4 Tips to Realize the Best ROI for Workflow Automation

Thursday, July 5th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Piggy bank with a spigot pouring out coins.

The benefits of having automated workflows are obvious and well-documented. Time and cost savings, a reduction in error rates, and the collection of valuable, actionable data are just a few such benefits.

In short, automated workflows allow you and your team to spend less time on rote, repetitive tasks so you can focus more time and energy on your core business objectives. It’s also important to note that “automation” doesn’t necessarily mean that an entire workflow process goes from beginning to end without human interaction. Many tasks can be partially automated, yet still have people involved in the steps that cannot be automated, and the benefits are nearly as great in these cases.

Naturally, businesses want to maximize return on investment when they start using workflow software to automate processes. Here are four tips for maximizing the workflow automation ROI:

1. Identify Pain Points

To create automated workflows that make a difference, you have to first identify problems that need solving. Is one process particularly prone to errors, perhaps because of multiple points of data entry? Are some processes still reliant upon manual or paper-based processes? Does a particular process always experience bottlenecks at some point?

Talk to process users to learn exactly where the pain points are. Management may not be aware of the specific bottlenecks and issues that keep everyday processes from flowing smoothly, but the people who use those workflows regularly certainly are.

2. Prioritize Automation Projects

For your first automation process, you want to choose something where there is a need for automation, but you’re probably better off choosing a small, discrete automation task rather than, say, revamping your entire HR system. You could, for example, create online forms and an associated workflow for on-boarding new employees, allowing new employees to enter their personal information once and routing it to every form that requires that information rather than having them spend their first few days filling out endless forms. Once you gain confidence from a successful automation initiative, you can branch out more, tackling more substantive projects over time.

Woman sitting at a table working on a laptop.

Start small and quickly see the difference automated workflows can make.

3. Monitor KPIs Before and After Automation

What good are automated workflows if they don’t actually make things better? You simply can’t know the effect of workflow automation if you don’t measure key performance indicators both before and after automated workflow implementation. Say you want to automate building maintenance requests. Spend a few weeks upfront determining how long the old process takes, how many mistakes have to be corrected, and so on. Then, after automation is complete and users know how to use the new process, measure those same KPIs. This will show you clearly where automation is making the biggest difference.

4. Choose the Right Workflow Software

The importance of choosing the right workflow software for workflow automation cannot be overstated. Your software must be both flexible (for customization) and powerful (so it will actually do what you need). Furthermore, it should be easy to scale up once you realize the power of workflow automation and want to extend it to more and more processes. Ideally, you should choose workflow software that doesn’t require programming or major IT infrastructure upgrades. The best workflow software will allow the people who end up actually using the workflows to have influence over workflow design. After all, they’re the ones who will be dealing with it day in and day out.

PerfectForms is workflow software that is powerful, flexible, and scalable. It’s also mobile-friendly, so you can create online forms and workflows that work perfectly with employee mobile devices. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, creating customized online forms and workflows is straightforward and requires no programming.

With PerfectForms, you can automate the smallest, simplest process, or the biggest, most complex one. Did you know you can try PerfectForms for free? Sign up for a free trial and test drive it yourself. Learn how companies just like yours facilitate automation and quickly reap the benefits.

Automated Workflows Increasingly Expected Across Industries

Thursday, June 21st, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Woman purchasing food from a market.

Automation isn’t appropriate for every work activity, but many tasks can be automated.

Automation is established in many industries, like manufacturing and IT services. But some industries consist largely of tasks for which automation doesn’t make sense. A local diner, for instance, has to be ready to provide an unpredictable range of cooked foods to customers at a moment’s notice.

The good news is that even in industries where automation isn’t an obvious solution for productivity and efficiency gains, automation has a place, and can provide a competitive advantage. Automated workflows can be implemented across just about all industries, and in ways that deliver a fast, positive return on investment.

Industries with the Lowest Automation Potential

Industries that involve managing people and their expectations are the hardest to automate. Sometimes, human experience and expertise are necessary for decision-making or creative work. Automation works best in industries where well-defined activities are the norm, but even in these industries, human input is required for things like interpretation of results or monitoring solutions for unexpected problems.

Workflow software can be used in industries that are based on hard-to-automate “knowledge work,” because every business has tasks that must be carried out with consistency on a regular schedule. When creative or highly customized businesses implement automated workflows where appropriate, they can advance their competitive position.

Automation Helps Cope with Email

You don’t even need workflow software to automate many email-related tasks. Most email programs allow creation of custom filters to route and respond automatically based on the email sender. Emails from key clients, for example, can automatically be flagged and routed to a folder designated just for them.

Many of us have used automatic “out of office” responses to let email senders know when we’re away, and whom to contact until we return. With the average office worker receiving 121 emails per day, it’s easy to see how manual management of emails can take up a disproportionate amount of time, and how automatic workflows for email management can save massive amounts of time.

Large @ symbol in white surrounded by blank paper.

Automation of many ordinary email tasks is a no-brainer.

The Many Advantages of Paying Bills Automatically

Many of us use automatic bill payment at home to make sure that our phone bills and other household bills are paid automatically and on time. It saves time and prevents problems like late fees. Businesses can use automatic bill paying too, and the advantages may be even greater.

If phone service gets cut off at home because someone forgot to pay a bill, it’s an inconvenience and a hassle. But if it happens at work, the results can be disastrous. Two of the best and easiest ways for a business to implement automation is to use providers’ automatic bill paying services, or set up automated workflows that transfer money on the correct day every month.

Data Backup: A Prime Opportunity for Automation

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have lost data due to not backing it up, and those who will lose data due to not backing it up. Some employees are going to be more vigilant about data backup than others, unless you set up automated workflows to take care of the task.

Scheduling and running data backups is one of the easiest tasks to postpone when work gets busy. But disk crashes don’t care how busy someone is, and there’s never a good time to discover that data has been lost. Automated workflows for backing up data may not be glamorous or exciting, but they can prevent a huge number of major problems.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that automated workflows are just for highly-automated industries. The truth is, even the most hands-on, mom-and-pop business can benefit from automated workflows, for tasks ranging from on-boarding new employees to timekeeping to making sure all bills are paid on time. PerfectForms is workflow software that makes automation easy, because there is no programming required.

With PerfectForms, you can drag and drop workflow elements into place to make fully-customized workflows that do exactly what you need. If you’re interested in learning more about how automation can benefit businesses in any industry, we invite you to read through some of our many case studies. PerfectForms helps businesses automate appropriate processes, so they can focus more of their time and energy on core business processes.

Can Automated Workflows Improve Employee Engagement?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Automated workflows

When employees are engaged in their work, everyone benefits. The employees themselves benefit from a sense of accomplishment and of having contributed to something greater than themselves, while customers benefit from an elevated experience. And companies benefit too, to the tune of a 21% increase in productivity and a 22% increase in profitability.

Employee engagement isn’t the same thing as employees just being happy. They might be happy because their team made the playoffs, yet not be engaged in their work. It’s not “employee satisfaction,” either. Satisfied employees are content that they are being compensated a certain amount for their time and efforts, and they can be satisfied while being largely unengaged in what they’re doing. Employee engagement is about feeling like it’s worthwhile to give that extra effort, because they know it matters to themselves, the customers, and the business as a whole.

Poor Workflow Design Can Torpedo Employee Engagement

Rare is the workplace in which employees can do their thing without some regulations and constraints. Productivity goals, safety regulations, and company culture are necessary, after all. But when workflow design is lacking, the result can be poor employee engagement. You can tell this is happening when employees make statements like these:

  • “This process is too time-consuming for what it accomplishes.”
  • “I can’t move forward until I get the feedback I asked for.”
  • “I wasn’t sure exactly what I was supposed to do.”
  • “Administrative tasks mean I don’t have time to do my best on the work that counts.”

Sometimes leaders must take a hard look at workflows and determine what works and what doesn’t, what is necessary and what isn’t necessary. Workflows evolve whether we want them to or not, and without direction, they can evolve into unwieldy, inefficient processes that sap employee engagement.

Good Automated Workflows Can Improve Employee Engagement

By the same token, automated workflows that are well-designed can improve employee engagement levels. Sometimes the solution is as simple as upgrading technology, and sometimes it is as complex as helping veteran employees overcome resistance to change. But when automated workflows are designed to make sense for the end goals, the workforce, and the company culture, they are investments that pay off handsomely.

Automated workflows

Investment in employee engagement pays off.

Employees who are freed up from doing menial, repetitive tasks because of online forms and automated workflows have more time and mental energy to devote to their core responsibilities. And well-designed workflows break down processes into strategic, discrete tasks, while giving each person in the process a sense of their role in the overall process. Building good communication capabilities into workflows helps keep processes on track and prevent small problems from becoming larger ones.

Online Forms and Workflows Can Also Measure Employee Engagement

You can’t improve employee engagement levels if you don’t make a baseline measurement and define what “improvement” looks like. Fortunately, you can use smart workflow design to gauge employee engagement in many different ways. Periodically adding a “survey” step for each participant in a workflow can alert managers to bottlenecks and suggestions for improvement. Adding an employee engagement component to employee evaluation processes can keep management informed of the employee engagement zeitgeist, so any necessary changes can be made in a timely manner.

Employers are more concerned with employee engagement than they used to be, and that’s a good thing. Finding, hiring, and retaining top talent are challenging tasks, and it’s your non-engaged workers who are at greatest risk of going where pastures are greener. PerfectForms is online form and workflow software that allows for customized workflow design, for your team and your goals. Because no programming is involved, the people involved in workflow design can use input from the people who will actually use the workflows every day.

Creating online forms and automated workflows is as easy as dragging and dropping elements into place, and the result is the creation of work processes that make sense for employees, the company as a whole, and ultimately for the customers. We invite you to read through some of the many PerfectForms case studies to see for yourself how the right automated workflows and online forms can take performance and employee engagement from good to outstanding.

How Workflows Help When 3D Printing Is Introduced at Your Company

Monday, January 29th, 2018 by PerfectForms Editors

Automated workflows

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is new and fascinating technology, presenting possibilities that were only dreamed about before. While there is a certain amount of artistic experimentation surrounding 3D printing, many businesses in many industries are already incorporating the technology into their operations.

Primarily, 3D printing is used for accelerating product development, creating limited series of customized products, and rapid prototyping, though the number of potential uses for the technology is practically unlimited.

The good news is that small businesses that don’t have the budget to acquire their own 3D printer can contract with a growing number of contract 3D printing companies in order to take advantage of the many benefits of the technology.

But 3D printing is still a relatively expensive undertaking, so it’s smart for companies that use it for prototyping or product development to have defined workflows for accessing 3D printing technology, whether it’s located on-site or contracted out. Creating automated workflows to control the 3D printing process, from idea conception through the creation of the physical object is the best way to keep costs and waste down while branching out into this exciting new technological marvel.

Creating the Data That Drives 3D Printing Is a Process

In order for a 3D printer to create an object, it must have a set of meticulous and precise instructions, just like your laser printer needs exact instructions so it “knows” when to print on both sides of the paper, when to turn documents from portrait to landscape orientation, and when to accommodate non-standard paper sizes.

But throwing instructions at a 3D printer and seeing what comes out is a luxury few can afford. Therefore, creating an automated workflow for computer modeling, conversion to the proper file type for the printer, and model optimization is important for maximizing creativity and efficiency at the same time while minimizing wasted effort.

Automated workflows

As fun as experimentation with a 3D printer may be, most companies must carefully consider how they use the technology.

Automated Workflows Reduce Mistakes, Do-Overs

When you create a custom workflow application for, say, a 3D-printed prototype of a custom, limited edition container you plan to create for your product, you need to minimize the number of attempts it takes to get it exactly right.

When someone creates a computer model, it should be reviewed by a separate person to look for mistakes and potential problems. Once the model appears to be up to standards, approval can be granted, and the print file can be converted to the right file format for the printer. If you’re contracting with a 3D printing provider, the print file can be delivered electronically with “read” receipt, so you know the provider received it. By creating an automated workflow around 3D printing, you have the checks and balances you need to ensure that do-overs are kept to a minimum.

On-Site or Outsourced, 3D Printing Benefits from Defined Workflows

It’s easy to see how workflow automation make sense for 3D printing done in-house because you don’t want everyone clamoring to use the machine at once and causing conflicts. But workflows are just as important when you outsource 3D printing, because everybody involved in a project that requires 3D printing should be kept apprised of where the project is at any given time. Automated form workflows allow all authorized personnel to check and see that the design was reviewed and converted to the right format, and the contractor received it yesterday afternoon. Everyone stays on the same page, in other words.

PerfectForms is workflow software that empowers users to create custom automated workflows, via an intuitive user interface that offers tremendous flexibility. You can create a workflow for assigning cubicles, and then create a workflow for having a prototype 3D printed, all with the same software. We would love to talk to you about the nearly limitless potential PerfectForms offers to businesses just like yours, whether or not 3D printing is in your future. We encourage you to contact us at any time and look forward to hearing from you.

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A Place for Automation in Even the Most Hands-On Business

Monday, October 16th, 2017 by PerfectForms Editors

Automated workflow

Ideas for automated workflows are easier to think of for some businesses than for others. For example, an e-commerce business would make extensive use of online forms and automated workflows. A business that makes reservations, matches clients with service providers, or schedules in-home services would almost require automated workflows for gaining a competitive edge.

Other businesses, however, aren’t obvious candidates for automation, but they could probably benefit from it anyway. For example, a catering business is very hands-on, and the core business process of providing food to customers can’t be done by an app. But with almost every business, there are back office and administrative tasks that benefit from automation. And hands-on businesses that bring in clients through a website need online forms for the greatest efficiency. In other words, there is a place for automation in even the most hands-on business. Here’s why.

Configuring Optimum Orders

You could pick products for a particular order yourself, and in some cases, you may have to. For instance, if you’re catering an event where you’ll serve seasonal local produce, you’ll probably pick it out yourself from a local supplier, or have one of your employees do so. But in other cases, you may frequently buy certain ingredients and need to order based on inventory levels, price, quality, and delivery options. An automated workflow that accounts for inventory levels and makes orders based on need and price from a curated selection of vendors can save massive amounts of time.

Managing a Digital Marketing Strategy

Every business wants to make its marketing budget stretch as far as possible to maximize marketing ROI. Using automated workflows to manage the various tasks involved in digital marketing helps you do exactly this. Say you want to release a video a day or two before a new product release. An automated digital marketing workflow can schedule the video for upload and promotion so that it appears on fans’ and followers’ news feeds at exactly the right time. You could also make an advertising purchase workflow that metes out your monthly marketing budget based on various social media analytics so you get the most bang for your advertising buck.

Scheduling Employees

Automated workflows

Automating schedule planning helps both you and your contractors.

Small businesses may not have regular employees but may use contractors on an as-needed basis. Being able to plan ahead benefits both your business and the contractors you use. Suppose you created a workflow that would allow your contractors to input days of availability a month (or even a week) in advance. Or suppose you created a workflow outlining your contractor needs for the upcoming month or week and distributed it to your contractors to fill the slots on a first-come, first-serve basis. Either way, you can schedule ahead, and your contractors will have an easier time scheduling their workload, making them more likely to continue to work with you.

Obtaining Customer Feedback

Online Electronic Survey Forms for customer feedback have been around for a long time, and they always get better response rates than paper-based feedback forms. Whether you distribute feedback polls and forms via email or have them on your web page, you can easily collect the data from them and make sense of it much faster than you could with hand-completed surveys. Make your customer feedback forms mobile-friendly, by minimizing typing and maximizing things like radio buttons and drop-down menus, and you will be even more likely to get good response rates.

Some businesses are and always will be more hands-on than others. After all, they’ll probably never have an app that can shoe horses or produce an award-winning buttercream frosting. But even in the businesses where there’s a lot of hands-on work, many tasks benefit from being made into automated workflows. The right workflow software, like PerfectForms, can make all the difference.

PerfectForms allows you to Create Online Forms and automated workflows from scratch or using a range of pre-built, customizable templates, all using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. You don’t have to be (or hire!) a programmer to create the exact online forms and workflows you need to make your business run at its most efficient and productive. Interested in learning more? We invite you to watch our demo video, to witness for yourself what custom, automated forms and workflows can do for your business.

Online Forms Plus Mobility Equals a Paperless Business

Friday, March 24th, 2017 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

Workflow tools

The tantalizing idea of an office without paper was first dangled in front of the business world more than 30 years ago, with the personal computer revolution. But what futurists failed to realize was just how entrenched paper usage was, and the fact that a computer connected to a printer offered the perfect temptation to print more rather than less.

The paperless office in no way materialized with the first wave of personal computers, and it didn’t happen when everyone got internet connections either. Now you could print out emails and downloaded articles in addition to all the other stuff offices routinely printed out! The situation has improved to some extent, with even the most senior employees realizing that consuming content from a screen works just as well in most cases.

With mobility, the truly paperless office is starting to be a real possibility. Trust in electronic documents has grown, and many more people and organizations are serious about reducing their environmental footprint. Here’s one way to make the paperless (or nearly paperless) office come about.

It’s Easier if You’re Just Starting Out Your Business

If you’re in the process of starting a business from scratch, you can make it as paperless as possible by choosing paperless software and developing paperless processes from the beginning. The business trio of the laptop, the smartphone, and the tablet together make up an office that goes everywhere, so even if you do invest in physical desks, they might not get much use. With cloud-powered applications available for just about everything, the need for on-site IT hardware has diminished greatly too. There’s never been a better time to start up a paperless business.

Existing Businesses Can Dramatically Cut Paper Usage Too

Making paper-based processes paperless may cause some disruption. People like doing things the way they’re used to doing them, after all. But judiciously selecting processes to remove from the paper-based world and run electronically can get more people on board so that future moves away from paper are easier for people to accept. Setting up a simple document signing app or making a commonly used paper form into an electronic one can help your business take a big step toward the paperless ideal.

Online Forms Are a Great First Step

Workflow tools

Imagine eliminating the accumulated time spent ferrying paper documents back and forth.

Few people like paper-based forms. They’re tedious, sometimes hard to read, and they can be lost, damaged, stolen, or otherwise mishandled. Electronic Survey Forms, on the other hand, present no worries about penmanship, can be submitted electronically to avoid being lost or damaged, and can allow entry of data one time to populate multiple forms or multiple fields in a single form. Form software that lets you duplicate the look and feel of your paper forms, right down to font and color choices, helps the reticent get over their fear of change.

Mobility Takes the Paperless Office to the Next Level

Online forms that are mobile-friendly take your paper-free ambitions to the next level. Why not make it easy for traveling employees to submit expense reports from the road? Let your field technicians document services right from their tablet, and records are more up-to-date and accurate while saving everyone precious time. The editor who can finish editing reports from her laptop can be productive both in the office or working from home when her child is sick. Electronic forms raise all sorts of great possibilities, and mobile-friendly forms fulfill many of them.

PerfectForms is mobile-friendly form software that doesn’t require programming skills to use. Non-technical users can create pixel-perfect forms that users can submit electronically, accelerating workflows appreciably. You can even include automatic notifications in your electronic workflows, so when someone needs to review a completed form, they’re notified by email right away. Are you interested in the paperless (or “as paperless as possible”) office? You can try PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial. Experience for yourself the possibilities the electronic, paper-free office has long promised.

Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Form?

Friday, June 3rd, 2016 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

Have you ever worked for the military, or for a company that keeps track of form revisions? If so, it’s clear to see from the revision numbers just how challenging it can be to create the perfect form on paper. What’s more, if you’ve printed out 1,000 copies before discovering a mistake, you have to choose to use the imperfect forms as is or throw them out.

Perfect form

Online forms are not automatically perfect forms, but it’s easier to get from Version 1.0 to the perfect form if it’s electronic. You don’t have to scrap a pile of paper forms, and can make changes and updates instantly. If those online forms are part of a workflow management solution or business process management software (BPM software), you can accelerate business processes as well. Here are several benefits you should expect from your own perfect form.

Less, Rather than More, Dependence on IT Resources

You might think that adopting online forms would require the help of the IT department, but if you have the right BPM software, you’ll actually reduce dependence on your busy IT people. Why does the “right” BPM software lessen the need for IT input? Because it will allow custom workflow management solutions without requiring programming code. Look for an intuitive user interface coupled with powerful features.

Easier Enforcement of Workflow Compliance

When you create online forms as part of automated workflows, you practically guarantee workflow compliance. That’s because completed forms can be instantly submitted to the right recipient(s), and recipients can be automatically alerted that their input is needed. If a request is denied, or if a recipient requires more information, the initiator of the workflow can be notified of this. The result is far more consistency when workflows are accomplished.

Lower Operational Costs

Even before your online forms are perfected, you can expect lower operational costs. Printing and paper costs go away for those online forms, and time that used to be spent manually handing off forms or using intra-office mail can be used more productively, because completed online forms can be routed automatically. Ultimately, your workflows will become faster and more efficient, further diminishing operational costs.

Perfect form

Implement automated workflows and online forms and watch operational costs drop.

Better Process Efficiency

How efficient is it to manually fill out a paper form, then leave it on someone’s desk where it might be buried or damaged? Not very efficient at all. By contrast, submitting online forms is instant, and these forms won’t get lost or coffee-stained. If a workflow initiator wants to check the status of his or her form, this can easily involve “phone tag” and wasted time. Electronic workflow management eliminates these problems.

Better Visibility into Processes

With electronic forms and workflow management, authorized users can determine the status of a process at any time. In fact, alerts can be sent out to key players at important points in a process. There’s no more chasing down the person responsible for acting on a form and figuring out how far a workflow has progressed. This enhanced visibility into processes is one of the most important advantages of great BPM software for workflow management.

PerfectForms is BPM software that lets you take control of workflow management with online forms and automated, electronic workflows that you build yourself. It’s designed for non-technical users, so there’s no programming involved, even with the most complex workflows. Online forms approach perfection much faster than paper forms do, and coupled with electronic workflow management, the benefits to your company are measurable, both immediately and long term. We invite you to watch our demo and learn how easy it is to create perfect online forms for improved workflow.

How the Right Form Creator Software Makes Purchase Orders Easy

Monday, February 8th, 2016 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

A purchase order is a document generated by a buyer authorizing a purchase from a seller. Once the seller accepts the purchase order, the document becomes a contract that protects both parties. Information contained in purchase orders includes things like item descriptions, prices, quantities, payment terms, applicable discounts, and shipping specifications.

Form creator software

Without a smart purchase order process, your business is open to all sorts of inaccuracies and shortcuts.

Businesses use purchase orders for several reasons:

  • They make keeping track of purchases easier.
  • They can be referred to if a dispute arises between the business and the seller.
  • They are evidence of compliance with various regulations.
  • They make it easier for businesses to classify spending.

Purchase orders used to be done on paper and, in some cases, they still are. Form creating software makes the entire purchase order process infinitely better. Here’s how.

The Right Software Makes the Entire Process Faster

With form creation software, you can create digital forms that can be submitted electronically rather than completed by hand and routed to various approving authorities before submission to the seller. Digital purchase orders can be made to look identical to paper forms your team may be used to, so the learning curve is short. Electronic submission and approval of purchase orders is fast, accurate, and avoids smudged, torn, or illegible paper purchase orders.

With Better Information Comes Better Planning and Control

An electronic archive of purchase orders is easier to use for creating a long-term picture of purchasing trends, preferred vendors, and recurring problems. You can certainly gather this information with paper purchase orders, but it takes significantly longer and is more prone to errors. The gathering of information necessary during an electronic purchase order process makes it easy to spot, for example, a cash flow crunch indicating insufficient funds to pay for a purchase. This can prevent credit problems and misunderstandings.

Records, Compliance, and Reporting Are Significantly Accelerated

Form creator software

An electronic purchase order process makes demonstrating regulation compliance faster and easier.

When you use form creator software,

  • Maintaining accurate records is faster and easier.
  • You’ll have an easier time demonstrating compliance generating reports showing how your company’s purchases are allocated.
  • You can generate custom reports showing statistics that matter to you personally. For example, you could run a report detailing how much your company spent with small, locally owned vendors or vendors with good sustainability records.

Purchase Orders Do Not Necessarily Mean “Paperwork”

Don’t think that because you operate a very small business that you can’t benefit from a defined purchase order process. And don’t think that downloading templates and printing them is the best way to start. You can use form creator software not only for an outstanding purchase order process, but also to streamline countless other business processes, like expense reporting, project management, contracts, and surveys.

PerfectForms is form creator software designed for use by non-technical users who, nonetheless, want powerful, flexible, digital forms and workflows customized to their specifications. With a user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface, you can create the purchase order forms and workflows you need quickly and prevent many of the problems you may have had with paper purchase orders.

Once you discover one use for PerfectForms, you’ll envision countless others, like creation of an electronic employee on-boarding workflow, an IT support request process, or a system for managing company assets. Watch our demo and see how much power and flexibility PerfectForms offers businesses just like yours.

7 Small Businesses That Can Benefit from Form Creation Software

Monday, February 1st, 2016 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

Form creator software is an obvious addition to some types of small businesses. Those in the accounting and IT fields, for example, have clear use cases for form creation software to collect data and keep everything organized.

Form creation software

Online forms that are mobile-friendly can engender tremendous customer loyalty.

But many small businesses that you wouldn’t expect to benefit much from form creation software may actually grow and thrive partly due to smart use of such software. It can be used to differentiate a business from its competitors while making customer interactions faster, easier, and more accurate. Here are 7 small businesses that can benefit from form creation software.

1. Food Truck

Few businesses are as customer-centric as food trucks, yet form creation software can help these businesses take operations to a new level. Electronic online forms for ordering in advance, or even paying ahead can greatly increase customer convenience. Making these forms mobile-friendly can make things even more convenient for a busy customer base.

2. Translation Services

Particularly if a translation service covers multiple languages, online form creation software can boost efficiency and accuracy. Not only can clients order services through online (or mobile) forms, they can attach and upload documents or audio files that need to be translated. Terms of payment can also be spelled out and transacted using electronic forms and workflows.

3. Furniture Upholstery

Good practitioners of upholstery may deal with strong demand at times, and form creation software makes it easier to organize and plan. Customers could, for example, use online forms to input information like measurements, whether they will provide upholstery material, and when they want to bring the piece in. They could even upload a photo to get more accurate price estimates.

4. Personal Concierge Service

A personal concierge is usually highly dependent upon his or her phone and tablet. Form creation software can speed the order and payment process up for customers, and can even be made to give customers an estimated wait time. The more mobile-friendly personal concierge forms are, the more convenient it is for customers to request services.

5. Music Lessons

Form creation software

Music teachers and their students can benefit from the convenience of online forms.

Form creation software can be used by today’s music teacher to schedule lessons, help students keep track of pieces they’re working on, and plan recitals. Busy parents can request a change in schedule with a phone or tablet, and music teachers can reply in between lessons to minimize interruptions. Allowing payment through online forms is also convenient for all parties.

6. Bicycle Repair

Before a repair technician ever lays hands on a broken bicycle, online forms can deliver important information, such as make and model, symptoms, and even photographs of parts that aren’t working correctly. Scheduling bicycle repairs can also be done using electronic forms, and updates on repair status can be delivered automatically at certain points in the process.

7. Dog Grooming

Appointments can fill up quickly for an in-demand groomer, and online forms developed with form creation software can keep everything organized. Mobile pet groomers can particularly benefit from online forms that are mobile-friendly. Make it easy to pay electronically for customers who choose to do so, and the entire process is faster, more accurate, and easier for everyone.

Form Creation Software Isn’t Just for Tech or Numerically Oriented Businesses

If you own a small business that isn’t an obvious candidate for electronic forms and workflows, perhaps you should consider form creation software anyway. It can be used by customers to request and pay for services and provide necessary details, and it can also be used by employees to log their activities and create audit trails.

When you use form creation software like PerfectForms, which is designed for use by non-technical users, you can create perfect electronic forms using drag-and-drop convenience, and you can create them to suit your needs exactly. In fact, just about any process you have now that involves jotting down notes can be made into convenient online forms that are faster, more accurate, and allow for easier recordkeeping and data collection.

Take a few minutes to watch our demo, and let it spark ideas for how form creation software can set your small business apart from the competition. The return on investment can be swift and positive, helping you take your small business to a new level of efficient operation.

What’s the Best Software to Create Forms?

Friday, July 17th, 2015 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

Though often maligned, forms are essential to the workplace. They collect information in a standardized manner so it can be used for any number of purposes: enrollment in a fringe benefit program, requesting help for an IT problem, reporting business trip expenses, or signing up for the company volleyball team.


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Few businesses can operate effectively without forms.


Fortunately, businesses are largely shifting from paper forms to electronic forms, which are faster and more accurate for everyone involved. Electronic forms also lead to sometimes significant savings on paper and ink as well as time. You have many options for creating forms. In fact, your word processing software may have some form templates. But the best software to create forms is software designed expressly for that purpose. Look for the following features in your forms software.



Auto-population saves time and prevents errors. Whether it offers “auto-complete” functionality based on common input responses, or whether it’s able to use one field of information to populate multiple forms, auto-population is a feature you should require. The best software to create forms takes as many measures as possible to make things easy on the people who will be filling out forms.



You may not think of mobility as a big deal when you evaluate forms software, but it really can make a tremendous difference. Suppose your business sends employees into the field, to make repairs, deliver items, or consult with clients. When you make the forms they use available on mobile devices, everyone benefits. Your delivery driver can mark delivery status on his tablet as soon as the delivery is made. If a sales team member receives a new order from a client, she can submit the order immediately. In today’s business world, the best software to create forms incorporates mobility.



Sometimes forms stand alone in their function. But many times, forms represent one part of a complex workflow. Think about when you bring a new employee into your company. You have to collect a substantial amount of information before an employee ID badge can be made, keys can be cut, or a computer workstation can be set up. Your forms software should allow you to connect the forms you create into logical workflows that automatically notify the appropriate personnel when steps are completed. You could, for example, have the IT department automatically alerted to assign a laptop once an employee’s ID badge has been made and issued, with no phone calls necessary to coordinate it all.


Create forms

Connect related forms into workflows and save even more time.


Outstanding User Interface

Of course you want to create online forms that look terrific and are easy for people to use. But the best software to create forms goes further by providing an outstanding interface for the people who use it to create the forms in the first place. If your form creation software is clunky or non-intuitive, people will avoid using it, or may find it overly frustrating and confusing. Those who create forms and workflows should have an interface that makes sense: a “blank canvas” onto which they can arrange fields how they want easily. Linking forms together to create workflows should be similarly intuitive and not require advanced IT skills.


Integration With Other Software and Data Sources

Imagine you have a spreadsheet or database full of information that you would like to use to populate a form. Can your forms software pull data in from other sources without a custom programming effort? What if your business takes in information from your website, like customer or purchase information? Does your form software know what to do with the data it collects? Forms software today should be able to do this, and it should be able to do it without your having to write programming code. Even if this is not something you need now, it’s smart to insist that your forms software have these capabilities so you’ll be ready should the need arise.



Building online forms does not have to mean using your word processing software to create something that’s just acceptable. The best software to create forms is designed for that purpose and includes a suite of features that makes life easy for the people who use the forms and for those who create them. Outstanding form creation software should also allow you to create streamlined workflows, work on mobile devices, and should let you do all this without programming. PerfectForms does all this and more. It’s flexible and powerful enough that PerfectForms users often discover many innovative uses they hadn’t thought of before. Watch the PerfectForms demo and see the possibilities for yourself.