The First Step to Saving Time With Automated Workflow Is Right In Front of You

Start automating your workflows - by using your copier more.How many hours do you spend each week walking paper around your office for approvals, to share with a co-worker for a quick opinion, to file, or whatever other task you need to accomplish?

As you walked back to your desk, you probably thought -- there has got to be a better way.

There is.

You probably walked by one on your way back to your desk.

The office copier (combined with software) is a key piece of the answer to your weekly paper shuffle.

Using the Copier as a Scanner

The scanning functionality on your copiers is often underused. When used to digitize paper for storage or sending to email, for example, you’ll see a productivity bump.

I’ve written about this before; Transform Your Office -- Use Your Copier to Get Rid of Paper. We’ve also shared tips for scanning your documents, 9 Common Sense Document Scanning Tips to Make Your Life Easier.

Depending on the volume of documents you need to scan, a single-function scanner could be a better fit for your office. However, for many offices, copiers with scanning capabilities are perfect for launching your business into digital transformation.

One of the most productive steps you can take with your now digitized documents is to use them to launch a workflow.

Benefits of Digital Workflow

In addition to avoiding wear and tear on your shoes, there are two benefits of having a digital process workflow, according to research from AIIM (an information professional association):

  • 52% of companies said that administrative staff would be a third or more productive if their processes were automated using scanned forms and documents.

  • Faster response to customers, suppliers, and staff. 70% reported a 3x improvement in speed of response; almost 30% said response time was 10x faster.

With service being such a key differentiator for businesses today, faster response creates a great advantage for your business.

Moving Work With Workflow

A business process can be as simple as sending an email for approval or as complex as a detailed series of steps, requiring multiple levels of approval and checks. Regardless of the intricacy of your processes, the first step to achieving automation is transforming paper into digital documents.

As mentioned above, the office copier is often the perfect device to start this process. Once your paper document is digital, it can be used to launch a workflow. Let’s use invoices as an example. Rather than manually routing invoices for approval, workflow software will route your invoice, according to your business rules, from approval to payment. If someone is out of the office, invoice approval can be rerouted to someone else. If questions about an invoice need to be addressed before payment, the document can be digitally routed to the person able to answer those questions.

Workflow allows you to avoid bottlenecks and process documents smoothly, saving time, money, and aggravation.

Wait, What’s Workflow?

Workflow software (also called business process management/BPM) routes documents through a defined business process according to your business’ rules. Benchmark partners with Square 9 Softworks for business process software.

Software will send status alerts, enforce business rules to enhance compliance efforts, and assign different tasks and roles to individuals. Many simple workflows can be created with a drag and drop interface that allows you to visualize actions in your workflow.

Whether your workflows are simple, two-step processes or require multiple steps across dozens of users, taking full advantage of your copier is the first step.

Removing paper from your office and creating workflows will allow you to get more done in less time.

What are you waiting for? Discover how your copier -- and workflow -- can help you accomplish more. It all starts with a conversation with a Benchmark expert.

Stop looking for documents. Start using them. Contact us today ->

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