Workflow Automation Software

Millennia Group Blog

Absolutely positively this is the one

via Flickr - Dan Zen and William HookLet’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…

Whatchamacallit

via Flickr, BodoAs businesses become more micro focused on efficiency, the number of highly targeted software solutions treating one specific pain, soar.  Examples include expense report management or employee onboarding solutions.  These are cloud based, third party solutions that typically generate a “document” as an end product or include supporting document attachments. 

That point solution may in fact become relied upon by the business users as their document system because that’s where they go to find the documents they need.  It’s not uncommon for these applications to list document management as a feature.  The functionality doesn’t qualify it as a document management solution and the organization should be careful to accept it as that, no matter whatcha call it.

The information and documents in these solutions are likely well organized given that…

Collaboration requires collaboration

Every business wants its staff to perform at its peak and to get one plus one to equal three through communication and collaboration.  Collaboration can be complicated, even with technology.  Maybe the best way to highlight how complicated collaboration can be, is to think about the creation of a report that summarizes a new project.

The report could span multiple departments or even include inputs from outside parties.  Therefore, security becomes an issue.  Some collaboration may be parallel such as when working on budget numbers simultaneously in an online spreadsheet.  Other collaboration may be sequential wherein the spreadsheet then provides input for the narrative part of the report – can’t start one without the other. The archival of the completed report needs to be managed as well.  These are all issues that make any single technology solution a difficult fit.

To…

Are you who you say you are?

via Flickr -  David Martyn HuntIf you’re a fraudster you can easily obtain a fake driver’s license or passport.  You can create a fake social media profile complete with fake friends.  It’s difficult to confirm the actual identity of someone without a DNA profile or finger print on file with the FBI.  And that is for confirming someone in person much less remotely.

The widespread use of electronic signatures has taken longer than some people expected and that is partially due to the ability to verify the signers.  If we could feel as comfortable with the validity of the electronic signature as we do with a wet signature, electronically signed documents would become the norm.  But electronic signatures come in varying degrees of authenticity so which one do you use?

Electronic signatures can include a simple, dropped in jpg…

Too many to choose from

Via Flickr - Chris WinterDo you ever marvel at the number of choices available in the bottled water aisle at any grocery store or online market? There are dozens of options to choose from.  How about barbeque sauces, bourbon, pizza or crackers?  There are far too many choices and it gets frustrating and time consuming to make any kind of decision.

This has some similarities to the frustration many people experience when they are searching for a file at work.  They may find a copy of the file duplicated in multiple places.  Determining which copy is the final version is both time consuming and frustrating.  The process of de-duplicating is not an easy task, but reducing our choices has obvious benefits and it can be done.

In document management terms, de-duplicating is the process of eliminating redundant copies of files.  In…

Blockchain will heat up your document strategy

via Flickr - sicilianoWe recently attended and exhibited at a technology trade show for the commercial real estate industry. The technologies that were in the spotlight were wide ranging from remotely monitored and controlled water values to AI solutions for recurring administrative tasks. Less “hot” technologies were also represented like accounting, lease management and of course workflow and document management systems.

Blockchain is poised to spice up the future of the document management world. There is quite a way to go before transactions are conducted and documented with blockchain documents. However, the concept is promising and it is sure to have an impact on how documents are stored, created, shared and even alter the definition of a document.

First, some background. Blockchain is a word that is used to describe a method of storing information that makes it extremely difficult…

Email is not dead, just mature

via Flickr - Quinn DobrowskiYour email solution used to be both your communication tool and document management solution.  Everyone was sending messages and documents to everyone else and then just creating a nice neat (sometimes) folder structure to save the emails for future reference.  For a while that was a tremendous improvement over phone calls, stacks of paper and filing cabinets.

Then came the demand for corporate wide information access and individual user email accounts were demoted and retention policies were implemented.  The next dagger was the lack of encryption on standard email such that corporate information was therefore at risk.  Possibly the final blow is that email became a spam fest.  But wait, email is not dead and there are good reasons why.

Really an email is a document, a record, a corporate asset that should be treated as such. …

Has efficiency peaked with mobility?

Via Flickr - Giorgio MontersinoIt seems simple to envision the tools required by a mobile worker.  The basics quickly jump to mind including a phone, a laptop, chargers of course and a Starbucks or Panera card.  Then you need a location, which could include a home office, an office suites membership or the aforementioned coffee shop.

The real tools of the trade are more software oriented.  It’s critical to have a fully cloud based infrastructure or a VPN that provides access to your CRM, accounting system/ERP, messaging app, email and of course documents.  The emergence of technology and the disappearance of ledger books, the Rolodex and filing cabinets resulted in amazing efficiency gains.  Now that these tools are also available to mobile users, has efficiency peaked?

Even with all of the great new tools at our disposal, incorrect accounting entries still…

Valentine’s day has past, but show your data some love

via Flickr - Open KnowledgeWe serve clients in many different industries; commercial real estate, manufacturing, insurance, telecommunications, non-profit, education, etc.  Each one of these industries has some critical information that drives the company or certainly a significant department within the company. 

Most of the time that critical information is data that is pulled from or supported by documents.  Lease agreements and other contracts contain the terms and conditions that feed the accounting system.  Customer orders contain the all-important customer information that goes into the ERP.  Unorganized, mis-filed, inaccessible documents result in inaccurate data.

In a completely paperless environment like an online order, the typical data error is caused by the user mis-keying an address or ordering the wrong item.  The user interface is configured to prevent this by having an order confirmation page for the user to acknowledge.  Mistakes may…

Digital Initials vs Digital Signatures

via Flickr by Kurtis GuftonAt some point in our working careers most of us have planted our initials on some form or memo to signify our approval.  Yes, I agree that purchasing this $1mm piece of equipment is a good idea – MC.  It’s not a legal issue such as when a contract requires a full signature, but it does indicate that we take responsibility for or acknowledge the contents of a document.  There is a justified need for the initials.

The legitimacy of digital signatures for legal documents has been debated in the Supreme Court and every major country in the world.  Software solutions exist and thrive providing secure digital signatures that comply with the law.  This is all positive for our economy as it makes business processes more efficient.  Here is a little hint –…