Given that we are coming up to the end of the year, we thought it would be helpful again this year to provide some ideas on how to use your time wisely, if and when projects and meetings slow down at year end. In order to have this supposed time available does presume that you are working. However, even some simple changes or small efforts can produce a tangible and noticeable effect across the company.
Change can be difficult but also extremely rewarding. Reach out to your co-workers, talk to others in your industry or even just friends and family about new things they are doing at work (that make their lives easier). Best of all, talk to existing vendors that you trust and like to work with to see what more they can do to help you. You can even reach out to other vendors to see what other opportunities might exist. Call it R&D. Call it whatever you want and here are some ideas to get you started.
Look at the tasks you and your associates undertake on a daily basis and identify those that are repetitive and have some email or document component. For instance, does your company have an email-based approval process for journal entries, loan approvals, etc? Sending around emails with attachments does not provide any prioritization, visibility or planning for these processes. A workflow solution can simplify these processes and pay many other dividends. Workflows don’t need to be complicated technology solutions, they can be two or three step digital approvals and you will still get positive ROI.
Spend the time to clearly match the file folders on your shared drive or the paper folders in your file cabinets to the source system for tracking those folders. Here is what we mean by this. If you have file folders for each client on your shared drive, add the Client Number from the accounting system to the folder name. For instance, instead of “Smith Products, LLC”, rename that folder to “Smith Products, LLC-999888” where 999888 is the client number in the accounting system. Some day you will merge your accounting system and those digital files into one document enabled ERP and you will really appreciate the perfect match. And by the way, the process of doing this will result in locating some missing files.
Check your digital copier settings for scanning or the setting on your desk top scanners. The default settings should be 200 dots per inch and black and white. Those settings will satisfy 95% of your scanning needs and produce excellent quality scans for viewing or printing (not that you should print). You can always use custom settings for those rare situations where you need to capture color pages. This will provide faster viewing of files for users, take up less space on your servers or in the cloud and make the scanning effort faster too. These are all going to make users more efficient.
These are just some simple steps that you can take. There are plenty more opportunities and larger efforts in the document management area that will have a positive ROI, but these are simple changes that you can tackle now. Just start simple and build up to the really big bang opportunities.