPM software with a drag-and-drop, visual interface allows the people who know the processes inside and out to create automated processes, rather than having to get a programmer to do it. With trusted products like PerfectForms, all you have to do is drag and drop objects onto a virtual canvas to build your user interface and define the workflow. You tailor your automated workflows to the exact needs of your organization.

 

Conclusion

If you’re not using BPM software, you could be missing out on some major efficiency gains. Maybe you’re worried that BPM software would require major expense, planning, and a painful rollout, but that’s simply not the case. With PerfectForms, you have an intuitive, graphical interface that allows you to envision processes and create workflows that suit them exactly. The result is business process management that’s custom fit to your needs, and that you can fine-tune as circumstances demand. Why not try PerfectForms out for yourself? You can sign up for a free trial and start learning how to automate cumbersome and slow work processes starting today.

5 Time-Sucking Tasks that can be Automated with Online Forms

Online forms

 

Making an entire department – let alone an entire company – follow procedures based on paper forms can be like the proverbial herding of cats. Some people’s handwriting might as well be hieroglyphics, others have no shame at all in submitting forms imprinted with the bottom of their coffee mug, and some people have to be reminded repeatedly to even complete the form in the first place.

Online forms are the answer to these problems. People fill out online forms all the time when they shop or comment on a website, so they know what to do. Plus, online forms don’t get buried under a pile of desktop detritus, and one person’s typing is generally as legible as another’s. Here are 5 common, time-sucking tasks you can automate and streamline with the use of online forms, and you can probably think of many more.

 

1. Ordering Supplies

Engineers can get downright panicky when the supply closet runs low on quad-ruled pads and mechanical pencils, and mentioning this to the person in charge of requisitioning supplies may or may not result in more being ordered. But when there’s an online form for ordering supplies, employees can state what items they want, and in what quantities, and submit the form electronically. A good online forms software solution will notify appropriate personnel when they need to act on a submitted form, and can even show when supplies have been ordered and when they’re expected to be in stock.

 

2. On-Boarding New Employees

Human resources tasks surrounding the hiring of new people are fraught with paperwork. Not all of that paperwork can be converted to electronic forms, but a lot of it can. With electronic forms that communicate with other systems, your new hire can enter information one time and have it populate multiple forms automatically. She can type in her Social Security number once and know that it’s been added to all the forms that require it. Forms for signing up for health insurance and other benefits can be made electronic, where they can be completed much faster and there’s less chance of them being lost.

 

3. RSVP-ing for the Company Picnic

Trying to put together a company function with only the aid of a pencil and paper is a sure way to end up with nobody bringing plastic forks and six second-basemen on the company softball team. But planning a company event with the aid of electronic forms keeps everything organized and accessible. You can use electronic forms to get headcounts, to know what to order form the caterers, and to sign people up for activities easily. When your online forms software lets you create forms with drag-and-drop convenience, you can be up and running in next to no time and make it as easy as possible for people to state their preferences.

 

4. Summoning Building Maintenance

The light fixture over the graphics department has been buzzing and flickering for several days now, and if you don’t want your designers left in the dark, you need someone from maintenance to come and take care of it soon. If the process involves leaving a voice message or filling out a paper form and submitting it, all kinds of things can derail the process. But with online forms for building maintenance, people can submit their request online and be confident it’s delivered instantly to the right person. You can build escalation procedures into the process for urgent requests, and add notifications so even if a maintenance worker is on a job, he can be notified on his phone that a new request has come in.

 

5. Submitting Travel Expenses for Reimbursement

A weeklong business trip can easily result in half a day spent organizing receipts and filling out expense forms by hand. Online forms can speed things up considerably, particularly if those forms allow electronic receipts to be attached. And online forms that are cloud-hosted allow people to work on them from anywhere, including during that long layover in Dallas when there’s nothing else to do. Travel expense reimbursement can be a real headache when done manually, but when it’s done through electronic online forms, the process is faster and more accurate. It’s a great way to hold down the costs associated with corporate travel.

 

Conclusion

You don’t have to undertake a major IT initiative to convert your paper forms into online forms. With PerfectForms, an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface allows you to create perfect electronic forms that can be enhanced with your company colors and logo. Best of all, PerfectForms allows you to integrate your online forms into efficient workflows, so manual handoffs are minimized or eliminated. Why not try it out for yourself? You can sign up for a free trial and see first-hand how easy it is to create efficient online forms that can immediately accelerate workflows.

Go Paperless with E-Forms and Save Time, Money

E-forms

 

Despite decades of promises of a “paperless office,” businesses still rely on paper for many business functions. The day when paper is completely unnecessary in business may never arrive, but the truth is, many processes can be automated and made paperless, and the payoff for doing so can be significant.

When processes are automated and paper use is reduced, the chance for making errors drops. Electronic handoffs during the steps of a business process mean less opportunity for setting important papers down and losing track of them. Forms filled in electronically are far less likely to be misread or misinterpreted than are forms filled in by hand. But there are many more advantages to electronic forms and automation.

 

Advantages of Using Electronic Forms

Whatever business you are in, when you use electronic forms and automate workflows, business development is accelerated due to time savings and reduced errors. This also helps keep operational costs under control. New York recruiting consultancy iCIMS performed a return on investment (ROI) calculation on a hypothetical 200-person company with average growth and average turnover for automating the employee on-boarding process, and the results were clear: a one-year decrease in costs of over $79,000. And that’s just from automating one process.

Automating on-boarding eliminates mailing costs, reduces document preparation and processing time, and reduces logistics burdens and their associated costs. Think of the costs that could be saved by using electronic forms and automation in multiple business processes. E-forms and automation are also great ways to help your company reduce its environmental footprint.

 

Business Processes That Benefit Significantly from Automation

Employee on-boarding is only one process where automation brings a positive return on investment. Automated expense reporting can streamline operations as well. Even when processes are very simple (consisting of filling out and submitting a form, for example), electronic forms are preferable. Sales queries, technical support requests, order forms, purchase orders, and surveys are all examples of forms that simply work better when they’re provided, filled, and submitted electronically. There are no papers to mislay, no handwriting to misinterpret, and submission is instant, so the forms can be acted upon quickly.

 

Who Has Time to Code All That?

Of course, not all businesses have a programmer on hand to create electronic forms, and hiring out the task can mean a major expenditure. The good news is, today there are customizable, off-the-shelf solutions that allow businesses of any size, in any industry, to create beautiful electronic forms and to automate workflows without ever having to write code.

 

With PerfectForms, Coding Is Not Required

PerfectForms is an automation and electronic forms solution that does not require programming skills in order to create pixel-perfect, customized electronic forms, complete with your company’s logo, color scheme, and branding touches. You can start from scratch or use one of several pre-fabricated, customizable templates, with drag-and-drop convenience and clear menus that walk you through the process. With PerfectForms, your business can realize the increased efficiencies and ROI that electronic forms and process automation deliver. If you would like to learn more, we invite you to watch our brief product demo and see for yourself how easy creating electronic forms and automating workflows can be.

How Workflow Automation Software Enhances Your Sales Operations

Workflow automation

 

The sales process has many steps, and sales professionals have to handle a variety of specific tasks on any given day. From acquiring contact information for leads to writing follow-up notes after a sales call, sales team members handle information constantly. Keeping it organized so that the sales process stays on track is critical, and many companies develop standardized processes for sales professionals to follow.

When business processes are manual and paper-intensive, however, the chance of errors increases and completing processes takes much longer than necessary. Workflow automation software with electronic forms that feed into processes can speed things up considerably, allowing sales professionals to spend more time selling and less time on paperwork. Here are some ways workflow automation software can make sales operations more efficient and productive.

 

By Capturing and Organizing Lead and Contact Information

When contact or lead information is entered on paper forms, there are many ways things can go wrong. For one thing, paper forms are easy to lose, and hastily written handwritten information can be difficult to decipher later – even by the person who wrote it. But when your sales professionals have a mobile app that lets them capture lead or contact information, the data is taken in once and can be reused in other forms and applications. There’s no paper to lose, and contact information can be captured in any setting on a laptop, tablet, or phone. If necessary, completed contact forms can automatically trigger other actions, like alerting appropriate department personnel of a potential new customer.

 

By Streamlining the Sample Ordering Process

Suppose one of your sales team members meets with a promising new lead who expresses interest in your company’s products. When you create an online sample ordering form that can be accessed by mobile devices, your salesperson can quickly submit an order for samples, and can schedule a follow-up call for once they’re received. By speeding up this process, sales reps can have better continuity of relationships with prospects and customers, minimizing the chances of competition gaining a foothold. What’s more, workflow automation software can ensure the data collected on the sample ordering form is shared with marketing for possible use in future marketing campaigns.

 

By Facilitating Creation and Sharing of Follow-Up Notes

After a sales call, particularly a first-time sales call, there is much to remember. Scribbling down notes on paper is inefficient and easy to put off till the end of the day. By then, however, a lot of important information may have been forgotten. Providing an online electronic form for follow-up notes encourages sales team members to record this information soon after sales calls, when memories are still fresh. These forms can be automatically routed to other people who may need the information. Writing and sharing follow-up notes on paper is cumbersome, slow, and prone to error. But workflow automation software makes it easy, fast, and accurate.

 

By Accelerating the Reporting Process

When your company creates automated workflows based on electronic forms for your sales professionals, information is captured once and can be organized in countless ways. Data from one form can be shared with common fields on other forms automatically, so there is far less duplication of effort. Having all this data captured and organized makes it much easier for sales and management professionals to create informative reports based on accurate, up-to-date information. With powerful solutions like PerfectForms, you can provide end-to-end visibility of the entire sales process and easily create detailed reports that drive smarter sales and marketing decisions.

 

Conclusion

Sales workflows can be complex, and trying to track all the steps with manual, outdated processes slows your company down and gives competitors the opportunity to step ahead. But when you use a workflow automation software solution like PerfectForms, you can easily create customized electronic forms that are mobile-accessible and that work together to form efficient, streamlined workflows, saving your sales professionals valuable time. Best of all, with PerfectForms, you can do all this with drag-and-drop convenience, without ever writing code or diverting valuable IT resources to workflow development. If you’d like to know more about how PerfectForms can enhance sales operations, we invite you to contact us at any time. We would be happy to answer any of your questions.