Workflow Automation Software

Millennia Group Blog

This is Critical

Via Flickr by Matt Jiggins

What’s your company’s superpower?  It could be a technology, a marketing edge, engineering talent, or exceptional service.  Whatever your secret sauce is, it’s important in generating your revenue. What could be its kryptonite?  Obviously, whatever could harm or stop your superpower would logically be your kryptonite.

It’s also obvious that you want to prevent kryptonite situations from occurring.  You visit important customers frequently, pay a lot for marketing and engineering talent and invest in your technology and operations.  But somebody always wants to see proof.  You do have the critical documentation, right?

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Workplace Bias, the Process Kind

Via Flickr, The Detective by Paurian

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

Via Flickr, Tony Werman and Funtoosh

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…

Not so fast with “bring on the auditors”

Steps - by Jordan Schwarts via Flickr

As a follow up to our last post about having a system of record to make audits seem like a walk in the park, there is more to it.  Recall that a system of record document management solution holds the confirmed supporting documentation for your critical company data, such as, transactions, client accounts, vendor contracts, etc.  If your current file storage solution is not working and you want to convert it to a system of record there are a few things that are required. 

Like all good things, it will take some effort on the front end.  But as we stated in the last post, it is well worth it.  And the value is more than just having a better audit experience.  Its worth it because…

How old are you?

Explore

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…

Are file rooms making a comeback?

Via Flickr - Mohamed Baseeth

There was a time when all important company information was on a shelf or in a file cabinet.  Well organized companies could be fairly satisfied that people could find legal documents in the legal department and accounting files in the accounting department.  And with photocopiers and overnight delivery services, documents could even be shared.  When the department appointed a czar to manage their stash of documents, it all seemed to work even better.

But we all know how the story ends.  The czar retired, the company bought four other companies, people forgot the alphabet and this new-fangled computer thing arrived.  Then people weren’t so happy.  Documents weren’t easy to find.  However, with email and the internet, documents did become easier to create and…

Risk – Identify, Calculate, Assume, Navigate

Business is full of risk and yes, I CAN live with it.  In fact, having a risk management approach to your business can be hugely beneficial.  Once you have identified the risk and calculated the amount of risk, you can either assume or avoid the risk.  If you assume the risk, then it is imperative to navigate or manage that risk.

Most businesses manage a variety of risks usually around customer, vendor, market or government.  Lately that has expanded to include environmental and social media risk.  It turns out that beyond being excellent tools for improving efficiency and enabling remote work, document management and workflow are risk management tools as well.  Here are some thoughts on how the two work together and how these tools will…

Wow that’s messy

How can artificial intelligence (“AI”) help you?  Cleaning out the garage or basement?  Reorganizing your closet?  Organizing your family photographs?  Some readers are experiencing anxiety just reading those words much less actually trying to complete those tasks.  But AI is not going to help in those scenarios.

Here’s another anxiety generator – reorganizing and cleaning out your company file server.  Imagine how good that would feel, especially if AI did it all.  Sorry, but that is not likely to happen either.  At least not on its own.  But you if you want to achieve the significant benefits of well organized, accessible information, here are some tips for such a large, complex project.

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A record of the truth

What’s the core record for your business?  The order, contract, application, evaluation, presentation and subscription all come to mind.  It doesn’t matter if your business sells cars, office space, ideas or medical services, there is a necessary recording of the transaction and end product to the transaction. 

The progression over the past 30+ years has been to devise ways to make the recording, tracking and documentation of your business as streamlined as possible.  That entailed digitizing that path.  But digital data isn’t always what it seems and therefore the support for the transaction is still a key component of every business.  What is your key Record?

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