You’ve probably heard the expression “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”. Using this type of old school thinking does have its advantages, but what if something could be improved in your business to increase efficiency and profitability?

If you subscribe to the fact that “we don’t know what we don’t know”, you too could be missing an opportunity to rethink your current document workflows to determine a better way support your key business objectives.

Popular outcomes from improved document workflows often include some sort of business process redesign that delivers benefits in the following areas:  increased customer satisfaction, improved efficiency of business operations, improved quality of products, reduced cost, and being able to meet new business challenges and capturing new opportunities by streamlining the way you handle information in hardcopy and digital formats.

“39% of all business processes still require hardcopy documents.”

The concept of document workflow improvement to drive business results comes from the manufacturing industry. The concept of transitioning manual tasks to an automated process has yielded tremendous improvement leading to measureable business results and competitive differentiation. Based on the success of this continuous improvement mindset, the idea of reviewing and improving other business processes makes sense.

To that end, business leaders today realize how important it is to provide high value workers with the information they need, when they need it, to make the best business decisions for their company. To provide faster, more efficient information workflows, more and more companies are evaluating the way they manage their documents in hardcopy and digital formats. In fact, a recent study conducted by IDC found that 39% of all business processes still require hardcopy documents to complete.

To build on the importance of an effective document workflow strategy, another study reported that the number one source of frustration for knowledge based workers is searching for documents that contain the information they need to do their job effectively.

Here lies an opportunity to review the way your business creates, shares, stores, protects and disposes of the documents you need to drive your business. Often a key gap for most companies is the absence of an effective scanning strategy to help them accelerate document intensive processes by converting printed pages into digital documents.

In most cases, document workflow improvement comes from an opportunity assessment of the following areas:

  1. People: do the people have the skills and resources they need to complete tasks effectively?
  2. Process: what is the current series of tasks to complete the process and why?
  3. Technology: how can technology replace manual steps to drive efficiency gains?

Surprisingly, the most effective document workflow best practices will come from outside your industry where other businesses have identified a way to complete a similar series of tasks more efficiently.

This is why you may not think your document workflows are broken right now and you have no reason to “fix them”. Advancements in the areas of cloud technology, mobile integration and security protection often present obvious benefits to support your people and your business objectives by simplifying the way information flows through documents within your company.

If you subscribe to the thinking that most people “don’t know what they don’t know”, maybe there is value in having a document workflow specialist review your current document intensive processes to identify opportunities to grow your top and bottom line with improved workflows.