Laminin Team

How to Manage Unstructured Data to Improve Business Performance

Why manage unstructured data? Because a whopping 80% or more of all enterprise data is unstructured. That’s a tremendous amount of information that you are missing out on if you don’t manage it. Fortunately, M-Files can help you get the most out of this data for the benefit of your business.

how to manage unstructured data

What Is the Difference Between Structured and Unstructured Data?

You may be thinking, “Data is data.” However, not all data is the same. Structured data, also called quantitative data, is easy to analyze and organize. It includes things like customers, suppliers, and related transactional data like invoices, payments, etc. Structured data is typically stored in an application’s (ERP, CRM, HR, etc.) database and as a result, relationships are established between those data elements.

This type of information is easily understandable, already organized, and you know how to utilize it to benefit your business. It’s “obvious” data.

Unstructured data is different. Also known as qualitative data, this type of data isn’t as easy to organize and analyze. Yet it’s filled with vital information that can help you run and analyze your business. Unstructured data is found in documents, e-mails, media files (audio, video), text messages, and other non-database sources. This data is stored in a wide variety of places or silos, making it difficult to find and analyze when needed.

How to Manage Unstructured Data

The challenges associated with centralizing unstructured data make it tempting to just ignore it. But remember unstructured data accounts for 80% plus of all data in an organization so this would not be a smart move.

The good news is, you can leverage the power of M-Files to help manage and utilize this data! M-Files is an intelligent information management platform that makes unstructured data easily searchable and accessible across the organization, saving your team time in locating and using ALL the information necessary to serve your organization’s customers and other stakeholders.   

Unstructured data in M-Files is organized through metadata tags. The tags enable users to quickly describe what something is when saving it—example: Sales Agreement for XYZ Corporation dated January 1. Tagging is simple for all users, mostly selecting from drop-down menus, and the number of required tags is highly configurable, including using your organization’s own unique terminology.

Access Information with Ease

how to manage unstructured data

If your employees can do a Google search, they can search the centrally collected metadata and find the important information they need. But that information is still secure because it can be classified based on who should have access, automatically excluding those who shouldn’t.

Instead of sorting through hundreds of emails or trying to remember where a specific audio file was saved, everything is organized, classified, and easy to search. 

The unstructured data can be stored in the M-Files vault (repository) or other repositories where it is stored so it is quick and simple to access, even for those who work remotely or collaborate from different locations.

With M-Files, your team can securely access the correct information, instantly from anywhere.

Improve Business Performance

If you’re ready to improve your business performance by using all your available data more efficiently, you’re ready to take a closer look at intelligent information management. Learn how M-Files uses its Intelligent Metadata Layer to help you access and utilize the information you already have but didn’t know what to do with.

Check out Connecting Structured and Unstructured Data from M-Files and find out how to update how you manage your data. You can also schedule a demo to see how much more efficient M-Files can make your business.

MFSQL Connector Deepens Epicor Integration with M-Files

You may already know how powerfully M-Files works to make your structured and unstructured data easier to access and use for more efficient and productive workflows. But there may be times when you wish to have a tighter integration between M-Files and your ERP data stored in SQL Server.

Epicor integration

The solution is MFSQL Connector. This certified M-Files add-on enables a deep connection for SQL Server-based ERP data. One of our specialties over the years has been M-Files/Epicor integrations tailored to our customers’ unique requirements. Once the connection is made, there are many applications available; for example, managing vendor approvals, synchronizing full vendor invoices, and posting them automatically to Epicor.

What Is MFSQL Connector?

MFSQL Connector was developed by Laminin Solutions as an add-on for M-Files. With it, M-Files data can be synced to MS SQL Server databases to combine the power of SQL with the intelligent information management of M-Files.

MFSQL should be your choice if your company uses SQL Server as part of its data infrastructure because M-Files, while extremely powerful, does not cover all types of integrations. Using M-Files’ APIs and scripting is an option, but only if you have advanced developer skills and lots of extra time to devote to the job. Mastering the APIs is a prerequisite. But most companies want to save time, and many have SQL skills readily available, which is one of the reasons they are using M-Files in the first place.

With MFSQL Connector, you can integrate complex data and make changes quickly and easily. Data can be synchronized between M-Files and an ERP such as Epicor as soon as you are ready for it. With MFSQL Connector’s procedures and examples, you can build data synchronization extensions based on your unique requirements to push ERP data such as vendors and invoices into the ERP system and/or extend your ERP data elements in M-Files by enriching it with additional structured and unstructured data within M-Files.

Epicor Integration Made Simple

Let’s use M-Files/Epicor integration as an example of an MFSQL Connector application. In this example, Epicor integration has two parts.

First, M-Files classes that relate to vendor management and purchasing are synchronized with MS SQL Tables, where a M-Files class become a MS SQL Table in the MFSQL Connector database. This can be vendors, invoice headers, line items, invoice documents, payment documents, etc. Then, the Epicor SQL database is automatically updated when certain predetermined conditions are met using stored procedure business logic purpose built in either the MFSQL Connector database or the Epicor SQL Database.

When the information reaches a specific workflow state in M-Files, and an authorized user indicates readiness to update SQL with M-Files via an M-Files workflow state change, MFSQL synchronizes the data and pushes it into Epicor. Specific procedures determine when a vendor is approved and when invoices are approved and ready to be pushed into Epicor. After the integration is complete, M-Files is updated with the results. M-Files can also be updated with payment documents that match the metadata for the invoice.

Finally, Epicor is updated with a link to all documents that are related to an invoice. The user can easily click through to those documents from Epicor to M-Files using purpose-built hyperlinks made available within the Epicor user interface.

The Benefits of MFSQL Connector

MFSQL Connector enables Epicor integration with M-Files even if the user doesn’t have the time or programming skills that would normally be necessary. Integration feels easy and seamless because of automated processes that work in the background.

Because data can be transferred with relationships, you’ll be able to search for and access files in external databases with M-Files. Metadata allows you to import files into the database as well.

Together, Epicor and M-Files—working with MFSQL Connector—make your workplace more efficient by eliminating duplicate data entry. Your data are easier to manage, file, and utilize any time you need it.

This is only the beginning of how your company can benefit from MFSQL Connector enabled integrations. To learn more, visit our MFSQL Connector page and schedule a demo. We’ll show you exactly how using MFSQL Connector can meet the specific needs of your business.

Microsoft Teams Document Management Made Seamless and Secure

Microsoft Teams document management

Microsoft Teams document management makes collaboration easy and seamless. This is true whether your teams are working in the office or from home. However, ease of access to all the necessary information for a project may still be a concern. This is where the M-Files and Microsoft Teams integration makes an impact. M-Files empowers employees to work smarter and more efficiently, while also increasing security and compliance.

Understanding User Needs

One of the biggest issues teams face during collaboration is being able to access a wide variety of information across multiple systems. Often, users struggle with finding the most recent versions of files and documents, while other users may find it difficult to locate where the needed information was stored.

These issues can slow your project in one of two ways. Either employees must take extra time to locate the necessary information, or they take shortcuts by using what they can access the easiest. This may seem like it’s saving time; however, it actually creates more work when these files are not the correct, most up to date project files.  

Quite simply, employees need to easily find the correct documents so they are able to complete a project quickly and accurately. This need can be filled with an integrated search feature that integrates Microsoft Teams with the other information systems that employees need to use.

Microsoft Teams Document Management

The problem with Microsoft Teams alone is that it is divided into channels. Each channel creates its own folder which may not be accessible to everyone. Some documentation may be found in duplicate folders, while other documentation may not be found unless the user has access to a specific folder. Because all information isn’t accessible from one central location, users may not be able to find or access the information they need for a project, resulting in inefficiency, incomplete or inaccurate project task and projects.

M-Files integration solves this issue by incorporating a simple search function based on keywords that allows the user to find exactly what they need without having to look in various repositories. This obviously saves a tremendous amount of time, which also allows projects to be completed with less chance for errors or misinformation.

Information Security

The integration of M-Files and Microsoft Teams allows for all Teams’ data to be archived securely. You can then set permission for the people who should have access to specific documents without worry that an unauthorized user is able to access sensitive information. Clearly this not only minimizes risk, but also simplifies compliance and information governance.

Increased security also means being alert to unusual requests for information. These requests can be prevented, or a notification can be created so potential security breaches are immediately shut down.

Microsoft Teams document management and M-Files empowers employees to work smarter and more efficiently, while also increasing security and compliance. It may seem too good to be true, but it’s more than just a possibility. With M-files, we can help you make it a reality in your organization.

Watch this webinar to learn how to connect your Microsoft Team’s documents using M-Files.

Schedule a demo and see how easy it can be. We’ll show you how M-Files can integrate with Microsoft Teams and improve your overall workflow. Then, you can rest easy knowing you can focus on the work at hand while those small but essential details are being handled automatically. What have you got to lose?

How AI in Document Management Makes All the Difference

M-Files Intelligent Search

How can artificial intelligence or AI in document management make your business run better? By making it more efficient, more accurate, and more secure.

Is it really possible for automation to make that big of a difference? It’s not only possible; it’s happening in organizations everywhere. Maybe it’s time for you to make it happen in your organization using the intelligent search available through M-Files.

How AI in Document Management Can Streamline Your Business

Nearly half of workers say that it’s challenging and time-consuming to find the documents they need. One huge advantage of an intelligent document management system is that it ensures documents are correctly tagged and categorized. When documents are correctly organized, finding them again when you need them is simplified.

Even if employees don’t know how, or forget, to classify documents, the automatic intelligence in M-Files can prompt them to input the needed tags and classification. This means no more lost or misclassified documentation. Everything is easily found with a simple search.

How simple?

If employees know how to use Google, they know how to find the right document. M-Files is equipped with an easy search function that is as simple as typing in the keyword and seeing the results.

But filing documents isn’t the only way M-Files saves time.

Create Structure From Chaos

Much of the information that comes into a company is difficult to organize and utilize. A great example is the volume of texts and emails that are received each day. Not only are these difficult to track, but it’s virtually impossible to use them in meaningful ways to help a business.

Until now.

Intelligent search can be used to sort through this previously disorganized tangle of data to predict which customers are likely to buy what product. It’s almost like having a crystal ball to give your company a competitive edge over the competition. This is a perfect example of the difference between intelligent information management and ordinary document management.

Use this information to create a follow-up list of clients who look to you to anticipate their needs and meet them. You’ll quickly create strong customer loyalty because now you’re not just selling products, you’re making their lives easier, too.

This kind of information can also be used to automatically create contracts that have auto-generated information. Think about how many times you have to put the same information into page after page in a contract. How much time would it save you to have that information already there?

Security Made Simple

AI in document management also simplifies compliance and security. M-Files intelligent search can scan and flag sensitive information. It can also protect that information from unauthorized requests, keeping it safe from hackers and data thieves.

Even with this information tucked safely away, you can still access what you need quickly and easily, anytime you need it, and from whatever device you are using. Now that’s intelligent information management!

We haven’t even touched on how much more secure information is when it’s not all printed out on paper for anyone to see. When it’s easy to use intelligent search to quickly find the data and documents you need, there is no need to print out sensitive information. Therefore, sensitive information is less vulnerable to prying eyes.

Less paper is good for the environment, but it goes far beyond that. Reducing paper saves money, increases efficiency, and improves security. It’s a seemingly minor thing, but it makes a huge impact on your business.

Streamlined Processes for Easier Workflows

Intelligent search makes everyday workflows easier and faster. Take the hiring process as an example. First, resumes can be searched for specific keywords that show needed qualities or skills for the position. Finding the right candidate is suddenly much faster.

Upon hire, the employment contract can be pre-filled with information about the new employee that was previously gathered during the hiring process.

As that new employee learns the job, the system can prove automatic prompts so that tagging and categorizing of files aren’t skipped or forgotten. There are also fewer errors, redundancies, and misplaced files because the document management system watches for these things and notifies the employee when a possible mistake is made.

Taming the Chaos Is Smart Business

It’s no secret that businesses are overwhelmed with information chaos. Smart businesses tame that chaos with intelligent information management powered by intelligent search to make day-to-day tasks easier than ever before.

Learn how to use all that chaos to your advantage by scheduling a demo today.

M-Files and Office 365

The M-Files Office 365 combination is just the ticket for saving time and improving teamwork for your company. On its own, MS Teams saves workers nearly a half-hour per day thanks to more efficient communications and fewer emails. That’s a big plus and one of the reasons teams love to use Office 365.

But there is still room for improvement.

When it comes to improved collaboration and saving time, the benefits are exponentially better when M-Files and Office 365 work together. In fact, users report saving as much as a full workday! What could your team accomplish with an extra day to work on a project? With Intelligent Information Management, you will be surprised at how much more you can get done in less time than you ever imagined.

M-Files Office 365 Integration

Your employees may balk at the idea of learning a new set of programs and tools. But implementing the M-Files Office 365 integration is simple and painless. Employees won’t have to worry about learning a whole new suite of programs because M-Files provides access to needed data, no matter where it’s stored, via the tools they are already using.

There is also no need for data migration. Using M-Files, information across multiple repositories can be easily accessed right from Office 365. If you have data stored on OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive, for example, it can easily be accessed through Microsoft SharePoint Online, Outlook, and Teams. Employees won’t need to navigate between different systems to find the information they need.

Not only can data be found easily, but with M-Files you also benefit from other content services, including cloud and on-premises repositories, version history, security, workflows, electronic signatures, compliance support, and more.

Ease of Use Means a Stronger Team

Not only is it easier for employees to find what they need, but it’s easier to collaborate on projects because they can continue to use the interface they know and feel comfortable with. This saves time and allows them to focus on the work at hand, instead of figuring out how to integrate projects so everyone can work together.

More work in less time means fewer headaches and higher productivity. At the same time, the digital workplace is enhanced with stronger business process automation, governance, and compliance. How would your organization benefit from this home run combination?

Security Made Simple

Security of sensitive information can be simplified in several ways. One is the elimination of paperwork. Automated workflows make the need for paper nearly obsolete. In turn, this greatly minimizes the possibility of important papers ending up in the wrong hands or even lost on someone’s desk.

Another security measure is that only the people who should see specific data have access to it. Users simply tag WHAT the document is, and pre-determined M-Files metadata permissions provide access to those who need it no matter WHERE the document is located.

You can also automatically set up permission for sensitive documents based on an individual’s access rights. There is no worry of information being passed to the wrong people, making compliance a breeze.

Flexibility and Productivity

Office 365 and M-Files is the perfect partnership to promote productivity while ensuring flexibility in your organization. Employees get easier access to what they need for seamless collaboration, without having to learn a whole new suite of products. Instead, they can continue using the Office 365 products they already know and depend on to complete important tasks.

M-Files automates workflows by managing, organizing, and connecting the right information to the right people. Projects such as contract approvals or other processes are completed more quickly and efficiently with less chance for errors. Flexibility and productivity actually fit together for a more positive work environment overall. Your employees will appreciate it and so will your bottom line.

If you’re ready to learn more, download our eBook, Combining Microsoft Office 365 and M-Files, and schedule your demo with Laminin Solutions.

OCCU Says Working With Laminin Is Like Having Your Own Office Guru

“To have someone that is so knowledgeable … is just priceless.”

Jo Kelso

 

CONTROLLER AT OKLAHOMA

CENTRAL CREDIT UNION

Products Used:

INTERJECT®

Epicor Services

Industry:

Credit Union

OVERVIEW

Oklahoma Central Credit Union was founded in 1941 with 27 charter members. Today, they have over 45,000 members and 10 branches. With the mission statement of, “Make a difference in the lives of our employees, members and the communities we serve,” OCCU understands the value of making each of their members feel like family. Perhaps this is why they have been clients of Mark Thibodeau of Laminin Solutions since 2006.

 

PERSONALIZED INFORMATION MANAGEMENT CONSULTING

OCCU started using Epicor Enterprise in early 2006 and it has been their core accounting system for the entire bank. Over the years, Mark has provided Epicor installation, training and support, and custom applications. Recently, he recommended Interject to replace Microsoft’s FRX as their financial reporting software. The choice to switch to Interject was partially due to the strong relationship that Mark has built with the credit union.

Even when they upgrade their accounting software someday, “We will get a system that is compatible with Interject,” said Jo Kelso, Controller at OCCU.

 

Why? Because they want to continue working with their personal “guru,” Mark, who has made them feel like his mostimportant client over the years of their working relationship. “He will definitely have an input on any future software purchases.”

UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF A CREDIT UNION

Mark knows how to make OCCU feel special. Jo says her team appreciates that Mark is always responsive, and always available when they need him. He’s solved the unsolvable problems, worked weekends, and helped Jo’s team learn how to use their software. Mark is like a part of the team.

“You always feel like you’re their only client,” says Jo. “We have never run across anything that Mark hasn’t been able to fix.”

Relationship longevity has other benefits as well. Jo and her team don’t just feel special. They also have the best solution for their unique needs because they work with someone who has expertise in what they do. Mark didn’t just sell them a system; he connected them with the right system that would provide exactly what the credit union needed, because he knows what they do just as well as they do.

Mark understands the special needs of his clients and works from a “let me help you” standpoint, not a “let me sell you” standpoint. When it comes to building strong business relationships, that makes all the difference in the world.

BEST OF THE BEST SERVICE

When asked what Jo would say to others considering Mark and Laminin Solutions, her answer came easily.

“I know there are a lot of people who will tell you they know how to do X, Y, and Z. When Mark says he can do it, he isn’t just saying he’s seen it or been exposed to it. If he says he can do it, he’s a guru at it. To have someone that is so knowledgeable … is just priceless. He’s so responsive and takes his job seriously. He’s the best of the best.”

And Jo would know about being the Best of the Best. Her people live it every day.

“We know who our boss is. Our boss is our members and we do everything we can to provide them a great experience.”

Not only does OCCU provide amazing service to their members, but in 2019 they were also awarded a Diamond Award for their website, which recognizes outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry.

The main focus of Oklahoma Central Credit Union is to make a difference in their community. Maybe that’s why they appreciate working with a company who cares about making a difference in their business. That’s why they continue to work with Laminin Solutions.

ABOUT LAMININ SOLUTIONS

Optimize Information | Connect Solutions

Laminin Solutions offers integrated document management and workflow automation products and services that improve efficiency, allowing your business to run smoothly every day. The Laminin team has decades of experience with business, systems, and processes and can help you unlock your business information.

Why AP Automation With M-Files Is a Winning Combination

AP automation is a no-brainer when it comes to enhanced efficiency in the workplace. How much time does your company spend on the AP process gathering invoices, keying them into your accounting system, routing them to the right people for approval, and getting them paid?

Maybe the better question is, how much time could be saved if these processes were automated? And what could your business do with that extra time?

AP automation with M-Files can give you that extra time and more. Would these benefits help improve your organization?

Higher Security with AP Automation

The typical AP process involves paperwork, and a lot of it. Unfortunately, the more paper you have floating around, the more your company’s security is at risk. Think of all the personal information that is easily accessed on just one W9. The average company has far more than W9s on file.

Think about what could happen if the wrong person had quick access to the file cabinet where your company keeps employment applications, background checks, driver’s license copies, and more. It only takes a moment for this vital information to be compromised. What a nightmare!

Now, what if you were able to get rid of that vulnerable file cabinet? If you could save this critical information electronically, it would immediately become more safe, secure, and convenient. You might think this scenario just went from a nightmare to a dream, but it’s not just a dream. M-Files can make it a reality by protecting your company from security breaches. All this sensitive information can be stored in electronic locations that are highly protected with multiple layers of security.

Higher Efficiency

We already discussed the time savings when you don’t have to gather all the invoices, and then input, route, and pay them. But you can also create more efficiency by eliminating the filing and locating of vital paperwork. This not only saves time, but it virtually eliminates the possibility of misfiling due to human error.

Consider this. The average worker spends 18 minutes searching for a document. That may not sound like a lot, but the average worker also shares an average of six documents a day. If they have to spend about 18 minutes looking for each one, that’s one hour and 48 minutes a day that is wasted. Multiply this by the number of employees, and that a lot of wasted time each day that could be put to better use. Don’t you agree?

Cost Savings

Wasted time equates to wasted money. The average cost of filing a document is about $20. But the average cost of misfiling a document is $125. In fact, the average cost to keep that antiquated filing cabinet maintained is around $1500 per year. It all adds up to unnecessary expenses.

Did you know that Gartner estimates that roughly 1 to 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on printing costs? That comes out to about $150 per employee. Even if you only have a few employees, that is a cost that can be whittled down considerably with AP automation.

AP automation with M-Files can save your company up to $5 per document while it also reduces errors by as much as 30%. You can do the math and see how this would improve your bottom line. Cost saving is easier than increasing revenue, but you can probably make the jump and realize that revenue will also increase due to more efficient workflow.

M-Files and AP Automation

M-Files and AP automation will help you pay invoices quickly and efficiently, while saving you time and money, safely and securely. It makes it simple to transition to a paperless system and is intuitive to use. Manage your AP process anytime, from any device you choose.

Wondering how to automate business processes with Intelligent Information Management? Download our eBook.

It’s time to schedule your M-Files demo with Laminin Solutions.

Microsoft SQL and M-Files Integration Enables Complex Applications

M-Files integration

Many organizations have discovered the power of using M-Files to deliver connected content and intelligent automation. This Intelligent Information Management tool uses metadata to manage structured and unstructured data in a single platform, securing, controlling, and enabling document workflow. M-Files integration with enterprise systems can be a powerful combination.

Often in the same organization, you will find Microsoft SQL Server in use with many applications using it as a back-end database. More and more reporting and AI applications, such as PowerBI, are focused on harvesting the valuable information in the databases. This wide use means SQL-based skills are readily available in the organization.

The question is, as a developer, how can you capitalize on the power of SQL Server to readily access and interact with M-Files?

The Power of SQL and the Magic of M-Files Come Together

MFSQL Connector is a certified M-Files add-on that connects M-Files with SQL Server. This tool, developed by Laminin Solutions, enables you to combine the data management power of SQL with the intelligence of M-Files to control information with metadata. With MFSQL Connector, you can update and process metadata seamlessly between M-Files and SQL Server. You can use any development platform to access and work with MS SQL tables, views, functions, and stored procedures to build your application and interact with M-Files metadata. MFSQL Connector keeps the data in SQL and M-Files in sync.

This connection empowers the developer to create applications that require complex data integration or flexibility to meet changing requirements on the fly.

M-Files Integration With SQL Applications Explored

The ability to update and process metadata seamlessly between M-Files and SQL Server means that MFSQL Connector has provided the framework for a variety of real-life applications. These examples are just a few.

Scan Capture Integration

MFSQL Connector has been used to integrate scanned documents. Getting scanned documents into M-Files and classifying them can be easy. However, using scanned documents in backend applications may require development. For example, perhaps you wish to trigger workflows based on the characteristics of the scanned data. Or you may wish to merge scanned data with other external data.

Using MFSQL Connector and the power of SQL Server, you can match the scanned images to the correct objects and metadata. MFSQL Connector gets the new file object from M-Files and passes it on to SQL to perform the complex operations. Once completed, MFSQL Connector moves the result back into M-Files.

Online Quote System

This application, enabled by MFSQL Connector, is a complex quotation system. On a customer portal, customers can explore project options and confirm the quote. The confirmed quote is posted directly in M-Files to complete the remainder of the sales processes. Tables in SQL provide the rules and conditions to determine the pricing of the project.

Online Special Stock Orders

Another application in which MFSQL Connector plays a role is an online ordering system. In this case, the connection is between the inventory managed in M-Files and the online ecommerce cart. A real-time connection ensures that the customer receives notice of inventory availability and, once the order is placed, a sales order is initiated in the SQL database.

CRM and Email Management

In this application, MFSQL Connector provides the link to manage complex contact relationships between M-Files, SQL, and the bulk email system. M-Files is used to manage contacts, customers, and prospects and information such as regions, industries, interests, and purchase history. Using MFSQL Connector, the contact data are synchronized with SQL where views and queries are used to create the desired selection. The selection is passed on to the email contact database to be used in a campaign. Campaign data are then passed through SQL to update records and synchronized with M-Files. Users have complete access of the email campaign history in M-Files for future use. 

Learn More About MFSQL Connector

These are just a few of the applications that MFSQL Connector has enabled. If you would like to learn more, watch our on-demand webinar, MFSQL Connector Value Proposition, or visit our MFSQL documentation and download page.

What Is Workflow Automation?

What is workflow automation? Well, it’s not some high-tech process reserved for giant corporations. Any business or organization can benefit from some form of workflow automation.

Workflow automation is, quite simply, the elimination of mundane manual tasks by automating them. This creates a consistent workflow that isn’t prone to human error. It also frees up time to focus on working your business instead of doing administrative tasks.

Types of Workflows

There are undoubtedly countless types of workflows that vary based on the needs of each business and organization. However, there are also some workflows that are common to almost every organization.

For example, making changes or updates to documents, getting those changes approved, and then filing the updated documents is a typical workflow. In a manual workflow, this can create a bottleneck by an inconsistent updating structure, failing to get updates approved in a timely manner, or simply filing the updated documents incorrectly.

An automated workflow solves these problems by making sure updates are structured properly, automatically forwarding them for approval, and getting them filed correctly, without the potential for human error in the process.

Think about a document that needs multiple approvals. Instead of one employee having to track down each person for a signature, each person can be immediately notified that the document is ready for approval. After approval, the document can automatically move on to the next step in the process. You can see how this would make everything move more quickly, leaving time for other important tasks.

Other workflows that benefit from automation are accounts payable, sending sales emails, onboarding employees and contractors, budget approvals, and more. Virtually any administrative task can be improved by workflow automation.

What Is Workflow Automation? A Collaboration Tool

Beyond just the day-to-day work processes that are simplified by workflow automation, employees benefit because it makes collaboration and communication easier.

Just as important as updating and getting approvals on documents, employees can update collaborative projects with ease, allowing everyone on the project to have the most up-to-date version instantly.

Documents are accessible in one place so no one has to worry they can’t remember where they saved it. If employees can do a Google search, they can do a quick document search and find it in seconds.

Employees can also take advantage of built-in communication tools that make it simple to work together even when they can’t physically be together. Of course, when collaboration is easy, it’s more likely to occur. This translates into higher quality work as well as employees who are happier.

Why You Need Workflow Automation

Overall, workflow automation results in faster, more consistent work output. This brings greater satisfaction to customers and employees alike. Automation means less chance of errors throughout the process and within the finished product.

This alone could give you the edge over your competitors.

Other benefits of workflow automation include:

  • Higher data security
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced customer wait time
  • Higher accuracy
  • Fewer lost documents
  • Better compliance

All these features translate into a higher ROI for your business while also saving resources and improving internal and external transparency. There is no downside to workflow automation!

If you’re ready to see how workflow automation can improve your business processes, schedule a no-obligation consultation. We’ll listen to your specific needs and determine the best system for your company.

What Is Workflow Automation

Seeing is believing. When we show you a demonstration of how M-files adapts to your business, you’ll be ready to dive into workflow automation and watch your business get even better.