In today’s fast-paced business world, more and more businesses are deciding to become paperless. ‘Becoming paperless’ involves taking the company’s paper records and converting them into digital images, retrievable through the company’s network of computers and workstations. These images are then indexed using multiple indexes so that they can be retrieved by searching on a particular index or keyword. This allows the business to access paper records in a fraction of the usual time and prevents employees from having to re-file the documents that they retrieve.
The efficiencies gained from a paperless office are tremendous. These efficiencies allow the company to increase its processing speed, reduce is storage space, and improve security over its important business documents. Moreover, the company can have a back-up all important paper records in case of a disaster.
A business that wants to become paperless needs to invest in an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). A document management system helps to scan, index, archive and retrieve documents electronically. All business generate a large amount of documents such as financial reports, invoices, human resource documents, memos and other types of written information. Without an efficient document management system, it can take hours to find the exact information that one needs.
A good document management system, therefore, helps businesses to increase productivity and to save money at the same time.
Different types of forms exist in all organizations. The forms management function may be formal and managed, or it may be informal and mismanaged. The costs to create, print, deploy, use, store, find, reproduce, and destroy forms can amount to as much as 3% of revenues (Gartner Group estimate).
As the basic tool for business communication, well designed and well-worded forms contribute to positive customer experience and enhanced brand expression, leading to efficient business processes. All organizations need a well-developed forms management strategy, led by forms professionals and supported by senior management. A good forms management strategy can drive business process management, records and compliance management and customer service.
E-Forms are soft copy alternatives to paper forms and are cheaper and much more efficient than manual forms. Most fields in these forms can be filled up automatically by importing data from various transactional systems like a Human Resource Management System (HRMS), Accounting system or ERP. Likewise, data from E-forms can also be automatically exported to any transactional system. Since E-forms travel electronically, they do not get lost. It is also easy to find out at what stage each E-form is pending at any point of time. This enhances external as well as internal customer service and satisfaction levels.
Workflow is a common term for an automated process that flow across an organization, mainly between people. A workflow describes the activities or steps involved in a task and the people involved in getting such a task completed.
A workflow management software ensures that a complex task where multiple actions need to be carried out by various people is automated, resulting in faster speed, greater transparency and better control. A workflow management software, thus, automates the lifecycle of a business document from document capture, creation and review to approval and archival.