Today’s enterprises run on data. Whether your organization is a financial services firm, an energy company, a university, or a healthcare system, you depend on data to understand trends, measure performance, and make decisions.
A no-code application development tool can help. An effective no-code app builder gives you capabilities to both report on and visualize the data you’ve captured in a form or survey, and to track and report on the performance of an application you’ve automated with no-code.
In fact, reporting is among the top reasons organizations are embracing no-code/low-code (NC/LC) application development, according to a TechRepublic survey. The study found that no-code tools are helping businesses automate workflows (17% of respondents), create new applications (15%), speed up development time (15%), and automate data collection and reporting (14%).
How No-code Reporting Works
A no-code app builder enables non-technical users to quickly and easily create online forms and workflow applications. Team members simply drag and drop form or workflow objects onto a virtual canvas to design a user interface, define form behaviors, map a workflow, and build reports – all without coding.
You can then use your no-code tool to create real-time reports and visualizations to analyze data and communicate insights. Simply place the reporting objects onto the canvas and identify the data sources.
The tool allows you to display a wealth of information, including bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, tables, cross-tabulations, gauges, filters, and more. You can instantly drill down into details, all the way to the field that originally collected the data.
Reports enable you to monitor the performance of your no-code workflow processes in real-time, providing complete, end-to-end visibility of the process for key stakeholders. You can also leverage reports to understand data collected through no-code forms and surveys, and summarize data across multiple forms and workflows into a single report for broader visibility. You can even integrate with databases, core systems, and statistical packages that support additional reporting options.
No-code Reporting Advantages
The reporting capabilities in an effective no-code app builder deliver numerous business benefits:
1. Uncover trends and gain new customer and employee insights.
A no-code tool lets you create feedback forms and surveys to gather information about and input from customers or employees. You can gain new insights into employee attitudes and expectations, so you can create policies and implement programs that build engagement and boost productivity. You can also find out from customers and prospects what they’re looking for in products and services, how they view your brand, and how they’re influenced by competitors and market trends.
With no-code reports and visualizations, you can quickly home in on previously unrecognized demands or trends that help you optimize your workforce and build your business.
2. Digitize and automate routine administrative tasks.
No-code empowers you to transform paper-based, manual workloads into streamlined, digitized processes. The team members in your lines of business – the people who understand your operations best – can build their own workflows to get their jobs done faster, easier, and better.
Many of those routine tasks involve reporting and can yield significant benefits. For example, the Vasalia Unified School District in California’s San Joaquin Valley uses a no-code tool to automate a wide range of procedures – everything from substitute-teacher requests to incident reports. The district reduced labor and printing costs, improved record-keeping and reporting, and quickly achieved a positive return on investment (ROI) in no-code.
3. Maintain and demonstrate internal and regulatory compliance.
A no-code tool can allow users to digitize a portion of a workflow for an incremental improvement or encode end-to-end workflows for even greater automation. The resulting workflows can enable data capture, notifications, escalations, reporting, and more. They can even integrate with existing systems to support broader processes and ensure both efficiency and compliance.
For instance, the State of Oregon’s Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) ensures the quality of care for residents of 2,500 nursing and assisted-living facilities. The agency uses no-code to reduce errors and accelerate data capture and reporting to state and federal authorities. Reports also give users insights into trending issues, investigator workload, open cases, and more.
4. Support remote and hybrid work strategies.
No-code apps are an effective way to optimize remote work – an increasing requirement for many organizations. No-code tools deliver robust interfaces that make business applications easier to use. They assemble sophisticated workflows that automate and accelerate both internal and customer-facing processes. And they provide secure forms for fast data capture, data sharing, and reporting. These capabilities keep your employees informed and your operations moving – no matter where employees are located.
5. Sustain consistent processes across multiple departments and sites.
No-code empowers you to create electronic workflows that extend across office locations and scale to support even thousands of users. Cross-function workflows address a wide variety of scenarios, from resource requests to incident reports. You can customize workflows to reflect local practices or enforce standardized policies, and automatically centralize reports in corporate systems.
The University of Portland leverages no-code to build forms for use across campus. This enables various departments to meet their own needs for forms and reporting while ensuring consistency across the institution. No-code also supports a centralized data-collection system that both saves time and allows the university to maintain data and reporting standards. Users can manipulate and view reports on the centralized data, leading to further process improvements.
As data grows even more central to business operations and competitive advantage, reports and visualizations will empower more of your employees and business functions. A no-code tool makes reports easier and faster to create and consume – and more likely to help drive your success.
No-code application development tools enable non-technical employees in your lines of business (LoBs) to quickly and easily create forms, workflows and applications. By augmenting traditional development approaches, no-code app builders are empowering organizations to rapidly and cost-effectively achieve digital transformation.
In fact, “increased demand for … digital transformation has sparked the emergence of citizen developers outside of IT,” Gartner reports. Today, 41% of non-IT employees customize or build data or technology solutions, the analyst firm says.
But your citizen developers probably aren’t experienced in planning and executing application development projects. To benefit the most from no-code, follow these best-practice steps:
1. Understand business goals
Start by identifying the business benefit you want to achieve from no-code. That could be allowing internal or external customers to complete an online form. It might be streamlining a particular workflow within a team or department. Or it could be enabling a process that extends across multiple business functions. You can leverage no-code to optimize a broad range of processes, from creating new customer accounts, to handling budget requests and approvals, to integrating remote sites.
But to achieve success, you first need to be clear about your objectives. That includes establishing simple metrics, like number of workflow steps automated, speed of data inputs, or number of customers served.
2. Determine application requirements
Once you know your goals, you can identify the functionality the no-code application must provide. For instance, if you’re building a workflow, do all steps remain within a single team, or do they extend across multiple departments? If the project involves a broad process flow, you might need input from all stakeholders who will use it.
Similarly, if you’re creating an online form, should data inputs be automatically entered into corporate systems? If so, you’ll need the necessary integrations. An effective no-code tool will enable integration through APIs or web services, all without coding.
3. Select the right no-code solution
No-code app builders come in a lot of flavors. Some are complex platforms that provide “low-code” application development that requires coding knowledge. Others are only designed to create mobile apps for use on iOS or Android.
A no-code tool that’s useful for LoB employees should effectively enable web forms, web apps, mobile web apps, workflow apps, or business process management. Look for a no-code provider that can support all these use cases with either a single solution or a portfolio of targeted, easy-to-use tools.
4. Assign roles and responsibilities
No-code applications can be created by a single employee or a few employees, but if an application will be used day-to-day by an entire department, you need to be sure the citizen developers understand the requirements to deliver applications that meet the department’s needs and objectives.
In that case, consider getting multiple people involved in the application development process. Some stakeholders might have input into desired features. Others might create the actual application. Still others might try out the application and provide feedback before it’s deployed. Just be sure all participants understand how they contribute to the project’s success.
5. Manage the project
No-code tools are so easy to use, many users might approach application creation in an ad-hoc manner. But to get the results you want you’ll benefit from a more structured mindset.
Make a list of the features you identified in Step 2 and check them off as you build them into the application. Set interim milestones and final deadlines to keep the project on target. Monitor stakeholder involvement to be sure everyone’s doing their part. Your no-code project management doesn’t have to be complicated, but you need enough oversight to track your progress and keep the project moving forward.
6. Measure the results
An effective no-code app builder should give you visibility into the process you’ve created. This is where the metrics you created in Step 1 will show their value. If you’re achieving your performance goals, you know your deliberate approach to no-code development is paying off. If you’re falling short of targets, it’s time to identify ways to improve.
Go back over the application. Are form fields unclear, making it hard for users to complete the form? Are workflow outputs not giving you the data you need? Are the wrong people getting alerts for workflow reviews and approvals? If people aren’t using the application, is that because it doesn’t integrate well with other processes? Finding the root cause will point you to the solution.
7. Continually improve
The good news is that with a no-code tool, you can quickly and easily make improvements to your application. That’s valuable even if your application is performing at a high level today.
After all, business requirements evolve over time. Customers have changing demands. A new team might need to be incorporated into an existing workflow. You might replace a core system, requiring new application integrations. No-code gives you the capabilities to make these adjustments quickly and painlessly.
No-code/low-code (NCLC) will produce 70% of new applications by 2025, according to Gartner. The emergence of NCLC is nothing short of a “revolution,” Accenture says, one that will drive an “explosion of user-generated innovation.” By following these steps for planning and executing your no-code project, you can be sure your organization is benefiting from employee-driven, no-code-enabled innovation and digital transformation.
Workflows are how your employees get their jobs done. If your workflows are efficient and effective, then your employees are more productive and engaged, your customers enjoy better experiences, and your business operates to its full potential.
That’s why a growing number of organizations are turning to no-code application development to optimize their workflows. With a no-code workflow builder, non-technical employees in your lines of business (LoBs) have the capabilities they need to quickly and easily create efficient, digitized workflows that turbocharge your business.
Going With the No-code Workflow
Here are five workflows you can optimize with no-code in your company, based on real-world success stories:
1. Customer and employee surveys – Electronic surveys are a great way to understand employee needs or customer demands. A no-code tool can equip you to design professional, customizable surveys to benefit your workforce or drive leads that increase sales.
A form builder supports creation of sophisticated survey forms. The workflow tool itself enables you to quickly and consistently execute the survey, saving costs and improving response rates. You can make survey execution part of an extended workflow that avoids manual errors and misplaced survey responses. In fact, at least one professional-services firm uses no-code to create marketing surveys as a service to its Fortune 500 clients.
2. New customer account creation – Setting up new customer accounts can be time-consuming and cumbersome. A no-code tool can improve the experience for employees and customers alike.
No-code lets you design a new-account workflow that requires zero training. You can enforce a standardized process for consistency and completeness. A smart form autofills relevant fields to speed the process and reduce manual errors.
The digitized workflow can capture customer information at your main location or remotely in the field. You can complete forms without an internet link and then automatically upload results when a connection is available. You can then route customer data to authorized stakeholders for review and approval, and automatically integrate data with corporate systems.
3. Employee onboarding – New-hire onboarding should follow a standardized process, and the data it captures needs to be accurate. A no-code tool can help.
You can create a workflow to cover new-hire data gathering, document collection, forms processing, compliance and more. Employees can fill out electronic forms, with the results automatically integrated with your HR database. You can even include user authentication, identity verification and digital signatures.
Workflows can be consolidated with major HR systems, with audit trails to ensure confirmation and compliance. Indeed, no-code is so effective for onboarding that professional staffing firms use it to optimize their core business of placing employees with clients.
4. Budget requests and approvals – When LoBs submit budget requests, they can’t be delayed by manual, inconsistent processes. No-code can standardize and accelerate the approval workflow, eliminate budget-request bottlenecks that slow operations, and improve business compliance.
No-code can reduce the time to process budget requests, from origination to final approval. Team members can create and modify request forms, without the need for help from IT. Authentication protocols allow only authorized personnel to submit, approve or deny requests.
The workflow can route requests to stakeholders for approval and signature capture. It can also notify requesters of workflow status. You can integrate the workflow with your financial systems and accommodate manual interventions as necessary.
5. Remote-site process integration – Many organizations maintain satellite offices close to where they go to market. Often these sites manage their own manual processes. Digitizing those workflows can benefit the local offices and your entire enterprise.
No-code empowers you to create electronic workflows that extend across remote sites and scale to support thousands of users. Multi-site, cross-LoB workflows address a wide variety of scenarios, from resource requests to incident reports. You can customize workflows to reflect local practices or enforce standardized policies, and automatically centralize request and report data in corporate systems.
No-code even includes the capability to track and measure workflow performance to validate process improvements and compliance. Most importantly, it eliminates one-off manual processes in remote sites, reducing processing times, saving costs on administrative tasks, and making your entire business run smoother.
Driving Workflow Innovation
Those are just a few examples of how no-code can transform your workflows. Organizations across industries – including healthcare, insurance, energy, retail, financial services, public sector and education – are deploying no-code to achieve similar innovations. They’re using no-code workflows across departments, including HR, finance, sales, marketing, IT, operations and customer support. They’ve proven you can achieve advantages in any situation where you need to, including:
- Replacing static paper or PDF forms
- Accelerating operations
- Integrating processes
- Ensuring compliance
- Avoiding manual errors
- Reducing costs
- Serving customers better
Ultimately, workflows created with a no-code tool empower your organization to:
- Reduce time for workflow design and deployment
- Minimize dependence on technical resources
- Improve communication and compliance
- Gain better visibility into operations
- Realize substantial cost savings
- Equip employees to do their jobs more efficiently and serve customers more effectively
No-code workflow automation can accelerate your operations and give your organization a new competitive advantage. And with an effective no-code tool, you can achieve those goals faster and more cost-effectively than you thought possible.
Your IT department and the end users it supports can sometimes seem like they’re at odds. After all, your techies know digital – the latest devices and apps and best practices for getting the most out of them. Your business users, in contrast, don’t always have the same grasp of technology – though they certainly depend on it to do their jobs.
So what happens when you throw no-code application development into the mix?
A no-code app builder allows non-technical employees to create their own applications quickly and easily. They can build interfaces, forms and workflows simply by dragging and dropping reusable software elements onto a digital canvas. The tool then automatically assembles a functional, stable and secure application.
Make no mistake: No-code is the future of software creation. Two-thirds of application development will be achieved through no-code/low-code (NC/LC) tools by 2024, Gartner predicts. And 82% of companies say “citizen developers” are increasingly important to their business, TechRepublic reports. But are IT pros buying in?
Easing the Pressure on IT
You’d think IT departments might not like ceding some control of application creation. But the fact is, IT is embracing no-code in a big way. A whopping 92% of IT leaders are comfortable with business users taking advantage of non-code/low-code tools.
There are several reasons for this no-code enthusiasm. First and foremost is that no-code alleviates the demand for professional application developers. And expert developers are in short supply – to the point that the dearth of developers is slowing down business.
In fact, 86% of IT decision-makers say the biggest impediment to digital transformation is a lack of developers. This supply-demand gap is delaying digital transformation projects by an average 8.1 months. As a direct result, NC/LC is becoming a priority for 96% of IT decision makers.
Expert application development remains crucial to many businesses, of course. Yet traditional development processes require months of coding, reviews and testing before even the simplest software is ready for use. And while methodologies such as DevOps aim to accelerate processes, even DevOps-enabled development involves many manual, time-consuming steps.
With no-code, citizen developers alleviate development teams from less-complex, workflow-specific application creation. Line-of-business (LoB) employees using no-code follow a simple, proven process to quickly assemble their own secure and stable software. There’s no need for extensive training, technical expertise or lengthy development cycles. Pro development teams gain the time and energy to focus on coding enterprise-wide, mission-critical software.
Empowering Application Developers
But your software development team can also take advantage of no-code. Developers use no-code to quickly create robust, secure interfaces, forms and workflows that underlie more extensive applications. The reusable components of no-code have already gone through quality assurance and testing for security. They’re reliable, they integrate with popular systems, and they scale for higher performance.
Without the need to manually code entire programs from scratch, developers have more time to create sophisticated, function-specific or industry-targeted software. That can help you digitize processes and differentiates your company from the competition.
In fact, 2.57 million developers, or 11% of the development population, are now no-code or low-code specialists. It’s no wonder even the DevOps community is embracing no-code for its ability to “enable experienced developers to accelerate deployment and reduce IT backlogs.”
Making IT More Effective
As more citizen developers experience the benefits of no-code, it’s important for your IT team to retain ownership of software governance. Your IT function should vet the no-code platforms you deploy. IT should also make sure business users understand when an LoB-created no-code workflow provides the best solution, and when enterprise-scale software developed by your professional team makes more sense.
Yet governance is another area where no-code helps IT – especially when it comes to “shadow IT.” Shadow IT occurs when LoBs circumvent corporate policies to purchase their own software. Unapproved software can result in high costs, because one-off software purchases don’t benefit from economies of scale. Shadow IT can also introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities that IT teams don’t even know about.
No-code helps IT departments limit rogue technology spending. When business users have no-code builders to create their own software, they’re less likely to waste money on shadow IT. And IT has less trouble trying to support unapproved applications.
Use of no-code and low-code technologies will nearly triple in the next few years, growing from 25% of new applications in 2020 to 70% of new applications by 2025, according to Gartner. Now, IT teams and business users have something they can agree on: No-code is good for everybody.
For years now, organizations have relied on Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets and other spreadsheet software to support essential aspects of their businesses. Smaller businesses might handle major portions of their financial accounting in spreadsheets. Even large enterprises with sophisticated ERP systems regularly turn to spreadsheets to organize data or crunch numbers.
But as organizations digitize and automate, the limitations of this software become apparent. Even though they’re easy to use for less technical employees, spreadsheets aren’t designed for managing complex data or workflows of today’s business operations.
The fact is, the time has come for organizations of all sizes to recognize – and migrate away from – the constraints of their outdated spreadsheets. That’s especially true when it comes to managing workflows.
The good news is that an alternative solution already exists – one that’s simple, cost effective, and as easy to use as a spreadsheet. A no-code application development solution can empower you to quickly and easily create customized applications that optimize workflows, span process gaps, and help automate operations – in ways no spreadsheet ever could.
Addressing Spreadsheet Shortcomings
A no-code tool enables any business user to create software without writing code. Users simply drag and drop objects on a virtual canvas to build web apps, workflow apps, web forms or reports. The no-code tool automatically assembles those elements to create stable, secure no-code software to digitize and automate forms, applications and workflows.
There are several areas where spreadsheets fall short but where no-code provides the solution:
Avoiding errors – Because spreadsheets require repetitious, manual data entry, their outputs fall victim to human error. No-code software enables the creation of digitized forms and workflows that standardize data capture and enforce consistent processes, reducing errors.
Establishing controls – Spreadsheets are inherently siloed. They don’t allow you to easily view and manage workflows across systems or lines of business (LoBs). No-code applications are designed to span departments and link processes. Internal teams and external customers can benefit from no-code apps that store data and manage workflows in a centralized location.
Achieving insights and compliance – Spreadsheets don’t tell you anything about how workflows are running or status updates. A good no-code tool not only digitizes workflows; it also lets you track the effectiveness of those workflows. It can even help you demonstrate compliance with both internal process rules and external regulations.
Improving flexibility – Spreadsheets aren’t easily adaptable to evolving business demands. No-code tools let you customize workflows to your unique requirements. And because no-code tools are simple to use, team members can quickly fine-tune workflows to meet new departmental or customer needs – whenever those needs arise.
No-code Workflow Wins
Enterprises are using no-code and low-code app builders for a range of purposes, according to a recent survey. The survey found that businesses are using no-code and low-code for automating workflows (17% of respondents), creating new applications (15%), accelerating application development (15%), automating data collection and reporting (14%), and reducing the burden on professional developers (10%).
Another survey found that the top no-code benefits organizations cited include higher productivity (15%), faster application development (14%), automation of manual processes (12%), and easier workflows (10%).
No-code equips users to digitize a portion of a workflow for an incremental improvement or encode end-to-end workflows for even greater automation. The resulting workflows can enable data capture, notifications, escalations, reporting, and more. They can even integrate with existing systems to support broader processes and ensure efficiency and compliance.
Organizations across a wide range of industries are using no-code to optimize workflows: healthcare, insurance, energy, retail, financial services, higher education, K-12 schools and so on. No-code helps these organizations:
- Reduce manual errors
- Speed up processes
- Lower costs
- Enable compliance
- Improve customer service
- Replace static paper and PDF forms
Likewise, any business function can benefit from no-code, including finance, sales and marketing, IT, HR, customer support, facilities and more. For instance:
Finance can build workflow apps to manage order-to-cash, process invoices, handle payroll and approve budgets.
Sales can build workflows to route leads, approve quotes and process orders.
IT can assemble workflows to provision user technology, manage helpdesk calls and offer employee self-services.
HR can design workflows to onboard employees, conduct performance reviews, approve travel expenses and let workers request time off.
A spreadsheet might be able to help with some aspects of some of those tasks – in a limited, manual and error-prone way. But a good no-code application development tool is clearly superior: as easy to use as a spreadsheet, but able to create no-code software with far greater functionality and business benefit.
So, the next time you reach for your spreadsheet, stop and think about how much better the outcome could be. And then turn to a no-code solution to better manage your workflows.
Intelligent process automation (IPA), robotic process automation (RPA), processes enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) – organizations are investing significant sums in different types of automation. In fact, global spending on IPA, RPA and AI business processes will grow 68%, from an estimated $20.3 billion in 2021 to an expected $34.2 billion in 2023.
It’s easy to see why. Automation can transform company operations to run faster, more reliably and with fewer errors. It can also improve customer experiences while increasing employee engagement – freeing workers from repetitive tasks to focus on activities that add value.
Like processes, workflows are also increasingly automated. Workflows are sequential steps followed to complete a specific task. They might be used by a small team in the finance department. They may involve a function like HR that touches every employee. Or they could extend across multiple departments, such as IT and procurement. They’re how your employees get their jobs done – and how your organization runs.
But what exactly are workflow apps? And is there a way to quickly, easily and cost-effectively create customized workflow apps to make your organization run better?
Application Automation for Every Workflow
Workflow apps are simply software that automates, or partially automates, the steps to complete a task. Typically, workflow apps route information along a defined path, from data entry, to data transfer, to reviews and approvals.
Workflows apps automatically guide each step along the way, triggering actions and issuing alerts to the people who need them. They can also measure workflow performance so you can monitor how well your workflows are functioning.
Virtually every department in your organization can benefit from a workflow app: finance, HR, sales, marketing, IT, operations, customer support and more. For example:
- Finance can use workflow apps to handle payroll, manage order-to-cash processes, approve budgets, process invoices and more.
- HR can use them for onboarding employees, enabling workers to request time off, approving travel expenses and overseeing performance reviews.
- Sales and marketing can automate workflows for routing leads, nurturing leads, approving quotes, processing orders, and similar customer-focused activities.
- IT can leverage workflow apps to provision hardware and software, manage help desk incidents, enable employee self-services and more.
Without automation, these workflows can result in endless emails, manual revisions, miscommunication and slow company performance. They also can lead to mistakes, omissions and frustrations for both employees and customers.
Workflow apps can render these tasks speedy, on-target and predictable. They can help make sure staff get paid on time, IT problems get resolved quickly, customers get the prompt attention they deserve, and overall satisfaction is higher for employees and customers alike.
Building Workflow Apps with No-Code Workflow Tools
In the past, organizations had to shell out hefty fees for workflow automation software which often wasn’t tailored to meet their unique needs. Or they needed to hire specialized IT consultants to create custom workflow apps – a time-consuming and costly endeavor.
Today, though, a no-code workflow builder can empower non-technical employees, or citizen developers, to create their own workflow applications. Now the people who know your workflow processes best – your employees who work in finance, HR, sales and so on – can digitize and automate their workflows. The result is fast, cost-effective, and continual business improvement.
In fact, 55% of C-level executives see no-code/low-code tools as creators of new process flows, according to Accenture. And organizations say the top benefits of no-code/low-code solutions include automation of manual processes, easier workflows, and higher productivity, ZDNet reports.
A no-code tool can empower your citizen developers to digitize a portion of a workflow for an incremental improvement or build workflow apps for end-to-end workflows for even greater automation. The resulting workflows can enable data capture, notifications, escalations, reporting and more. They can even integrate with existing applications or databases to extend workflows and ensure both efficiency and compliance.
A drag-and-drop visual workflow designer lets users simply select design objects for the workflow app and drag them to a canvas to create the user interface, define workflow stages and configure business rules. Behind the scenes, the tool automatically creates code to digitize and automate the workflow.
Ultimately, workflow apps created with a no-code tool empower your organization to:
- Reduce time for workflow development and deployment
- Minimize dependence on technical resources
- Realize substantial cost savings
- Improve communication and compliance
- Gain better visibility into workflows and operations
- Empower employees to do their jobs more efficiently and serve customers more effectively
Workflow automation is accelerating operations and giving organizations new competitive advantages. And workflow apps created with a no-code workflow builder are enabling enterprises to achieve those goals faster and more cost-effectively than they thought possible.
Marcus Lemonis is CEO of Camping World and a serial entrepreneur. He also hosts CNBC’s reality television show “The Profit,” where he buys up stakes in small, struggling businesses and helps them turn around and succeed. He also invests his own cash in these businesses, which he selects because of his belief in them.
Lemonis believes that business owners are more willing to listen to a genuine investor rather than a consultant, and the fact that he actually buys a stake in businesses he helps turn around boosts business owners’ confidence and motivation.
According to Lemonis, businesses of every type succeed based on fundamentals, and if those fundamentals aren’t in place, failure is almost inevitable. But when they’re present and coupled with plain hard work, success is likely. He boils these fundamentals down to what he calls the three “P”s. Marcus Lemonis believes that the three “P”s successful businesses need to manage are People, Process, and Product.
Of the three “P”s, “people” are the most important. Without good people, good processes and good products only do so much. Simply put, the “right” people are effective while the “wrong” people can destroy a business. And what’s “right” for one business may not be for another. Furthermore, you can’t just look at someone’s résumé or college transcripts and tell that he or she is the right person. Sure, you can judge qualifications, but effectiveness is something businesses will pick up on (or not) in person, when they interview a job candidate interview and see how he or she interacts.
How well does a business develop and deliver the processes that make it run? Assuming a business has hired the right people, the second element necessary for success is having processes that make sense. Neither should they be needlessly complicated. Suppose you’re in the publishing business. Your product may be books, but the processes that go into turning outlines into drafts into manuscripts into proof copies have an enormous bearing on how efficient and effective creation of those books is. In most businesses, processes must adapt with the times, or the business risks being left behind by competitors.
In many cases, a company’s product is a tangible item: a tool, software package, article of clothing, or food product. But sometimes the product is a service, such as tax accounting, legal advice, or cleaning services. A great product alone isn’t enough to make a business successful, but it is essential, because people simply won’t buy irrelevant or inadequate products (or services).
But with efficient, well-engineered processes for delivering those products or services, and a team of outstanding people to make sure it all gets done and that customers are taken care of, a great product can transform a business from struggling to thriving.
Great Tools Help You Manage All Three
Every business has people, processes, and products, and ones that succeed have tools that make managing the three “P”s better and simpler. For example, flexible, powerful software that allows for workflow and electronic form creation can affect all three. Forms and workflows for timekeeping, expense reporting, and requesting paid time off help ensure harmony among a company’s people. The same software can take needlessly complicated manual processes and automate some or all of them, saving time and money and reducing errors. Additionally, workflow software can ensure products ship correctly and that customer experiences are outstanding.
PerfectForms is workflow management software designed so non-programmers can create pixel-perfect electronic survey forms, and then connect them into sleek workflows that are fast and that can lay down an audit trail as steps are accomplished. It can help your people use more of their time on core business functions and less on administrative busy-work. PerfectForms takes clunky, manual workflows and automates them, saving everyone time and money. Finally, it can be used to ensure that products meet consistency and quality standards, are shipped correctly and on time, and that the people who buy them can enjoy outstanding customer service.
Watch the PerfectForms demo, and you’ll see how this exceptional software can improve the state of the three “P”s in your business. It’s flexible enough, powerful enough, and easy enough to use that you can be confident your people, processes, and products all do their part to ensure your company’s ongoing success.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented unprecedented challenges around the world.
It is inspiring to see people, as a community, come together virtually and on the front lines to help others as we do our best to minimize the devastating impacts. At a time like this, technology can help us overcome challenges associated with new protocols and facilitate remote work to keep employees safe and productive. At PerfectForms, we are seeing customers in healthcare, government, school districts, colleges and many other industries implement new workflow processes, online forms and reports to manage and monitor their response to COVID-19. Examples of some COVID-19 related workflow processes, online forms and reports include:
With PerfectForms, you can build online forms and workflow applications that meet your new requirements and launch the applications faster than traditional development methods. We also offer professional services if you need help implementing new processes quickly, in case you may be experiencing resource constraints. Please reach out if we can help you. We hope you, your family and coworkers remain safe and healthy during this challenging time.
What does the expense reimbursement process look like within your company? Are you relying on manual expense processing and losing time, money, and productivity?
Historically, expense management systems have required employees 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 expense management doesn’t have to be that way.
Implementing automated expense management can help to speed up the expense reimbursement process tenfold, making your employees happier and increasing cost savings and efficiency for your company.
Expense report automation is user-friendly, prevents policy violations, and makes navigating reimbursement a breeze for everyone involved.
Here are 4 ways your company or small business 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 expense claim form that your employees can easily fill out and submit digitally, right from their desk or where they’re at on the go.
Online expense submission and processing eliminates the hassle, giving valuable time back to your employees. Not only that, but it makes it easier for your finance team to track business travel expenses, per diems, corporate credit card charges, and other expense data all in one place. You may also find that there is less room for error in interpreting expense policy when manual processes are modernized.
2. Include receipt upload.
Reimbursement is typically contingent on submitting a receipt for business expenses, 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 in real-time and be on their merry way. Paper receipts and manual data entry are becoming outdated, leaving more room for errors and less for productivity. A better solution is to streamline the expense reporting process from the second a receipt lands in hand. Management platforms with the added functionality of mobile receipt uploads are the perfect expense management solution.
3. Approve more quickly.
When your company receives expense report submissions digitally, you’re able to go through and approve them more efficiently. You can set your forms up to automatically send notifications and email submissions to the people who need to approve these expenses so they may be input into a spreadsheet.
Having expense data in a spreadsheet can help you manage your cash flow effectively. It allows members of your finance team to go in each day, approve or deny new employee expenses, input their name so the company knows who managed it, and quickly send an approval or denial response to the employee. The right accounting software can eliminate time-consuming tasks to ensure your team is focusing on what’s important.
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.
Alternatively, you can use expense reporting software to 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 your company.
How can I speed up reimbursement with automated workflows and expense management software?
Creating a new form and putting together new automated processes and workflows can help you track expenses, ensure policy compliance, and improve the experience of your employees, accounting team, and CFO. 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.
Inefficiency can cost businesses a significant chunk of their yearly revenues.
The amount of money lost to inefficiency can be surprising!
Individual inefficiencies spread across teams and departments add up, yet many companies continue to plow ahead, doing things as they’ve always done. Good workflow management can eliminate many inefficiencies, whether they’re adopted on the individual, team, or departmental level, or are integrated throughout an organization.
Companies that have considered using workflow software, but that are afraid of the upheaval of implementing it should take note of the many ways that automated workflows can improve team performance. These improvements add up rapidly and can be reflected in quick and impressive workflow software ROI. Here are four reasons why workflow management is important in improving team performance.
1. By Automating Manual Steps
Paper forms and their management are terribly inefficient. Not only can paper forms be lost or damaged, but they can also present problems like illegible handwriting. And they can easily be buried under other work, causing unnecessary delays in workflows.
Online forms that are automatically routed to the correct recipient at every step do away with all these problems and can even feed form data directly into spreadsheets or databases. Online forms also do away with endless status phone calls and emails, further saving time.
2. By Creating Automatic Checks and Balances
If someone turns in a purchase order form on paper with a number that doesn’t make sense or is out of range, it may go unnoticed for days. But with workflow software, an online purchase order form can instantly flag an out-of-range number so it can be corrected then and there.
Other types of checks and balances can be added to improve workflow management further. Errors like text in a numerical form field or forms that are incomplete can trigger pop-up error messages so that mistakes are corrected immediately and don’t affect further workflow steps.
Built-in checks and balances mean errors can be corrected right away.
3. By Consolidating Team and Project Documentation
Workflow management that collects all team or project documentation in a central location can improve team performance significantly. Reference documents, process instructions, customer or client information, and more can be stored centrally so that all workflow users can access it at any time.
Rather than trying to find a local computer file or a paper document, workflow users can access documents through the workflow itself, saving time and minimizing errors. As a result, team performance improves.
4. By Enabling Data-Driven Decision Making
Online forms and workflows make data collection easy. Data from forms and workflows can be automatically entered into databases, spreadsheets, or other office systems like Salesforce CRM.
If the workflow software includes workflow reporting capabilities, collected data can be used to spot trends, monitor performance, and generally help teams make more informed decisions. Data-driven decision making is becoming more important in businesses of every kind, and the right workflow software makes it easy to do.
PerfectForms is workflow software that makes workflow management easy. No programming is required, so workflow users themselves can design workflows that accomplish exactly what they want without help from IT. PerfectForms makes the creation of customized online forms simple, and these forms can be connected into powerful workflows that make the most of team resources. Teams can do away with manual processes, input checks and balances that prevent errors, and automatically collect data to drive better decisions down the line.
We encourage you to browse through the many PerfectForms case studies to see how businesses and organizations have dramatically improved their performance. And if you have any questions, we invite you to contact us at any time.