Dismantling information silos and giving employees easy access to the knowledge they need to drive processes and complete projects is a key objective of any office automation initiative. With the right tools, your organization can unlock the value of information assets, boost employee collaboration and eliminate complicated, broken workarounds for processes.
The discovery process that kicks off office automation efforts identifies bottlenecks and highlights how reengineering paper-based processes are necessary for your business to grow. This can also help get you faster buy-in from your peers.
Consider this before you start
1. Define the business rules that underlie each workflow processThese guidelines describe company policies and procedures and can always be expressed in “either-or” questions such as “yes or no” or “true or false.” For example, a business rule might say that if a customer is already in the system (true), they get a 10% discount. If the customer is not in the system (false) they get a 20% discount.
2. Consider the document lifecycle
Analyze the role that each document type plays as it travels from capture to active use, archiving and enforcement of a retention schedule.
- What initiates the process — an email, a phone call, an electronic form, a paper form, a letter that comes in the mail or a walk-in?
- What is the first action you take with the information?
- Who is involved in the process? Does the document require review or approval?
- Is integration with another system or ERP necessary?
- Is there a mandatory retention schedule for the document? If so, how long do you have to keep it in your archive?