Let’s face it, if we encounter 10 of our co-workers during the day, it would be impossible to categorize all 10 as highly structured, organized rule followers. It might be more realistic to say maybe three of the 10 fit that description. If you extrapolate those numbers out in a company of 1,000 employees, that is 700 employees that can take a unique approach to structure and organization. No big deal unless any one of those 1,000 employees needs to go back to find a document because the CEO has a question.
An easy way to turn all 1,000 employees into super organized, happy rule followers is to use electronic workflows where-ever possible. The end result of workflow is the final, approved set of information upon which all employees can rely. There will be no more guessing on which supporting documents were the basis for the final credit approval or what version of a spreadsheet was the final one used in the report. All users will be able to confidently say to the CEO, Yes, this is absolutely, positively the one.
If the 700 semi-rule following employees are entrusted to manage their daily tasks in a loosely structured environment, most will likely complete those tasks in an acceptable amount of time. What type of carnage they left on the file server to achieve completion is another matter. All 1,000 employees are at risk of wasting time trying to find the final version of a document or documents that were the basis for the transactions or decisions derived from those tasks. That is costly and unacceptable.
The technology to turn every-day business tasks into efficient electronic workflows is not necessarily new nor revolutionary. There are plenty of examples of very capable and affordable workflow solutions that can help a company process new vendors, expense reports, even tech support calls. Budgets can be created in an online system and routed for review and approval. Document management systems can help you take a collection of documents supporting a loan request through review and approval.
Don’t let the type of tasks discourage your vision of what can be. Affordable, secure and reliable technologies are available to make processes more efficient and effective. Digital workflow processes can be simple two step processes all the way to highly complex ones with 20 steps or more. Regardless of how complex the process, the end result always produces documents and data that will need to be referenced again at some point. Use workflow to gather the relevant information, whether that is documents or data, route it through the logical process and when complete, retain that cohesive package of information as the final truth.
Breaking through the barrier to get that first workflow established will be the tip of the iceberg. Users will see the value and the benefits to their daily lives and the company will reap tremendous benefits. Just think of how much money the company will save when all 1,000 employees are no longer wasting time, especially the CEO’s time, searching to find the elusive final version.
Millennia Group provides document management and workflow solutions that help make companies more efficient and effective. www.mgdocs.com, firstname.lastname@example.org