Incomplete Information Who’s Really To Blame

Everybody makes mistakes.  There’s a buffer in daily life and work flow processes for the regular and routine “oops.”  Smart, well-trained people make mistakes all the time.  The fact is they happen a lot more often even in a well-trained carefully conducted office when checks aren’t put into place.

Those system checks are far more difficult to do with a paper workflow going from person to person.

Those mundane errors may seem like a normal aspect of business, but you might be surprised to see just how much they cost you after they add up.  Think about the potential costs behind these very common practices and occurrences.

  • Organizations typically hire staff whose sole job is quality control, or this role is placed on an administrative individual and can eat up as much as 10-15 percent of the time finding and correcting mistakes, or fielding errors in paper documents and tracking down the originator in order to fix the errors for processing.
  • One S&P 500 bank’s loan officers spend over 25% of their time fixing data entry errors as a result of paper documentation errors including handwriting interpretation.
  • Uncaught errors can filter down to a customer where incorrect products are shipped,  service calls are missed, processing must begin again on loan documents, orders are completely forgotten or misplaced, etc.  When errors reach the customer, this can potentially create a large volume of calls and emails that must be fielded by staff.
  • Soft costs are harder to quantify and aren’t immediately evident but still occur due to errors in document processing.  Soft costs eventually result in lost revenue due to low customer satisfaction, operational losses due to poor decision making as a result of poorly processed paperwork, and even regulatory risk as a result of incorrect document processing and/or recordkeeping.

When you factor in that processes and documents must be redone from scratch and include labor time and lost opportunities, a single error in the workplace – even a small one – could cost as much as $400.  That’s not including soft costs like lost customer revenue or fines from regulatory issues, contractual errors and more.

What’s worse is it’s difficult to track most errors back to their source if they’re not immediately caught.

Eliminate Finger-pointing and Losses

The most effective way to eliminate the hard and soft costs of errors is to address the workflow that is allowing the problems to occur.  This is as simple as revamping a few steps in the daily workflow.

  1. If frequent errors occur in documentation where there are missing signatures, legibility issues, submission barriers, and other paper documentation problems then make an immediate switch to interactive PDF forms.  Interactive PDF’s can be processed quickly, are accurate, can be sent instantly over the web, and stored digitally so nothing is ever lost.
  2. If you have a complicated workflow process that’s heavy on the details, or you’re dealing with a lot of data and complex information, then custom programmed PDF forms can still be utilized in your process to match your specific workflow.  An off the shelf product won’t help you, but custom programmed PDF forms can offer you a solution to eliminate errors.
  3. A common issue with documents is ensuring they reach their destination or the next step in the workflow.  An automated workflow process can set triggers and automatic notifications for each individual in the workflow.  This means that as soon as one step is complete, the workflow moves on to the next individual without manual transport or letting a courier get involved.

Remember that the more touch points you have in a manual process, the more opportunities you have for human error.  Without an automated workflow process your team could be making hundreds of small mistakes annually.  Those mistakes cost you thousands of dollars behind the scenes, and it can all be fixed with a simple switch to an automated PDF workflow.



Categories: Workflow