Online forms save time for administrative staff, improve accuracy and open up new possibilities including sharing data with other business software and using forms to initiate automated workflow. Built-in logic ensures all form fields are filled out correctly before the user clicks submit. In addition, outsourcing data entry to each person who fills out a form significantly reduces errors and eliminates time spent deciphering messy handwriting or tracking down missing information.
There are lots of other reasons for replacing paper forms and PDFs with an eform. Here are just a few examples.
1. Manufacturing: onboarding
A new employee fills out one online form and the data populates a W2, benefits enrollment, IT request and other employment forms.
The onboarding process includes industry-related training to be completed in the first four weeks of employment. Each week, new employees receive a form with links to online courses and other new employee information specific to that week. They complete the courses and take a test. Their score is recorded on a web form.
HR receives notification on whether each weekly assignment is complete, so they can follow up as necessary.
2. Insurance: underwriting and quoting
Previously, one multi-page paper form included coverage for employment practices liability, fiduciary liability, miscellaneous professional liability, and network security.
Now using DocuWare Forms and its built-in conditional logic, only the questions that are pertinent to the coverage that the broker is quoting are shown on the eform. Depending on their answers to initial questions, applicants respond to as many as 20 questions or as few as 5. Information is stored electronically, and company-side data entry is eliminated.
3. Healthcare: medical billing
At a medical billing practice that manages revenue for 100 physicians, their account follow-up team investigates when an insurer denies a charge. It may be a simple fix because of an address change or incorrect date-of-service. If the bill can be resubmitted, the team uses DocuWare Forms to document the change.
DocuWare also builds a list of adjustments, so the bill can be corrected and resent for payment. If a charge should be written off, the accounts receivable group completes an additional form designed for that purpose.
4. K-12 Education: parent portal
An online portal implemented in this school system enables students in grades 6-12, and their parents, to access grade books, attendance records, schedules and other information. Teachers also send parents progress updates via the portal. Parents use a web form to register for the portal online and receive an email with their username and password. Schools also use web forms to request information or schedule teacher conferences.
5. Leasing: new customer on ramp
All sales personnel bring tablets when visiting a customer site. They enter customer contact information, the lease term, and products ordered. The customer signs the online form. This authorization kicks off a workflow that notifies the warehouse that equipment should be shipped. The sales team is no longer traveling back and forth to the office with paperwork. This automation reduced turnaround time from order to delivery from 2-3 weeks to 4 days.
Why should you replace paper forms and PDFs with eforms?
- Save time: Free up a significant amount of time in contrast to paper forms usage. Electronic forms can be quickly and easily filled out and submitted online without requiring the use of physical storage or manual processing.
- Reduce spending: Save money on printing and storage costs. eForms do not require paper or storage space, therefore reducing the cost of printing and storing physical documents.
- Improve accuracy: Minimize errors and inconsistencies that may occur with paper-based forms because reduce the time wasted trying to decipher illegible handwriting or chasing down missing information when data fields are blank. Digital forms can also incorporate validation rules to ensure data is accurate and complete.
- Upgrade security: Provide an added layer of security compared to traditional paper-based forms. Electronic forms can be password-protected and stored on secure servers to safeguard sensitive data.
- Provide on-demand availability: Complete digital forms at any time from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows employees to fill out forms remotely, helping to streamline operations, and enabling team members to work from home or out in the field. Those outside your organization, like customers and vendors, can also complete these forms without emailing them or coming into your office.
- Be environmentally friendly: Reduce use of paper, ink and snail mail and your company’s carbon footprint.
DocuWare customers use eforms to resolve information challenges and take advantage of the benefits of automated workflow. Your team will no longer waste time bringing paper documents from desk to desk. Digital signature capabilities make online forms even more useful providing a contactless way to get forms completed. By combining electronic forms with digital workflows, you can launch follow up tasks, escalations and alerts based on whether a form has been submitted. Uses for electronic forms are as varied as your business needs. If increased profitability and improved productivity are your goals, then eforms are right for your company.
Editors note: This post has been updated and new information has been added.