Jack Weakly
Author Archives: Jack Weakly

Process Efficiency for TribalNet

We are excited to attend TribalNet starting Tuesday, November 12th. Our experience working with organizations of sizes and types has taught us the hallmarks of successful projects and those tell-tale signs that automation is necessary and underutilized in most business processes. Taking a look at a few larger Indian tribe websites, or a quick google search for Tribal Enrollment/Membership Verification returns PDF files that would require a printout, then scan and email or fax back. Tribal membership is a sophisticated process and unique for each tribe. A simplified but automated business process can make those important documents associated with the process easy to access and be secure for both the benefit of the member and the tribe. Automated workflows can also kick off personal interactions allowing communication on what documents or time commitments might be required as one moves through an enrollment or verification process. Our experience working with the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington State is something we are looking forward to sharing in more detail with attendees. Come see us at TribalNet booth #211.

Automate and Accelerate

Deciding to replace a document on a website with an electronic form is as simple as collecting or capturing the customer information in a user-friendly format. Most of us have personal data saved in our browser, making it a few clicks away from completion. If your customer has already found the web page relating to their needs, it’s a logical next step compared to working with a PDF that was intended for printing.  What happens next with the information collected? A few years ago, the best next step may have been sending an email to a help desk staff member with the collected information, then a duplicate effort begins where the customer information is keyed into another system. Today initiating a workflow with an electronic form is completely reasonable, and possible next step for automation. Connecting back-office systems and customer-facing interactions reduces the time employees spend duplicating each other’s work and gets your organization closer to its potential for automation while accelerating customer interactions. In the coming weeks, we’ll cover the basics of eForms, and then a deeper dive into second and third phases of eForms automation.

Are PDFs or online files costing you money?

A quick search of state and county websites for PDFs often returns a wealth of results. Anything from DMV forms, to records requests and background checks, are available. It seems reasonable that one would use the form to communicate with the state or local organization. It may appear to be an automated process because it’s a file versus a printout, but it’s broken. The other consideration is the cost of automation. Does it matter if the individual interacting with the PDF form or the website doesn’t like the experience? (For some research on the PDF user experience check out this study https://www.nngroup.com/articles/avoid-pdf-for-on-screen-reading/) It may not matter to your organization, and that’s OK. The reality is that the organization is reliant on a broken process too. The customer fills out the form, only for it to arrive in nearly the same state as a paper document. Extracting the information or initiating the next steps (or workflow) automatically is an achievable benefit that is not addressed by posting a file on a website. The duplication of work costs an organization money. On average companies and organizations miss half of the automation available to them by partially addressing broken processes. On average a full-time employee spends 20% of their time duplicating the effort of someone else (https://bit.ly/2plDdVK), costing the employer about $14k per employee per year.

Migrating Content-Our experience and our best practices

ImageSource has worked with countless customer partners over the years to migrate data and we have developed a map with known roadblocks, detours and great short cuts to get to your data to its destination intact.

  1. Understand your current system customizations. Over years of use, most organizations optimize/tweak/work around the abilities of a repository or content destination. ImageSource devotes time upfront to document the workflow and use cases of your users. This helps IT decision-makers clearly understand user’s needs, any trade-offs, limitations or improvements that await your migration project. Documenting requirements and limitations, sharing them with users and stakeholders and delivering to them create user acceptance.
  2. Consolidate components. Migration projects are the opportunity to rethink the complex route your data and documents take, in addition to user access utilities and document security tools. Our experience shows organizations have a mix of tools from a mix of providers solving a mix of problems. Going through the planning processes and working closely with a technology partner like ImageSource will reveal opportunities to reply on a single platform or a reduced set of tools for your migration and future document/data storage. This reduces costs, reduces downtime and improves security.
  3. Enable your data. Are your documents fully searchable? Is the taxonomy relevant to user behavior? Are documents in multiple locations? One thing we consistently see is a meaningful document management system already in place, users look for content in it by searching their self-determined keywords and when documents are not found by the user in that single location they are found elsewhere (most likely a departmental file share), then they are saved to a desktop and emailed to a colleague or external recipient. Apply OCR to content to create full-text searchable documents; apply policies to locate and remove multiple documents from multiple network locations; and implement integration to your organization’s established security policies. These examples, to name a few, can save your users hours searching for “lost” documents, reduce wasted storage space, and improve data security.

For more on our experience guiding migration projects successfully check out this link https://bit.ly/2IpKiLL

Migrating Content-The Road Trip

You’ve decided to migrate your content from the repository (or ECM, or Document/Data Capture Solution) you’ve had for decades to a new platform. It’s a bit like deciding to drive your family to the Grand Canyon for a vacation. Easier than it used to be. No stopping at AAA for maps, no plotting the course and hoping there’s a safe motel available when you arrive. You’ve got a robust data plan, Google Maps, Hotels.com, all of it easily managed with no landline for miles.

But you still have to do the drive. The kids are still in the car seated next to each other, within fingers reach, you run out of things to say to your spouse, and something will go wrong. Flat tire perhaps?

Imagine your organization easily chooses the right new platform. Is your current hardware compatible? You’re going virtual-Does the cloud provider meet your organization’s security standards? Does your ECM system have connectivity with the new destination? Is there an email or document sharing integration? Are there security mechanisms in places to prevent external sharing by document type or user? Internal sharing controls? Do you have collaboration needs/utilities to enable? Can that ancient system no one is ready to replace get documents or data into your new system?

Are we there yet?