How Automated Workflows Can Improve Content Marketing

Friday, September 20th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Content marketing has a lot of moving parts. You have to define your goals, audit your current content to understand what's performing well, generate new ideas, assign content creation, edit the content, post it, and finally monitor its performance. 

Automated workflows help companies manage these many tasks while minimizing confusion and keeping the content marketing team all on the same page and up to date. Let's talk about how workflows can be developed for content marketing tasks and how the right workflow software is essential.

Group of people sitting around a table working at laptop computers

What is an automated workflow?

Workflow automation is a series of automated steps that have been put together in a way that makes an overall process easier.

These workflows can be used for all sorts of business processes, but of course, we're going to discuss how you can use one to make your company's content marketing strategy that much easier.

How can automated workflows improve content marketing?

Content marketing isn't typically a strategy that people realize can be improved with automation. While it's mostly keyword, research, content planning, content creation, and publishing, there are still processes that can be improved with an automated workflow.

What does your content marketing process look like right now?

Many companies have several cooks in the kitchen when it comes to content creation. The SEO specialist does keyword research to determine which keywords are most likely to rank. Then it's assigned to the writer, who creates an optimized article around the keyword. 

After the writer is finished, it hits the editor, who makes sure the keyword is used enough times, there are enough inbound and outbound links, and more. The graphic designer then puts together the graphics for the publication and promotion of the article. 

And finally, it's published on the blog and sent through the promotion strategy.

Illustration of laptop computer and document labeled blog

Making sure you have a set process for content marketing is step one in your workflow management. Each person involved needs to know what their role is and when in line it happens.

You can easily create a workflow that assigns the task to each person in the pipeline as each portion of the project is completed. This helps to ensure that no pieces in the process are overlooked, and the article is created seamlessly.

There are also ways to create workflows for your SEO analysis, writing, editing, and promotion strategies. Put together checklists to adhere to so no one forgets any piece of the puzzle. Make sure you take note of the best platforms to share your new article on so that it gets the most traction possible.

Putting together workflows for your content marketing is the best way to make sure that nothing gets lost in the shuffle, especially if there are multiple people on the team working on these articles.

How can I create a workflow for my content marketing strategy?

Putting together workflow applications is our specialty! Take a look at our workflow software to find everything you need to put together a more organized and automated content marketing process.

Watch the demo now to find out if our software will work for you and the way you manage your content marketing. The great thing is that it can be adjusted to fit nearly any process, so we highly recommend you give it a try.

4 Ways Automated Workflows Speed up Expense Reimbursement

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

What does the expense reimbursement process look like within your company?

In most cases, employees have to have their receipt, fill out an expense report for each individual purchase, submit the report(s), then wait (sometimes weeks) to receive their reimbursement.

It's a tedious process that most employees complain about on end. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Creating automated workflows can help to speed up the expense reimbursement process tenfold, making your employees happier, and increasing efficiency for your company.

Restaurant owner looking at his tablet

Here are 4 ways your company can use workflow software in their expense reimbursement process.

1. Ditch the paper forms.

Stop making your employees spend hours upon hours filling out paper forms for company expenses, just so they can be rightfully reimbursed.

Instead, move to an online form that your employees can easily fill out and submit digitally, right from their desk or where they're at on the go.

2. Include receipt upload.

Reimbursement is typically contingent on submitting a receipt, and an employee is simply out of luck if they happen to lose it. Because this can be frustrating for employees, why not make it easier, and allow them to snap a photo of their receipt as soon as they get it.

Then they can easily upload their receipt into their digital form and be on their merry way.

3. Approve more quickly.

When your company receives these digitally, you're able to go through and approve them more efficiently. You can set your forms up to automatically email submissions to the people who need to approve these expenses and be input into a spreadsheet.

Having this information in a spreadsheet can be much easier. It allows those in charge of expense approval to go in each day, approve or deny new expenses, input their name so the company knows who managed it, and quickly send an approval or denial response to the employee.

4. Reimburse more quickly.

Once an approval has gone through, an automation can be set up that sends it to the accounting department, and the money can be put back into employees' wallets sooner than before.

Manual reimbursement processes can take weeks for an employee to be reimbursed. When it comes to large work expenses, this can be tough on the employee when they have to wait long periods of time to see that money go back into their pocket.

Put together an automated workflow that allows employees to see their approved reimbursements more quickly. Set up direct deposit, consider using company credit cards, and more.

Don't let your employees wait weeks on end before they see their reimbursement. Putting together workflows that allow them to more quickly and easily submit expense reports will help to streamline the entire process and make it move more smoothly for your employees and for your company.

Mature casual man using a laptop

How can I speed up reimbursement with automated workflows?

Creating a new form and putting together new automated processes and workflows can greatly help improve how things work at your company. We're all for it.

In fact, with our workflow software, you'll be able to easily revamp your entire expense reimbursement process into something that works better for both you and your employees. Watch the demo to learn more about how our software works so you can hit the ground running when you sign up.

Online Forms and Workflows Help Small Businesses Manage Innovation

Thursday, August 29th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Innovation has gone from being a “nice extra” for businesses to being essential for success. 

Innovation light bulbs

Innovation is for every company, not just tech companies and startups.

Competition is fierce, and businesses increasingly set themselves apart through innovation of products, processes, and business models. Rather than pursuing one big idea that will change everything, however, businesses must incorporate innovation into their everyday operations and their corporate culture.

Moreover, businesses must have a process for gathering, evaluating, prioritizing and developing ideas, so that the real winners make it through to prototyping, pilot testing, and ideally to general use. Online forms and automated innovation workflows can make such a process reality.

Forms and Workflows for Gathering Ideas

Does anyone still think that a locked suggestion box with a slot on the top is a good way of inspiring great ideas? To really pursue innovation, companies need a way to collect ideas as a general practice, and in the service of defined innovation initiatives. Online forms are ideal for this. 

Suppose you want to kick off an innovation initiative to develop a new product to add to your product line. The starting point, or the “wide part of the funnel” in this initiative can be an online form where people can describe their product ideas. Completed online forms can be automatically sent to designated decision-makers whose role is to determine which ideas are worth pursuing.

Workflows Can Help Evaluate and Prioritize Ideas

If your innovation initiative has sparked several good ideas, the next step is to evaluate them more thoroughly. Generally, it’s best to have a small team go through ideas individually, flagging their favorites, and putting them into priority order. With an automated workflow that each team member can access, this can be done efficiently.

Busy brick office

Automated workflows make the process of evaluating and prioritizing
innovative ideas fast and efficient.

After each team member has evaluated and ranked ideas, the team can meet to discuss their choices and come to a consensus about which two or three ideas are best for further development. With an automated workflow, this doesn’t have to involve pen and paper or endless phone calls and emails.

Surveys, Workflows Help Select Innovations to Pursue

Perhaps, once your evaluation team has chosen a “Top 3” list of innovations to pursue, you want to put it to a vote among all employees. If your online form software allows for creation of surveys, this can be done with outstanding efficiency and effectiveness. The completed survey forms can send data to a spreadsheet or database so that votes are easy to tabulate without any manual data entry. Choosing the winning idea is fast and fair.

The right workflow software is the key to being able to implement an innovation program that works. Not only can you create a general innovation workflow to replace the old-fashioned suggestion boxes, you can create specialized workflows to go along with more targeted innovation initiatives.

PerfectForms is workflow software that makes it easy to create online forms, surveys, and automated workflows that eliminate a lot of the drudgery involved in sifting through a mountain of ideas. Workflows for evaluation can be limited to authorized users, while innovation suggestion forms and surveys can be open to all participants. Gathering data and making sense of it is easy with PerfectForms, due to its powerful reporting capabilities. 

You can test drive PerfectForms by signing up for a trial and see for yourself how easy it is to create fully customized online forms and automated workflows. Innovation is fast becoming mandatory for business success and having the right tools to manage innovation is essential. PerfectForms has the power, flexibility, and scalability you need. If you have any questions about PerfectForms, we encourage you to contact us at any time. 

Workflows Help You Manage 3 Critical Elements of Business Reputation

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

The reputation of your business is an extremely valuable business asset.

Mechanic with customer

Online reviews and ratings have made business reputation
more important than ever. 

While it isn’t tangible, or something you could liquidate to raise cash, nonetheless, reputation is essential to sustained success today. In fact, reputation is a key differentiator in a world where consumers have more choices than ever. Reputation also affects the quality of employees you’re able to recruit and retain.

Developing a strong business reputation and maintaining it requires sustained effort. Some aspects of reputation management for businesses can’t be automated, but you might be surprised at how many aspects can be. For this you’ll need the right attitude, commitment, and tools. Here are three critical elements of business reputation that you can manage better with the right workflow management.

1. Customer Service

People want a consistent, positive experience when they interact with your customer service team. Developing customer service workflows for your customer service team can help tremendously. When your team knows exactly what to do in every type of customer service interaction, you can be confident of consistent, effective help for customers.

Automated workflows for customer service tasks can help keep interactions on track and productive. A customer service rep who knows exactly which workflow (or branch of a workflow) to access in a given interaction is able to help people more quickly, diffusing any hard feelings and solving problems. This requires not only that you have comprehensive automated workflows, but that you take time to train reps on how to use them. 

2. Accuracy of Online Business Listings

You might be surprised to learn how important the accuracy of your online business listings are. Many businesses take full advantage of Google business listings because they help people discover their business and learn key facts like operating hours, phone numbers, and even parking situations – all at a glance. A complete, accurate, up-to-date business listing helps your website perform better when people use search engines.

Google my business icon

Keeping business listings accurate at all times helps your
website appear in more search results.

But inaccurate business listings can harm your search engine success. That’s because Google regularly checks that the information on your business listings and your website match perfectly. When they don’t, they may penalize your business in searches. An automated workflow that kicks off the same day of every month, for example, can step the user through the process of comparing business listings and website listings to ensure they are as accurate, complete, and up to date as possible. 

3. Distribution and Analysis of Customer Surveys

One classic method of improving customer service is through customer surveys. Asking customers for feedback, analyzing that feedback to produce insights, and then addressing those insights helps you meet customer needs better. Automated workflows, complete with beautifully designed, mobile friendly survey forms reach consumers where they’re at and help you gather, analyze, and act on the data you collect. 

The right workflow software will help you not only create the survey forms that encourage customer interaction, but also helps you collect, analyze, and report on the survey data. As a result, you can respond to customer sentiment much faster than you ever could through surveys managed without automated workflows. 

Great workflow management requires great workflow software, whether you’re striving to improve customer service or automating various back office processes. PerfectForms offers you the level of flexibility, scalability, and power you need to automate business processes that improve your business reputation. You can create customer service workflows, monitor and manage online business listings and website information, and create surveys that help you understand your customers better. 

We encourage you to watch the PerfectForms demo video so you can see PerfectForms in action and discover just how easy it is to use – whether for customer service processes or other business processes. And should you have any questions, we invite you to contact us at any time

4 Strategies That Maximize Productivity Gains for Automated Workflows

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

There is no question that automated workflows help organizations make the most of their resources.

Busy office

Automated workflows help people accomplish more and spend less time on manual tasks. 

But it’s possible for workflow automation initiatives to get lackluster results. One study of local councils in the UK found some benefits from workflow automation, but it also found that only about one-fifth of local councils have future plans for investing further in automated workflows. 

Many factors affect how successful workflow automation projects are, and some factors are more malleable and controllable than others. Many of the UK councils, for example, are grappling with slashed budgets, and this certainly puts a damper on workflow automation. But in any organization where automated workflows are being implemented, four workflow strategies can help ensure that maximum productivity gains are realized. 

1. Gain Buy-In from Leadership

Only when all personnel see the value of improving efficiency and the potential gains and ROI of workflow automation can a successful automation project ensue. C-level executives, department leaders, and on down through front-line workers must all understand the value of automation. They should also commit to the up-front costs (in time and resources) that will allow the organization to benefit over the long term.

2. Build Awareness of Workflow Automation Initiatives

Buy-in is necessary, but so is communication. Everyone must understand that workflow automation projects will take place, what the expected time frames are, and the expected benefits. People tend to fear what they don’t understand, and if they don’t understand workflow automation, they’re unlikely to have any enthusiasm about it. Building awareness and communicating plans with maximum transparency are ways to build support and readiness for when the projects commence.

3. Prioritize and Order Processes to Be Automate

List

The hardest part about a workflow automation initiative may be
deciding what to tackle first.

Trying to automate everything at once is usually a bad idea. Rather, organizations should prioritize efforts and choose an initial workflow automation project that is doable, and that will demonstrate positive results right away. Each successful workflow automation initiative keeps momentum going for further initiatives. Start too big and the workforce may be overwhelmed. Start too small, and everyone may wonder what all the fuss is about.

4. Train Workflow Users

Finally, providing training to workflow users is essential. Sure, automated workflows should make logical sense, and they should be easy to understand. But providing hands-on training helps build confidence in workflow users and also informs them of how to handle inevitable hiccups in the automation process. Don’t be tempted to skimp on workflow training. Like automation itself, training is an up-front investment that yields benefits that only get better over time.

Workflow automation can transform a nearly endless variety of business processes from awkward, needlessly bureaucratic activities to sleek workflows that do away with paper and endless status phone calls and move data to where it needs to be instantly. It requires a change in thinking, and it may require convincing people who are skeptical. 

When leadership buy-in, employee awareness, a good prioritization plan, and a strong training program are part of the initiative, workflow automation can transform processes. They can also increase efficiency and productivity, and inspire new ideas for automated workflows.

PerfectForms is workflow automation software that is flexible, powerful, scalable, and that requires no coding, so you won’t have to hire a programmer. It can be used to automate the simplest to the most complex work processes, allowing businesses of all sizes and in all industries to streamline, automate, and increase efficiency and productivity. Did you know you can test drive PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial? Why not see for yourself how easy workflow automation can be? And if you have any questions, we invite you to contact us at any time.

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BPM: Why You Can’t ‘Set It and Forget It’

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Business Process Management (BPM) is a broad term that encompasses the many ways we automate and manage business processes to make them as efficient as possible.

Business performance chalkboard

BPM aims at optimizing the processes that make businesses run.

But sometimes BPM initiatives fall short. There can be many reasons for this. Perhaps the BPM project was driven more by intuition than by hard data. Or maybe the people who operate the processes haven’t been sufficiently trained. 

Sometimes BPM initiatives fail to deliver over the long term because they have been established, launched, and never revisited. BPM is a discipline and, in some organizations, requires changes to the very culture of the workplace. Like most disciplines, BPM approaches requires revisiting, refining, and relearning so that a pattern of continuous improvement emerges. 

Continuous Improvement Requires Periodic Re-Evaluation

To make sure you’re getting the most from your BPM initiative, you must collect data from the processes it includes and evaluate that data on a regular basis. Have completion times kept up with expectations? Have new bottlenecks shown up? Have new people been brought in without sufficient training?

Just as you have to check the oil and tires and do regular maintenance on your car if you want it to serve you well over the years, so must you “maintain” your BPM initiatives. Otherwise they can slow down or even break down completely. 

Use Data Plus Human Knowledge to Improve BPM

BPM is data driven. That means that if you expect a tweak to the process to improve efficiency and instead find out that it hinders efficiency, you must rethink the tweak and figure out why it isn’t working as expected. 

Question mark

Data may drive BPM, but humans figure out how to make it better. 

Human knowledge is valuable in BPM, because people experienced in the processes that make up BPM know a thing or two. Not all of that knowledge is captured in the data collected by your BPM software. But just as you can’t solely rely on numbers, you can’t solely rely on hunches to drive BPM. 

Actual humans may carry out many of the steps in a process, and there are many times when improving a process does not involve changing or upgrading technology. Improving a process could require a decidedly low-tech solution such as moving two collaborating departments physically closer together in the workspace, for example.

Your BPM Software Should Have Your Back

The right BPM software makes all the difference. In addition to being flexible, scalable, and powerful, it should allow you to collect the data necessary to make meaningful decisions about how to continuously improve processes. It should include data such as completion times (collected from process beginning and ending times), rates of production, and return on investment. And it should do so without your team having to manually enter metrics.

Likewise, your BPM software should have strong reporting features that allow you to take the data your processes collect, manage it, and make reports that deliver insights into what works well and where there is room for improvement. 

PerfectForms powers business processes using a no-code interface. It is flexible, powerful, and scalable so that businesses can create processes that are custom tailored for their needs. PerfectForms also makes it easy to gather data from processes so you can evaluate them and engage in continuous improvement. Finally, PerfectForms has outstanding reporting capabilities that turn data into actionable insights. Data across multiple workflows can be summarized in a single report, giving you full visibility into how your processes work. 

Watch the PerfectForms demo video to see how it transforms clunky, inefficient manual processes into sleek, automated workflows that capture data and facilitate continuous improvement. And if you have any questions about PerfectForms, we encourage you to contact us at any time.  

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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 hiring and recruiting 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 for small businesses 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 processes and 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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