Different day. Same repetitive business tasks. From opening letters to filing documents and manually entering data into your ERP system, many valuable hours are wasted on activities that don’t benefit your bottom line or fully utilize the talents of your employees. In fact, as you think about all the repetitive work happening day after day, doesn’t it remind you a little of the movie Groundhog Day?
The thing is, however wasteful they may seem, your business needs to perform these repetitive tasks to move processes along, stay organized, and remain in compliance. But luckily there are things you can do to cut down on the hassle. Workflow automation, combined with document scanning or a full digital mailroom solution, can help you to increase productivity and cut costs by reducing repetitive tasks across your organization.
Workflow Automation Handles the Boring Stuff
Most companies struggle with time-wasting manual and paper-based processes. Aside from their sluggishness, these kinds of processes also involve passing high volumes of paperwork between departments or to and from business partners, creating many opportunities for documents to be lost, misplaced, or damaged.
On average, office workers spend between 20 and 40 percent of their time searching for documents manually, which leads to interrupted workflows, missed deadlines, stress, and frustration. Furthermore, when employees are drowning in work, they’re more likely to make errors and have to spend time fixing them later.
On the other hand, when you rely on workflow automation software to streamline paper-based or manual business workflows, you get more than just increased efficiency. Your employees will also be happier and work better since they can focus on value-added, strategic activities instead feeling stuck in the Groundhog Day grind day in and day out. Moreover, automation reduces the risks of data-entry errors and duplicated documents, giving you more control over your business operations.
Workflow automation software handles the boring and repetitive tasks for your employees in a fraction of the time and makes document flows clearer and easier to follow. You’ll be able to easily track documents as they move through your business, pinpoint ways to improve workflows, and even find extra room in your budget you didn’t see before.
As much as 70 percent of office workers agree that automation reduces the time they waste on repetitive work. And although there is sometimes an underlying fear that automation may cost them their jobs, most still see the opportunity that lies in automated workflows: more time for the rewarding aspects of their professions. Luckily, automation doesn’t mean firing people at all, but instead helping them feel more valuable!
How a Digital Mailroom and Document Scanning Can Replace Repetitive Work
Let’s take a quick step back and talk about what needs to happen before you get started with workflow automation: digitizing your documents. Think about all the manual work behind receiving an invoice by mail. Before your AP department can process it, your employees need to open it, make copies, and send it to various decision makers for approval. And that’s not all! Once they have the approval, the invoice needs to be filed and have a check cut and sent to the vendor. For some companies, an invoices journey from one office to another takes weeks.
Digital mailroom services significantly shorten processes like this. Instead of receiving and opening mail in-house, your mail is directed to a dedicated PO box, where it is picked up at an interval of your choosing—daily pickup is a common choice—by your digital mailroom partner . Mail is brought to a secure document processing facility where it is scanned, indexed, and quality controlled. Then, your digitized documents and data are provided to you for loading into your business systems. From there, workflow automation software kicks in and sends documents automatically through the approval process.
Process More Documents in Less Time
Although invoice processing is a great example for illustrating the benefits of a digital mailroom, it’s not just invoices that you can get rid of! Think about all the purchase orders, membership and employment applications, and legal documents that your employees have to handle every day. As your business grows and more paper comes in, you may even have to hire someone just for opening envelopes and sorting correspondence. But when you implement digital mailroom services, your employees spend less time managing paperwork (and feeling like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day), and more time on activities that can make your business thrive.
It’s No Longer the Same Thing Everyday
In the digital era, you can’t rely on manual processes for managing documents if you want to remain competitive. It’s not 1994 anymore and there’s just no more room for Groundhog Day scenarios! It’s time to take advantage of automation to increase productivity within your business—from AP to HR.
Contact us today to learn how automation can help stop the repetition for good.