Most people never think about the true cost of their office forms. Many, in fact, say, “Hey paper is cheap,” and don’t take the time to consider the real costs. The truth is that your forms cost more than just paper and toner. While we fill out or sign a paper form, few of us wonder what happens next. The following article will hopefully make you consider the true cost of your forms and inspire you to do something about it.
Understanding the True Cost of Office Forms
When a form is filled out, whether it be outside or inside your office, that information is vitally important, which is likely the reason you are taking the time to fill the form out in the first place. The problem is the form is static. There is no intelligence built around your paper form. It has no awareness that perhaps the information you are filling out on the form lives somewhere else in a database or a line of business software. So, you are left to fill out the same form, with the same or very similar information, time after time.
Then, once the form is complete, an employee has to re-enter that information into another system or perhaps systems. Some of you are now saying, “That is crazy.” Some of you, however, are saying, “Yup, that’s us”. In a world of information sharing and data capturing, paper forms fail. Since the information only lives on the paper form, it has no value to your organization until someone does something with it. Conversely, in an electronic form environment those issues go away, because we have the ability to tap into legacy data which already resides in your business software or applications. This facilitates high quality data integrity and less human error. By using e-forms, the knowledge worker who is completing it only has to fill out variable information.
Some of you may wonder, “Does this open me up to potential violations or security breaches?” The answer is no, in fact the e-form is much more secure than your paper. First, a paper form has zero security built around it. It lives on a clip board, in a truck, on a desk or in a bin waiting for processing. We may not know who filled it out or if they filled it out accurately and completely. Most importantly, once it is complete, what mechanism is in place to insure it will go to the correct next step in the workflow? With e-forms we have an audit trail of who filled out the information and who the e-form was electronically forwarded to.
Change is Necessary in How You Deal With Office Forms
With businesses striving to work faster and more efficiently, the old saying “That’s just the way we have always done it” should be questioned when it creeps its ugly head. In an ever increasing digital world, why are we holding on to paper forms? Henry Ford said it best, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” When a company presents me with a three part form to sign and they give me the yellow copy, I think, “Wow this should be digital.” The invoice that would have sat in someone’s truck for the next day, or perhaps a week, is billed immediately instead. With e-forms, data does not have to be “entered into a system” before the process of getting paid starts. In an electronic world, when you press submit all that work is already done.
While paper is cheap, paper forms are not. They end up costing your company significant money, time, productivity and most importantly, customers. From the initial capture of the information, to processing the data, to storing both data and form, to finding it when a question arises, your paper form process presents a whole host of costly issues.
Enoch Office, Your Consultant for Changing How You See Office Forms
Do any of these points resonate with how your company is currently doing things? If so, Enoch Office may be able to help. We have the business process understanding and technical know-how to navigate you through even the most complicated processes to create an electronic form environment that drive profit to your business.
Tags: office forms