How Office Automation Encourages Collaboration

Office Automation

Before we even dreamed about how technology would enable collaboration in new and exciting ways, Charles Darwin said, "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." Office automation improves access to information and that encourages creative problem-solving. All authorized staff has visibility into business processes that affect their jobs. Employees can look up information themselves rather than contacting someone in another department and interrupting them. This familiarizes them with team roles and responsibilities. With the addition of automated workflow, everyone involved has visibility into each step of a process and knows where it stands.

In a recent report Changing Behaviors: From Working in Silos to Working Collaboratively, Gartner Analyst Christie Struckman notes that “Working collaboratively requires a commitment by individuals and groups to do work in different ways, to make decisions differently, and to give up specialized and single-purpose resources.” She makes the point that creating an atmosphere where collaboration flourishes require a change in mindset as well of the use of technology. It’s about asking people to look beyond the duties outlined in their official job descriptions to consider how they can add value to the organization as a whole.

When your organization implements document management and office automation, all documents are stored digitally, and teams can make decisions based on the same document. They can annotate or edit it using versioning to keep track of changes and who made them. This eliminates the possibility of having multiple document versions related to one task, reducing errors and streamlining collaboration. Office automation also encourages greater accountability and facilitates an understanding of a process from start to finish. This engenders greater accountability and facilitates an understanding of a process from start to finish. 

Five ways document management technology enables teams to work together effectively

1. A document management solution used in one aspect of an organization can be adopted company-wide. When everyone uses the same digital tools, it promotes cross-functional training and teamwork. 

2. Mobile access to workflow processes eliminates communication barriers that arise when teams and departments are decentralized and geographically distributed. 

3. Advanced security protects data and intellectual capital while freeing up the flow of information for authorized users.

4. Document management solutions better define individual and collective roles by allowing members of work groups to step back and view their teams and organizations from a broader perspective.

5. Intuitive document management and office automation tools free knowledge workers from routine tasks and create more time for meaningful work.

How three DocuWare customers became more collaborative

Saving Time at Total Environmental & Power Systems, Inc

An accounts payable department at Total Environmental & Power Systems, Inc., a general contractor specializing in telecommunications, eliminated 20 hours of staff time per month that was spent tracking down invoice approvers who were out in the field at job sites. Working from mobile devices keeps the accounting processes flowing smoothly for quicker turnaround time and improved cash flow.

“DocuWare Cloud allows us to do our jobs a lot faster. I can see where in the process each invoice is and easily know who I need to nudge to keep the system flowing,” explained Controller Pam Souza.

Enabling Employees to Work On their Own Schedules at OnPoint Custom Homes

OnPoint Custom Homes is one of Houston’s top builders. In the construction industry, project managers spend much of their time at a job site coordinating with subcontractors, ensuring building supplies are delivered and keeping the build on schedule. However, the project manager is also responsible for keeping an eye on the financial side of each build so reviewing and approving invoices on time is business critical.

“I have one project manager that likes to do all his paperwork from home, late at night. Working with DocuWare allows him to enjoy dinners with his family, and he can keep the work moving forward once the kids are tucked in for the night,” Office Manager Carmen Spruill said.

Aligning with Lean Methodology at Tillamook Bay Community College

Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) is a small college serving students on Oregon’s rural coast for over 30 years. TBCC is committed to continuous improvement through the Lean process, which seeks to minimize wasted time and resources, define what is valuable, and focuses on improving the processes that provide value. Each department has at least one trained person who can facilitate Lean methodology which has resulted in a culture embracing positive change.

Before implementing DocuWare, the college did a Lean analysis to determine how much of an impact electronic document management could have on the college. The results showed a significant time, and organizational savings were waiting to be realized. Additionally, the solution could be customized to serve curriculum development needs.

Once the college had developed their community of DocuWare users and felt very comfortable with the solution, they were ready to tackle their curriculum development needs with DocuWare. The Instructional department started digitizing all their curriculum documents including; syllabi, course outcomes, guidelines, and other documents and standardized their curriculum in accordance with college accreditation standards and guidelines.

“As each department came on board, we discovered we were building a DocuWare user’s group that was willing and able to assist as more departments came online,” said Ray Hoyt, Title III Project Director for Tillamook Bay Community College.

Implementing a document management and workflow automation solution increases opportunities to share ideas about process improvements. Central offices, remote workers, and geographically distributed teams have access to equal knowledge for complete process transparency.

Find out more about the benefits of office automation by downloading our ebook, The Human Value of Office Automation. 

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Topics: Team Productivity


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