Modern technology is giving organizations more opportunities than ever before to maximize efficiency through business process reengineering, digital transformation, and automation. There are numerous reasons why your organization should adopt these modern approaches if you’re still using paper-based manual workflows.
For one thing, manual document workflows are inefficient, costly, and vulnerable to errors, and this further increases the challenges your organization has to face. Moreover, mistakes and vulnerabilities also create security issues, and they put you at risk of not being compliant with different regulations that govern data management.
But when you digitize and automate, your organization will undergo a transformation that will:
- improve efficiency and productivity,
- optimize workflows,
- cut costs,
- reduce errors,
- give you a competitive edge,
- improve security, and
- strengthen your bottom line.
Paper-based workflows are inefficient and time-consuming
Within organizations that haven’t yet embraced information capture, the majority of workflows are still paper-based (and that means less efficient), which translates to more time being required to complete tasks. Here are some reasons why paper-based tasks can be more time-consuming than digitized ones:
- Data has to be extracted and validated manually
- Document misplacement requires time and personnel to search for lost information
- Lost or damaged documents have to be recreated
- Records have to be checked manually for errors
- Errors aren’t automatically corrected
According to an IDC study sponsored by Kodak Alaris, organizations who have adopted digitized approaches to data capture were able to automate many of these processes, and thereby reduce the time they spent on these document-related tasks by over three hours per week (nearly 20%), while also increasing productivity by 41%.
Time-consuming processes translate to inflated operational costs
When document-based tasks take longer than they need to, your organization loses money. And in fact, there are many ways that manual document workflows can add to your operational costs, including that delayed transaction times mean delayed revenue collection. Similarly, when tasks take longer, it means employees have to dedicate more time to them, and that means your salary costs per task are also inflated.
Moreover, if employees didn’t have to devote extra time, then they could instead focus on other more critical tasks, further increasing productivity. Beyond that, there are also additional costs associated with document storage that you simply don’t have to worry about when your files are electronic.
By reducing the time required to complete document-related tasks and by limiting the need for storage space, digital data capture can help your organization reduce costs by up to 35%, according to the IDC study.
Manual workflows also create security and compliance challenges
Yet another problem created by manual and paper-based workflows that can be overcome with the right information capture software is security. Paper documents are vulnerable to many threats, including fraud, theft, loss, and damage, all of which can create enormous headaches for your organization, damage your reputation, and lead to customer and employee dissatisfaction.
For one thing, paper documents can’t be audited or tracked nearly as easily as electronic data. With physical materials, you also can’t set permissions, can’t easily protect them from unauthorized access, can’t control the chain of custody as easily and can’t safeguard them from modifications. This method leaves you open to errors, loss, corruption, and unauthorized changes, as well as potential compliance breaches with various internal and external regulations.
So how exactly do you go about safeguarding your documents digitally when they’re all paper-based? For your existing documents, you can use the right technology and equipment, such as a Kodak Alaris scanner, to scan your original documents and create electronic versions that don’t require physical storage space and that can be easily protected from security threats. In fact, doing so can reduce data errors by over 50% and help you maintain compliance with various data regulations.
As you know, there are many disadvantages to sticking with manual and paper-based workflows, especially when there’s a much more effective, efficient, and productive way of managing your document-related tasks. With the right information capture software, you can automate and digitize your workloads, and this will optimize your operations, increase your efficiency, allow employees to be more productive, boost customer, supplier, and employee satisfaction, and improve your data security.
If you’re thinking all of this sounds too good to be true, just ask any organization that has already switched from manual to automated data capture, and they’ll be quick to tell you how it has improved their bottom line and made them more competitive in a cutthroat business world.