Most of us feel relief when our GPS says, “You’ve arrived at your destination”, especially after driving in an unfamiliar city dense with traffic. Dealing with the glut of daily document flow into your business in the form of emails, invoices, payments, social media data and more is a ‘traffic jam’ of another kind.
As regulations increase, security concerns intensify, stakeholders demand more accountability and customer service expectations grow—efficient document management is more critical than ever.
Poor document management drains resources and damages reputations.
Inefficient electronic and paper document management comes at a cost and often hits small businesses. The ever-increasing flow of information, stored in separate systems and locations, becomes less useful and can take longer to find.
These inefficiencies lead to loss of work time searching for files, more errors, customer frustration and most threatening of all—potential security breaches. Adam Meyer, Chief Security Strategist for SurfWatch Labs says, “2016 was the year hacking went mainstream—2017 will be the year hackers innovate.”
Next year will continue the escalation of all these issues. Process improvement mapping is an effective, trusted approach that will show cost-saving benefits to your business.
Mapping offers a ‘GPS-like’ path to effective decision making.
Process improvement mapping breaks down document flow to its most basic steps to uncover inefficiencies that cause errors, delays and duplication of efforts.
The basic steps include:
- Observing and gathering information from participants in all phases of the document handling process.
- Breaking the process into its unique tasks and decision points.
- Targeting inefficiencies.
- Creating a plan for improvement.
Hire mapping expertise.
Find a trusted partner with the expertise to do the “process walk” from the start. Their experience can provide value to your business through:
- An unbiased view of your process.
- Documenting and collecting experience.
- Mapping software that can do the heavy lifting.
- Finding insights into hidden problems and processes.
Experienced mapping experts also know how to ‘dig deeper’ to find the pain points in your operation and the root causes draining your efficiencies.
‘Digging deeper’ means looking at:
- Consistency in filing structure.
- Time spent finding files.
- Space taken up by files.
- Inaccurate work or data (Needing to ask questions to get what is needed)
- Approval processes.
- Issues when sharing data between departments.
- Protection of documents from disaster.
- Risks of losing documents.
Talking to management and the employees is also part of the mapping process. It’s a way to take the “blinders” off and get new insights into inefficiencies. A recent study by Adobe shows that 61% of global professionals would change jobs even if the only benefit was dramatically less paperwork—and 83% feel their ability to be productive at work are slowed down by outdated ways of working with documents.
The guru of great quality, W. Edwards Deming said, “A bad process will beat a good person every time.” Document process improvement promotes buy-in from “good” employees who are feeling the frustration of poor document management.
Effective document process improvement pays off.
An effective document management strategy could reduce cost by 30% and lower risk by 23% according to International Data Corporation (IDC). It’s worth talking to an expert on document improvement mapping to learn how it can break the barriers holding back the efficiencies in your system. After implementing the changes, you can continue to use the mapping as a jumping off point for continuous improvement.
Results matter. Look to your future.
Availability of documents, fast retrieval, no more lost documents, increased security, more time for staff to spend doing tasks that matter to the growth of your business, improved customer service, fewer filing cabinets and more office space, a reduction in print out-put—these are just a few of the many benefits reaped from document process improvement mapping. Let it guide you to a new path to success!