We check our smartphones for email, read novels on our Kindles, order our groceries online, and routinely use laptops for work. Yet we also continue to use lots of paper. Not only is this environmentally dubious, it also causes significant inefficiencies and delays. Moving away from paper-based processes makes sense for any business, in just about any industry. In this blog, we’ll explore the downside to outdated paper-based processes and the benefits when you digitize paper processes, and give you four tips for eliminating paper in your organization.
The pitfalls of paper processes
There are several common issues with paper-based processes:
Paper can be easily lost or damaged. This can cause issues such as unfulfilled customer orders, which can lead to lost revenue. And, if sensitive information is not secure, there’s also the possibility of data leaks. This, of course, may lead to compliance concerns later down the line.
Processing paperwork is surprisingly expensive. It leans on inefficient processes that don’t drive your business forward, resulting in higher costs overall. And when people’s attention is focused on paper processes, they have less energy available to devote to projects with higher ROI.
Information is locked in paper formats
When business-critical information is stored on paper, it’s often inaccessible, which causes opportunities to be lost and makes it harder to move your business forward.
Paper-based processes take time. When there are delays in gathering data, it more difficult to make timely and strategic decisions, or to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace. This is problematic, as businesses must remain on the pulse to stay successful and relevant.
The benefits of digitized processes
There are fundamental benefits to be gained when you digitize paper processes, including:
With digital forms and processes, you can eliminate common manual errors such as reading information incorrectly or forgetting a safety step in a workflow. With digital processes, you can put rules in place to ensure the correct information is automatically saved in the right location or confirm safety procedures are automatically carried out.
Fast and efficient access to data
Data collected through digital forms can be quickly surfaced in multiple business systems and processes. This allows data to be acted upon almost instantaneously, leading to benefits like faster order executions, better customer service and rapid decision-making.
Version and document control
By digitizing processes, you can use rules-based routing to ensure the right stakeholders are being engaged and that required steps are being completed in agreed-upon time frames. Also, intelligent document versioning can ensure that only the most recent material is made visible, so you don’t need to worry about outdated material being potentially misperceived as actionable data.
When you architect digital forms and processes, you can ensure that only those with a need to know can view secure information. Data security is a top priority for most businesses — intelligently managing access can reduce compliance issues.
Digitization removes unnecessary steps in a workflow and the associated resources required to fuel longer processes. As such, investment can be redirected towards other areas of the business, with the possibility of a higher return on investment.
Data collected digitally — whether it’s through a mobile application or a form — often can be quickly resurfaced through reporting tools. This helps you to make better business decisions faster, based on accurate information.
Optimize processes and digitize paper processes with Nintex Workflow Platform
The Nintex Workflow Platform works together to optimize processes and eliminate the need for paper processes. Here are four ways to eliminate paper-based processes from your business for good:
1. Map your processes
Before beginning to digitize your processes, you need a clear overview of your existing practices, your stakeholders and the technology you currently use. This enables you to identify areas that could be streamlined or automated. Web-based Nintex Promapp® makes it easy to map, manage, and optimize your business processes.
2. Automate your processes
The Nintex platform offers powerful, easy-to-use capabilities for workflow automation, robotic process automation, document automation, e-signature, digital forms, and more.
3. Connect and manage your data
The average enterprise relies on 16 SaaS solutions. This is a lot to keep track of, but Nintex makes it easy to connect your data, applications, and systems. Nintex also lets you collaborate across channels, so that you can quickly deploy automated, highly integrated workflows.
4. Report and optimize
Enjoy the best possible return on your digital transformation investment with intelligent analytics that provide in-depth reports to help you optimize your processes. Say goodbye to inefficient paper-based processes that drain your resources and stop your business moving forward. Start gaining useful, actionable insights with Nintex workflow solutions.