Business processes take time. Why make them any more strenuous than they already are? If you feel as if your company’s process for routing documents, forms, and approvals is a bit unorganized, you may be in need of a workflow automation software.
Not quite sure yet? Well, we’ve listed five tell-tale signs below to help you decide.
1. Once a document is routed for approval, you don’t know what happened to it.
Let’s be honest. Approval processes for documents can be daunting. You need your boss to see it, his boss to approve it, and then you need the CEO to give her OK. That may be the simplest of your workflows. When you send the document off for approval, often times it becomes a waiting game. Do you know when your boss sent it to his boss? Do you know when the CEO has her hands on it? How long does it take to get from point A to point B? With OnTask’s workflow automation, you can create custom workflows that allow you to track the progress of the approval. Know who’s holding the document at all times and set reminders for the recipients to approve. You can even adjust deadlines for each of the stages in the approval process.
2. Forms require so much time and effort that they become a hassle.
Think about it. When you send someone a form, whether it’s a contract or a notice, there are a lot of steps to take. First, you’ve got to scan the form to your computer. Then you have to attach it to an email. After, you send the email with the attachment to the recipient … but the process doesn’t end there. The recipient then needs to download, print, and manually fill in the form. Whether it requires a lot of work to fill in the fields or it just needs a signature, the form will still need to be scanned again. Depending on the course of the document, the recipient could choose to scan it to their own computer and forward the new attachment back to the original sender. However, they can also fax it or send it by snail mail. Any way you look at it, it’s an entire process in itself. Web forms and digital signatures are the way of the future. Workflow automation can help you with both internal and external forms, cutting down on your paper waste and improving your productivity.
3. The approval processes never go in the same order.
You’ve just finished your portion of work and now it’s time to pass it on. You know Tom, Bill, and Jenny all need to see it and leave feedback on the document as a whole. Through the review process, you receive tidbits of information on the file via email. It gets very confusing searching through the threads to try and find out who liked or disliked what and why it wasn’t approved. You need a better way to route a project through each step in the process. Workflow automation software keeps track of all the comments about the document. With OnTask, you can see whose desk the document falls on if they’ve submitted an approval and any comments about the document they had to make.
4. Obtaining information is like pulling teeth.
When you need to request information from someone, whether it be a file that they have or a form they need to fill out, you often find yourself struggling to get that information in your hands. We all work with busy schedules and sometimes those schedules get so hectic that we forget about certain tasks. If you’re trying to get information from someone, email is often the hardest way to communicate with busy people. They probably get hundreds of emails per day.
If you need to request transcripts, pay stubs, certifications, etc., OnTask can help you get the information you need without the hassle. Simply set up a workflow, set a deadline, route it to the person who needs to give you information, and automatically reminds them when the deadline gets close.
5. The paper trail is long and information is always missing.
If you work for a company that believes in always having a hard copy, chances are you’re familiar with this scenario. You don’t always document things in the digital world, but you have a filing cabinet the size of Texas. The problem? You waste so much time searching through all of that paper waste that you lose productive work hours but also run the chance of misplacing important information.
In another scenario, you save everything in emails. When it’s time to go through your inbox and find that project from two months ago that got deferred, you’re not sure where the information is. It’s probably scattered through email threads somewhere in cyberspace. With an automated workflow, you know that file was routed through the entire cycle, who signed it, who made comments, and when it was completed.