3 Steps to Achieving a Workflow Automation Solution
The term “workflow” describes the series of steps an individual must perform to complete a business task. Workflow automation replaces manual business steps with automated processes for improved productivity and profitability. Here we highlight three key steps you can follow to achieve a workflow automation solution for your business.
Step 1: File conversion
Paper-intensive workflow processes are time-consuming and inefficient. For example, if your customer has a question about her account, paperwork has to be manually located and retrieved before it can be used to help that customer. Ultimately, access to your information is dependent on the physical location, condition and level of organization your documents are in. But, if your files are digitized and indexed properly, they can be located, retrieved and shared electronically from any location.
The conversion of paper documents to digital files isn’t easy without the right expertise and equipment. Document imaging companies use the following steps to convert your files to digital images:
- Dedicated scanning technicians professionally sort and organize your paper records
- Specialized software captures data from all types and sizes of documents scanned, including large-format maps and blueprints
- All imaging is performed in a logical, sequential manner with exact attention to detail
- Quality assurance controls throughout the process assure the accurate imaging and full readability of each file
Step 2: Indexing and integration
Indexing during the scanning process is essential to achieving a workflow automation solution. A document scanning vendor manually indexes your documents during imaging and uses data from your existing databases to populate index fields in your applications automatically. This data, from each file, is inputted into specialized software so digital information can be easily retrieved and searched at a later date. Indexing enables your digital files to integrate easily with the applications you currently use for automated workflow processes.
Step 3: Electronic document management
Converting your paper records to digital files eliminates time-consuming, manual file retrieval and distribution processes. But you still need a centralized repository for finding your digital information. Some document scanning vendors will offer an Enterprise Document Management System (EDMS) for storing and organizing your digital files. EDMS supports workflow automation by enabling:
- Fast desktop document retrieval
- Simultaneous user access to digital files
- Direct email and fax capabilities
These huge advantages facilitate efficient internal communication between individual departments in your organization and external communication with your customers and clients.
Here we’ve provided you with the three key steps to achieving an automated workflow solution for your business. The next strategy is finding a document scanning and imaging provider who incorporates these processes as part of a comprehensive strategy to meet your workflow needs. Look for a vendor that takes the time to learn your specific requirements and commits to partnering with your organization for long-term customer service support.
Richards & Richards provides document scanning and imaging services for business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.