eForms – “Winning the Paper Wars” 10 Years Later: Is Your Organization Paperless?
In 2013, AIIM’s key findings and resulting benefits in its survey of members were:
- 24% had policy or directive to drive paper out of the business
- 19% had more paper coming into the business
- 4% who reduced paper saw an increase in productivity
- HR, AP and CRM drove the paper-less initiatives
- Better records for audit trails
- Improved proof of compliance with policies
- Better monitoring of process status, specifically workflow chokepoints
Question: What is the common process improvement factor for success?
The Answer: eForms!
Ten years later, and in the aftermath of COVID, Western Integrated Systems’ customer experiences have shown that processes using electronic forms results in the most improvement in productivity, reduction in errors and increase in satisfaction is when data validation is inherent and real-time.
The level of effort to create an intelligent eForm that validates field data, such as account number (vendor ID, contract ID, patient, member, student, case, etc.), mailing address, driver’s license, passport, etc., is much less than the effort and cost it takes to fix each mistake or respond to an audit questioning a transaction.
Governments have adopted eForms, from a request for records, a request for services or submission of an agenda topic, through an agency website. From there, completed forms are emailed to the responsible department where they are often printed out for processing. If an employee is unexpectedly out of office for an extended period, the response can be delayed unless it is assigned to someone else, or the requesting party follows up.
To add to productivity and cost reduction, eForms that are part of a content or document management system with workflow, can automatically be routed to the appropriate department and processed in the system. In addition to the productivity improvements found in the AIIM study, green initiatives are more easily met with the reduction in paper consumption.
Here’s an example of a real life eForms driver: a benefits consulting company scheduled time prior to each of its clients’ annual audits for an assistant to physically remove sticky notes left by the owner in the client paper files, due to the non-complimentary nature of the notes. This resulted in hours of manual labor and set the scene for embarrassing oversights and errors. However, in the eForms with digital workflow process configuration, the notes were viewable only by internal users saving any embarrassing client issues.
Do you find that your organization is wasting time with manual processes which could result in embarrassing oversights and errors? Western Integrated Systems can help, contact us today.