Technology has enabled businesses to make incredibly meaningful changes in the way they operate. However, many businesses have not fully embraced technology enough to enjoy a completely digital workflow. For some, the old methods have felt too ingrained to change. For others, it’s merely a matter of not knowing why, how, or when to start.
Regardless of the business, employee productivity is an essential ingredient of businesses success. If employees have more time to focus on value-added tasks, then they can accomplish more during the workday. Not only that, they can take on new tasks or initiatives that will help grow the business.
So, how can a digital workflow drive productivity in a company?
What is a Digital Workflow?
First, it’s essential to understand what a digital workflow is. Every business has workflows. This is the sequence of processes that are required to complete a job or task. For example, a sales team may take an order, accounts payable will generate the invoice, the warehouse will pick and pack the order, and the shipping team will get it out.
A digital workflow is a workflow that has been modernized and updated to include connected, online tools and services to help improve the workflow. This could include automating menial tasks, decreasing time between steps in the workflow, enabling better communication or collaboration, among other benefits.
It is estimated that nearly half of a workday isn’t spent on actual primary job duties. With a digital workflow and automation, employees are enabled to focus on what matters.
Reduce Delays Between Workflow Steps
Many business workflows require input from multiple staff members. Delays between each step as one employee hands off the file to another can significantly increase the overall time it takes for the workflow to be completed. An extreme example of this could be where one employee edits a document, prints it, and then has it couriered to another office location for another employee to work on.
With a digital workflow, the document can be created in a centralized and organized document management system with the next employee in the workflow being notified when it’s ready for their attention. They can immediately pick up the document for their input. There is no lost time due to transit, communication, or simple errors like misplacing the physical document or forgetting to scan and email it along. Or worse, accidently forwarding the wrong version of the document.
Enable Staff to Work from Anywhere
The remote workforce is becoming more and more common. The number of people working remotely has almost doubled in the last 10 years. There are several good reasons to have a remote workforce. This can reduce the overhead cost for fully staffed offices, allow for flexible hours, and enable staff to take on tasks that may fall outside the walls of a traditional office. With a cloud-based document management system, authorized staff have 24/7 access to the files they need. This is especially important with a distributed workforce or people who may work across multiple time zones.
The sales team is a great example of remote teams that can do more productive work while they’re on-the-go. When they are no longer chained to their desk, sales staff can meet with clients face-to-face, market themselves to new clients, and attend networking events to grow their book of business. Of course, work doesn’t stop just because the staff is taking on these tasks. With a digital workflow aided by a document management system, staff can still be connected wherever they may be so that they can get the job done without having to be physically present.
Imagine if sales staff could connect with even just one more client per day. What does that mean to the bottom line? This kind of productivity is just scratching the surface of the total potential of a digital workflow.
Eliminate Lost or Outdated Documents
The problem with working off paper documents or documents stored on a local drive is that there is no guarantee that the document will be up-to-date. Is the document being edited the most current version? Will the work have to be repeated after an error is discovered? Even worse, is this the right document at all?
Different employees can have different methods for managing their documents, whether physically or on a shared network drive, or even in shared Dropbox folders. A centralized document management system ensures that everyone has access to the latest version and, most importantly, they know where to find the document they need. This level of organization can potentially save countless hours of work.
It’s also essential to be sure that the most updated version of the document is on-hand in the event of an audit. Instead of scouring individual employee’s hard drive for the most current version to satisfy an audit requirement, the version needed is always on hand in one place for those who need it. Audits can be completed more efficiently, and there is a greatly reduced risk of non-compliance due to poor organization.
Discover the Benefits Today
Productivity can be significantly increased simply by moving to a digital workflow. Of course, the right tools and systems need to be in place to make this switch truly successful. And, some document management solutions are easier to implement than you think. To learn more about the benefits of a digital workflow or to see a demo of Intellinetics’ easy-to-implement digital document management system in action, contact Intellinetics today.