Any business, no matter how big or small, has some form of document workflow set in place to make sure things run smoothly. The workflow for documents usually involves, order processing, applications, email, invoice and other documents. This sort of activity occurs in all businesses every single day, which is why it’s important to make sure that it works as efficiently as possible.
What is a workflow anyway?
In a nutshell, a workflow refers to the step by step procedures that are undertaken by a person or group of people in order to complete a particular task. The several issues usually encountered by most business organizations with their document workflow are:
• Improper distribution of paper work.
• Documents that gets lost during transfer from one stage of the workflow to another.
• Costs involved in processing, storing, and retrieving documents.
• Transferring documents from one office to another.
• Inability to locate necessary information for customer service.
There are many ways to improve a business organization’s workflow. One of the best ways to do that is by automating majority of the routines that take a lot of time and effort.
Where to start?
The best place to start improving document workflow is finding out which document takes the most time and money to process. While it would make sense to automate everything, it is still more prudent to implement an automated system slowly. That way, the integration of the new system won’t make matters worse.
It’s a common misconception that implementing a new system will immediately make things better; it’s better to test the system on a small scale before implementing it on a more massive scale. This way, the benefits of automating routines are more visible and can be compared with current manual document processes.
What is the next step?
Once a process has been chosen, simply observe the selected process in order to evaluate it. Start from the very beginning and go through everything until the very end. It’s important to understand all the physical steps involved in processing documents.
It would also be prudent to ask the people who are part of the document workflow. Ask them questions about the things that make processing a document time consuming. Determine which of these can be automated and which of these cannot.
Finally, make a list that outlines all the pertinent points in automating the document process.
Find the software that works best.
The final step is finding the best solution to the problems that are present in the outline is to make a list. There are a lot of document workflow solutions out there. Business organizations are spoilt for choice as a lot of companies offer excellent business solutions.
Always look for the ones that address the needs first. One way to look at how well a new system will work is by looking at the cost of implementing the new workflow system and comparing it to the benefits.
Document workflow solutions are a good long term investment that will surely increase overall productivity in virtually any business organization.