The time-saving benefits of workflow automation

The time-saving benefits of workflow automation

Distractions, delays, disruptions — three things that the modern organisation battles on a regular basis. All three can interrupt important processes, waste scarce resources and derail productivity.

That’s why it’s important to take every advantage at your disposal to counteract inefficiencies wherever possible. Workflow automation technologies are the ideal solution that streamlines document processes and earns you back valuable time over the course of your workday.

Here, we’ll explore the ins and outs of the document workflow and how you stand to gain from automation.

Why you need to optimise your document workflow

You might be surprised by the amount of time that employees waste managing, filling out and retrieving documents. More than half of office professionals spend more time looking for documents than they do on other critical tasks like answering emails or messages.

This is especially true for businesses that still rely on paper-based systems, such as physical filing cabinets and hardcopy documents, where employees must comb through stacks of paperwork. Even worse, pen-and-paper recordkeeping is incompatible with the hybrid work model, which Forrester predicts most organisations will adopt in the near future.

According to their research, fewer than 1 in 5 organisations are ready to meet their employees’ future collaboration and knowledge-sharing needs in the increasingly distributed work environment. Unless organisations start implementing meaningful improvements to their time-consuming document workflow, they risk wasting precious resources and hindering the productivity of their workforce.

Simply put, paper-based or ad hoc processes no longer suffice. Given the rapidly accelerating pace of business, eliminating inefficiencies is becoming an imperative.

Scanning automation: How and why it works

The good news is that there are tangible solutions that can optimise your document workflow and return valuable time back to your business. Because many document workflows begin with the digitisation process, let’s take a closer look at the technologies that can help you erase inefficiencies and reduce time spent at the scanner.

Here are some of the scanning automation tools you can use to streamline your digitisation process:

  • One-touch workflows: Brother devices can be customised with preconfigured workflows, allowing you to rapidly scan to destinations including email, cloud storage or a document management solution. Workflows also automate the process of saving your document, including file type and resolution. This not only saves time, but empowers workers to collaborate with ease regardless of their location
  • High-speed scanning to USB: Scans documents directly to a USB drive so you can take your documents anywhere or share them in a hurry
  • Mobile apps: Scan documents using the mobile device in the palm of your hand for quick and easy storage or sharing — a must-have ability when completing time-sensitive work
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Automatically captures physical data and generates searchable, editable PDFs. With an editable document, you don’t need to waste time correcting mistakes or rescanning paper. Best of all, OCR software is bundled with many Brother devices, making this technology highly accessible to your business
  • Barcode Utility: This tool streamlines barcoded-document processing through advanced routing technology. Files are saved to your location, automatically separating the batch of documents and saving files individually by recognising the barcode information
Mobile apps can be used to quickly scan documents or send them to a nearby printer.Mobile apps can be used to quickly scan documents or send them to a nearby printer.

A common misconception about automation is that it’s too expensive or complex for the average business. But with the right choice of device, such as one of Brother’s cutting-edge multi-function printers, these tools are made readily available and easy to use.

Streamlined document management

With the many tangible solutions outlined above, you can turn physical documents into actionable, searchable sources of data. By funnelling your hardcopies through the digitisation process and storing them in a digital document management solution, you stand to benefit in numerous ways:

  • Record retrieval: Storing documents in a digital format — especially if you’re leveraging OCR — cuts down on time wasted searching for critical files. Because everything is searchable, you can rapidly access important information and carry on with your workflow
  • Simplified compliance: If you’re not organised in how you store your documents once they’ve been digitised, compliance can be a challenging effort. By producing an automated audit trail and version history, document management solutions expedite the reporting process and reduce complexities
  • Faster collaboration: With all of your documents available in one centralised storage space — cloud services like OneDrive or Dropbox included — employees can access them from anywhere and quickly share them with coworkers, clients or customers
Workflow automation makes collaboration fast and simple.Workflow automation makes collaboration fast and simple.

The additional benefits of automation

Automation is far more than just a means to cut down on wasted time. By automating the document process, you stand to gain a variety of additional advantages.

Here’s a glimpse at how else you stand to gain from automated solutions:

  • Increased productivity: Less time dedicated to the document workflow means more time on critical business processes. This is also critical for unlocking the maximum potential of Australian hybrid workers. According to research from Telstra, “With the right support in place, employees can better balance their work (and productivity) with other commitments”
  • Employee satisfaction: Empowering employees with cutting-edge technologies makes their day easier, therefore increasing happiness and retention
  • Sustainability: Digital solutions are inherently more sustainable than paper-based processes. With more control over your document workflow, you can cut down on wasted consumables and reduce your carbon footprint

At Brother, we’re dedicated to equipping businesses like yours with the tools you need to optimise processes and increase efficiency. Our fleet of devices are equipped with workflow automation technologies that not only save time and money, but also empower you to maximise value at every opportunity.

Contact our team for more information about how we can streamline your document workflow.


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