I’ve been in the working world for long enough to have some credentials – 38 years to be exact. If I was advising my children, I would strongly suggest that they get back into the office as many days a week as possible and especially on Friday. As a father, I believe that is good advice for younger workers.
As a business owner whose company provides a cloud workflow and critical document archive solution, that could be shooting myself in the foot. The more people who work remotely, the more demand there is for businesses to have great solutions for remote workers to be productive. But I think my fatherly advice is the correct advice overall and here’s why.
Endnote, what’s that?
The internet is amazing and it seems will shortly be even more amazing when Bing and Google fully deploy their AI powered search engines. Finding information quickly is already simple and fast, especially if you have a pretty good idea of what it is you are looking for. When AI enters the picture, the picture literally could be significantly better.
Simple and fast search is great. But the degree of trust in the search result is based on the effort you make to get comfortable with the answer. A few clicks to alternative information maybe or just some level of trust in the source website. As the level of sophistication and depth of the questions…
No Top Ten. Bottom Five.
Everyone does a top ten best or ten most list, especially at the beginning of the year. Top ten this or top ten that. But what about the bottom? What would that look like if we had the bottom five; five lowest played songs of 2022, five business ideas that fizzled by mid-year, five worst investments of 2022. That last one is real.
Can it help us to understand the five worst of something? Yes, absolutely that can be very helpful if for no other reason than to raise awareness. So here is a hypothetical list of five worst business operation decisions of 2022:(more…)
Go ahead, take two weeks off
Banks and other financial institutions have a requirement that all officers must take two consecutive weeks off work. The reason, which is advocated by the FDIC, is so that the institution has a better chance to uncover fraudulent activity. If the employee is gone for an extended period, strange correspondence and irregular transactions handled by the backup employee could expose the fraud.
However, irregular and strange don’t only relate to fraud. That type of activity can be related to current business processes. Our last post was about how costly exceptions to the standard business process seem to go unnoticed because managing the exception becomes routine for that employee. Therefore, whenever there is employee turnover or extended PTO, plug in a…
Workplace Bias, the Process Kind
We love to dig into our client’s business processes and help them overachieve their stated goals of improved efficiency or compliance. It’s a mentally challenging and stimulating exercise that we really enjoy. However, we have learned that part of the challenge is the fact that there’s a real bias to under-divulge information about what the current process consists of.
This bias is not intentional by any means. It’s a function of unconscious acceptance of exception management as part of the job. Put more simply, most employees just handle the issues that come up when there is an exception, and it doesn’t register as a “step” in the process. However, it is exactly these exceptions that take the most time and…
Mission Not Impossible
It’s difficult to claim that you are compliant with internal or external rules and regulations if you don’t have a good base to start with. Take the concept of the accurate value of your customer contracts for instance or exposure due to vendor contracts, both part of any Sarbanes Oxley regulations (SOX). It’s hard to imagine having complete confidence in those values or exposures, defined as no more than 5% deviation by SOX, if you don’t have confidence in the collection of supporting documentation.
The focus on customer contracts should take precedence and probably does already in terms of recording the contract terms in your billing system. But the effort for the most part is still a manual…
Bring on the auditors!
Does the thought of going through an audit scare you? What is an audit? According to The American Heritage Dictionary, an audit is – An examination of records or financial accounts to check their accuracy or confirm adherence to policy or regulation. And what does an auditor do? Performs verification and substantiation procedures. And what types of audits are there? Financial, compliance, internal, security and many more.
Audits are not something that most of us enjoy going through. Not for nefarious reasons, but mostly because of the extra time demands and that feeling of uncertainty about providing the required information. Your accounting system or ERP has been designed to collect and keep your transaction information. However, can your auditor verify and substantiate the transactions or adherence to…
You need a smaller house
Has anyone experienced the dad who angrily says ‘where’s my screwdriver’, because it wasn’t put back where he thought it should be. Are some of your family members more organized than others? Is one more detail oriented or creative or devil-may-care? Maybe if your house was a lot smaller, say one room, you wouldn’t have this problem.
Ok, blow that up by 1,000 work associates and think about your critical information. You can’t make that “house” smaller. No HR department can choose work associates who all think and work alike. And you can’t effectively force a single method. What can be done to give users a reasonable chance to avoid wasting time looking for that screwdriver? Or more importantly, avoid a negative compliance or…
How old are you?
Try to remember the days of all files being on a shared network drive or all data in spreadsheets. Try to remember creating and sharing the responsibility of managing a spreadsheet. What was the largest group of cohorts that you worked with to create a spreadsheet? Is that easier now than before? If you need to go back and find the final version of that file, is it easy to do? Is it easy to share internally and externally? Do you even need to create spreadsheets anymore?
Is your world any better now that you have implemented that all-encompassing, do all solution be it ERP, contract management, collaboration, or document management solution? Is it easier to create, collaborate on, find and share information? Is there better…
Report v Workflow
Two weeks ago I attended the Realcomm IBCON Real Estate Technology Show that was held in Scottsdale and it was very well done given the Covid restrictions. There were many vendors with fantastic solutions for everything from monitoring building systems to managing the due diligence process. Based on my observations, all of the vendor offerings had a dashboard and very nice reports to help users digest the wealth of information these solutions gather and provide.
This week I had a good conversation with a colleague about a potential need for workflow. As I listened to the concept it occurred to me that part of what was needed was reporting, maybe even a dashboard. However, part of the need would definitely also benefit greatly from workflow. …