Workflows Help Ensure Effective, Efficient In-House Recruiting

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

The two main ways companies fill vacant job positions are partnering with a recruiting agency and doing recruiting in-house.

Interviewer shaking the hand of a employee candidate

In-house recruiting makes sense for many businesses. Automated workflows make it efficient.

In-house recruiting teams act as an extension of the HR department and may include people from multiple departments, including the departments with unfilled positions and often the company’s marketing department as well. Doing in-house recruiting effectively requires strong coordination, and automated workflows help this coordination take place. 

Advantages: United, Consistent Employer Branding Throughout

One of the main advantages of recruiting in-house rather than using an agency is control over the process. While agencies may be necessary for filling highly specialized positions (where candidates can be hard to find), in-house recruiting often works well for the majority of front-line employees. 

Another advantage of in-house recruiting is that the entire process can be imbued with employer branding elements. In other words, from the first time a potential applicant learns of the open position, they are also learning about the company itself, as well as its values and goals.

Sourcing and Selecting Candidates

Automated workflows for sourcing and selecting candidates must incorporate necessary advertising of open positions, as well as gathering information from interested parties, and receiving completed job applications. 

Coordinating these activities is more complex than many people expect. Posting job ads, for example, can change as the team discovers which job boards are most effective at reaching qualified candidates. Later, candidates who express interest can be funneled into the application system, and ones who actually fill out applications can be separated from those who don’t. Keeping key recruiting team members apprised of these developments is done more accurately and efficiently with automated workflows.

Applicant Tracking and Interview Scheduling

Once an applicant submits their application and other necessary materials, like their resumé, tracking them is critical. “Lost” applications can let great candidates slip through the cracks! Automated workflows can ensure that applications are processed, and can issue alerts when recruiting team members fail to act on a submitted application in a timely manner. 

Business man looking confused

Recruiting workflows can send out automated notifications
when nobody acts on submitted applications within a set time period.

Likewise, interview scheduling must be coordinated. Automated workflows can gather necessary information from both the applicant and the recruiting team to schedule interviews that work with both the interviewee’s and the recruiting team’s schedules.

Delivering Offers and Coordinating Onboarding Especially Important

It is the latter stages of the recruiting process that are perhaps most important: delivering offers and completing the onboarding process. Both of these can be accomplished through automated workflows that ensure that no steps are missed and no time is wasted. 

Once a workflow creates an offer based on input from the recruiting team, it can either deliver the offer via email or compose a formal offer letter that the leader of the recruiting team can deliver. Once a candidate accepts a job offer, the automated onboarding workflow can begin.

Excellence in the onboarding process is essential to keeping new employee turnover to a minimum. New employees, who are already anxious about their new job working out, can easily become disillusioned with a new employer if the onboarding process is disorganized or needlessly outdated. Automated onboarding is one key to getting new employees up to speed and part of the group as quickly as possible.

Doing recruiting in-house requires a strong recruiting team and workflows that support both the team and the job candidates. There is no place for disorganization or for processes that are needlessly cumbersome or manual when they can be automated. 

PerfectForms is workflow software that makes it easy to create the online forms and automated workflows you need to inspire and empower your in-house recruiting team to find, interview, and hire the best candidates for your open positions. 

With its no-programming interface, PerfectForms allows users to drag and drop elements in place, creating perfectly customized online forms and automated workflows that are uniquely tailored to their needs, and that incorporate their company branding elements at every step. Take a look at the PerfectForms demo video and learn how it can help you create the perfect in-house recruiting workflows, as well as workflows that streamline and accelerate a range of other business processes.

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Don’t Listen to These Myths About Online Forms and Automated Workflows

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Online forms and automated workflows are standard business practice today, but that doesn’t mean that everyone uses them.

Particularly with smaller businesses, it can be hard to see why the effort to overhaul how business processes are completed would be worthwhile. But rest assured: automating processes and converting paper forms to online forms offers benefits that are hard to envision until you’ve tried it.

Myths about workflow automation still abound, and that’s too bad because it’s hard to think of a business that wouldn’t benefit from it. Here are several lingering myths about online forms and automated workflows, along with exactly why you shouldn’t believe them. 

Automating Workflows Is Too Expensive

There was a time when this was true. Before cloud computing became normal, companies that wanted to automate workflows had no choice but to install workflow software on their own IT infrastructure. This was both time-consuming and expensive – particularly if IT upgrades were necessary.

Today, however, the cloud makes it easy for businesses of every size to access workflow software without the need for on-premises servers and their upkeep. The cloud also makes it easy to scale workflow software up as a business grows, minimizing disruption.

Only Big Businesses Need to Automate Workflows

On the contrary, smaller businesses probably have the most to gain from online forms and automated workflows. Smaller businesses find it easier to be agile and respond to market and customer needs quickly, and automated workflows help them do this. Customers generally like working with smaller businesses because there are fewer layers of management and bureaucracy to penetrate to get the services they want. And when those smaller businesses operate efficiently and quickly, they can command the kind of loyalty that huge enterprises can’t always match.

We’ll Lose Visibility Over Processes if We Automate Them

Automated workflows shouldn’t be regarded as black boxes. Workflows designed so that authorized users can assess status at any time actually increase workflow visibility. In the old days, finding out the status of a workflow involved tracking people down, playing phone tag, asking questions, and hoping for a timely answer. With automated workflows, however, assessing workflow status is largely a matter of logging into the process and checking instantly. Rather than spending most of an afternoon finding out whether a purchase order has been approved, an authorized workflow user can pinpoint the exact status of a workflow in an instant. 

Automating Workflows Is Too Hard

Automating workflows used to be hard, because it used to require programming, and extensive back-and-forth between programmers and workflow users. That is no longer the case, however. Today you can access cloud-hosted workflow software that does not require programming due to advanced user-interface design. 

One of the main benefits of today’s workflow software is not only that it’s easy to use, but that the ease of use makes it more practical for workflow users to assist with design. When the end-users of a workflow have input into how a workflow is designed, it can address needs far better.

One other great benefit of easy-to-use workflow software is that getting workflows designed, tested, and in use is a much faster process than it used to be. The result is less disruption in the workplace, along with a swift, positive return on investment. 

PerfectForms is workflow software that has been used by very small businesses, big enterprises, and everything in between. It can be either cloud-hosted or run on-premises, and it allows creation of custom online forms and automated workflows without the need for programming. 

PerfectForms’ drag-and-drop interface means that workflow end-users can have more influence over workflow design, and that the time from concept to daily use can be far shorter than it used to be. Did you know you can try PerfectForms for free? Simply sign up for a trial and you can see for yourself why the old myths surrounding online forms and automated workflows no longer apply. 

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Top BPM Trends to Watch for in 2019

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

No one expects the pace of business to slack off in 2019.

Employees in an open office

Excellent processes are necessary to step up to the challenges of a busy, fast-paced new year.

The fast pace of business has made agility a key business asset, and to be agile, a company must have excellent processes. Business process management (BPM) is how many of them streamline and automate processes – particularly back-office processes that allow more people to spend more time on core business objectives. 

Outstanding BPM software is the key to innovating processes in 2019 and beyond. Here are five top BPM trends you can expect to see in the coming year.

1. BPM for Customer Service

Customer service has become an increasingly important differentiator, and companies are beginning to realize that they can’t solve customer problems effectively and efficiently if employees are faced with roadblocks when they try to handle customer service tasks. With BPM software streamlining the back end of customer services, employees are empowered to work smarter and be more responsive to customers. The end result should be a more loyal and enthusiastic customer base.

2. Increased Role of Digital Process Automation

Ordinary digital workflows automate many parts of business processes, but digital process automation (DPA) elevates automation to a new level. Repetitive, rules-driven business processes that do not require human intervention are processes that are ripe for DPA. Robotics are not the only route to DPA, but you can expect robotic machines to play an increasingly evident role in BPA in 2019.

3. Apps and Mobile Continue to Increase in Importance

Ordinary automated workflows free employees from the drudgery of things like filling out forms by hand and hand-delivering them to their intended recipients (or relying on intra-office mail to do so). BPM ascends to a greater level of functioning by adding mobility to the mix. Fewer employees spend their entire workday behind a desk, and mobile friendly, app-powered BPM ensures that they can offer their input from phones and tablets, even if they’re working off-site.

Man using a tablet

Mobility makes automated processes faster and more convenient, helping businesses remain agile.

4. Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things

With artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and logic enter business process automation. As just one example, temperature sensors attached to workspaces or products can be used to automatically record data as products are processed, or as workspaces are used to accomplish tasks. A product that for whatever reason exceeds the safe temperature range can be automatically routed out of the process, while supervisors can be notified to check and correct conditions as necessary.

5. Analytics to Drive Process Action

BPM often generates extensive amounts of data that can be used to further fine-tune processes and to influence other processes. Proprietary data is an extraordinarily valuable business asset, and BPM not only helps businesses collect and analyze it, but also turn it into actionable information that can drive or improve processes. BPM software that includes reporting capabilities already uses process data to inform and drive improvements, and companies should take full advantage. 

Without outstanding BPM software powering processes, it’s hard to take advantage of the many adjunct technologies that are poised to improve business processes in 2019. PerfectForms is BPM software with a unique drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create and automate business processes without programming. PerfectForms integrates with spreadsheets, databases, Salesforce CRM, and other office systems, so putting BPM to work is straightforward and delivers a swift ROI. 

Best of all, you can test drive PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial. What better time than the new year to resolve to improve and automate business processes so your daily operations deliver maximum performance?

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How Online Forms and Workflows Help You Focus on Core Competencies

Thursday, December 13th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

When your business hires a professional specialist such as a nurse, engineer, designer, or analyst, you want them to spend the bulk of their time doing tasks related to their role, not doing paperwork.

Architect with plans and laptop

Don’t make your specialists spend excessive time on clunky, paper-based bureaucratic processes. 

While it’s probably impossible to eliminate bureaucracy and still maintain the records necessary to successfully and legally run a business, it’s certainly possible to streamline and automate processes to keep time spent on them to only what is necessary. 

Online forms and automated workflows are the keys to ensuring that necessary recordkeeping and accounting of time and resources are done thoroughly, but efficiently. Taking the time to automate and streamline workflows ensures not only a cleaner, leaner operation, but that your employees can focus more fully on putting their unique skills to use. 

Here are some of the ways online forms and workflows help your business focus on core competencies.

By Ensuring Consistency

When you create an automated workflow for, say, creating a purchase order, you ensure that whoever starts the process will complete all necessary steps, in the right order. That means that the person who approves the process will always have a consistent set of information to consider. 

Furthermore, automated workflows ensure that every user knows exactly what is expected so that over time, they’re able to do their part of the workflow with increasing efficiency, benefiting everyone.

By Minimizing Error-Tracing

Online forms can be designed to minimize input errors and ensure that exceptional situations are handled consistently. Suppose that purchase orders over $1,000 require departmental approval before final approval can be granted. When someone submits a purchase order over that amount, the form can flag it and trigger an automatic sub-process that sends the information to the department head for approval before it rejoins the workflow for further processing. What’s more, online forms themselves reduce errors due to poor handwriting or mistakes in transferring handwritten information into spreadsheets or databases. 

Woman at a desk with a pile of binders

Finding, tracing, and correcting errors with paper processes wastes time that could be better spent on other tasks. 

By Creating an Audit Trail

Few things disrupt business operations like an audit. Fortunately, you can create automated workflows that add time and date stamps to process steps, ensuring you always have an accurate and complete record that all necessary steps in a process were completed. You can also design automated workflows so that only authorized users can access them, and so that their participation in the workflow is automatically recorded. That way if an audit does occur, there’s no frenetic scrambling to collect records and proof, because it’s all already there. 

By Eliminating Paper Shuffling

Finally, online forms and automated workflows eliminate one inefficiency that plagued businesses for generations: paper handling. Online forms won’t be lost, damaged, or coffee-stained, and they won’t disappear under a pile of mail on someone’s desk. There’s no taking completed papers to someone’s office for signatures, or accidentally leaving originals on the copy machine. The elimination of physical paperwork alone represents a tremendous efficiency gain on the part of most businesses. 

PerfectForms is online form and workflow software that is user-friendly, powerful, flexible, and that requires no programming. The drag-and-drop interface ensures that the people who actually use the forms and workflows can have influence in their design, which is valuable because these are the people who know where the bottlenecks can occur, and which steps need to occur in which order. 

If you’re ready to maximize time spent on core business competencies and reduce the time and resources required to handle necessary business processes, we invite you to watch the PerfectForms demo video. It only takes a minute, and you’ll see for yourself how online forms and automated workflows can transform day-to-day business operations.

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Revamping Online Forms for 2019? Consider These Trends.

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Online forms must function perfectly, or else they can actually slow down business processes.

Unfortunately, we’ve all dealt with malfunctioning, slow, or just plain ugly online forms.

But once you have your online forms working flawlessly, are their aesthetics important? While not strictly necessary, good looks put form users at ease and make the experience of completing them more pleasant. For most businesses this is a worthwhile aim whether the online forms are used internally by employees, or externally by customers. 

A new year is a popular time for making changes, and many companies may choose to reevaluate or upgrade their online forms at the start of a new year. For customer-facing forms in particular, periodically revisiting forms to make sure they collect what is necessary, route data correctly, and look appealing to users is a good idea. If you’re considering a makeover for your online forms in 2019, here are some web design trends to consider. 

Bright Colors and Pastels

One of the best things about online forms is that they don’t have to be as dull as the paper forms of old. Websites are crucial marketing tools, and keeping a website appealing and fresh often requires making changes. Bright colors and pastels have been on-trend for a few years now, as people realize they don’t have to give up aesthetics for function.

Even if your web properties are designed with your company colors and logos as constants, a talented web designer can show you how to skillfully incorporate energetic brights and pastels into your online form designs to freshen up the look and make pages more memorable.

Imagery with Organic Shapes

Custom illustration is becoming a differentiator of sorts, helping websites and the forms on them stand out from those built without imagery, or with dull imagery. Illustrations that are created by hand add a note of authenticity to web form designs, and organic, natural-looking illustrations offer web users a break from what they see everywhere else on the web. 

There’s no reason why online forms have to be “all business.”

A great online form typically has plenty of blank space to make it easy on the eyes, and the addition of “organic” illustrations, without taking away too much of the blank space, can boost aesthetics while setting your online forms apart from everyone else’s.

Bold Typography

There is simply no excuse for online forms that are hard to read. Sure, there are plenty of fancy fonts that aren’t necessarily designed to be easy to read, but among easy-to-read fonts, you still have plenty of scope for creativity. Bold typography conveys a sense of confidence and transparency, that you have conviction and believe in the message. 

But what if your brand is based on a “natural,” or “artistic” style? No worries. There are plenty of bold fonts that convey these attributes while still being clear and easy to read. If you’re not sure what to pick, a professional web designer will know how to steer you in the right direction, and it can be money well spent if it brings in more traffic to your site.

Outstanding Function Will Never Go Out of Style

One thing you can’t forget with your online forms is that they must work correctly every time. PerfectForms is form software that empowers you to create custom online forms with drag-and-drop convenience. It’s great for both internal and customer-facing forms, and you have an almost endless scope for customizing them to suit end-user needs. 

What’s more, PerfectForms is mobile-friendly and interfaces easily with databases, spreadsheets, and other office systems that power your business. If creating beautiful, perfectly functional online forms with easy-to-user form software appeals to you, PerfectForms invites you to watch the demo video. You’re sure to be inspired as to new ways online forms can help make 2019 your best year ever.

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How Automated Workflows Make Change Orders Easier

Friday, October 19th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Automated workflows

automated workflows for change orders can be designed to ensure that every box is checked, every “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted, so there is far less ground for dispute once the change order is completed.

Change orders are written agreements between an owner and a contractor for changes to the original contract.

They may broaden the scope of the original contract, establish new items necessary for the change, cover changes to the basis of payment, and spell out time adjustments resulting from the change.

Typically, change orders are considered in the context of construction projects, but they can happen with other types of contracts too, like IT contracts. A typical change order has a few key elements:

  • A description of the requested change compared to the original contract
  • Itemized documentation of subcontractor costs
  • Summary of total costs of the proposed change
  • Statement of impact on project completion date
  • Statement of contractual basis for the change

Change orders are necessary to ensure that work is carried out as expected, but traditional change orders can be problematic for several reasons.

Why Change Orders Can Be So Contentious

Usually the first and foremost effect a contractor experiences when faced with a change order is impact to the timeline and budget of the project. Sometimes, there is disagreement between the contractor and the contract originator about the need for additional payment after a change order. Problems can also arise when contractors worry they won’t get paid for extra work, or when owners think that contractors should have know about unexpected items or unknown conditions and factored it into their bid price.

Many of these problems can be prevented before original proposals are submitted, through pre-bid inspections and walk-throughs. Original contracts can also specify the steps required before change orders can be authorized.

How an Automated Change Order Workflow Can Help

Paper-based change order are not sufficient to today’s needs. Automated workflows for change orders eliminate worries over lost or illegible forms. Moreover, an automated workflow for a change order automatically routes completed forms in the process to the right people, so approvers receive requests right away, and errors are minimized.

Automated workflows

Automated change order workflows are faster, and there’s less room for misunderstanding.

Automated change orders that are mobile-friendly take usability to an even higher level. When workers don’t have to even leave the field to check on the progress of a change order, less time is wasted, and efficiency doesn’t have to suffer. Finally, automated workflows for change orders can be designed to ensure that every box is checked, every “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted, so there is far less ground for dispute once the change order is completed.

Data Collected from Workflows Can Benefit Both Parties

A company that hires a lot of contractors can gain valuable data from automated workflows created for change orders. For one thing, they can find out how frequently change orders are initiated, and whether certain departments initiate change orders at a higher rate than others. They can learn exactly how many days, on average, are added to projects when a change order is completed, and how change orders affect budgets, down to the dollar.

Contractors that are party to change order workflows can also glean valuable data from the workflows. How many days are typically added to the length of a project compared to the dollar amount covered in the change order? How many disputes arise compared to other companies that do change orders the old-fashioned way?

Some change orders can be prevented by good planning and good communication, but they can’t be eliminated altogether. Using automated workflow software like PerfectForms to create a customized change order workflow can be one key to minimizing the impact of change orders on costs and scheduling.

PerfectForms allows creation of automated workflows through a drag-and-drop interface, and no programming is required. Steps that require approval of those higher up can be automatically routed to approving authorities, and every step of the change order workflow can be visible to authorized workflow users. The result is less confusion, fewer errors, and less time and money wasted when changes to contracts or projects are required.

We invite you to watch the demo video and learn for yourself how valuable PerfectForms can be, not only for change order workflows, but countless other business process improvements.

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How Automated Workflows Help Community or Collaborative Projects

Thursday, October 11th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Person holding a model of the earth in the palm of his hand.

Online crowdsourcing can access intelligence and expertise from all over the world.

One of the most wonderful things about the internet is the fact that it allows communities to tap into the minds and talents of many people at once – even if those people are geographically scattered.

Idea competitions and innovation contests are examples of crowdsourced projects, as is Wikipedia, the multi-lingual, web-based, free encyclopedia. Bird surveys are crowdsourced, as are more mundane projects like correcting digitized texts created by optical character recognition.

While crowdsourcing has always taken place, the web has been tremendously beneficial for the undertaking, allowing people to participate regardless of physical location, and creating digital knowledge bases that aren’t subject to the risks faced by physical archives.

Crowdsourced Projects Can Be Unwieldy; Automated Workflows Help

Starting in 1900, American ornithologist Frank Chapman proposed the Christmas Day bird count, to gather data on how many different bird species were found in the U.S. and Canada, and this bird count has taken place every year since.

As you may imagine, collecting bird count data became significantly easier and more organized with the ubiquity of internet access and smartphone technology. Now, participants can use their smartphones to enter their bird count data, and likewise, they can easily access results of previous bird counts online.

It makes sense today for crowdsourced projects to use web-based automated workflows, preferably workflows that are mobile-friendly.

Online Forms Are the Only Way to Go

A couple of years ago, a collaborative project headed by the Queens Borough Public Library and the Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives set out to collect photographs, personal histories, and other records of daily life in Queens, New York. One part of the project had teenagers from a local youth council collect community documentation and be trained in cataloging. The teens digitized photos and recorded oral histories, and then cataloged them online.

The project involved online forms, organized into an automated workflow that allowed participants to collect and upload data remotely. Had the project been done with paper forms and archival of physical documents and photographs, not only would it have taken longer and collected less data, the archival itself would have been subject to risks like items being lost or damaged.

Elderly gentleman surrounded by young men and women.

Smartphones and the web make collecting oral histories simple and straightforward.

Workflows Can Coordinate the Activities of Many People

Another community project by the organization Northeast Historic Film was designed to catalog audiovisual materials from the 1939 New York World’s Fair. This was an ambitious undertaking, considering how long ago the event happened, and the fact that audiovisual materials were all in analog form. Moreover, the people in possession of such artifacts would be scattered throughout the world. Again, the undertaking required the organization and consistency imposed by online forms and workflows, without which, the project would likely have been completely impractical.

With Fewer Worries About Organization, Projects Can Flourish

Online forms and automated workflows help lift much of the burden involved with non-digital crowdsourced projects, and this can be the case whether you’re archiving bird populations or conducting an employee-based idea competition. In other words, using online forms and workflows for crowdsourced projects is easily scalable to any size project.

With minimal training, participants can focus their efforts on the creation of ideas or collection of information, without dreading the time that would have been spent in pre-internet days dealing with paper forms and manual workflows. Whether your goal is to gather participants for a community work day or archive artifacts scattered all over the world, crowdsourcing through the use of online forms and automated workflows is the most efficient and productive approach.

With software like PerfectForms, you have the power to create customized online forms and workflows, with the flexibility to tailor them to your exact needs. PerfectForms has a long history of helping businesses and other organizations shift from manual, paper-based processes to sleek digital ones. And the power of PerfectForms can be put to uses well outside the world of traditional office processes. We invite you to watch the demo video and see for yourself how powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use PerfectForms is. You’re sure to envision many innovative uses for online forms and automated workflows in your organization.

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‘Help! I Want to Create Online Forms, but Don’t Know Where to Start.’

Friday, October 5th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Multiple stacks of papers.

Imagine not needing to find storage for stacks of paper forms!

If your business, nonprofit, or government organization uses paper forms, you probably already dislike the inefficiency and waste of resources that paper forms represent.

Paper forms made sense in the days when no better alternatives existed, but now that electronic online forms exist, it’s much harder to make a case for using paper forms. But what if you know your organization would benefit from online forms, but you simply don’t know where to start? Here are several ideas that will have you enjoying the many benefits of online forms as quickly as possible.

Many People Start with Paper, and That’s Fine

If you’re wondering what an online form should look like, you can always start with the paper form that everyone uses already. In fact, many migrations from paper to the web deliberately make the first iteration of the online form look as much as possible like its paper counterpart, because people can easily figure out how to use it.

If you want to try this approach, it’s a good idea to go over each form field on the paper form and ensure that they’re all necessary. If it’s a multi-page form and requires someone to enter their name or employee number on all the pages, the extra name or employee number fields are easy to dispense with, because they’re not necessary with online forms – including multi-page online forms.  Cut out any unnecessary form fields before creating an initial online form with your form software.

Browse Examples of Good Online Forms for Inspiration

Online forms have been around long enough that most of us know what a “good” online form looks like. We also know what a “bad” online form looks like. Unclear field headings, excessively long forms not broken up into individual web pages, and forms that give no guidance with things like which formats dates should be entered are some of the elements that make for less-than-ideal online forms.

Online forms.

Online forms, like paper forms, can be confusing if not designed with care.

Fortunately, you can look at some curated collections of great online forms. Hubspot offers a collection, along with details on what makes each form good. Econsultancy also offers a collection of examples of good online forms. Browsing through these can inspire you.

Choose Form Software with Customizable Templates

One of the most important steps you can take in your initiative to translate paper forms into online forms is to choose your form software wisely. More specifically, you can choose form software that comes with a library of form templates you can use and modify to your needs. This is often preferable for people who are new to creating online forms, because it allows them to get started more quickly with form designs that are already proven.

In addition to choosing form software with an extensive set of templates for you to use, you should choose form software with a user interface that won’t take long to learn. After all, if you buy form software that’s too complicated to use, or that requires you to understand things like HTML coding, you may give up completely before creating the online forms you need.

PerfectForms is online form software that not only comes with an extensive library of online form templates, it also has an exceptionally friendly and intuitive user interface, so you can drag and drop form elements into place. In other words, if you have a paper form you want to duplicate for online use, PerfectForms makes it easy. And there is no programming required.

If you’re ready to create online forms, but worry that it will be beyond your skills, PerfectForms invites you to watch one or more of our basic training videos. You’ll see for yourself how easy it can be to create pixel-perfect forms that are customized to your organization’s exact needs, quickly and easily.

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Relocating? Consider How Workflows Work in Your New Space.

Friday, September 28th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Three people peering down into a cardboard box.

Moving your business into a new space is both exciting and a bit scary.

It represents a fundamental change of the physical space in which your business will operate, and you have the potential to make the most of the changes when planning your move. Naturally, you will coordinate with movers, and have a plan of where people and things will go in the new space. But have you considered how your automated workflows may have to change when you move to a new business space?

Some workflows are directly dependent upon the physical space you occupy. And it’s safe to say that most workflows operate more smoothly in a well-planned workspace that makes sense for the task. Here are some ways to ensure your automated workflows work just as well once you have completed your move to new business space.

Which Workflows Can You Anticipate Changing?

You may know in advance about some workflows that will have to change. For example, if you are moving from a facility with traditional locks and keys to a facility with swipe cards or electronic locks, then the workflow for issuing building access will have to change. You may be able to get the bare bones of the workflow in place before the move, so that it can be implemented as soon as possible after you’re in your new facility.

Or, suppose your new facility will require parking fleet vehicles farther away from where employees will need to pick them up. In this case, you may need to designate a driver to take care of this step of the new workflow – a step that wasn’t necessary before. Anticipating changed workflows in advance can help you get them operational quickly after the move is complete.

How Flexible Is the New Space?

Some workflows are self-contained within a single department, but others must cross departmental lines. The more flexible the new workspace, the easier it will be on everyone to adapt to the cross-departmental workflows in the new environment. If you’re stuck with fixed walls and doors, then you’ll have to be especially strategic about which personnel go in which sections of which floors. But if you have cubicle walls and other re-configurable elements, setting up personnel to more easily accommodate workflows will be easier. Ask yourself which departments interact with each other most frequently and place them accordingly.

Three people walking through a hallway caring cardboard boxes.

Careful location of personnel and departments can optimize workflow operation in your new space.

Can You Group Workflow Participants Optimally?

One of the great things about automated workflows and online forms is that physical papers don’t have to be conveyed from one workflow participant to the next, because it’s all done over the company network or the web. But sometimes, workflows require physical presence, and when you identify these and group workflow participants accordingly, things will run more smoothly.

Suppose temporary badges must be generated for each visitor to the facility. It makes sense that the personnel and machinery required to create the badges be located conveniently – near the reception desk for example. That way, people expecting guests don’t have to traipse to another floor or an obscure corner of the building just to fetch a temporary badge.

Many – possibly most – automated workflows can be translated from the old business facility to the new one with little if any change, and that’s one of the best things about automated workflows. And of course, electronic forms can be accessed from anywhere network access is available. But some workflows will have to be modified when you move to a new workspace. You’re wise to anticipate those that will have to change and set the stage for a smooth transition by understanding how they will change with the relocation.

PerfectForms is online form and automated workflow software that puts the power of workflow development into the hands of the people who actually use the workflows. Because no programming is required, forms and workflows can be developed for the convenience of the users rather than the convenience of programmers. And should you need to modify a form or workflow, PerfectForms makes that easy and convenient as well. You can try out PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial. Find out what online forms and automated workflows should be like, and how they can benefit your business.

5 Use Cases for Automated Workflows You May Not Have Considered

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Person at their desktop with a notebook and laptop computer.

Workflow software is a natural for HR processes, but it can be used for far more than most people think.

Don’t you want to get the most out of your workflow software? If your workflow software is agile enough, you can use it for far more than the typical HR and document management tasks that so many companies use it for.

Automated workflows aren’t just about doing things faster, but about doing things better. Well-designed workflows can reduce errors and collect valuable data along the way – data that can be used for better budget planning, more effective customer tracking, and even faster recovery when disaster strikes. Here are five use cases for automated workflows you may not have considered.

1. Automatic Approval or Eligibility Evaluation

Do small purchase orders really need departmental approval? If not, your purchase order workflow can be made to automatically evaluate conditions to ensure that only purchases greater than a certain threshold amount be sent for departmental approval. And should a user try to game the system by submitting a series of just-under-the-threshold purchases, the system can evaluate the number of purchase orders started by the same person within a defined time period and proceed accordingly.

2. IT Support Tickets

Maybe your “IT department” consists of a single person hired to ensure your computers and devices all work as intended. Even so, using workflow software to create an IT ticket system with online forms for users to describe their problems is smart. Not only is there no chance of losing requests (as can happen with sticky notes and other makeshift solutions for tracking problems), your IT person can collect valuable data that can help inform future IT purchases or even make the business case for hiring an additional IT worker.

3. Submission of Tweets to Your Social Media Manager

If you have a social media team, it’s often best to have a single person in charge of posting social media messages, Tweets, and the like. A simple online form submitting Tweets to the social media manager ensures that all of them meet specifications, and that they are posted strategically, at times when they are likeliest to receive the attention they deserve. Such forms can also be valuable should an old social media post need to be retrieved or taken down later on.

Conversation bubble created with people with the words tweet in the middle.

Workflows for managing social media can organize an often-unpredictable process.

4. Managing Accounts Receivable

An automated workflow that flags AR items that are more than 30 days old can ensure that no accounts slip through the cracks and end up being written off. For example, when an account reaches the 30-day threshold, a reminder can be sent to an AR team member to contact the customer by email. When an account reaches a 60- or 90-day threshold, the workflow can prompt a team member to follow up by phone or certified mail in an attempt to collect all the money owed to you.

5. A Disaster Recovery Workflow

Suppose that your company experiences a natural disaster, break-in, or data breach. It’s upsetting and difficult to know what to do first. But establishing a disaster recovery workflow can help. Such a workflow (run in the cloud, so it’s available even if your on-site equipment is down) can walk users through important steps, like bringing in extra staff, calling authorities, and contacting insurers. Too many businesses put disaster recovery on a back burner and are then caught out once something actually happens.

When your workflow software is flexible and powerful, you can use it for an almost unlimited number of workflow use cases, making your software investment pay off even more than you expected. PerfectForms is online form and workflow software that gives you the power and flexibility to design workflows for countless business processes – including some that may never have been thought of before! What’s more, there’s no programming, because PerfectForms offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

Why not look through some of our many case studies and imagine the ways that PerfectForms can help your business create workflows that give you a stronger competitive edge?