Increasing the bottom-line, rapid ROI and increased visibility are typical reasons we see the c-suite get excited about moving away from a manual-based workflow, but what about the end-users? Why do customer service representatives (CSRs) and AP clerks get just as stoked about automation solutions?
Historically, they haven’t! They fear their jobs are at risk. But when end-users are a part of the project rollout and development, they realize the pains tied to manual workflows and get excited about the potential amount of time that can be dedicated to value-add responsibilities.
Here are the top 3 reasons manual workflows need to be addressed, from an automation end-user’s perspective:
- Data needed to be physically keyed into the ERP/business system
Too much time was wasted doing manual tasks such as printing out emails, picking up faxes and manually entering in data. In addition to the time dedicated to manual entry, there was an increased risk of error and slowdowns in order delivery – we are only human, we make mistakes! To top it off, manually entering in data is unfulfilling and a tedious day-to-day task, especially for end-users eager to put their college education to use.
- Organizing and storing documents was messy
While every company in theory has a categorizing system, the likelihood that everyone follows the exact same documentation standards is slim. Not only do CSRs and AP clerks waste time filing their orders and invoices in cabinets/storage facilities, they are also trying to figure the logic of their colleagues filing system to retrieve previous documentation. The risk of losing or damaging important archived documents is painstakingly high with a manual workflow in place, and end-users just don’t want that pressure.
- Managing, tracking and analyzing orders, claims and/or invoices was impossible
Without a centralized location to access to orders, invoices or other documents at their fingertips, CSRs and AP clerks are challenged to provide optimal customer or supplier experiences with little resources. Poor communication, delayed responses or incomplete audit trails are common frustrations for users in manual workflows.
One of the biggest values that document process automation delivers is that it addresses the problems of manual workflow across the board — not just at a single reason listed above. Every phase of processing is made electronic, so the need for any printing, human data entry or manual storage, and filing is eliminated. Every order or invoice that comes through a business, no matter how it arrives (e.g., fax, email, EDI, etc.) goes through the automated solution — from document arrival to approvals to fulfillment/payment. Wherever there is a benefit for the end-user, it’s usually the case that the benefit snowballs to a much bigger value for the c-suite and other key stakeholders.
Think you’re ready to tackle your manual workflow? Check out one of these two white paper on how to build a business case for an automated solution! They’re customized to your business process need: accounts payable or order processing.