You might have heard of the concept of going ‘paper-free’ or paperless at your business, but you might not really understand what it entails or how it could benefit your company.
There are many advantages to reducing your dependence on paper documents and moving towards a fully digital back-office system. Digital documentation is easier to manage, search and store, potentially saving your company a lot of time and money.
It reduces the amount of space that you need for physical storage and helps to streamline often complex processes that have many steps. That is before we even get on to the huge environmental ramifications and the positive impact that your company can have from an ecological perspective.
So, here we take a look at how you can take your business paper-free.
The first thing to note about becoming a paper-free business is that you need to get everyone in the company on board with the idea. This goes from the directors right down to the junior members of staff – if employees don’t understand why the need to start minimising their use of paper, they won’t be able to break out of old habits.
It is important to avoid forcing the idea out of nowhere. Every business is different and going paper-free will have specific challenges relating to your company.
It is a great idea to have an open forum and discussion about why it is a good idea to move towards digital systems, and to get ideas and opinions from staff on the best ways to implement this, as well as any potential drawbacks that they see.
You need to take the plunge and have all of your current physical documentation converted to a digital format. You do have the potential option to manage this yourself, but this can be a complex and time-consuming effort. It is generally a much better idea to work with a business than specialises in digesting documents.
Using state-of-the-art equipment, a company like Document Options can take care of all of your digitising needs. Working quickly, efficiently and completely in line with your specific needs and requirements, this is almost always a faster and more cost-effective option.
It is important to invest in the right technology to ensure that your move to a paper-free office runs smoothly. For example, you might find that you need to have tablets or other hand-held personal devices available in the office for business use. These can come in handy in meetings and similar situations.
Additionally, if you are going to be manually scanning in documents, you will need high-quality software for that. Although, as we have discussed above, it can actually make a lot of sense to have this managed for you by a company specialising in digital documentation.
Unnecessary printing can often be the scourge of the paper-free office. Even when you have gotten used to the idea of digital documentation, many employees fall back into old habits of printing off emails, agendas for meetings, and other documents. It’s a great idea to look for alternative options to allow staff to move away from printing.
We have talked about the possibility of using tablets – these can be ideal for meetings or any time you need to provide information.
Another important element of finding alternative solutions to printing is simply making digital documents as accessible and user friendly as possible. For example, making sure that all your business documents are in the same format.
Ultimately, you can only run a paper-free business if your suppliers and partners are also willing to work without paper. For many organisations, digital invoices, contracts and other documents are the norm, but for others, many will still work with physical documentation as their main medium.
Of course, this may well not be possible in all cases. Some businesses are stuck in their ways and won’t offer the option for digital-only paperwork yet. In this case, the question becomes: how can you digitise the paper documents that you receive?
Working with data capture and document scanning specialists can be a really good as idea, as professionals in the industry are placed best to advice you on what is right for your business.
If you are looking to reduce your use of paper in the office, or you would like to learn about the process of digitising any aspect of your business, the team at Document Options would be happy to help. Don’t hesitate to get in contact with us today and we can answer any questions or queries that you have.
Many organisations are embracing business process automation (BPA). The concept is often praised for the benefits it can bring to a company in terms of productivity, efficiency and flexibility. It’s true; BPA is multifaceted and offers a range of advantages when it is introduced. But one aspect that doesn’t get a lot of publicity is what it brings in terms of security.
There can be no doubt that cybersecurity has become an increasingly important issue for businesses across the world. Leaders are always looking for solutions that can provide greater levels of security, and BPA should not be overlooked.
Here we take a closer look at how BPA can make your company more secure, as well as considering some of the potential challenges it could create, and explaining how to solve them.
Cybercrime has grown at an alarming rate in recent years. This has only increased over the Covid-19 pandemic; businesses are facing challenges that they never thought they would have to, alongside the increasing threat of cyberattacks.
Cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated and are constantly adding and evolving their arsenal of tools and techniques. Businesses are struggling to keep up with their rate of change, and it can lead to organisations becoming vulnerable to attacks.
It is unfortunately the case that even if businesses are able to keep up with the demands of cybersecurity, they can be let down by a fundamental weakness: human error. Human error is considered to be a major factor in around 95% of cybersecurity breaches around the world.
This shows the great potential for BPA to eliminate or at least reduce the potential cybersecurity risks across your organisation. Typically, BPA takes repetitive, simple tasks that have to be performed regularly away from humans.
Taking these types of task away from human control can minimise the possibility of human error that result in a data breach. A good example of this can be seen in automated invoice processing.
One form of cybercrime tricks workers in accounts departments to redirect payments or invoices to a different account. Hackers compromise a genuine email address, then use that email to send an update to an invoice to someone in the accounts team.
If they believe the email is genuine, they might simply update the information and process the invoice. Whereas, if invoices are processed via BPA, there is no opportunity for a member of staff to be tricked.
BPA is also an important element in compliance. If human access to sensitive data can be restricted as it is all processed via BPA, this can help significantly with compliance.
If members of staff never have access to the data that cybercriminals would like to steal, it removes the reason to hack accounts or otherwise breach the system.
Of course, there are still security challenges that come with BPA – so it is important to understand how to mitigate the additional risk that BPA can create.
Firstly, it is clearly important to state that any software that is used as a part of your BPA must be kept patched and up-to-date to minimise the possibility that it could be hacked. Cybercriminals can exploit software that has not been patched or managed correctly.
Another issue to be aware of is password sharing. If automated tools require logins, too often businesses will simply use one account which many members of the team have access to and all login using the same credentials. This can be a nightmare from the perspective of insider attacks. You should ensure that each user has individual credentials.
If you are interested in learning more about how BPA can benefit not only your security but many areas of your business. Get in touch with the team at Document Options today.
To maintain healthy productivity within teams, to ensure that all steps of the workflow are ticked off and that details aren’t overlooked, it’s important to have processes in place. Consistency is key for success though, which is why businesses are increasingly looking to process automation to make lighter work of projects, workflows and data management. For small businesses, in particular, automating processes early on can help in a number of ways.
Small businesses can struggle if there’s a sudden surge of interest in their products or services, as a quick change of demand may be difficult to fulfil for a smaller team. The result can be delivery delays, issues meeting deadlines and poor customer service, which can be detrimental to your brand and reputation. Instead of hiring more staff, which can be costly and may be difficult for a smaller business to fund, you can use business automation tools such as robotic process automation which will handle repetitive, time-consuming tasks for you. This leaves your employees with more time to work on the tasks and projects that will help your business to grow.
Any time a process relies on manual input, there’s a higher risk of errors. These types of errors may be small and insignificant, but they can still mess with your overall efficiency and, in the event that a larger mistake happens, it could wind up costing you more than just an inconvenience. Automation tools can reduce the risk of these errors occurring considerably, from document management and processing to processing invoices. These tools will help you manage the administrative side of your business more effectively and will reduce the risk of mistakes.
Adhering to government and industry guidelines and regulations can be costly for many small businesses, whether it’s tax compliance for the reimbursement of travel expenses or handling customer data in industries that are highly regulated. Process automation ensures that everyone in the business is following the same procedures which, in turn, will ensure you’re complying with industry regulations and the necessary criteria.
Data can be a difficult area for businesses to manage, whatever the size of the team. But companies can streamline this more effectively through process automation which enables staff to gather and analyse real-time data to make decisions far more easily and accurately. This also helps to improve communication, as having up-to-date information ensures that everyone is working from the same information at all times, whether they’re in the office or working remotely. This is crucial where projects and group tasks are concerned. Complex projects require multiple team members to get involved, and everyone will have their own responsibilities to manage. Automation can help you track the progress of each project and it will also make it easier for key information to be communicated, so that everyone involved will be working to the same data for easier collaboration.
Having one communication channel enables everyone to work more productively and it avoids the issue of information getting lost or forgotten. A software solution that allows for sending and storing files and documents, and provides reminders and notifications, will make exchanging information easier and keeps everyone updated. As the business grows, having tools in place to ensure communication is streamlined will be enormously beneficial to the success of projects and the level of service each team member can provide.
Brand reputation is crucial in any business, but particularly for smaller businesses who are still establishing themselves in their industry. A consistent customer experience can help with this, as it builds trust and showcases reliability. By fine-tuning your processes and streamlining the experience you deliver, you can retain more customers through a positive experience and scale your business more efficiently.
Process automation helps your business stay compliant with relevant regulations and streamlines your workflow. For smaller businesses, the efficiency and productivity that automation provides can be even more advantageous, helping to minimise the need for repetitive tasks and helping staff to complete work more quickly.
Selecting the right tools for the job is critical to your success with process automation, ensuring that you stay within your budget and that the tools meet your specific requirements as a business. Small businesses can see a high return on investment with these types of tools and they can be utilised in a range of ways, from employee onboarding and recruitment to data management.
If you would like more information about digitising your workflow with process automation, contact our helpful team today.
Productivity is extremely important for businesses. Getting more work done to a high standard is a vital element of running a smooth operation, and companies should always be looking for ways to improve their productivity.
A good place to start is by looking at everyday activities that take up a significant portion of time for your team. Invoice processing is a very good example of this. The manual method of processing invoices is time inefficient and relies on a number of different tasks having to be performed constantly: entering invoice data, creating invoices, matching purchase orders and constantly filing or adding to the system.
This is why invoice processing is such a good candidate for automation. But how does automated invoice processing actually work? And is it the right choice for your business?
Automated invoice processing is a method of using software to carry out a number of tasks in invoice processing. These include extracting data from invoices, populating that data into an accounts payable system, and processing the invoice data for accounts payable.
It is useful for not only data entry and transferring payments, but also matching prices, managing purchase orders and streamlining your business workflow.
The traditional method of processing invoices is drawn out across a large number of steps that often involves input from a variety of people. Typically, it will start with the accounting department receiving an invoice, this will then be matched and approved.
Once this has been completed, the details must be manually entered into the system where it can be posted, and then payment can be issued. Depending on the specifics of the company’s system, there could be as many as 15 steps in the process.
Automated invoice processing seeks to simplify, streamline and computerise many of the aspects of this process.
With an automated process, the invoice arrives and is then immediately scanned and fed into a digital accounting software. Capturing the data in this manner removes hours of manual data entry by the accounts team. The invoice automation software then converts the data into a text-searchable document. Invoices can then be sent out to anyone who needs to review and approve them.
There is actually a wide range of benefits for automated invoice processing. Firstly, it saves your business a significant amount of time for your accounting team and can provide them with more time to carry out more valuable work for your company.
Additionally, it can cut down on the number of errors created by manual data entry, speed up the process of approval, reduce issues like duplicated payments and invoices, and even keep your invoicing costs lower.
Some companies still believe that automating processes is something that is exclusively useful and valuable for larger businesses. However, this is no longer the case. Process automation is actually now far more affordable than ever before, and the costs of setting it up can be exceeded by the savings it will bring. This means it offers good returns on investment.
If your company processes a large number of invoices, then this can save you time and money, and potentially open up greater opportunities for your accounting team.
If you think that automated invoice processing might be an interesting option for your business, get in contact with the team at Document Options today. We have years of experience helping organisations automate their processes and we can do the same for you.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a large rise in the number of remote workers, as more people have gotten use to the idea of working from home. This trend looks likely to stick around, as many workers are now indicating that they are interested in working remotely, at least partially, for the long-term.
This leaves businesses with a new challenge: how to automate processes when workers are remote. Process automation has become a key part to ensure that a company’s procedures and operations run as efficiently as possible.
We often think of business process automation as something that relates to in-person staff, but actually it can be applied to remote workers too. In fact, it will become increasingly important to understand how processes can be automated when staff are working remotely, as there are more variables.
Here we take a look at some of the things that your busines will need to do if you want to automate the processes of remote staff.
It’s a great idea to talk to your team about their current processes and procedures when they are working remotely. This is vital information as it can provide you with details around not only how remote working differs from working on the premises, but also it can provide valuable ideas around the best and most efficient ways to do things.
When you are automating processes, it is vital to understand the areas that could be easily managed, and others that need the worker’s input.
Process automation works by putting an automatic process in place to replace the need for repetitive labour from a worker. This can take many forms: populating invoices, dealing with aspects of payroll, etc. And these can be entirely dependent on your business and how you work.
It is important, then, to think about which aspects of your remote workers’ tasks can be automated and which cannot. This will form the basis of your process automation.
There are many advantages that remote work can bring to a business – and this is the case with process automation too. This is an opportunity to re-think the way your business operates. For example, there may be some tasks that you have always done via physical work simply due to legacy ways of working.
As workers are now remote, here is a chance to change up systems and procedures and bring them into the 21st century. For example, storing your data on the cloud instead of on paper can open up your business to a huge range of automated processes.
It is always the case that the focus of business process automation is to save your team time by taking away time-consuming tasks and automating them. This frees up your staff to use their working days for tasks that are more business critical.
As such you need to put a real focus on becoming time efficient. Think about the aspects of the tasks you do that slow you down and stop you from being able to get on with really productive work. These are key aspects that you will need to automate for your remote staff.
At Document Options, we are experienced specialists in business process automation and we would love to help your organisation save time and money, and become more efficient. Contact us today to learn more about how we could help with process automation for your remote workers.
It is important for businesses to have a plan in place to be able to scale up naturally. Many businesses can struggle when they find that they are growing too quickly and cannot maintain a high level of quality while fulfilling orders and services that they have promised for new clients. And the issue here is that they haven’t put processes and procedures in place to allow them to scale up effectively.
As your company grows you may need to focus on specific solutions or adapt the way that you work, but this isn’t always possible. That is why modern businesses must have a plan for scalability in place – and this plan should include business process automation.
Business process automation (BPA) is the act of making specific and complex processes and procedures in the business automatic – beyond normal processes such as record keeping.
There are huge benefits to companies in terms of investing in BPA – it can increase productivity as well as providing transparency and lowering costs. These are all absolutely vital when it comes to scaling a business, as you need to ensure that your company is working highly efficiently as you grow.
Process automation allows you to move your business with the market easily and effectively – when you need to grow you are safe in the knowledge that your company won’t suffer dips in quality or productivity as you hire new staff or move into larger premises.
It is important to work with specialists who understand BPA and can get the most out of it. Trying to manage a regime of BPA changes without expertise can lead to mistakes being made, and sub-optimal procedures and processes being rolled out across your business.
It’s a great idea to work with a local business that has direct experience implementing BPA at a business like yours.
At Document Options, we are specialists in BPA – we have been helping businesses transform the way they operate for a number of years. If you want to ensure that your business can scale up as needed as your company grows, we can provide you with help automating your processes. Get in contact with our team today for more details.
Digital transformation has become extremely important for organisations – especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses need to ensure that they are keeping up-to-date with advances in technology and boosting their digital services.
With more people than ever working from home and having to make use of technology to continue doing their job as normal, companies that don’t invest in digital transformation risk getting left behind by their competitors.
When we think of digital transformation, we might focus on the kinds of services that the business can offer to clients – or we might think of it as a way to improve customer interaction and customer services. But actually, one of the most important aspects of digital transformation occurs completely behind the scenes in the form of business process automation.
What is business process automation?
Business process automation (BPA) is a way to simplify and improve current business processes – streamlining them and making them run more effectively. Technology is an important part of BPA, as it can change the ways that your business currently operates, saving the time of staff and making money.
Not only does BPA eliminate issues surrounding human error – it also makes things easier for staff by taking away tasks that people generally are not good at, and having them done by machines. These are generally repetitive tasks.
How can BPA influence digital transformation?
BPA can play a huge role in your digital transformation. It is always best that BPA is conducted as a larger part of business transformation so that you can make the most of it. Ultimately, BPA and digital transformation have the same goal – utilising technology to make aspects of the business more efficient and more profitable.
When you come to plan your digital transformation, it is vital that you should consider the process that can be automated and improved.
To carry out the automating of business processes properly it is important to work with experienced professionals. At Document Options, we have extensive experience helping organisations automate their processes so that their whole operation can digitally transform. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Document Options today.