Automation: A Stress Free Way of Life
Every time my husband and I go on vacation we hire our awesome pet sitter. As she only accepts checks, we always find ourselves at a scramble at the ninth hour trying to find where we last put the checkbook.
When this happens, it reminds us of the peace of mind that automated bill payments grant. We no longer worry about the logistics of paying a bill; we just need to make sure the funds are in the bank account when the bill is due. Also, we don’t have to worry about one of us accidentally paying the wrong amount or posting it late or the risk of miscommunication – (Does, “You paid it, right?” “No, I thought you paid it.” sound familiar?)
Your organization almost certainly relies on automation for some key functions to reduce errors and increase efficiency. Ask your payroll folks how many extra hours it would take them to run payroll on spreadsheets (or paper ledgers!).
What are you doing manually that cries out for automation? Here are some factors to consider:
- Frequency: look first at tasks that your organization touches frequently.
- Coordination: tasks that require input from multiple people can often benefit from automated workflow systems.
- Established practices: in-place, repetitive manual processes with clear rules that everyone follows are the low-hanging fruit of business automation, although a good case management system can incorporate flexibility as well.
- Risk: when the consequences of non-compliance are high, consider automation to reduce error rates, track performance against requirements and create a defensible system of record for your organization.
My company, Tagence, recently completed an automation project for Suffolk County, New York’s Records Management Center. We automated their record system to effectively handle both electronic and physical records using HPE’s Content Manager (HPCM – formerly known as HP TRIM or HP Records Manager).
Each county department, from the Police Department to Public Works to the Human Rights Commission, now can log into the County HPCM portal and request a records pickup from the County Records Management Center. Just like when my bank gets an invoice and a workflow is started, this request starts a structured workflow on the HPCM system and initiates the process that manages the records from labeling through ingestion, inventory, tracking, storage, retrieval and disposition.
We configured New York’s state records retention schedule into the Suffolk county’s new system, making it so records eligible for disposition will be automatically identified and presented to the records management staff for action. This brought the county into compliance with state requirements, and will reduce the cost of both physical and electronic storage over time.
The new system includes a layered security scheme that only grants access to those records each user requires, and maintains a full audit log of all actions taken on any given record. Because the software is fully integrated with Microsoft Office, the County staff can now declare records directly into HPCM. This has eliminated the need to save, print, scan or otherwise handle the record multiple times. Tagence even created pre-formatted templates to speed up data entry and maintain consistency of data across the entire county. The request, from start to finish, is accounted for at every step of the workflow.
With our help, Suffolk County is now looking at other processes that could be automated using the functionality of HPCM.
Now, as for my pet sitter, I don’t think she has the need for HPCM, but do you think I could get her on Venmo?
~ Click here to read Tagence’s Suffolk County Case Study ~
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