How to Keep Paperwork Processes Moving with a Remote Workforce

Organizations and workforces are always evolving, as we become more and more digitally connected many organizations are no longer limiting where their employees can work. Remote work has expanded in the past decade and is likely to continue to grow.

Recent events surrounding the spread of COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus) sparked organizations across the globe to take precautions to ensure the disease doesn’t spread within their business, including enforcing that sick employees stay home or pivoting to an entirely remote workforce. Additionally, as local and state governments enforce lockdowns or shelter-in-place mandates, organizations must ensure all non-essential employees can work remotely.

As businesses make this shift, they likely have to completely change how their day-to-day tasks are completed. To best accommodate remote workers, it’s absolutely crucial to have the systems and processes that allow for work to be completed without any disruptions.

While the use of digital communication tools can be helpful for remote employees, typically more advanced solutions are required to effectively complete work outside the four walls of the office. Fortunately, with automation your organization can easily adapt to a remote workforce.

Document Management

Just about every organization relies on paper documents to complete day-to-day tasks. Unfortunately, when shoved into storage, these piles of paper are virtually inaccessible to in-office employees, and unless they take filings cabinets home, these physical documents are impossible to retrieve for remote employees. By storing files in a way that makes employees unable to find and view them, you put your business at risk for slowing down or completely halting key operations.

Enterprise Document Management (EDM) eliminates those issues both inside the office and remotely by securely hosting and organizing all your documents in one place. Employees can quickly retrieve the file and continue working without hiccups. To best support employees regardless of the platform they’re using, an EDM solution supports all popular browsers, meaning they can access key documents anywhere, anytime, on any device.

It’s designed to be user friendly, meaning your employees will be able to utilize the system without spending extensive time in training, which is ideal for those who work far from your central office. Enterprise Document Management is made to be versatile, and is designed to work with multiple locations, departments, and devices. Even with its versatility across your organization, it’s extremely secure, allowing for version control and user-based access to ensure that a document doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Our solution is much more robust than free file-sharing programs, it has full imaging features (scan, separation, OCR), a comprehensive audit trail to track changes, allows for annotations to make updates to the document, retention scheduling to ensure best case evidence and document lifecycle and web viewer control to view all common document formats without needing the native application. All these features promote active communication across departments, offices, and employees.

Web Forms

Your organization likely has dozens of forms required in order to complete basic day-to-day tasks. Processes such as hiring, onboarding, sales and work orders, safety and service checklists, and more rely on forms in order to complete them. By using traditional paper forms you’re doing a massive disservice to your remote employees who either have to mail, scan, or email them back to someone who then has to manually re-enter the data into whatever system you’re utilizing. A paper-intensive form process leads to a loss of data, efficiency, and profitability. Fillable PDFs help alleviate some of these issues, but they’re clunky to use and are still error-prone, plus employees still need to manually enter in data.

Much like Document Management, web forms easily integrate with your ERP or other business software, meaning that an employee can complete a form and the data can immediately go exactly where it needs to.

This can be especially successful in human resources tasks that are typically paper-heavy. For example, during the hiring process, prospective employees typically need to complete a handful of forms. Rather than sending each form separately and hoping that it’s completed correctly, your human resources team can send a link to the application and background check forms, and once they’re hired, send a link to additional onboarding forms, prefilled with the information they put in on the initial application. For existing employees, forms designed for timesheets, time off requests, and other regular HR activities can eliminate the scramble of getting this information from employees who aren’t in the office.

Remote Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable used to be a paper-intensive process that could only be completed in-office. Using manual methods, the average invoice takes two weeks to process and requires approval from two to five people before it is fully processed. For remote employees, this could mean sending countless faxes and emails back and forth trying to get approval, and if a document needs to be sent from one office to another, it delays the process even more.

Implementing an Accounts Payable automation solution means that employees gain access to crucial documents as needed, and no longer need to manually enter and re-enter data, something that can prove to be a frustrating task if employees have limited desk space or a single monitor. Beyond that, your organization can eliminate late payment fees and take advantage of more early payment discounts.

Through AP Automation you can easily streamline your organization’s manual processes and significantly reduce invoice processing time and costs. The best part is you can take advantage of these benefits while supporting your remote employees, without needing to send documents back and forth for review or approval.

Why supporting remote employees matters

Having business processes that work effectively regardless of where employees are located is absolutely crucial in the case of emergencies such as the COVID-19 outbreak. By not having a plan and process in place, your organization may struggle to maintain day-to-day operations, frustrating employees and customers, and leading to loss of profits.

Fortunately, Mosaic can help your organization implement an automation system that is effective regardless of where your employees are located. Give us a call at 1-800-387-7859 to learn more.

What is Intelligent Data Capture?

A complete automation solution is more than just a single piece of software. By evaluating your organization’s needs and current processes, you can identify gaps and determine the best solutions to fill them. 

To best understand how software solutions can benefit your organization, it’s important to gain insight into how they work. Intelligent Data Capture is a crucial part of a successful automation strategy and can help take your existing document management solution to the next level. 

What is Intelligent Data Capture and how does it work?

In technical terms, Intelligent Data Capture (IDC) is the automated process of identifying and extracting critical information from incoming paper and electronic documents without manual intervention. 

In layman’s terms, IDC eliminates manual data entry by using technology. By investing in Intelligent Data Capture, your organization can save time, money, and resources by no longer having to manually extract data from your documents and organize it. 

Mosaic utilizes our partner DocStar’s Intelligent Data Capture tool to help enhance our customers’ current document processes. The way their IDC works is that once a solution is configured, it “learns” the common document types you use and builds a knowledge database of these document types. 

What this means is that IDC can classify the type of document you input (for example a purchase order versus an invoice), then extract the key information from that document, validate it, and then input that data into your database, enterprise resource planning software, or another business system of your choice. This process is different than traditional Optical Character Recognition because it goes above and beyond simply identifying the data, it also extracts and inputs it based on your needs. 

Intelligent Data Capture is extremely accurate while still being simple to set up and configure. Rather than spending additional time on configuration, IDC’s unique self-learning abilities mean that you can simply submit a single sample of the common document types you use. This means you can begin utilizing your solution sooner while still having the benefits of a sophisticated solution. Because Intelligent Data Capture “teaches” itself, it’s flexible enough to grow and adjust alongside your organization’s needs.

The most notable features of IDC include invoice recognition and data lifting, forms processing, automated document classification (separates various document types automatically), and exports to just about any accounting or line of business application.

Other, less advanced, intelligent data capture solutions had lower accuracy rates and required a substantial investment in set-up and configuration. Today’s solutions, on the other hand, are easy to configure and intelligent enough to learn and adapt for maximum accuracy and flexibility.

The steps in IDC’s process look like:

  • Input
  • Classify
  • Capture
  • Validate
  • Verify
  • Submit

These steps, when done manually, can take significant time and resources, but with Intelligent Data Capture, it can be simplified and streamlined.  

How can IDC benefit your organization?

At its core, Intelligent Data Capture is designed to eliminate manual data entry from every paper document you may have. This includes any form, invoice, remittance, purchase order, or any other type of document you come across in order to complete your daily tasks. By doing this, you can significantly reduce your headcount and give your employees more valuable tasks to focus on rather than spend hours and hours completing manual data entry. Through IDC your organization can double or triple the output of staff members processing inbound forms, without making them work harder.

Plain and simple, why pay an employee to do something that can be done through automation?

Intelligent Data Capture also increases accuracy significantly. When people extract data, human errors are bound to happen. Whether that be an employee misreading something, or mistyping data, the consequences can be significant. With IDC, that risk diminishes to close to zero. 

Since this process is so much more efficient, your organization can also benefit from early payment discounts and avoid any late payment fees. 

How to implement Intelligent Data Capture

Mosaic has experience in deploying DocStar IDC for organizations of all sizes, and we’d be glad to help your business save time and money by eliminating manual data entry. Give us a call at 1-800-387-7859 to learn more about how we can help.  

 

The Value of Enterprise Content Management

Every decision for your organization requires you to take a look at its potential ROI (Return on Investment), even small investments can make a big impact on your organization. Many organizations don’t see the initial ROI when they implement an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution.

There are plenty of benefits of ECM, such as simplifying your existing paper-based processes, protecting your data, and reducing your reliance on physical files. Beyond clear day-to-day benefits, you can further improve its ROI by using your ECM as a stepping stone towards complete automation.

More than just a one-point solution

If you have a bucket with multiple holes, plugging just one of the leaks won’t stop the water from getting out. Just like plugging one hole won’t stop a leak, implementing a single point solution won’t solve all of your organization’s problems. While single pain-point solutions are effective at solving specific problems, they may overlook the cause of the issue.

By investing in multiple single-point solutions, organizations end up spending more money and wasting time. When they embrace complete transformation of their processes, they can eliminate the pitfalls that single-point solutions may have. While the concept of “digital transformation” can seem daunting to those worried about the initial upfront investment, the decision can be made easier by educating yourself on the specific benefits of a solution as well as how it can integrate with your existing business infrastructure.

DocStar, Mosaic’s software partner, recently published a white paper in partnership with Levvel Research titled “Tackling AP Automation with a Holistic Document Management Approach.” This report primarily focuses on organizations described as middle-market can directly benefit from a holistic approach to ECM.

In it, they identify middle-market as companies with $2 billion to $100 billion in annual revenue, and specifically looked at companies within this revenue range in North America.

They highlight that an approach to establish ECM ROI is by utilizing it on top of existing technology efforts, specifically within the Accounts Payable and Invoice Management space, but also within Human Resources, Contract Management, Sales Order Processing, and Quality Control. By integrating a cloud-based and scaleable ECM, the ROI greatly improves. This also means there’s a longer-term benefit to your organization.

Embracing Digital Transformation

The report highlights AP Automation as the entry point to full-scale digital transformation as described in 3 points highlighted in the report:

ECM drives ROI by expanding the value of a single technology implementation. Organizations seeking to maximize the ROI of an AP automation solution should aim for a best-in-class solution targeting a particular pain point, but that can also be applied beyond that space as resources grow. This enables an organization to increase the long-term value of a single technology investment and enables scalable digital transformation for companies determined to remain competitive.

ECM drives ROI by empowering departments and supporting processes across the organization. With a strong ECM platform, one solution can transform many functions. For example, advanced document management and workflow features can automate AP processes as well as HR onboarding, training, and form management. ECM can also support other departments, such as Accounts Receivable, Procurement, Expense Reporting, Sales, Customer Support, and the C-suite, as the platform is applicable to multiple business functions.

ECM drives ROI by comprehensively improving collaboration and efficiency and reducing costs. ECM helps reduce paper volume, manual data entry, and time-consuming manual workflows. It also facilitates more strategic allocation of back-office labor. By providing secure digital storage, ECM reduces the pressure on an organization’s IT department, which further contributes to better use of company resources and higher ROI. ECM also improves overall communication and streamlines back-office processes. ECM leads to savings from optimized labor costs, strategic staff reallocation, and a reduced need for outsourcing various back-office functions.

Beyond those three key factors, there are also additional trends to make note of:

Invoice receipt method: how does your organization receive invoices? Physical? Digital? A mix of the two? Do they come in the mail or over email?

Invoice data entry methods: how does data get input from your invoice to your ERP?

Invoice approval time: how long does it take from the receipt of an invoice to the final approval? A day? A week?

AP pain points: where do you see room for improvement within your AP process? What is slowing down employees in their process?

Barriers to AP automation adoption: what is preventing your organization from moving forward with implementing an automation solution? Timing? Cost? Understanding your barriers can better help prepare for selecting your solution.

Net benefits of AP automation: Understanding your organization’s specific benefits of AP automation can help you gain insight into exactly how a solution will work for you.

Next Steps

By gaining a stronger understanding of your organizational needs, as well as the benefits of ECM and automation, you can make an informed decision about a solution for your organization.

Implementing a complete system overhaul can seem overwhelming, but with the right resources and tools you can start seeing benefits almost immediately.

Give us as call at 1-800-387-7859 to learn more about how you can implement a holistic ECM solution.