5 Workflow Solutions You Might be Overlooking
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.
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?
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