Hard as we all try, we are human and we make mistakes. When these mistakes take the form of data entry errors, it can range from being an annoyance all the way to a full-fledged disaster. Products get shipped to the wrong address, billing errors occur, critical dates are missed and so on.
Data entry into a “system”; an accounting system, CRM, ERP or any type of database or spreadsheet, feeds information to many users. Therefore, it is important to do whatever it takes to ensure accurate information is captured and the wrong information is not magnified across many decision makers. Here are some simple methods to support those decision makers and help them avoid costly mistakes.
Where possible, you can require double entry of key information and the entries must match to confirm. This is typical for data such as social security numbers, phone numbers and order numbers. You can use workflow to force a review step of the data. A second set of eyes can help prevent errors. Forcing users to select only from an approved list or having some data validated against outside information can also help. There are many methods to try to avoid mistakes as data enters the system, but none are perfect.
It is common to find a document as the source of the data for many transactions. You can support your local decision maker by enhancing their system with a link from the system directly to the source document. Even with all the preventative options available, providing a link to the source document(s) so the user can quickly confirm the information, is a valuable tool to prevent mistakes.
If the user is preparing to ship the order, they should be able to quickly confirm by viewing the Delivery Information Form provided by the customer. If the user is billing a new tenant for the first time, they should open the actual lease document to double check. If the user wants to avoid missing the renewal date, they should view the actual contract to confirm the true effective date.
Image enabling a system, as that document link is called, can be achieved in almost any situation. It does help if the system software is current. It also helps if that system software is cloud based. If you aren’t currently scanning your critical documents, this a great reason to start. If you are and can get your document management system to be the source of the link, your decision makers will Thank You.