Business and the world is evolving. Can you picture what the world was like 50 years ago? You certainly wouldn’t be reading this blog online, the iPhone hadn’t been invented, and people didn’t rely on technology to do business.
Historically companies always relied on paper-based forms and often still do. However, paper-based forms are holding back your staff and customers. Plus, they hate using them and we will tell you why.
When the information you need is in a Manchester filing cabinet, and you’re in London, the best you can hope for is that someone will fax it or scan it to you. Electronic forms alleviate inconvenience because they can be accessed and completed online by anyone who is part of the process—a customer, admin, or the company CEO, anywhere with an internet connection.
Sometimes a form may require multiple inputs from different members of staff. Using a paper-based process, this can be very time consuming: the paper needs to be passed from one employee to the next, potentially being delayed due to sick days or being misplaced. When you use an electronic form, workflows can quickly pass the form to relevant employees with no printing or scanning.
Less Paper = Cheaper
Although this is solely a benefit for your business, it may have a knock-on effect for your customers. Using less paper means that the form is cheaper to create, this means that the saved money can be reinvested into the business to create increased value for customers. Electronic forms allow data to be repurposed over and over again.
First name. Last name. Middle initial. If it feels like a waste of time putting the same data into a system more than once, it is. Imagine how many times you have had to fill out your details in a hospital – surely they must know your name and address by the 5th or 6th form? Electronic forms allow data to exist digitally. This data can then be retrieved to populate the next data field requiring the same information automatically.
Legally Admissible Audit Trails
Many times, forms need to be completed by various people for approval and signature. Electronic forms can be tracked through each step of the process, resulting in audit trails showing who filled out the form and when – helping to increase audibility of the business. Online signatures are also legally admissible in court, which highlights that no matter what the process, businesses can use online forms for a variety different processes.
Disaster Planning and Security
Electronic forms can help prevent disaster as paper documents are not at risk of fire, flood or theft. How do you tell a client that the flooding in Somerset affects closing his new home in Hampshire? When your business uses electronic forms, the data can be accessed securely from any mobile device.
With electronic forms, you can ensure your business is only collecting and sending out high-quality data. Your staff can ensure that only valid email addresses, phone numbers and tax details are inputted into the database. When sending out information, forms can calculate prices, shipping and tax rates automatically. This can reduce time spent inputting figures and keep things error free.
Electronic forms can go further with automated workflows. When a form is completed, tasks can be generated for other people in the business. This could mean that a new employee fills out a form and their login details are automatically created. If a customer fills out a support query, a task can be automatically created in a customer service members queue to resolve the problem and make contact.
Our Workflow Automation whitepaper will be useful if you are exploring how online forms could benefit your business. If you are ready for a no-obligation conversation about how you could apply online forms, or any other aspect of how paperfree working for the benefit of your business, your team and your customers, contact us.
Dajon are experts in Document Scanning, Management and Process Automation, including the creation of Electronic Forms. We help organisations go paperfree for improved efficiency, better customer service and environmental impact.
“Paperfree work solutions: Delivered by Dajon.”