Workflow Automation Software

Poor Man’s Business Intelligence

During a recent lunch conversation a comment was made about the great benefits of business intelligence (“BI”) – a tool used to connect lots of information dots to generate useful data. However, that was quickly followed by a second comment about the often failed attainment of those benefits. The culprit seems to be bad or incomplete historical data, ie data stuck in documents or inconsistently entered data.

Another discussion at this lunch centered on co-tenancy, a complicated topic that impacts the commercial real estate industry. As an example, a co-tenancy clause could allow one tenant to reduce its rent if another, typically significant, tenant exits the property. The significant tenant is a draw to the property that benefits other tenants. So how do these two topics relate?

Well as it turns out, there is a great need to connect lots of co-tenancy dots for property owners. When a national retailer goes bankrupt, many property owners scramble to find out which properties had that significant tenant and then what other tenants in those properties had a co-tenancy clause that would allow them to reduce rent.

This type of situation can easily occur in other industries as well. Think about the situation where a drug is now known to have bad side effects. The connection of the drug to all the patients out there is probably only a handwritten note on a piece of paper – not very connectable in the BI world.

So what is the answer beyond an extremely costly process of reading every document and putting all of that data into a database? Although not perfect, the use of full text search in conjunction with digital documents associated with good data can help. Scan a document and associate that document with the patient’s social security number. If the document has the drug name in a typed format, you could do a search for the drug name within all digital patient files. If the documents are associated with the SSN, the search results will contain the names of all those patients.

For the commercial real estate industry, the search could be for “co-tenancy” and “significant tenant name”. The results are all documents with a co-tenancy clause for “significant tenant name” and if the documents are associated with the right data, the results will be very useful. Note that there are some limitations to this approach, but with the right prep work, the results will generate big benefits.

This poor man’s BI is available in all of Millennia Group’s document management systems, because our implementation process always includes associating documents to key lists of data like tenants, patients or customers. If you would like to learn more about our solutions, please contact us at info@mgdocs.com, (630) 279-0577 or visit www.mgdocs.com.

Workflow Metrics, the Extra Benefit

via FlickrAll of our clients that have implemented our workflow solution have done so to improve their efficiency and profitability. However, it has become very apparent that there are significant added benefits derived from the process metrics reports that are generated. 

A quick definition of process metrics is the number and duration of activities throughout each workflow process, ie. how many completed and how long did it take. Additional measurements are possible depending on other data available within the system, such as completions by region, by person, by amount, etc.

At first glance, gathering the data and measuring the metrics seems like a big brother approach. However, when you look closely, this is a win win situation for the company and the employees and here are a few reasons why:

A win for the company:

• These metrics can be used to evaluate productivity by employee
• Metrics provide the ability to manage bottlenecks and achieve better overall results
• The metrics can help to spot trends in sales, costs or resources before the trends are visible elsewhere.

A win for the employees:

• Clearly defined goals and benchmarks to work towards relieves stress on employees
• Having metrics creates a game type atmosphere to achieve top honors for productivity, speed or error free days
• Workload is properly balanced by management so all associates are on a level playing field

There are certainly other benefits to both the company and the employees. The key is to get those old email and paper based processes converted to a digital workflow and start reaping all of the benefits.

Millennia Group provides document imaging, workflow and management solutions. www.mgdocs.com, (630) 279-0577, info@mgdocs.com