Five business processes you should have automated by now

No one enjoys doing manual, repetitive tasks day in and day out, with little opportunity to contribute creatively to the business. The invention of so-called robots to take on this administrative burden has come as a welcome relief to people who crave more variety in their working day and less tedium.

Automation doesn’t just make people’s work more enjoyable. It can also deliver significant benefits to your business as you save hours of manual work, reduce the amount of paper flying around, and achieve higher levels of accuracy in tasks like invoice processing.

Here are five business processes that you should have automated by now:

  1. Email capture

Did you know you can automatically capture emails that relate to specific projects and store them alongside all the relevant customer files? This includes the automatic upload of an entire email chain. The automatic capture workflow links future correspondence directly against a selected job or customer.

Benefits: you remove the silo of individual inboxes, localise storage, and reduce the risk of not having visibility or access to customer correspondence.

  1. eForms

Paper-based forms are a relic of the past. eForms let you include data validation, business rules, and application integration right into the form itself. eForms can be filled out and processed online or offline, so remote workers can complete business processes, safety checks, and compliance requirements regardless of location, connectivity, or device. eForms can be linked with a document management system and integrated with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems or other business applications.

Benefits: you no longer have to wait for information, worry about lost paperwork, navigate indecipherable handwriting, or deal with double-handling or data entry.

  1. Visitor sign-in and contractor compliance management

Digitalising visitor sign-in and contractor compliance management means you can manage risk and compliance by automatically verifying contractor credentials, insurance, and licences. You can also more easily locate and manage onsite guests in case of emergency.

Benefits: you can reduce the cost of paper sign-in books, streamline the sign-in process to save significant amounts of time, and impress visitors with a modern and professional digital alternative.

  1. Accounts payable

Accounts payable (AP) is often one of the most burdensome processes in organisations. Paper-based invoices are easily lost on people’s desks as they await sign-off, which can mean your business pays them late. This can incur late-payment fees or, at least, prevent you from leveraging early-payment discounts. And it can damage your relationships with suppliers. The other side of the coin is paying invoices twice because there is no reliable system to identify duplicate invoices. An automated system incorporates double-checks and triggers workflows so that invoices can be approved and paid digitally.

Benefits: you can save time and resources on AP processes, improve speed, visibility, accuracy, and control, and make your staff happier since they no longer have to push so much paper around. And, your suppliers will thank you for it.

  1. HR processes and onboarding

Managing people and associated documentation is often paper-based and manual, creating challenges in day-to-day administration. It costs around US$25,000 to fill one three-drawer filing cabinet. Additionally, companies spend a further US$2,100 a year on average to maintain it.[1] You should replace physical storage and manual handling by digitising existing paperwork, providing complete visibility and instant access to up-to-date records in one secure system.

Benefits: you can reduce double-handling and repeated data entry while speeding up the process, and you can also be confident no steps have been missed with automatic checks.

If you haven’t yet looked into automating these processes, then you are missing out on huge benefits for your business. Talk to Upstream today about how we can help you start the automation process.

[1] http://www.technologyrecord.com/Article/spend-green-to-save-green-the-roi-of-document-management-54579