When it comes to improving processes, forms are one of the biggest opportunities for
businesses of all sizes to take advantage of! An instant productivity booster, forms can be
re-engineered to match the inputs of your systems to save you time on each input – and
in business, time IS money.
In a previous company I worked for, there were numerous forms for similar or even the
same purpose! It was so confusing and just to find the correct form was a task in itself.
Let’s see how re-engineering your forms can optimise your business processes, potentially
saving you massive amounts of $$$!
Your layout of your forms should have a logical flow, obviously. But should also be
engineered to match your system that information will be inputted into.
Information that is needed frequently should be on the front page.
All fields are to be clear, in simple fonts with enough space for the informational
Does a field need to be in that form? Really??
Some forms contain the same things over and over and over again and is oftentimes, one
of many forms in a particular process. The purpose? Risk minimisation? Necessary? Not
Repeated information sometimes defeats the purpose, even creating more work than
required – resulting in more time spent (read: money lost).
If you have a look at your forms, are there any forms that have fields that are not entered
anywhere? Or maybe some that aren’t used for anything? These are a time waster from
the client’s perspective and also the businesses perspective – the business itself and the
productivity for the employee. Are there opportunities to improve? Most likely yes.
- How to – user guides
Are your forms complex? Insert a single page with information on how to fill the form out,
providing definitions or what information goes into each of the fields.
Results: Save employees time answering the same questions of how to fill it in, or saves
the phone calls just to ask what a word means in the context.
- Appendix of forms
Do you have numerous forms in your business? Create an easy, simple and clear guide to
what each of the forms are used for, who uses the forms and a form identifier. Make sure
old forms are archived and removed from the frontline user’s access to ensure the use of
the most up to date forms are always used.
Benefits to your customer
Better customer experience,
Reduces objections and, if applicable;
Benefits to Employees
Reduces rework, and;
Improves time to input.
(Saves in employee costs, reduces frustration, confusion, and possibly training costs)
Benefits to the business
Improves business profitability,
Is just so simple!
Do it for yourself!
You can do it for yourself if you have the time. This is how we approach it depending on
the context (very high level):
Revise current document > Assess system that information is inputted into > time the
current process (completion and system inputs including reworks or additional
information requested) > review the document according to what is needed/not > re-
design the document > test the new document (completion and system inputs) > re-time
the process > calculate to showcase the cost saving effect this has within the business.
Illustration of savings: Example.
An optimised form can (in this hypothetical example) save a total of 5 minutes per form
per employee. At an average wage (for this example) of $60/hr. $5 is saved each time the
form is used and inputted into the system. The process is undertaken 4 times a week. $20
x 52 weeks = $1040 annually per employee. Now multiply this by the number of
employees, in this example (which is lesser than some real life applications) 400 =
$416,000 annual savings just for optimising a simple form. Now, if you have multiple
forms, you can see how this adds up!
Want to save money in your business, big or small? At Pathways to Business we are your
go-to business form engineers. Engage with us at Pathways to Business for your
document re-engineering needs. A small investment for a possible large return. Quote
‘LinkedIn’ to receive a handsome discount!
Once again, thank you for reading! I hope it inspires creative thoughts on how you can
optimise your business! I know it was a bit longer than normal and had a maths
calculation in there – so please excuse me.
I hope you enjoyed the read!