Workflow Software Helps You Accelerate Recruiting and Hiring

Thursday, August 15th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Automated workflows and new employee recruiting go together naturally. 

Career fair

Whether you use job fairs or headhunters, the right workflows
accelerate the hiring process.

The hiring process has a lot of moving parts, but strong workflow management can make sure all the parts work as they should while reducing errors and making the process as efficient as it can be. Other benefits of using automated workflows in the hiring process include reduction of paperwork, reduction of status phone calls and emails, time savings, and transparency. 

Here are several types of recruiting workflows that can make the hiring process far less painful.

Workflows for Candidate Sourcing

Candidate sourcing begins with creation of an accurate job description. Different companies source job candidates differently, and different types of roles within the same company may be sourced in different ways. 

However a company decides to source candidates for a particular position, the right workflow software makes it easy to create a standardized workflow to ensure that ads are placed in all relevant publications, or that all relevant recruiting agencies and websites know about your open position. Such a workflow can be great for reducing duplication of effort.

Workflows for Shortlisting Candidates

How the hiring team creates a shortlist of candidates will also be particular to the company and to the role. Creating a standardized, automated workflow that allows hiring team members to score candidates helps ensure every team member’s voice is heard, and that no candidate is overlooked. When a workflow is used for scoring and shortlisting candidates, it’s easier to ensure that personal bias doesn’t creep into the hiring process.

Workflows for Coordinating Interviews

Coordinating interviews for candidates on your shortlist is a task that is well-suited for automated workflows. Whether the interviews will be in person or via video conference, having a workflow for scheduling interviews, knowing which questions to ask, scoring interviews, and moving on to the next candidate are helpful. 

Job interview

Coordinating job interviews helps ensure the right people are
there to meet and talk to job candidates.

With the right workflow, any hiring team member at any time can check on whether a candidate interview has been scheduled, can prepare for interviews, and can share feedback on interviews. It’s a great way to ensure that all hiring team members stay on the same page at all times.

Workflows for Making and Closing Offers

Likewise, a workflow for creating job offer letters, calculating compensation offered, and tracking the status of offers made can save valuable time and duplication of effort. If an offer is turned down, this can be recorded in the workflow for later reference. Once an offer has been made and accepted, the workflow can prompt further actions, such as scheduling the new hire’s first day of work.

Workflows for New Employee Onboarding

New employee onboarding is an essential part of the hiring process. How onboarding is handled has a major effect on how likely the new employee is to stay with the company. Automated workflows ensure that no steps are left out, and they can even lighten the new employee’s burden by making online forms easy to fill out with autocomplete, and auto-population of form fields.

Whether or not you create automated workflows for recruiting and hiring, you should create a workflow for onboarding because of the many benefits such a workflow offers to your new employee and your HR team.

Creating customized recruiting and hiring workflows requires great workflow software. PerfectForms fits the bill. With PerfectForms, no coding is required, and you can create your own forms and workflows from scratch or use the included templates. PerfectForms also integrates easily with spreadsheets and databases, so data can be collected and stored easily. And it offers powerful reporting features so you can make sense of your data and gather valuable insights. 

We invite you to watch the PerfectForms demo video to see it in action. And if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at any time. 

Workflow Automation is the Answer to These 4 Questions

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Many people believe that workflow automation is something that’s only available to big enterprises. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Women interior designers

Workflow automation may disproportionately benefit smaller businesses.

Also true is that smaller businesses can benefit disproportionately from workflow automation. They can do things more efficiently and reduce error rates while maintaining the agility possessed by smaller enterprises. 

Today’s no-code workflow software is accessible to businesses of all sizes and all types. It allows companies to automate processes without hiring a programmer, and quickly start enjoying the benefits of workflow automation. Workflow automation is the answer to several common business questions, including these four.

1. How Can We Reduce Error Rates?

If a number needs to end up in a spreadsheet or a database, how does it get there? Does someone copy it from a catalog, or have a worker who knows the number write it down? If so, it’s easy to see how errors can enter the process. 

Workflow automation uses workflow software to prevent these problems. Numbers entered into a workflow can be checked for accuracy before being sent to a spreadsheet, database, or other processing system. The same is true for numbers scanned using a barcode or QR scanner. 

Standard business forms that are online rather than on paper do away with errors introduced due to bad penmanship, lost, or damaged forms. Workflow automation is perhaps the best single solution for reducing error rates.

2. How Can We Overcome the Limitations of Spreadsheets?

Spreadsheets are wonderful, flexible tools. But when they are shared, how do you account for changes to them? It’s not easy to ensure that everyone is working from the same version of a spreadsheet at all times, but workflow automation can help. 

Man appearing confused while looking at his laptop screen

Shared spreadsheets can cause problems if not managed properly.

Rather than entering data into a spreadsheet, users can enter the data into an automated workflow, which updates the spreadsheet while recording every input. That way it’s easy to learn if numbers have been changed, and if so, by whom. Workflow automation makes spreadsheets far more useful and accurate.

3. How Can We Get Invoices Out the Door Sooner?

Invoices that are late being sent out affect cash flow, so it’s crucial that companies send them out promptly. An automated workflow for creation and distribution of invoices can ensure that invoices go out on time, every time. 

Multiple users can enter invoice data into a workflow, and the workflow uses the data to automatically create and distribute invoices. Invoices that cannot be sent out electronically can be sent to a printer automatically, and the person(s) responsible for mailing them can be notified automatically when they are ready to go. The result is a faster invoicing process, better accounts receivable processes, and better cash flow.

4. How Can We Get Status Updates to Managers More Easily?

Project managers naturally want to know the status of the projects they oversee. But phoning or emailing project workers to find out status can waste a lot of time. Project management workflows eliminate that wasted time. 

With a project management workflow, project workers can work within the workflow, and provisions can be made to automatically update project managers when milestones have been reached, or when other specific tasks have been accomplished. Automated workflows also allow authorized workflow users to check on project status at any time, with no phone calls or emails necessary.

Workflow automation isn’t just for big business. And today’s no-code workflow software means that workflow users can design their own workflows to meet their needs exactly. PerfectForms is workflow software that requires no programming. It allows users to drag and drop form and workflow elements into place, and easily test and modify workflows before they’re deployed.

PerfectForms encourages you to browse our many case studies to see the results of workflow automation in action. And if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at any time.

7 Challenges Facilities Managers Face and How Automated Workflows Help

Thursday, August 8th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Facilities management goes beyond the tasks traditionally associated with building management.

Engineering hands

Today’s facilities managers need a broad skill set, along with
technology tools that help them fulfill their many responsibilities.

Today’s facilities manager has to ensure the comfort, safety, and functionality of the buildings in which people work. The discipline integrates people, spaces, processes, and technologies with the structural environment. It’s a big job, and facilities managers must be organized and thorough. They must also keep meticulous records.

Automated workflows can help tremendously with many facilities management tasks, as well as the recordkeeping that goes along with them. Here are seven examples.

1. Maintenance Schedules

Automated workflows for scheduled facilities maintenance can be triggered automatically by dates on the calendar. They can also automatically send out alerts a few days in advance so that facilities staff will be prepared. Automated workflows for scheduled maintenance ensure that no maintenance task is forgotten, and the building will remain as safe and functional as possible.

2. Task Checklists

The people working for a facilities manager must ensure they complete their many and varied tasks completely and without mistakes. Workflows for task checklists can be sent to workers’ mobile devices, so that when they are carrying out a repair or maintenance task, they do it to specifications, without skipping any steps. As a result, fewer tasks have to be redone. 

3. Tracking Supplies and Equipment

If a worker needs, for example, a hand truck for half the day, a simple online form can allow them to reserve it, and perhaps scan a barcode when they pick it up and when they return it. Facilities management requires knowing where tools and equipment are at all times, so they can be allocated quickly and effectively. 

4. Managing Smart Building Technologies

“Smart” buildings are becoming more common, and though these buildings take care of many tasks (like turning lights off and on, and setting thermostats) automatically, the systems themselves require managing and maintenance. What’s more, the data from these systems can be used by facilities managers to do their job better. Automated workflows for collecting temperature or utility bill data, for example, can make data collection and reporting easier.

Smart building app

Automated workflows can help facilities managers make the most of their “smart building” technology.

5. Emergency Preparedness

Every facility should have an emergency response plan for protecting employees, visitors, contractors, and others in the facility. Developing emergency procedures in advance, along with automated workflows to initiate when an emergency occurs, can ensure that even under stress, all necessary tasks are taken care of. When these workflows are mobile-friendly, it makes it even easier for facilities managers to act decisively in the event of an emergency.

6. Sustainability

More businesses are encouraging sustainable practices and environmentally responsible employee actions. A facilities manager could create an automated workflow that allows workers to, for example, collect recyclables from every collection point in the facility and deliver them to the loading dock on the days when recyclables are collected.

7. Recordkeeping

Automated workflows can be designed to keep records automatically. A completed maintenance task checklist could automatically create a date and time stamp and record the information so the manager can check at any time whether a task was completed. These records can show when planned maintenance tasks took place, who checked out equipment, and more. 

Workflow software is the key to empowering facilities managers with the tools they need to ensure the many tasks involved in facilities management are carried out completely and without errors. PerfectForms is flexible, powerful, scalable workflow software that requires no programming, so facilities managers and their team can have significant input into how the workflows are designed. 

We encourage you to watch the PerfectForms demo video and see how automated workflows streamline tasks across all departments. And if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at any time.

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6 Basic Weekly Finance Workflows and How to Design Them

Friday, August 2nd, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

If you operate a small business, it can be easy to become so absorbed in day-to-day tasks and long-term business strategies that you ignore mundane (but necessary) financial tasks.

Multitasking woman

Automated workflows help the small business owner manage finances in record time.

However, carving out time every week to attend to basic financial tasks helps you keep your finger on the pulse of your finances. Doing so can help you spot problems early and address them promptly while ensuring you pay your own bills promptly. Here are six basic weekly finance workflows that you can create using workflow software and accomplish quickly, to keep your business finances on track.

1. Prepare and Send Invoices

There are many advantages to preparing and sending invoices weekly rather than monthly. The main one is improved cash flow. Additionally, clients are likelier to pay promptly if your products and services are fresh in their minds. With workflow software, you can create online forms and process them to take care of this task quickly and accurately.

2. Review Bank Statement

Reviewing your bank statement once a week reassures you that every deposit, withdrawal, and automatic payment is accurately reflected. And if you check your bank statement weekly, you can address any discrepancies or unexpected charges right away, giving you plenty of time to get to the bottom of them.

3. Review Credit Card Statement

Just as reviewing your bank statement weekly helps you stay apprised of your cash flow, reviewing your company credit card statement every week gives you an idea of how much your card is being used and what it’s being used for. This is a great way to ensure you’re not surprised when your credit card bill comes due. 

4. Check for Bills Due Next Week

A simple automated workflow can alert you to fixed monthly bills. Maybe your utility bill is always due on the 30th, or you always pay a certain vendor on the 15th. Your workflow can check what’s due and direct you to an online payment site. It can even collect data on the amounts paid so you can track expenses from month to month.

Surprised computer man

A workflow that notifies you of bills due soon can prevent unpleasant surprises.

5. Calculate Days in AR

Here’s how to calculate average days accounts spend in accounts receivable (AR):

  • Calculate average daily charges for the past 6 months by adding up all charges posted for the last six months and dividing by the total number of days
  • Divide your total charges for the last six months by your average daily charges

The answer is your average days spent in AR. It’s best to keep this number under 50, and closer to 30 is better still. You can calculate days in AR for any six-month period. Calculating it weekly can help you spot trends in AR early.

6. Calculate Collection Effectiveness Index

Collection effectiveness index, or CEI, is a quick calculation that measures how efficient your collections are. Here is the formula for monthly CEI:

[(Beginning Receivables + Monthly Credit Sales – Ending Total Receivables) ÷ (Beginning receivables + Monthly Credit Sales – Ending Current Receivables)] × 100

The final figure is a percentage, and the higher that percentage, the better. CEI measures what was actually collected compared to what could have been collected. CEI gives an indication as to how well your accounts receivable management is working.

Finance workflows like these can be automated with workflow software. The right workflow software will make it easy to create forms requesting the information needed (such as charges posted in a certain period or current AR) and calculating things like days in AR or CEI. You can also create automated workflows for preparing and sending invoices as well as other simple financial monitoring tasks.

PerfectForms is workflow software that requires no programming, so creating weekly financial monitoring workflows is easy. We encourage you to watch the demo video and browse through some of our many case studies. PerfectForms helps you create perfectly customized forms and workflows so you can monitor and manage your company’s finances with maximum efficiency. 

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4 Reasons to Manage Financial Processes with Workflow Software

Thursday, August 1st, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Financial processes are a fact of life for every business, and the more efficient and accurate they are, the more you and your team can focus on core business functions apart from finances. 

Calculator hands

Financial processes are mandatory, but they don’t
have to take up unreasonable amounts of time.

Particularly as a small business grows, helping financial processes grow as well can be fraught with challenges. What worked fine for a three-person business may be completely inadequate in a 10-person business. 

Workflow software can help you get a handle on key financial processes, automating as much of it as possible and preventing human error from creeping in. If you’re not managing financial processes with workflow software, here are four reasons why you should be.

1. Current Financial Processes May Be Inefficient and / or Opaque

A financial process that resided in the brains of the two founders of a company isn’t up to the needs of the financial processes of a larger company. Opaque processes are daunting for people who don’t know the processes’ inner workings, and that can lead to big errors. Moreover, when financial processes don’t offer transparency, it’s harder for others to take them over when the main process users are on vacation or out sick. Workflow software is the key to creating streamlined, transparent financial processes that make sense to everyone who uses them.

2. Keeping Up with Regulatory Changes Presents a Challenge

Heavily regulated industries like healthcare, food & beverages, and others have no choice but to keep up with a constantly changing regulatory landscape. Good workflow management means building regulatory checks and balances into processes, examining them regularly, and updating them when necessary. The right workflow software allows workflow managers to make changes easily, adding or removing regulatory steps, and updating workflow instructions so everyone is aware of new or different regulations that must be followed.

3. Spreadsheets Tend to Lack Oversight and Have Other Potential Problems

Coffee man looking at spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are great tools, but they have shortcomings when relied upon for financial processes.

Spreadsheets are amazing tools for organizing information, but they have many shortcomings as financial process tools. A shared worksheet may be modified by one person without others knowing, and the results can be catastrophic. 

Many small businesses don’t have the time or resources to thoroughly teach unskilled users how to use spreadsheets responsibly. Furthermore, keeping everyone apprised of spreadsheet changes can be overwhelming. Workflows are the answer. And when workflow software interfaces with spreadsheets, companies can enjoy the value spreadsheets offer while minimizing their risks.

4. IT Departments Are Too Busy with Their Own Responsibilities

Maybe you would like to create an automated financial process, but your IT team is always full up with their own work. And hiring a programmer is expensive. The good news is that you don’t have to rely on programmers to create automated workflows as long as you have outstanding workflow software. No-code workflow software means you can create, test, modify, and deploy automated workflows without writing a single line of code. And when financial workflows are created by finance personnel rather than programmers, they’re more likely to meet needs better.

Excellent workflow software addresses all major concerns about creating financial processes that are fast, efficient, and accurate. PerfectForms is workflow software that comes with a range of customizable templates for financial processes and also makes it easy to create custom ones from scratch. And since PerfectForms is no-code software, there’s no programming whatsoever. Furthermore, PerfectForms interfaces with spreadsheets, databases, web forms and more, so it’s easy to make it an integral part of operations. 

You can try PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial, and we encourage you to do so. And if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at any time.

How Online Form Software Can Make Feedback Collection Better

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Businesses, nonprofits, government, and other organizations rely on feedback from people both inside and outside the organization so they can perform better.

Customer survey on tablet

Feedback lets you know what you’re doing right and where you can improve.

High-quality feedback can lead to correction of problems and development of better processes and products. Before the internet and online forms and workflows, collecting feedback was an onerous process, involving paper forms or phone calls and manual recording of data. It was clumsy and prone to mistakes.

Form software greatly streamlines and improves the process of collecting feedback, whether from people inside the organization, or from outsiders. Well-designed forms that ask the right questions in surveys of the right length are the quickest path to actionable insights. Here are some examples.

Better Employee Performance Appraisals

For employee performance appraisals to deliver value to everyone involved, they must be simple to use, with language that makes sense for various employee roles. With the right form software, it’s easy to create a basic employee performance appraisal form and then modify it to create customized forms for different employee roles. 

Many performance appraisals use five-point scales to rate performance of various job competencies. With online forms, these can be automatically taken from submitted forms and used to calculate overall scores or feed data into other systems like spreadsheets or databases. 

Answers to open-ended questions on employee appraisal forms can be routed differently if necessary. For example, these answers could be sent along from the managers conducting the appraisals to department heads so they can learn more about how their team members are performing.

College Course Feedback

Student course evaluations can be extremely helpful to instructors and professors, but low submission rates are a fact of life at most schools. Improving submission rates is often as simple as making course feedback forms mobile-friendly. Students simply won’t bother with feedback forms that are too long or that they have to complete by hand.

Confused phone girl

Students often won’t bother giving feedback if they can’t do
it easily from their phones. 

Only ask the most important questions and minimize open-ended questions (though you may want to include one optional one at the end for students who want to give more specific feedback). When you design course feedback forms so students can complete them on their phones with a just a few minutes of tapping on their answer choices, you’ll get better response rates and more representative data.

Customer Satisfaction with Products and Services

Surveys are a tried and true method for obtaining customer feedback that leads to actionable insights. Like student course evaluations, you should keep customer satisfaction surveys short and sweet, because the average consumer is busy. 

Make sure questions are relevant to what you want to know. For example, if you want to learn more about customer demographics, ask for things like age, sex, and home zip code. If you want to know how people like your latest product offering, make your questions about that. Mobile-friendly is a good rule to use with customer surveys, because you’ll get better response rates than you would with surveys that have to be filled out in a desktop setting.

The key to using surveys, appraisals, and other data gathering instruments successfully is having outstanding online form software. Not only should it allow you to create custom forms to suit your needs exactly, it should interface with other business systems you may use, like spreadsheets and databases. And if your form software allows easy creation of detailed reports, you can make maximum use of the feedback you gather. 

PerfectForms satisfies all these needs and more. With it’s easy, drag-and-drop interface, you can create beautiful, functional surveys and feedback forms to suit the intended audience and collect data automatically. And PerfectForms has outstanding reporting capabilities, so you can put your data and insights to use improving your organization. We encourage you to watch the PerfectForms demo video. And if you have any questions, please get in touch with us at any time. 

Avoid These 7 Workflow Management Mistakes

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Good workflow management is one of the keys to successful business operation.

Busy employees in open office plan

Good workflow management helps people focus on core business practices.

Most businesses understand the theoretical importance of workflow management, but they may make mistakes when it’s time to put workflow management into practice. Most of these mistakes have to do with lack of planning, and all can be overcome. Here are seven workflow management mistakes to avoid if you want your business to operate at its most efficient.

1. Insufficient Planning

The best workflow software for most businesses is “no code” software that requires no programming. But just because no programming is required, it doesn’t mean you can dispense with planning. Workflows must be assessed and understood in their context, so that they can be optimized. Lack of planning can lead to workflows with bottlenecks, or workflows that don’t quite get the job done.

2. Not Breaking Down Overly Complex Workflows

You can’t always break down a complex process into a set of end-to-end steps. For example, the process of “payroll” usually includes a number of tasks happening simultaneously, and trying to string them all together end-to-end probably won’t work well. Sometimes very complex workflows need to be divided up into multiple workflows that can happen at the same time.

3. Not Enough Communication

It’s easy for a workflow user to assume that since they completed their part in the overall workflow, that everything else worked fine too. They may then be surprised to find out they must redo their part because of some unforeseen problem such as a power outage. Communication about major issues surrounding a workflow, such as certain personnel being on vacation, or a hardware update that will take the system offline, should be communicated to all workflow users.

4. Too Many Status Updates

On the other hand, there’s such a thing as “notification fatigue.” It’s great when workflows can issue alerts, so people know that their input is needed, but not everyone needs to be notified about every workflow step completed. When people receive too many updates, they start ignoring updates and make themselves prone to missing an important one. Workflow management means keeping the right people apprised of the right conditions at the right time.

Annoyed laptop man

Not everyone needs to know that Jennifer in Payroll finished uploading the timekeeping data.

5. Not Aligning Workflows with Business Goals

Creating a workflow for the sake of creating a workflow won’t do much to help you reach business goals. That’s why, before you ever fire up the workflow software, you examine business goals and the best ways to reach them. Maybe the goal is to cut the amount of overtime needed by 10%. How is the best way to do that? Perhaps one way is to create an automated packing and shipping workflow that will get products out the door faster.

6. Forgetting That People Are Still Necessary

Workflows may be automated, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t necessary. A new automated workflow for business expense reimbursement maybe sleek and fast, but if people don’t know it exists, or don’t know how to initiate the process, it’s of little use. One helpful practice is periodically assessing automated workflows to make sure they meet current business needs. Business needs change, as do the technologies businesses use. Workflows should also be able to adapt.

7. Not Training Personnel on Automated Workflows

The whole idea of automated workflows is that they’re straightforward and easy to use. But people still need training. Setting aside time to train workflow users may “cost” you a little time up front, but after training, people will be ready to use workflows with skill, and understand what is happening at every step. Good workflow management requires good workflow training.

The best way to ensure you avoid workflow management mistakes is to have outstanding workflow software, so it's easy to create and test workflows thoroughly before deployment. PerfectForms fits the bill. 

PerfectForms is no-code workflow software that is flexible, powerful, and scalable. You can easily create custom workflows and test them thoroughly before deploying, to ensure they do exactly what you want. And PerfectForms integrates with spreadsheets, web forms, databases, and other office systems like Salesforce. Watch the demo video and see for yourself! And if you have any questions, please contact us at any time

Maximize Workflow ROI by Focusing on What Matters Most

Monday, July 29th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Three fundamental elements of business success are getting the high-level strategy right, getting the operating model right, and getting the right people on board.

Brainstorming collaboration group

With the right people, you can execute your strategy
and fulfill organizational goals with maximum efficiency.

When these fundamentals are in place, you’re in a much better position to take steps to maximize efficiency and extract the greatest ROI from your technology investments. 

For example, the right workflow software is immensely empowering, allowing companies to streamline and automate processes that used to be clunky and inefficient. But it's also important to prioritize workflow automation for the best, fastest ROI. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most return on your workflow software investment.

Articulate and Communicate Goals

Knowing your goals, being able to explain them, and being able to communicate them are essential to getting the most from your workflows. If you don’t know what your goals are, how can you separate the important tasks from the less-important ones? And how can your team members know where to focus their own innovation efforts if they don’t understand the goals the organization is working toward? 

Maybe one of your goals is raising productivity by 10%. If you communicate this goal and why it’s a goal, you may pique the interest of someone on the team who has an idea for significantly accelerating a workflow and making progress toward that productivity goal. 

Learn to Prioritize

With the right workflow software, people will want to create automated workflows, because they see the power of workflow automation and want to apply it everywhere they can. But it’s important that everyone on the team understands priorities. 

Suppose one of your organization’s top priorities is increasing the efficiency of the document management workflow to cut costs and free up manpower for other tasks. If you don’t emphasize the importance of this priority, a team member might be spending some of their discretionary time developing a workflow to make sure the coffee-making rota is fair. While there’s nothing wrong with such a workflow, perhaps they should be using their ambition and talent on something with a higher priority.

Office foosball game

Developing a workflow for the office Foosball tournament brackets
probably isn’t as important as developing the workflow for next year’s budget. 

Regularly Reevaluate How You Use Technology

Workflow ROI today might not be the same as it is next year. Technology is such an important variable in business processes that workflows often need to be modernized to take maximum advantage of technological advancements. 

Say one year your warehouse workers use portable barcode scanners to initiate certain workflows. A year later, all warehouse workers are issued company smartphones. They may no longer need those portable barcode scanners, because their smartphone can scan the barcodes and kick off the workflow all at the same time. Using the older workflow would hold back your efficiency. 

Workflow automation isn’t something that happens once for all time. Automated workflows must evolve along with changing needs, changing marketplaces, and changing technologies. The right workflow software is the key to being able to do this with minimal upheaval.

PerfectForms is workflow software that provides the flexibility, power, and scalability businesses need to create workflows that are right for right now. And when circumstances change, PerfectForms allows workflows to be updated, tested, and re-deployed quickly. 

Because PerfectForms is no-code workflow software, the people who actually use the workflows can have significant input into workflow design. After all, they know the workflows inside and out, and they can offer good insights into where bottlenecks occur and how workflows can be modified to work better. 

Getting the maximum ROI from your workflows requires knowing and communicating organizational goals, prioritizing goals and tasks, and being prepared to take advantage of technology advances. PerfectForms is the ideal partner for doing all this. We invite you to watch the demo video to see PerfectForms in action. And if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at any time.  

Workflows Don’t Have to Go on Vacation When Your Employees Do

Friday, July 26th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Summer is vacation season and that’s a good thing. People need time away to recharge and refresh, and most businesses want their employees to take time off and come back to work ready to go.

Couple toasting wine at a beach

Vacation time is ultimately good for productivity, motivation, and morale.

Ensuring all the bases are covered during peak vacation times, however, can be challenging. When your “expert” in some aspect of business is away, the people left to cover for them can feel a bit unmoored. Automated workflows can help. 

Workflow automation not only helps businesses operate more efficiently and with higher productivity, it can help ensure smoother operation when key personnel are away. Here are some workflow-related tips for making sure your business operates as it should when people are on vacation.

Automate Approval Steps While Approving Authorities Are on Vacation

Suppose an automated workflow has a step where a particular person has to sign off in order for the workflow to advance to the next step. This is common in design workflows. When the person who is the approving authority is on vacation, you don’t want to have to contact them to log in and approve something, but you can’t just let projects grind to a halt.

Before an approving authority leaves on vacation, they should designate someone to act on their behalf. This is easy to do if your workflow software allows for easy modification to workflow role access. Another option is to make the workflow automatically override the approval step while the approving authority is away, though for some projects this approach could be risky.

Have an “On Call” Workflow Based on Double or Triple Account Support

Each and every client account should have multiple people who understand it. When an account manager goes on vacation, at least one other person back at the office should know the status of the account and what’s generally going on with it. 

Two confused men

No client account should be left “abandoned” when its owner goes on vacation.

Since the people at the office may be taking on extra responsibilities when others are on vacation, some businesses create a simple “on call” workflow for each account. That way, if someone from the client account should have a question, there will always be someone available to help them. And by rotating who is “on call,” that responsibility can be spread out so no single person is overloaded. 

Use Automated Workflows for Scheduling Vacations

One of the best ways to ensure smooth business operation during vacation season is to have an automated workflow for scheduling vacations in the first place. Such a workflow, perhaps with an interactive vacation calendar included, can prevent multiple key people from taking vacation at the same time. 

A key part of a workflow for vacation scheduling could be a simple vacation request form, which can be used by managers to ensure that staffing is adequate at all times. When the process of scheduling vacation time is automated, there is far less risk of being understaffed and overworked.

Workflow Training Is Essential

Finally, to ensure business carries on effectively during vacation season, it’s important that people are thoroughly trained in the workflows they use and the workflows they may be asked to use to cover for other people. Training is an up-front expense, but it is one that pays off both short- and long-term, so don’t neglect to train everyone who may be needed to participate in a workflow.

PerfectForms is workflow software that gives companies like yours the flexibility to create, test, and modify workflows for maximum efficiency and productivity. It allows automated alerts to ease communication, and also allows role-based access to workflows. It even comes with an extensive library of form templates that can help you get workflows up and running quicker than you thought possible.

With PerfectForms, scheduling staff vacation is easier, and coping during times when staffing levels are low due to vacations is also easier. Did you know you can test drive PerfectForms by signing up for a free trial? Give it a try, and if you have any questions at all, please contact us at any time.  

These Workflow Best Practices Optimize the Purchase Order Process

Thursday, July 25th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Purchase orders are documents authorizing a purchase transaction. They include product descriptions, specifications, prices, quantities, dates, terms of payments and other conditions. 

Hand filling out purchase order

Automate purchase orders with a purchase order workflow and
you’ll save everyone time and frustration while saving your company money.

Using a workflow for purchase orders helps businesses monitor and manage procurement expenses and makes it easy to locate and correct things like duplicate orders. A strong purchase order workflow boosts company efficiency while helping it allocate resources optimally.

Depending on the size of the company, its budget, and how extensive its network of suppliers is, purchase order workflows may be simple or complex. Here’s how to optimize your purchase order workflow.

Evaluate Your Current Purchase Order Process

How do you handle purchase orders now? What kinds of problems do people experience when they want to order something, or when they’re called upon to approve or deny a purchase order? The people who work with purchase orders are your best sources for finding out where bottlenecks exist in the process. These same people often have good ideas of how to fix those bottlenecks. Listen to them.

Create Written Guidelines and Make Them Readily Accessible

When employees know what the rules and policies are around creating purchase orders, and when they know exactly what to do when they want to initiate a purchase order, you’re likelier to have a more efficient process and get consistent results. Accessible written policies help those initiating purchase orders and those approving them stay on the same page at all times.

Provide a Central Supplier Directory or Vendor Database

When the purchase order workflow uses a central supplier directory or an approved vendor database, it’s easier for everyone to complete purchase orders. The suppliers in such a directory or database should be known entities that you’ve had good experiences with before. Purchasers can choose a vendor confident in their ability to provide what is needed in a timely manner.

Have a Reasonable Authorization Process

Pending approval screen

The approval process for purchase orders shouldn’t be a secret.
Let users know what approvals are required and how to check the status of their purchase order.

The approval process should be neither too strict nor too lenient. If the approval process is draconian, it will take longer than necessary to receive products ordered. If the approval process is too lenient, you may face the problem of people ordering too many things or duplicating products and equipment that the company already has. How strict the approval process needs to be depends on factors like the size of typical purchase orders and your budget.

Use Budget-Driven Expense Constraints

Often, good purchase order workflow management means classifying products into categories like “equipment,” “office supplies,” and so on. Doing this helps you keep to your budgets for the various categories. You can also set caps on purchase orders and require additional authorizations for purchase orders exceeding threshold amounts that make sense for your business. A sub-process for making exceptions to budget caps can be created for extraordinary circumstances.

Make Workflow Status Accessible to Users

When someone initiates a purchase order, they will naturally want to know its status. When the purchase order workflow allows users to check on purchase order status at any point after initiating it, you cut down on phone calls inquiring about status, and the time involved in fielding them. Allowing visibility into the process can also help workflow managers assess workflows and identify inefficiencies or bottlenecks that can be engineered out of the workflow the next time it is updated. 

Creating purchase order workflows that make sense for your business requires workflow software that is powerful, easy to use, and customizable. PerfectForms answers these needs flawlessly. With it’s no-code interface that allows users to drag and drop workflow elements into place, creating a perfectly customized workflow for purchase orders or any other business process is straightforward and quick.

We encourage you to watch the PerfectForms demo video and see our workflow software in action. And if you have any questions, we invite you to contact us at any time.