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It is rare that we are on top of all our email correspondence, mostly due to the sheer quantity. Ever since email was invented in the 1970s, the daily number has been climbing. In fact, it is predicted that by 2022 there will be 333 billion emails sent per day!
That is enough to put any normal worker into a state of panic.
If you work in an industry where important documents are emailed to you, then your burden is even greater. That is not even including email inquiries that come from digital marketing, such as through your website.
In a short amount of time, your inbox can be overloaded. Scan-to-email was a brilliant idea and continues to be useful. However, if you have to manage those emails yourself, where you would save time scanning, you will lose time filing.
It is time to learn about three big advantages of workflow automation, automating email, and how it will save your inbox from exploding.
From the beginning, email was about helping people communicate and collaborate. Somewhere along the line, it got jumbled up with marketing and company-wide memos. That means your inbox is bombarded with a constant stream of "communications."
If you are tech-savvy, you can set up your inbox in an intelligent way so that emails of different types and subjects can be filtered. You can even set up automatic replies and forwarding. That doesn't reduce the email burden, but it does help you have a sense of control.
How much better would it be if some of those emails never came at all? How much better would it be if the information you wanted did not come via email, but was intelligently stored somewhere else that you could access through SharePoint or another cloud-based service?
Automated workflow is a valuable tool with many applications, with a focus on using it instead of a process like "scan-to-email."
It is possible to develop automated workflow so that important documents are scanned and filed automatically in a way that you can search documents and retrieve the information you need when you need it.
That means instead of receiving an email with a document attachment multiple times a day, you will receive a notification that you can access searchable documents at your leisure that are intelligently filed and accessible by all the right people.
Scanning a document and emailing it takes time. If that process is repeated for multiple pages and documents, it can take a lot of time. Plus, if the machine that is doing the scanning is being used for something else, such as copying and printing, it can take even longer.
It is true that you now have a digital form of the document, but that does not mean the document is filed for future access or is even searchable in any way.
It also does not mean that the document is in a format that you want. If you have to convert the format so that is more collaboratively-friendly, it will cost you hours that you will never get back.
Automated workflow can be set up to follow a pre-defined set of decisions that will ultimately save you in the long run. You and your coworkers can focus on tasks that really matter and make a difference to you and your business.
If you receive an email with a document attachment, you can search your emails to find that document, but it's unlikely that the document name will be in the subject heading.
Instead, you may have to search by date. Once you have located the document, you will likely file it according to your own filing system.
Automated workflow can be set up to make sure your document is scanned first using optical character recognition. It will make your document searchable in a format of your choosing, such as PDF. This automated process means that you can search a database for keywords or references, which will then return the most accurate documents, saving you the hassle of trying to figure out the exact way that the document was filed in the first place.
Automated workflow can be set up so that scanned documents are text searchable and filed in a repository in an intelligent manner. You will be able to access digitized important documents quickly, accurately, and conveniently.
The advantages don't stop there. Now that you have your documents in a database like this, it allows others to access those documents, and for you to effectively collaborate with them using those documents. That is where you want to spend your time, working and not searching.
Automated workflow and automating email are brilliant tools for improving access to important documents in an intelligent and time efficient manner. Don't let yourself burn out from an exploding inbox.
It is impossible to keep up and track all your documents using old techniques. Get in touch with us to see how we can integrate automated workflow into your work processes and email management. This will help you harness the best technology and be more productive in your work.
We provide many other document management and storage services, as well as IT managed services. You can find more about our services here.