For all the talk and shifts towards all-things digital and connected in our personal lives, many businesses are still slow to make a move toward automated and optimized document processes. A recent study found that 84% of small companies, as one example, often rely on manual input methods to complete reporting and other documentation.
One need only look to the paper trail within an organization to determine the health of its documentation workflow. More interesting is that while inefficient and often cumbersome, manual documentation still takes precedence over more streamlined and automated processes. As a business strategy, this might not be the right move.
That industry still relies heavily on manual documentation, however unfortunate, does not surprise us. A recent survey of law enforcement agencies finds police officers, whose incident reports are the bedrock of the justice system, still use hand-written notes or manually type reports back at the station.
There is good news for the public safety sector, which is beginning to place urgency on helping to alleviate the paperwork burden in policing. Cities such as Los Angeles are aggressively building plans to leverage technology to help officers reduce administrative tasks, and more and more police departments are starting to move towards documentation productivity solutions like speech recognition so officers can build their reports in a faster, safer and more complete way by voice.
The hazards of paperwork inefficiencies are not only relegated to time management issues. Inefficient documentation processes have ripple effects across organizations, from reporting errors and problems with non-compliance, missed deadlines to paperwork burnout and customer service. Financial advisors, for instance, say that the due diligence required to meet regulatory compliance limits the valuable face time they want to spend with clients.
Central to any business productivity improvement strategy is to work smarter and faster. When it comes to documentation, being more efficient, accurate, and flexible all result in better business outcomes, from improved productivity, higher accuracy, to better client service and more satisfied employees. Focusing on documentation productivity is the right move in business.