IT’S TIME TO “DIGITIZE” PAPER WORKFLOWS

DECISIONS DECISIONS

Is your business still using paper for business workflows, such as customer intake forms?  Do your field reps use paper forms to update customer information, then send those paper forms via fax or email back to the “mothership” for someone to manually input into the “system”?   

These workflows are usually repetitive, tedious task which are time consuming, inefficient and susceptible to inaccuracies.   Maybe it’s time to “digitize” your paper.

The marketplace has plenty of options when it comes to the apps available to help run your business.  Matter of fact, there are so many options, choosing the right app can be a daunting task. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when considering a new piece of technology to improve businesses processes: 

What Business Challenge Am I trying to Address? 

More often than not, companies have a hard time clearly defining the challenge they are looking to address.  Taking the time to really understand the issues, who key stakeholders are, how they are effected, and the specific business objective(s), is critical in determining the right app for your business needs. 

What are my expectations from investing in a new app? 

Apps can help businesses work faster and better, but they can’t do it all.  They are meant to solve a particular challenge.  It’s important to understand what the app can, and cannot do.  Knowing this helps create reasonable expectations and avoids frustration and headaches later. 

What’s wrong with Free or Consumer Apps for my business? 

“Free” or “Consumer” apps are appealing because they are, well, “free”.  And we like ‘free’.  But “free” has a cost.  The challenge is, most of these solutions are not usually optimized for business use.  Features that businesses normally expect, such as better security, network IT management, advanced user permission policies, and the ability to integrate with other business applications aren’t present.  This could create more headaches than the original problem you were looking to fix. These are the unforeseen, or “the hidden costs of free” consumer apps. 

Will an app integrate with my existing systems?   

When considering any IT investment, you want to consider how well a new app will “play” with your existing IT infrastructure.  For example, if the app uses email notifications to complete a task, does the app integrate well with your existing email service.  If not, users potentially have 2 different apps for emails.  This creates more steps for your employees and defeats the purpose of streamlining and increasing productivity.  It’s good business to leverage your existing investments when ever possible. 

Will learning a new app cause disruption with my employees?   

There will always be aversion to change.  When looking at implementing a new tool, it’s important to gauge what the adoption to the app will be.  Is the app complicated for end-users to use?  What will the ‘ramp-up’ time be?  Where key stakeholders included in providing input on what the app is expected to achieve?  We have seen companies implement very robust (and expensive) apps, only to go unused by employees due to improper training, frustration with use, or “it just gives me more work to do”. 

Why do I need user input? 

Include one or two users in meetings and garner their input.  Input from expected users provides valuable feedback and insights into what the app interface should look like and what the app is expected to do. Including stakeholders and getting their buy-in will also increase the adoption rate and proper use of the app. 

 Have other questions? HUB365 can help. 

As app developers, we take the time to review these and other details when considering the right app that fits your business need.  To schedule your FREE one hour consultation email us at info@hub365it.com 

 

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