October 24, 2017 @ 1533 UTC. At this instant in time, my inbox has 9401 emails. I’ve tried everything to efficiently find and manage emails in my inbox – Starring emails, labeling them as TODOS, leaving important emails unread, tried Boomerang to make emails come back to the top at a later time, the works!! Here’s the reality:
Email is simply not an efficient workflow tool or document management system or really any sort of systematic task management system.
And yet, so many everyday processes are still managed by email. Customers routinely appreciate the advantages of managing their day-to-day activities like Purchase Orders, Employee On-Boarding and Travel Authorization with a workflow management system like frevvo instead of email. Some of the things we hear:
1. Improved Visibility
Probably the most common issue. I need my authorization; where is it currently stuck? Did my manager approve it? Is it now waiting for the VP or the CFO? Time spent chasing down signatures is 100% wasted. It’s incredibly inefficient and frustrating. What’s worse, your business is slowed down because an employee cannot purchase the much-needed item since it’s pending approval.
2. Pre-fill data to avoid repetitive work
The second most common thing we hear. Many times e.g. Employee On-Boarding the process involves multiple forms. But, there’s common data across these forms. It’s incredibly tedious to fill the same thing in over and over. Electronic forms remove this unnecessary work – common fields will be copied automatically. In addition, integration with SQL databases and other back end business systems implies that forms and workflows can be pre-populated with business data so users don’t have to type it in.
3. Who’s next? Accurate Routing
Business processes within organizations are complicated. I can’t tell you how many Excel spreadsheets I’ve seen with lengthy instructions on how to route for approval. If the Department is Sales and the Amount is over $5,000, you must get approval from your
Manager and VP unless it’s coming from Canada in which case you need to also get Regulatory approval and on and on … This stuff doesn’t belong in a spreadsheet; with an automated workflow, you can properly encode it and use business rules to ensure that the approval is automatically routed to the right person at the right time.
4. Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device
I need my Travel authorized but my manager is traveling on business. We’ve experienced this ourselves when a customer decides to go ahead and buy a frevvo license but has to wait 2 weeks until their manager returns from a trip. In today’s world, it’s inexcusable. Electronic notifications can be delivered instantly and managers should be able to pull up an approval, review it and sign using their smartphone at anytime from anywhere in the world. There’s no reason to slow your business down.
5. Timely Reminders
Sometimes, people simply don’t take action in a timely manner. They’re busy or distracted with other priorities or simply forget. Employees must then send a follow-up email as a reminder and chase down the signature. An electronic workflow can be configured to automatically send reminder notifications as required without wasted manual work.
6. Handle Vacations & Escalations
Of course, we don’t expect people to be at their smartphone 24×7, especially when they’re on vacation. That’s what escalations are for. If the manager doesn’t approve within 48hours due to vacation, maybe the VP can step in. But, employees don’t know that and don’t necessarily take the right action. They might decide to just wait for their manager to return. Electronic workflows can delegate to others for vacation or escalate automatically to a peer or supervisor when a time limit expires.
7. Eliminate Errors
Customers frequently talk about how people do the wrong thing and fail to follow the desired process. The routing might be wrong, there’s missing data, there could be calculation errors or the email gets put into the wrong folder. With electronic forms and workflows, that’s a thing of the past. The routing is automatic, data validation and completeness can be enforced and there’s no question of losing emails since you can find pending items on your built-in task list.
8. Go Green: don’t Print, Sign & Scan
Email-based processes typically mean a PDF or Excel sent around. In most cases, an actual signature is required so customers find themselves printing the document(s), signing them by hand and scanning the signed document so that they can attach it to an email. It’s tedious and antiquated. After all, we don’t print boarding passes or driving directions anymore. With electronic signatures, a manager can simply bring up documents on their computer or mobile device and sign using the mouse or a touchscreen device. It’s fast, instantaneous and there’s nothing to print.
frevvo provides point-and-click software to easily design any form and automate any workflow in a matter of days & weeks. It includes an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop form designer, connectors, workflows, visual business rules, built-in mobile, PDF generation, electronic signatures and a host of capabilities for real-world business problems.
And now, better get back to my inbox – it’s already up to 9427 emails.