Whether your accounts payable department is drowning in paper with frequent errors, or you want to digitise you HR records, or you need a system for contract approval, make sure you avoid ending up with a set of unconnected, uncoordinated systems.
Here are 5 reasons why you should implement an enterprise-wide platform when working to streamline your paper-based processes.
1. Common Documents
Think how many business documents are common across processes. Contracts are a classic example. You have one approval workflow to sign off on a contract, and another to approve a PO or create a sales order. If these separate processes don’t or can’t speak to each other, each contract has to be entered separately on each system.
Are there documents within your organisation that have a role in more than one process? If so, doesn’t it make sense that they be captured within one solution?
2. You can have your cake and eat it
You don’t have to implement all of the solutions on offer. You don’t have to implement any of them. But, if you have chosen an enterprise-wide platform, that option will be there. And you only pay on a per-process basis.
So if you’re putting in a workflow for new suppliers, for capex, for invoice approval, for purchase order approval – now it’s all on the same platform, and all documents on it can be linked. You can bring in transport, accounts receivable, accounts payable, HR and more. Documents are only scanned in once, and when they’re there, they’re available across a common platform to whatever process requires them.
Go the point solution route and your team will have to familiarise itself with a host of separate systems. Each will require the usual buy-in, each will generate the usual teething issues as the unfamiliar slowly becomes familiar.
An enterprise wide solution means you’re not starting afresh every time. You’ve got unified systems, with a familiar look and feel and a common underlying software. This makes adoption smoother – and faster. As each process is added, the fact that earlier ones have proved themselves kills off resistance and brings everyone on board.
Pick an easy-win. We have found with workflow systems that if you begin with, say, a basic employee expenses solution, users quickly become familiar with how that system operates, how it processes documents. So when you add your next solution, which will be a little more sophisticated, that familiarity ensures quick adoption, bedding the new system down with satisfying rapidity.
Turnaround times halve. Because all of the necessary documentation is in one place, you end up doing renewals, or invoicing so much more quickly. There’s no rooting in filing cabinets, there are no emails going out trying to find which document was left on which desk. Everything is always in the same place, and if there are queries on a particular event or document, those are tracked and a workflow established to deal with them.
Approval cycles are so much easier to set up when you use a common system. You can see at the click of a button who did what, where and when. Every action leaves a trace, and systems can be set up to provide for an escalation process if approval doesn’t happen in a timely manner.
Once you establish one process within an enterprise wide solution, you can leverage that to do a whole host of other things in a whole host of other departments. Taken together, these systems have the power to revolutionise what you do.
Setting a goal to streamline your paper-based processes is the first step in the right direction. Choosing an enterprise wide platform is the second step. At Inpute, we’re experts in guiding businesses on the path to streamlining paper-based processes, so if you want to take the first step – get in touch!