5 Ways to Automate Business Forms

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Forms processing: it’s a tedious task. First you email someone for information, then they download the attachment, print the attachment, fill out the form, scan it back to their computer, and send it to the next recipient. Whew! That’s a lot of steps! The process of getting a form through the appropriate channels can be tiresome. Who has time for all that printing and scanning? There are so many forms lost in the mysterious black hole of the email inbox.

If you’re still using hard copies or simply sending PDFs via email, you could be costing yourself money. In the time it takes the recipient to print the form, manually fill it out, and send it on to the next person in line, you’ve already lost a good 15-30 minutes—and that’s if they complete it immediately!

The reality is that requests often get stuck in the process when people don’t respond quickly—or worse—get sent into their spam folder. What forms need automation? We could easily argue that workflow automation can help simplify all form processes, but let’s talk about five common use cases instead.

1. Credit Applications

Our first example highlights the finance industry. If you have customers applying for credit, whether it’s a credit card or a loan, paperwork is inevitable. Applications are often tedious because of the time investment. They don’t have to be. Gather the applicant’s information more efficiently with an automated business form.

You can set up an external workflow for your applicant and track their progress. The application will begin with simple questions like name, address, phone number, etc. Then, it can ask for more personal identification like social security number, work history, and annual salary. Once the form is filled out by your applicant, you can use the same workflow to send the application out for approval.

When the applicant hits submit, your workflow route can automatically send this information to the approving party. When it gets the stamp of approval, the authority that signs off will submit the form back to the workflow’s originator.

2. Speaker Forms

The only thing more difficult than recruiting speakers for an event is obtaining the information you need to market their presentation. With automated business forms, the process is simplified. Just create a customized workflow that includes the terms and conditions and includes a form for the speaker to supply their bio, presentation title, and summary.

With OnTask’s digital signature, you can rest assured that the agreement will be legally binding. Plus, you can route the workflow for approval throughout the chain of command. Select a route for the agreement to pass through and obtain all the necessary signatures you need, all in one workflow. You can even set up due dates and reminders for each recipient to view and sign.

3. New Sales Contracts

When you’re closing the deal, you want to make a good impression. Emailing prospects with quotes and contracts makes you look old school (and not in that hipster, cool way). There’s a more effective option that takes less time.

Automate your sales contracts with a workflow tool. Before the signing stage, you’ll need the customer to fill out a form with all of their company’s information such as operating business name, address, telephone number, email, credit card, and more. Instead of inputting all of this information manually, automated business forms help you save time and reduce the chance of human error.

This no-hassle, digital process gives your prospect the flexibility to fill out the form digitally anywhere, anytime. Plus, you can get notifications when they have completed the process and everything is approved. You can even incorporate the contract for a digital signature. It’s just as legally binding, and you’ll have the ability to access the audit trail later in your dashboard.

4. Job Applications

Looking for a way to avoid all the printing and scanning that comes along with the onboarding of a new employee? There are so many HR forms that need to go through your hands before a new hire is ready for their first day. Let’s take, for example, the official job application. Often times, a company will resort to email attachments for these types of forms, requiring the recipient to print, fill out manually, and scan the document back.

Whether we want to admit it or not, that’s an intensive process. Especially if the recipient doesn’t have access to a readily available scanner. If you could automate the application form, it would save everyone time. The workflow can be customized to route from the new hire to the approving authority. It will automatically notify you when the recipient has completed the form.

5. Purchase Orders

When your customers complete inventory, it’s crucial for them to keep track of how many products were sold, how many they still have, and how many they should re-order. When you’re completing a purchase order for them, you’ll need to define the price, specifications, terms and conditions of the products they need restocked.

The purchase order is usually delivered by email, snail mail, or fax. However, automated business forms can help your customers save precious time when it comes to getting the inventory they need. Used for internal and external needs, workflow automation can help you get the information you need from your buyer faster.

More Use Cases

There are various ways that workflow automation can help businesses obtain information from forms efficiently. What other ways can we help you and your industry? Take a look at our sample workflows in our resources section to learn more about OnTask and schedule a customized demonstration below.