Companies are always searching for new ways to streamline processes and centralize resources. When departments have the tools they need to carry out tasks, they can more easily meet deadlines, exceed client expectations, and boost productivity overall. Especially for SMBs, the advantages are clear: to collect data, increase productivity, eliminate process silos, and improve the overall customer experience.
Despite the perks of implementing more efficient processes, companies should also be wary of potential pitfalls. Here, we break down the most common roadblocks to digital document technology so that you can choose a workflow technology system that's right for you.
Issues Organizations Encounter with Document Workflow
Companies are always looking for new ways to improve modes of efficiency and ease collaboration while keeping overhead costs low.
Take employee onboarding with HR. New employees are inundated with information their first few weeks of work. Not only are they juggling names, faces, and job responsibilities, but they’re often overwhelmed with tedious paperwork and a slew of techstack to keep track of. Old document workflow systems are not outfitted to deliver a comprehensive, yet succinct onboarding process in which HR, IT, and all other involved departments are in clear communication. This can muddy the waters for new employees who may feel lost or out of sync with the rest of their department
When managers complete performance reviews, they’re again relying on document workflow technology. When companies invest in high-quality workflow technology, both managers and their direct reports have the tools they need to discuss performance, review documents, and set goals together. Without the right tool in place, employee collaboration suffers.
Employees often feel overwhelmed implementing new systems. Change can be difficult, especially when employees must adapt to new processes quickly without neglecting ongoing projects or sacrificing efficiency. Employers must find a balance between reaping the ROI rewards of an optimized document workflow system while anticipating potential roadblocks during the implementation process.
Processes are laborious and time-consuming.
Teams often inherit outdated workflow processes that may not be intuitive nor optimized for efficiency’s sake. Departments are then forced to work with documentation processes that offer piecemeal solutions to employee collaboration.
For example, old documentation systems often lack basic editing features, like track history of line edit. As a result, employees must rely on communication and collaboration tools outside the company’s direct resources, or settle for less-than-perfect resources that slow the entire process down. These isolated inefficiencies manifest larger implications over time. Employees lose motivation. Teams avoid collaboration. Departments as a whole diminish their levels of productivity.
There’s a lack of employee ‘buy-in.’
We all grow comfortable in our daily professional routines. The idea of shifting our daily work habits to adhere to new document workflow technology can cause friction and stress among employees. While a company may already be sold on the idea of implementing a new workflow process for ROI reasons, the task of convincing employees that these new systems can help them do their jobs better and faster is yet another battle.
Employers must calculate an inevitable learning curve as users adopt new office software and familiarize themselves with best practices. Companies must account for this period of adjustment and train employees accordingly.
Workplace communication is poor.
As new processes are introduced, new protocols must be clearly communicated to all employees and customers. Usually, during the implementation phase, there will be an aspect of trial and error as companies discern which processes will prove the most effective. Miscommunication about these changes could derail workflow efficiency efforts and undermine the work involved in implementing such procedures in the first place.
How to Overcome Challenges
The biggest mistake companies make is not implementing a document management solution altogether or settling for document workflow technology that doesn’t suit immediate or long-term goals.
Conversely, taking a few preliminary steps to determine what your company needs most in a document workflow solution will set you up for success down the road.
Conduct a workflow analysis.
Organizations should first assess the current systems in place. Start by collecting hard data. Companies should review tasks initiated in the workflow over an extended period, tasks that have been completed and/or rejected, and the average time it takes to complete a task. Then, follow up with a soft data analysis. Companies can take a closer look at employee levels of satisfaction with the current work process (broken down by department) and request feedback about areas of improvement.
Make inquiries to optimize efficiency.
Identify where your largest gaps in optimization reside. Then survey the company as well as individual departments by asking the following questions:
- Which aspects of the workflow expedite tasks and subtasks?
- Where can processes be streamlined?
- Which departments utilize which tools the most?
- How can processes be optimized or automated?
Integrate data sources.
Choose from workflow technologies that already have efficiency optimization measures baked into basic modes of operation. For example, research systems that can “talk” to each other, or in other words, offer full integration capabilities. Office software that features API integration allows you to connect seamlessly across platforms to create the best user experience where all data can be centralized.
How a Quality Vendor Can Help
Finding a quality vendor to facilitate your document workflow technology can feel like a daunting task initially. Comprehensive solutions that not only appeal to workflow technology, but also to all aspects of workplace communication optimization, will provide your customers and employees with the best overall experience.
What’s the CPI advantage?
CPI delivers the perfect balance of managed services, phone systems, office equipment, and interactive displays, so you don’t have to rely on piecemeal solutions to boost efficiency between your teams. CPI helps you create a document management system that will expedite your daily decision-making, simplify daily routines, and save your business money.
To learn more about how CPI can streamline processes at your organization, request a quote or consultation.