Top 4 Benefits of Automated Workflow Processes for Businesses

electronic document managementIt cannot be argued that one of the major changes in business all over the world in technology has been the automation of workflow processes. Compared with the traditional methods of paper based work flow process which are not only slow but can leave a lot of room for error, the automated workflow processes are efficient, quick and can streamline one’s business functions.
It is not difficult to have document scanning and such middleware with the multi-functions products in existing system architecture nowadays. It is worthwhile to note that the learning curve for such systems is short because of the employees who already have experience interaction with the multifunction devices. Thus, implementing workflow automation in the office can bring a number of benefits for the business. Here are the top four key benefits that companies can get:
1. Controlled Costs, Access and Result/Impact: Automated workflow process can control costs that the business incurs. It can be easy to switch to it which will allow the company to accomplish not only cost cutting goals, but also provide easy access and instant impact upfront.
2. Increased Security: traditional workflow methods are not as secure and therefore, installing a proper workflow to automate business will be able to offer a company a range of security tools ranging from document management system to network.
3. Streamline Business Cycles & Limit Cycles: Automated processes in a business mean that there is more error-free workflows which can streamline the entire office and spread the efficiency on board.
4. Improved Efficiency: the traditional methods are time consuming, take more effort and are inefficient as a result. Switching to automated workflows can reduce the amount of work needed to regulate the business processes and also cut down on time – which is a cost too. This can in turn allow the business to spend more time on other important things.
These benefits can impact any organization in the longer run, very positively.

How much time searching for information?

ROI Document Management System
Percentage of Time the Average Worker Spends Searching for Information

A study done by the Delphi Group (copyright 2011), “The High Cost of Knowledge” has some important details that I think you will be interested in. In a survey of over 1000 office workers in mid to large size companies, they asked “how much time do you spend searching for information to get your job done”.

The answer to this question may surprise you. In the age of high speed personal computers, electronic document management systems, and access to such things as Google, the response to this survey question was:
– 66% spend at least 15% of their day searching
– 39% spend over 25% of their day searching for information.

The chart above shows the details by percentage of the day.

What is surprising to me is that the results of studies done in the ’90’s were about the same as this recent study. From this information, it is apparent to me that even with the advancements of technology, the average user is still very inefficient.

There are several things that I think contribute to this inefficiency. First, is that the information and systems that a worker much search for information has become increasing complex. And secondly, due to the down-sizing of organizations, workers are now doing the jobs that several workers were doing previously.

What is the solution? I think that implementing document management systems, such as Laserfiche, that have extremely efficient search capabilities and have the ability to automate business process with workflow will help worker increase their efficiencies.

I liked the conclusion that the Delphi Group ended their article with: “Ultimately our ability to provide knowledge workers with better tools with which to do their jobs will determine how quickly we can accelerate the growth and economic prosperity needed to create new innovations and new jobs – making this jobless recover and every future one as short as possible!”

The tools are available to make workers more efficient. In this past year I have helped organizations implement Laserfiche Document Management and Workflow software. I have seen amazing increases in user productivity using this tool, Laserfiche.

Larry Phelps
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Save the Date for Laserfiche User Conference 2012

Laserfiche document management class, Minneapolis Minnesota
Laserfiche Training Class
Save the Date for Empower 2012
January 25-27, 2012 – Anaheim Marriott

If you are a Laserfiche user and would like to have indepth training, this is the event of the year for you. There will be hundreds of classes, user success stories, round table discusssions, and hands-on training opportunities.
For more details on the Laserfiche event, click here: Laserfiche Annual User Conference

Larry Phelps
Solbrekk, Inc
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Laserfiche – Electronic Document Management Seminar

Laserfiche Document Management

You are invited for a free seminar to learn more about Laserfiche Electronic Document Management Software. 
This invitation is for current Laserfiche customers who want to learn how to better use their system and anyone who has not purchased Laserfiche but is interested in learning more about paper-less technology.
You will learn how to: 
  • Eliminate tedious, paper-based processes that waste both time and money.
  • Protect confidential client information from unauthorized access or release.
  • Automate collaborative business processes such as AP processing, HR onboarding and contract management, among others. (Workflow)
  • Automate the information capture process and eliminate data-entry errors. (Quickfields)
  • Deploy Web-based solutions
  • to provide more flexible access to information. (WebLink and WebAccess)
  • Ensure compliance with State of MN and other federal, state and local regulations. (Records Management)
  • Maximize the value of your other applications by integrating them with your document repository.
  •  For more information and to register, go to: 

    Larry Phelps
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Laserfiche Electronic Document Management Assistance in Minneapolis Minnestoa

    Laserfiche is giving away free user licenses right now

    Laserfiche announced their new, third quarter sales promotion: Buy ten named Avante users and get two users free! There is no limit on the number of free users you can get through this promotion, and it applies to both:
    • Avante upgrades.
    • New purchases for new and existing customers.

    You also receive free Web Access and Audit Trail seats when these modules are included in the system purchase. Please note that your customers must purchase LSAP coverage for all of their free seats.

    If you are still using Laserfiche Standard Edition or Team Edition and would like to use the capability of Laserfiche Workflow, now would be a good time to look into upgrading.

    Please contact me if you have any questions.

    Larry Phelps
    Minneapolis, MN

    Why should you consider implementing Laserfiche Document Imaging?

     In the past several months I have asked this question to several people and here are their answers:

     “We are running out of filing space in our office and expanding this building would cost us over $300,000. Laserfiche will cost us a fraction of that price.”

    “I have been doing this job for over 25 years and I know too much. I can find important documents because of what I remember. If I leave, that knowledge is gone and so is the ability to find those documents.”

    “We get requests for information that is in storage. It typically takes us 2 or 3 days to get back to our customers.”

    “Our off-site document storage costs us over $750 per month and the cost is climbing. I would rather put that money toward document imaging.”

    “We manually route paper job folders through our plant to manage our production. Automating this with Laserfiche Workflow would help us be more efficient.”

    “We are storing so much paper, you can’t even imagine. I knew an imaging system would help us. But when I saw Laserfiche, I was amazed. I can see so many ways it can help us. I had no idea something as powerful as Quickfields existed.”

    Using Laserfiche Workflow Data To Eliminate Bottlenecks

    RMS specializes in the contract manufacturing of complex, tight-tolerance medical device implants and surgical instruments related to: spine fracture, reconstructive orthopedics, cardiovascular components,  neurological stimulation components, drug delivery systems, and endoscopy devices.  The Minneapolis, Minnesota headquarters 154,000 square foot facilities focused on the manufacture of implants and endoscopy devices. The Memphis, Tennessee 21,000 square foot facility is dedicated solely to the manufacture of orthopedic instruments.  RMS manufacturing equipment includes over 300 highly-sophisticated CNC machines organized to utilize cellular workflow principles to achieve the lowest total cost. 

     RMS staff realized that it was getting more and more difficult to predict the order ship date as the number of orders grew to over one thousand a month.  They would have to continually notify customers of changes in ship dates.

    RMS staff set out on a mission to determine the bottlenecks in their order entry/scheduling process and set goals to have firm order ship dates confirmed to the customer within 72 hours of receiving the order, reducing it from the average 7 weeks it was currently taking.

    Vicky Benz, RMS’s CFO, said:  “When we had meeting to discuss what our bottlenecks were and how to improve our numbers, we had only people’s perception of what the problems were.  What they seemed to remember most were the jobs that had certain exceptions or issues.  We had a lot of data and reports to look at, but it was too much to even begin to analyze.”

    “Luckily, we used Laserfiche Workflow to control every aspect of tracking and routing our jobs through our manufacturing process.  Laserfiche Workflow recorded every transaction in a SQL database.  We had three years of production data sitting in SQL that had all the detailed transactions; we just didn’t know to make sense out of the data.”

    RMS hired Solbrack, a local Microsoft partner and Laserfiche VAR to assist with this project.  Chad Brinkman, Solbrekk’s SQL and Laserfiche expert, quickly realized that SQL 2005 Reporting Services was the tool  they needed to analyze the data and help determine the actual facts related to the manufacturing process.  Chad said, “ I used  the audit trail information stored in a couple of SQL tables in the LaserFiche SQL 2000 server, written a couple of stored procedures to compile the audit trails on the SQL 2000 server, calculated timing information, and stored them in SQL 2005 on another server .  Then I designed some SQL 2005 Reporting Services reports modeled after the business processes work flow RMS described for me based on the timing information r and rendered it to charts and graphs to help identify bottlenecks as the parts move from department to department.  Now, RMS has the ability to display a graph showing how each department, individual, part type, or job performed.“


    When looking at the new reporting tool RMS has, Vicky Benz said,  “I am completely in awe of what Chad can do and what he can pull out of all  our raw data.”   We now have the tools to determine our bottlenecks. We can  make changes to our processes and track the results.  We now are able to work on achieving our goals and objectives.”

    Larry Phelps

    PS: – Free Document Imaging and Management Overview go to: