Creating a proper document workflow process contributes to increased productivity with a focus on higher-value tasks. When workflows are inefficient, it takes longer to complete administrative duties, creating a workforce focused on too many low-value tasks. Here we look at how proper document workflow can increase productivity to empower your workforce to become more strategic.
Proper Document Workflows Provide Quick Access to Information
Paper-based, inefficient archives force team members to waste time retrieving documents. According to The Paperless Project, the average worker spends approximately 20 percent of their time finding documents, leading to reduced productivity. This costs your organization money not only in wasted time but also in misfiled and lost documents related to manual, paper filing systems.
In fact, three percent of all company documents get misfiled and are almost impossible to recover. Saving time using a document management system is easy as it eliminates the need to retrieve documents manually. Documents are accessed and viewed in real time with easy-to-search databases using multiple criteria.
Proper Document Workflows Reduce Time Spent on Low-Value Tasks
Manual document processing and administrative tasks take more effort and require too many low-value tasks. Proper document workflows dramatically improve how employees handle these low-value administrative tasks. Instead, they use an effective documents process to file, organize and retrieve documents with a document workflow management tool. As a result, workers can focus on higher-value tasks that create a workflow to improve productivity.
For example, digital document management systems for Human Resource departments decrease paperwork burdens and ensure accuracy. The benefits of document workflows and improved business processes through automation allow HR departments to:
- Reduce time-consuming paperwork for recruiters and HR managers
- Streamline the application process
- Automate payroll/expenses processes
- Improve compliance with improved information security and an automated destruction schedule
Another example is ensuring Child Protection Information Network CPIN implementation deadlines are met. This time-consuming process is easier using document scanning services. Child Protective Services can securely scan all sensitive documents like historical child welfare files, disposition reports or risk assessment and safety plans to provide the records needed to manage cases more effectively. As a result, proper document workflows through digitalization allow case workers to focus on their clients instead of paperwork.
Proper Document Workflows Identify Inefficiencies
Document duplication, data losses, inability to track current versions of documents and human errors all slow down workflows. The right workflows help identify problematic areas, bottlenecks and processes that contribute to inefficiencies. Once you establish these trends, you can find opportunities to improve efficiencies through the allocation of additional resources, simplification of the process or automation.
Because document management problems aren’t always obvious, they often go unnoticed. As a result, organizations can work for years using the same inefficient processes without understanding where or why they exist.
Efficiency is particularly important in the manufacturing industry. Document management software for manufacturing businesses offers many benefits, including:
- Reduced labour costs for dealing with paper documents
- Reduced paper document storage costs
- Support for a lean manufacturing culture
- Improved order fulfillment efficiency
- Efficient customer service resolution with quick access to real time order status
- Improved compliance and regulatory assistance with access to records
Proper Document Workflows Creates Document Management Cohesion
Large organizations and institutions often have complex processes in place to try to manage a growing volume of documents. As a result, multiple employees and touchpoints increase the risk for errors. A lack of cohesion also adds to the complexity of document workflows.
Cohesive document workflows expedite the process by ensuring everything is handled in the exact same way every single time. Standards linked to every single aspect of document processing ensures smooth operations and minimal amounts of time dedicated to corrections or problem resolution. Cohesive practices using digital infrastructure also make collaboration easier across departments, using role-based authorization to ensure only those with authority can alter documents.
In the education system, for example, document scanning integrates with SIS and education software improving communication throughout the school board or institution. A streamlined, cohesive document management process helps manage documents across many functions and purposes, including:
- Addressing long-term retention requirements
- Automating the collection of information from students and parents for consistency
- Implementing remote access for all schools to create a standard set up
- Standardization of transcripts, grades, and other relevant prerequisite documents
Proper Document Workflows Speeds Up Response to Customer Requests
Customer satisfaction becomes easier when your team can access documents to resolve service issues. Digital documents allow customer service to access all and any documents related to customer touchpoints from online orders to receipts, and from delivery times to special requests. Quick processing of customer requests establishes the right kind of image for the brand and builds steady, long-term relationships with clients.
Modern technologies can be used to create a comprehensive document workflow management strategy focused on customer service as well as patient care. In fact, 56% of primary care physicians in Canada use electronic medical records. Document workflows in healthcare facilities become easier with scanned patient records and files. A paperless patient database offers many benefits including:
- Fast file retrieval
- Consistent format for all records, including paper and imaging
- Reduced physical storage space required for paper charts for larger exam and consultation rooms
- Easy sharing of patient records with other healthcare professionals to speed up diagnosis and treatment
- Improved workflows to improve patient care
Proper Document Workflows Address Department Specific Needs
Automated document workflows address industry or department-specific needs, so you always remain productive. For example, Accounting faces both payable and receivable workflow issues. Using Accounts Payable/Receivable processing solutions, businesses can:
- Leverage vendor discounts and enjoy favorable terms through automation
- Resolve vendor disputes with POs, invoices and packing slips available on demand
- Reduce error-prone paper processes
- Become more predictive to manage peaks and valleys
- Automate invoice and check matching
- Eliminate stalled invoices with automated document routing
- Access records for simplified audits
- Reduce payment cycle time to improve cash flow
- Free up office space with paperless accounts records and/or creating a remote workforce with improved access to documents
- Consolidation of client documentation and payment/order records
- Document sharing to resolve disputes and improve customer/vendor relationships
However, proper workflows also impact certain sectors, including Municipal Governments, charities, and Union, Regulatory and Member Services. Customized document scanning and document management systems can be applied to your specific requirements, whether it is departmental, industry or sector related.
If you’re suffering from workflow deficiency, the team at MES is ready to help. We offer document management systems and scanning services to improve your document-related workflows to improve productivity. Reach out to our team today.