The eForms Revolution is Here
The term “Form Filling” has long been established within the business psyche as an alternative term for long-winded, time consuming and cumbersome and perhaps on occasion with good reason.
It has often resulted in vast reams of paperwork and too often becomes unrelated to the activity which drove it, as the information contained cannot easily be integrated and therefore useful to the project or action it forms part of.
Given that most forms are considered important enough to generate in the first place and are therefore usually integral to their subject, the ability to work with them as such has become increasingly more important.
The advent of eForms have changed all this so that forms have now become part of the overall data set, but also can both be part of and initiate workflow process.
This has resulted in huge time savings for employees, far greater accuracy and the ability to share data across other business software applications.
In a recent study by AIIM they considered several ways in which “true” electronic forms can transform your business. This is especially important, since according to Gartner, 85% of business processes rely on such forms.
How Can Workflow Automation Help Your Business?
- Eliminate the Paper from the Beginning.
E-forms are more than just an electronic version of a paper form. They promptly capture, verify, approve, and integrate data with the critical business systems used to run organisations.
When information is automatically captured and distributed without a paper form to begin with, business processes are streamlined, efficiency is improved, costs are cut, and your organisation becomes a little greener.
- Release the Information Needed to Run Your Business.
Most of the information needed to run your business is trapped on paper and paper equivalents such as Word® documents, PDF files, and pre-printed forms. By capturing and moving crucial information—previously trapped —into core business systems faster and more affordably, e-forms enable organisations to improve customer service, shorten cycle times, and lower operating costs.
- Integrate Data with Core Business Systems Automatically.
Once submitted, data entered on an e-form can be saved to one or more business system databases automatically and seamlessly.
With two-way integration, an existing database can pre-fill a form, allowing for confirmation of information and elimination of user error. Integration is secure and works within an organisation’s IT architectural structure and standards.
Data captured on e-forms are typically sent to HR, finance, customer support, and custom applications. The e-forms themselves reside within an electronic content management system for secure storage, retrieval, distribution, and management.
- Improve Data Accuracy.
Auto drop-down lists and completion guides with field-specific instructions ensure data is captured accurately and completely.
E-forms can auto-populate fields based on prior data entered and validate field-level data and form-level completeness before submission. Without the need for someone to manually enter data from a paper form into another system, data entry errors are eliminated, and no data is lost in transcription.
- Kick-off Automated Workflow.
Once submitted, e-forms can implement an automated workflow based on an organization’s business rules.
Employee applications can be distributed to the appropriate individual in HR for review, sales orders can be sent to a manager for approval, and then on to distribution for delivery, credit applications can be sent to the appropriate manager in the finance department for immediate review and approval.
Automated workflow is seamless, quick, and ensures accountability.
- Digitally Signed E-Forms are Legally Binding.
Digital signature technology allows users to sign an e-form without the need for distributed digital certificates or third-party certificate authorities.
Existing login ID/Passwords can be used for signing e-forms, and built-in encryption tools allow for secure transmission of data.
- Easy to Design & Set Up.
E-forms are easy to design, create, and publish with no programming skills required.
Features such as drag and drop, pre-built field validation controls, and group controls ensure sophisticated layouts with trouble-free design and implementation.
Existing paper forms and PDFs can be easily copied or customised so screens can have a familiar user interface to speed adoption.
- Realise a Rapid Return on Investment.
E-forms can deliver an ROI in as little as a few months, depending upon the number of forms processed monthly.
Form completion costs, processing costs, and correction costs are radically reduced.
Paper related expenses, such as supplies, storage, and transportation, are eliminated altogether.
To discover how electronic forms can revolutionise your business, why not get in touch and speak with one of our specialists and let us help you deliver a more efficient and cost-effective way of working.