Many companies continue to use paper for their everyday business processes. In a typical scenario, one department creates a PO, prints it out and routes it to another department for review. Assuming the PO meets with approval, the paper form is signed and delivered to a third in-box for sign-off. By the time it’s approved, the PO has traveled from department to department in a tedious process that’s needlessly time consuming and inefficient.
In today’s lightning-fast business environment, such inefficiencies bring work to a grinding halt. Automated form approval eliminates lag time by speeding up common business processes. E-versions of paper forms are electronically routed from one department to the next. Approvers can choose to review and sign off on docs manually, or they can approve forms automatically based on built-in, predefined rules and parameters.
Companies like Oracle, EMC and OpenText offer Business Process Management (BPM) tools to help businesses automate form approval and other processes. However, simply buying the software won’t solve your paper problem overnight.
Unless you’re in the business of Workplace Automation, you may consider hiring a consultant to help you examine your processes from top to bottom to select the right BPM tool for your company. A consultant can also guide you through discovery, identify holes in your processes, help you develop clear metrics on approval parameters or bottlenecks, and create audit trails for your automated forms.
Transitioning from paper-based processes to automated forms will maximize your company’s efficiency, mitigate delays in form approval, and relieve approvers of the burden of reviewing and signing forms that meet criteria for approval.