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Ashlee Dinsmore

How to Simplify and Automate Claims Processing

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How to Simplify and Automate Claims Processing 

The first insurance company in the U.S. was established in the 1700s. When you look at insurance claims paperwork today, you get the impression that the process hasn’t evolved much since then! 

Processing traditional, paper-based insurance claims can be time-consuming with slow turnarounds. For the customer waiting for their insurance payout, paper claims are frustratingly slow and can ultimately degrade trust and loyalty. It’s time to bring the insurance industry into the 21st century and deliver experiences that customers expect.

The Problem with Traditional Insurance Claims Processing

Traditional insurance claims processing comes with a wealth of challenges. Customers either have to fill out a mountain of paper forms and documentation by hand or click their way through screen after screen of digitized forms that still require manual entries for every field. Filing claims and supporting paperwork is only the beginning of the process, after which claims adjusters and other personnel have the tedious job of manually handling and processing the stack of documents. 

This manual approach is time-consuming and prone to errors and delays. Misplaced or lost documents can result in longer processing times — and frustrated policyholders. Furthermore, the paper-based process often requires multiple touchpoints and manual handoffs between different departments and individuals. This can lead to miscommunication, duplication of efforts, and a lack of visibility into the overall claims process. Ultimately, this inefficiency can translate to increased costs for you and a poor experience for your customer.

Why Automate Claims Processing?

In today’s competitive insurance industry, a good customer experience is paramount. Insurance companies must take customer service seriously or risk losing business to someone who does it better.

One way to solve the challenges associated with insurance paperwork is to automate claims processing. By digitizing and automating document-intensive tasks, insurance companies can streamline their claims processing, reduce errors, lower costs, and improve overall efficiency. Let’s look at some key benefits of insurance process automation.

Streamlined Document Creation

Document automation technology lets you generate digital claims-related documents such as forms, letters, and reports that are automatically populated with relevant policyholder information. Pre-defined templates and integrated data guarantee the uniformity and accuracy of your documents. Digitized documents eliminate manual data input and minimize the potential for errors and inconsistencies that often arise when manually keying in data. Document automation lets you create entire document packages in minutes, saving time and resources.

Personalized Communication to Policyholders

Insurance process automation allows you to personalize communication with policyholders by dynamically populating customer-specific information into documents. You can address policyholders by name and provide custom content based on their claim or other unique information, improving the overall customer experience and cultivating stronger relationships between insurers and policyholders.

Online Self-Service Options

Today’s digital-first customers have high expectations for accessing and managing their insurance information and demand convenient online self-service options. You can integrate insurance document automation into online and mobile self-service portals where policyholders can submit claims, track their progress, and access important documents instantly. These self-service options empower policyholders, decrease the need for manual assistance, and ultimately improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Increased Efficiency in Handling Claims

Insurance process automation streamlines the entire claims handling process, from initial intake to final settlement. Claims adjusters can use automated workflows that provide step-by-step guidance, ensuring that no crucial tasks or documents are overlooked. By automating some of the most time-consuming documents required in the claims process, your team can work with greater speed and precision, resulting in cost savings and satisfied policyholders.

Reduced Workload

When you automate claims processing and the many documents that come with it, you free up time for insurance professionals to focus on higher-value tasks. By removing the need for manual data entry, document creation, and other repetitive administrative duties, claims adjusters can shift their attention to activities that require analytical thinking and innovative problem-solving. This not only boosts the job satisfaction of insurance personnel but also increases the overall efficiency and productivity of the claims handling process.

Improved Overall Customer Experience

Perhaps the most significant advantage that comes when you automate claims processing is the improvement in your customers’ experience. By reducing processing times, minimizing errors, and providing self-service options, you can deliver a faster, more efficient, and more transparent claims experience to your policyholders. This ultimately leads to higher customer satisfaction, increased loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

The Future of Insurance Document Automation for Claims Processing

The future of automation in insurance claims processing looks promising. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms, insurers can extract valuable insights from large volumes of claims data. This leads to more accurate risk assessment, fraud detection, and improved claims decision-making. Advancements in natural language processing (NLP) and optical character recognition (OCR) enable you to automate complex tasks, such as analyzing unstructured data in medical records or processing handwritten claim forms.

Integrating insurance document automation systems with other technologies, such as customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, can further enhance the claims processing workflow, streamline data sharing, and improve overall operational efficiency.

Use S-Docs for Insurance Process Automation

It doesn’t take a major system overhaul to automate your insurance claims process. Many insurance companies are turning to insurance document automation solutions like S-Docs to modernize their systems. S-Docs, a robust document generation and automation platform specifically designed for financial and insurance companies, lets you create, generate, and manage a range of claims-related documents, such as policies, endorsements, and settlement letters. 

While it doesn’t yet include origami and paper mache features, S-Docs does offer powerful template creation and data integration capabilities and provides advanced workflow automation features that enable you to design and implement customized claims processing workflows, including e-signature collection. This ensures that all necessary tasks and approvals are completed promptly, reducing processing times.

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February 21, 2024

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8 Apps to Optimize Salesforce for HR Departments

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8 Apps to Optimize Salesforce for HR Departments

Salesforce, the top-tier customer relationship management (CRM) platform, isn’t just for sales and marketing. Its capabilities can help HR departments optimize their operations and boost productivity.

It may not be able to automatically make employees follow paid time off procedures or auto-fill your coffee cup when someone asks for an impromptu meeting, but it can make those daily annoyances a whole lot more manageable by taking the small stuff off your plate.

How is Salesforce Used in HR?

Salesforce provides HR departments with a centralized platform to manage employee data, track performance, and automate routine tasks. You can create custom objects and fields in Salesforce to capture important information such as employee details, performance metrics, which container in the employee fridge is *actually* theirs, and compensation data. Salesforce also seamlessly integrates with other HR automation software, giving you a comprehensive view of employee information. In addition, Salesforce's robust reporting and analytics capabilities provide valuable workforce insights. 

Advantages of Salesforce as an HR Automation Software

The primary purpose of human resources is to babysit and manage the employee experience in the workplace. You and your team can provide a better experience by leveraging the power of Salesforce for HR functions, allowing you and your staff to finally take a lunch break and optimize operations in several ways. 

Streamlining Processes

Reduce administrative burden by automating manual tasks such as employee onboarding, performance reviews, and that dreaded HR paperwork. By using Salesforce for HR automation, you free up your team to focus on strategic initiatives instead of office drama and mundane, repetitive activities.

Enhancing Collaboration

Salesforce provides a centralized repository for employee data, making it easier for teams to share information and collaborate across different departments and locations.

Improving Employee Experience

HR automation software provides self-service portals for employees, delivering a better employee experience. Employees can access their data, submit requests, and find answers to common HR-related queries, reducing the need for HR intervention during silly arguments routine tasks.

Making Data-Driven Decisions

Using Salesforce reporting and analytics capabilities enables you to analyze workforce data to identify trends and spot potential issues like employees pitching their pyramid scheme to co-workers, leading to more effective talent management and improved organizational performance.

8 Salesforce Apps for HR Departments

The Salesforce AppExchange offers many specialized HR automation apps. These eight top-rated Salesforce apps for HR will streamline your HR duties and help your team provide an exceptional employee experience. 

1. Recruiting App: TargetRecruit

A powerful recruiting app that seamlessly integrates with Salesforce, TargetRecruit provides end-to-end recruitment management. Its features, such as job posting, applicant tracking, interview scheduling, and candidate evaluation, help you streamline the entire hiring process, from recruitment to onboarding.

2. Applicant Tracking App: Bullhorn for Salesforce

Bullhorn for Salesforce is an applicant tracking system (ATS) that enables HR departments to manage the entire candidate lifecycle. Its features include resume parsing, candidate database management, interview scheduling, and reporting, allowing you to effectively track and evaluate candidates.

3. Employee Onboarding App: Releco HR One

Give new employees a great start with Releco HR One. This app automates and streamlines the entire onboarding process. It provides a structured workflow for new hires and allows HR professionals to manage tasks such as document collection, orientation scheduling, and training assignments. 

4. Performance Management App: OKRify AI

Leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to help employees grow by using the OKRify AI app for performance management. OKRify AI tracks performance and goal management by allowing you to set objectives and key results (OKRs), track progress, provide feedback, and evaluate employee performance. 

5. Time and Attendance Management App: 2cloudnine

For time and attendance management, the 2cloudnine app integrates with Salesforce and provides features like clock-in/out, employee scheduling, leave management, and real-time attendance tracking. 2cloudnine helps you reduce errors and ensure accurate payroll processing.

6. Compensation Management App: Gecko HRM

Simplify the process of managing employee compensation with the Gecko HRM app. Its features include salary structure management, bonus calculation, variable pay tracking, and compensation planning to ensure fair and transparent compensation practices while enhancing employee satisfaction and retention.

7. Employee Training App: EdCast

Offer personalized learning experiences for employees with the EdCast app. This employee training app offers content creation, learning management, and skills tracking so you can create and deliver engaging training programs and enhance employee development.

8. Document Automation App: S-Docs

Jumpstart your HR automation initiative with S-Docs document automation. By seamlessly integrating with Salesforce, S-Docs allows you to generate, manage, and distribute documents such as offer letters, performance reviews, and employee handbooks accurately and consistently, saving your team valuable time.

Combine S-Docs and Salesforce for HR Automation

Salesforce offers immense potential for HR departments to optimize their processes and enhance overall efficiency. Salesforce insights give you the data required to make informed decisions, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies to enhance employee satisfaction and productivity. By leveraging specialized HR automation software apps available in the Salesforce AppExchange, you can optimize HR productivity and eat more snacks in your organization.

Combining the power of Salesforce for HR with S-Docs and human resources apps allows you to automate much of your day-to-day operations, freeing up your department to focus on higher-value work. Request a demo of S-Docs to see how it can enhance HR automation and streamline your document generation process. 

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Can AI Drive Operational Excellence?

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Can AI Drive Operational Excellence?

“How do you see AI shaping the future of operations?” 

Since we don’t have a crystal ball, we asked this question to some AI experts at our recent S-Docs virtual event, Operations Week 2023. A panel of AI experts spent an hour discussing the future of operations, how AI fits into an operational excellence strategy, and how to use AI to automate it.

This panel discussion included Anand Narasimhan, CTO of S-Docs, Jitendra Zaa, Associate Partner at IBM, Amruta Moktali, Chief Product Officer at Skyflow, and Scott Carruth, Chief Customer Officer at Sisense. Read on for an opportunity to learn from these industry leaders and empower your organization with the knowledge needed to optimize performance.

What is Operational Excellence, and Why is it Crucial to Today’s Businesses?

Kicking off the discussion, panelists discussed what comprises operational excellence. While there’s no strict definition of "excellence," all panelists agreed that certain aspects of an operational excellence strategy are universal — excellence cannot be achieved in any organization without consistently identifying and addressing operational issues and implementing continuous improvement across the board.

An operational excellence strategy is crucial to businesses because it helps them stay competitive in the marketplace. When companies optimize processes and automate operations, they gain efficiencies and opportunities for innovation. These improvements reduce costs so companies can reallocate resources toward research and development (R&D) and other avenues of expansion. 

How AI is Changing Operations

AI has been around for many years, and the panelists noted that large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT have significantly impacted the operational excellence strategy at their companies. AI’s transformative nature has optimized job roles and enhanced productivity in several ways.

  • Natural language processing (NLP) enables individuals to interact with computers in their language instead of programming language syntax, allowing everyone to interact with AI.
  • Automating administrative work frees up individuals to focus on more value-added activities instead of “administrivia” — those time-consuming but essential administrative tasks. 
  • Digital transformation using AI is a shift similar to the transition to software as a service (SaaS) technologies and will lead to new operational strategies and technologies.

In addition, the panelists pointed out the practical applications of AI in an operational excellence strategy, such as using AI to automate document generation, AI transcription tools to summarize meetings, and AI grammar checkers to proofread emails and documents as you type. 

Is Your Business Ready for AI?

Every organization seems to be eager to embrace AI. But the question is: Are they truly ready?

Before diving into the world of AI, companies need to lay the foundation. The panelists discussed the importance of having a clear use case and quality data. They talked about establishing AI governance to mitigate potential risks such as data leakage and intellectual property loss. Another important component is having stakeholder buy-in before embracing AI to automate operation. 

Interestingly, panelists say they’re seeing rapid adoption and experimentation with AI technologies by both large and small enterprises; they aren’t waiting to observe others' adoption before making decisions. The panelists’ advice on this point is to approach AI adoption in a controlled manner. Rather than diving in, companies should gradually integrate it into existing processes to ensure that there are no privacy issues before rolling it out to the entire organization.

How to Move Forward with AI in Business

Along with AI’s numerous advantages, there are some factors to keep an eye on. The panel discussed the lack of governance surrounding AI due to rapid advancements in the technology that have outpaced regulatory controls. 

The panel also discussed the potential for security and data privacy issues, stressing the need to be careful. They recommend establishing guardrails and controls about who can access personal data or intellectual property so this information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.  

Most importantly, when it comes to AI, “Don’t be scared. Just try it out,” says Amruta Moktali. “Start with a simple use case with non-sensitive data.” A measured approach to integrating AI into an operational excellence strategy gives teams a chance to experiment and set up their controls before they apply AI to sensitive data.

How AI Will Shape Operational Excellence

“AI is coming,” says Anand Narasimhan. “You just need to be ready for it.” It’s possible to achieve an operational excellence strategy without AI, but companies that are hesitant to use it will find themselves falling behind the competition. Automating time-consuming work with AI allows employees to focus on higher-value projects, driving innovation, growth, and long-term viability.

Leveraging AI for operational excellence begins by building trust with executives and owners and starting slowly. Don’t aim for a big goal; instead, go after the low-hanging fruit by implementing simple AI solutions that build efficiencies. Like any new technology, companies must crawl before they can walk or run. The important thing is to start.

Want more insight into operational processes? You can watch the entire S-Docs lineup of speakers, discussions, and success stories during 2023’s Operations Week. To learn more about how AI can automate operations, click here to watch the panel discussion, Can AI Drive Operational Excellence? and the rest of the Operations Week content.

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10 Reasons Native Apps are the Only Choice for Governments Using Salesforce

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10 Reasons Native Apps are the Only Choice for Governments Using Salesforce

Government agencies today embrace technology to serve their customers, but the apps they implement must also meet specific security and regulatory requirements.  That’s why many governments are turning to native apps that offer benefits like enhanced security, robust functionality, and user-friendly interfaces. 

Native apps can streamline your government operations, improve citizen engagement, and ensure data privacy. Read on to learn what native apps are, how they work with Salesforce, and why they are the go-to solution for government agencies using Salesforce.

What are Native Apps?

In software development, a native app is an application specifically designed and developed using programming languages and tools native to the platform they are intended to run on, such as iOS or Android. 

What is a Native Salesforce App?

A native Salesforce app is a platform-specific application built on top of Salesforce, a widely used customer relationship management (CRM) platform that provides organizations with tools and features to manage their customer data and interactions. Salesforce native apps process all of your data within Salesforce without transferring it to an external server.

10 Reasons Native Apps are the Only Choice for Government Organizations Using Salesforce

Salesforce native apps work seamlessly within the Salesforce ecosystem, using the platform's features and capabilities. This allows agencies to extend the functionality of their Salesforce instance and customize it to meet their specific needs, resulting in a smoother and more optimized user experience.

Let’s go over the 10 reasons these unique apps are the only choice for government organizations using Salesforce.

1. Data Security

Government organizations constantly handle sensitive and confidential data, and keeping that data secure is essential. Salesforce native apps are some of the safest ways for public sector organizations to deliver custom functionality on Salesforce.

Why are native apps so safe? Because they’re built into the very fabric of the Salesforce platform, whose stringent security measures make it one of the most trusted CRMs in the world. They leverage the mobile app security features built into the Salesforce platform to provide an added layer of security, including robust data encryption, access controls, and audit trails. Native apps operate entirely within your secure, partitioned instance of Salesforce, keeping your data inside the platform, protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access, and ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.

2. Regulatory Compliance

Your government organization is subject to strict regulatory requirements and compliance standards, so naturally, you need technology that meets government security best practices. Salesforce security features are backed up by audits and certifications that ensure they meet government standards, including:

Native apps use Salesforce's infrastructure and inherit many of its IT security controls, making compliance evaluations much simpler for your teams.

Now, Salesforce doesn’t cover every requirement for native apps, so some apps work with third-party organizations to assess compliance with non-covered security controls. For instance, S-Docs, a 100% native Salesforce app and a leading document solution for government organizations, worked with a third-party assessment organization and successfully completed a product evaluation for FedRAMP Moderate, DoD IL2, and DoD IL4 compliance.

3. Time to Value

Implementing new software solutions can be time-consuming and costly for government organizations on strict project timelines. Salesforce native apps are easily integrated with existing Salesforce instances, minimizing the implementation time and effort required, giving your organization:

  • Easier security vetting: Native apps only run and process data on Salesforce, a platform you’ve already approved.
  • Familiar Architecture: Composed entirely of Salesforce’s core building blocks, native apps are easier for implementation teams to deploy and customize.
  • Faster user adoption: Native apps blend with the look and feel of your Salesforce instance, making it easier for teams to learn and adopt them.

Native apps provide your organization with fast value to realize the benefits of the app and deliver value to constituents right away.

4. Flexibility

Salesforce Government Cloud is designed to meet the needs of federal, state, local, and defense organizations. Native Salesforce apps provide a high degree of flexibility, so you can customize and extend the functionality of your Salesforce instance to meet your specific needs. Since they’re built from the same tools as Salesforce, fitting them into custom workflows — including look, feel, and functionality — is much easier than with non-native alternatives. 

An example of this is S-Docs, which can be easily plugged into any custom process or Salesforce-powered platform to automatically create pixel-perfect government forms, applications, and other documents. Even away from the office, S-Docs and the Salesforce mobile app offer security and flexibility that enable you to adapt and evolve your processes as your needs change over time, ensuring that your software solution remains aligned with their business objectives.

5. Performance

When you are dealing with large amounts of data and complex workflows, app performance is critical. Salesforce native apps run on the Salesforce platform with no server latency to external systems, ensuring your organization can process and analyze data fast so you can make informed decisions and provide timely services to your constituents.

6. Reliability

Your company can’t afford software outages or disruptions when customers need help. Salesforce native apps rely on Salesforce servers so they're always up when Salesforce is up — which is almost always. This makes native apps more reliable than externally hosted apps that may experience unexpected downtime. This kind of reliability allows you to deliver consistent and uninterrupted services to your constituents, fostering trust and confidence in your ability to fulfill your responsibilities.

7. User Experience

An application that provides a good user experience makes it easier for employees to learn how to use it and complete their work more efficiently and intuitively. The advantage of native Salesforce apps is that they are designed with a focus on delivering a seamless user experience that mirrors the look and feel of Salesforce and fits into existing processes, so they don't feel like an external app. With a shorter learning curve, employees have enhanced productivity and greater user satisfaction, enabling your company to maximize the value of its software solution.

8. Salesforce Expertise

Salesforce is a complex platform, and fully leveraging its capabilities requires specialized knowledge and expertise. Native apps are developed by Salesforce experts who have in-depth knowledge of the Salesforce platform and its features. You'll be supported by a team that understands your use cases, and you’ll have access to a community of Salesforce experts who can provide support and guidance, further enhancing the value of the app. The S-Docs team is led by a former Salesforce Director and Technical architect and supported by former Salesforce employees and technical architects.

9. Simplicity/Scalability

Native Salesforce apps are designed to be simple and easy to use, even for non-technical users. They offer a user-friendly interface that blends with the existing Salesforce user interface and intuitive workflows that minimize the learning curve. These apps are built to be scalable because they leverage Salesforce's enterprise servers/resources to function, ensuring they can accommodate increasing volumes of data and users without sacrificing performance or user experience.

10. Future-Proof

Technology evolves constantly, and your government organization needs software solutions that can keep up with the pace of change. Since native Salesforce apps are built on a platform that is continuously updated and enhanced, the apps must update when Salesforce does to ensure they work with the platform’s latest functionality. Non-native apps that are focused on other platforms may fall behind because they don’t face the same urgency.

These future-proof native Salesforce apps mean that your software remains up-to-date with new features and functionalities as they are released.

S-Docs: 100% Native Document Automation built on Salesforce

As a leading provider of document generation solutions for government agencies, S-Docs is a 100% native Salesforce app built directly on top of Salesforce to leverage its features and capabilities. S-Docs provides government organizations with the ability to easily generate and distribute documents like agreements, contracts, reports, and invoices directly from within Salesforce, eliminating the need for manual document creation and reducing the risk of errors or inconsistencies.

With S-Docs and its native integration with Salesforce, all generated documents are automatically linked to the relevant Salesforce records, providing a complete and auditable document history. S-Docs offers additional features such as template management, electronic signatures, and document automation and offers on-the-go mobile app security when integrated with Salesforce mobile.

Ready to learn more about how S-Docs can benefit your government organization?

Request a free demo today!

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Advice from The Experts: Architecting Operational Efficiency in 2024

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Advice from The Experts: Architecting Operational Efficiency in 2024

Operational efficiency has become a key differentiator for organizations striving to stay ahead of the competition in an unpredictable business landscape. Yet operational excellence doesn’t just happen — you have to choose to put it into action. 

In S-Docs’ recent virtual event, Operations Week 2023, we brought together operations experts from a variety of organizations to discuss building operational efficiency in our panel, “Becoming an Architect of Operational Efficiency.” The conversation delved into the importance of operational efficiency, where our operations gurus shared real-life tips and experiences and offered advice on implementing operational excellence at your workplace in 2024. 

Read on for key takeaways from the panel discussion, moderated by Anand Narasimhan, CTO of S-Docs, and featuring Chris Fellure, founder of Mile High Dreamin’, Eric Dreshfield, founder of Midwest Dreamin’, and Gaurav Kheterpal, CEO of Vanshiv Technologies. 

Defining and Measuring Operational Efficiency

The panel began by polling each member’s definition of operational efficiency. While everyone had a unique perspective, the consensus was that operational efficiency is the ability to effectively use organizational resources to achieve desired outcomes with minimum waste. Functionally, it involves streamlining processes, eliminating bottlenecks, and optimizing resource allocation. 

Measuring operational efficiency is how your business identifies areas of improvement and tracks progress over time. As the saying goes, “What gets measured, gets managed.” Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) related to your organizational goals, such as cycle time, productivity, and customer satisfaction, can help assess operational efficiency and allow organizations to set realistic goals, track their progress towards achieving them, determine where they’re doing well, and where improvements are needed.

“Operations is what keeps the organization running on a day-to-day basis,” said Gaurav Kheterpal. “As far as measuring efficiency, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The goal is just to be able to measure it, report on it, and pivot if needed.”

Challenges of Aligning Technical Processes with Organizational Goals

Aligning technical processes with organizational goals is easier said than done. Whether you’re an enterprise-level organization or a small startup, different stakeholders can have different priorities, making it difficult for everyone to solidify a direction. This conflict is made worse by communication gaps found in many organizations. 

“How you communicate directly defines how you resolve your challenges,” said Gaurav Kheterpal.

You can address this issue by fostering a culture of open communication and collaboration. Easy to say, but hard to do, right? Yet opening up communication can be as simple as getting everyone together over coffee — or cocktails — and encouraging them to share their ideas.

“It's about leaders putting everyone in a safe space and saying there aren't any bad ideas,” says Chris Fellure. “Telling everyone, ‘We need to solve this, I’m not going to tell you what to do, but I want your input. Let's find the best path forward so we can build a solid foundation.’”

Companies that break down silos and promote cross-functional collaboration can bridge the gap between technical processes and organizational goals.

The Building Blocks of Operational Efficiency

Operational efficiency requires organizations to focus on a familiar framework: people, processes, and technology. 

Building Block: People 

People are the heart of any organization, so it’s no surprise they’re essential to operational efficiency. Your team must be willing to engage in conversations about what your organization’s goals are and how to reach them. You need to develop a culture of continuous improvement and be willing to challenge the status quo. When you empower employees to take ownership and contribute ideas for improvement, operational efficiency can be significantly enhanced. 

It’s also important to be mindful of the holistic employee experience and ensure your team is enabled with the tools and knowledge required to do their jobs efficiently and gain satisfaction from their work. A happy team will always perform more effectively.

Building Block: Process

Efficiency also requires a good process. You can’t just throw tools at the end goal and hope you reach it. You have to establish how you’ll achieve your goals and empower users to own that process.  

Building Block: Technology

Technology plays a pivotal role in designing and executing efficient processes and helps streamline operations, reduce manual errors, and improve overall operational efficiency. Though there isn’t one single technology that improves every situation, several discussed below are notable.

The Role of Technology in Designing Efficient Processes

At this point in the 21st century, technology will always be a part of business. More than 70% of senior leaders believe digital technology is essential to revenue, product development, customer engagement, and strategic operations.

The question is, what technology do you need, and what’s the best way to use it? 

Automation

Companies use automation to eliminate manual, repetitive tasks and free up employees' time for more value-add activities. Automation has become so valuable that more than 50% of companies were estimated to incorporate its use in 2023. 

Imagine you have a task that normally takes you two hours to complete. Can you use automation to complete it in 20 minutes instead? If you can, you’ll have the time to think about further strategic changes you can make throughout your organization. 

P.S. If you’re ever curious about how much time you spend on paperwork, take our quiz to find out!

Data Analytics

You can analyze data to identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. For instance, analyzing customer data can help you identify customer preferences while tracking key performance indicators, enabling you to monitor progress toward achieving operational efficiency goals. 

“Data should be the whole source of everything and where all the decisions come from,” said Eric Dreshfield. “Looking at the data that you have and analyzing the story that the data is really telling you will help drive the decision-making process.” 

Collaboration Tools

Collaboration tools facilitate effective real-time communication and collaboration among team members across your organization. Collaboration tools have become essential with the rise of remote work and distributed teams, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards common goals. 

The tricky part of collaboration is to keep communication from becoming a distraction. The last thing you want is your employees saying, “This meeting could have been an email.” 

Must-Have Technology Tools for Operations Teams

There’s no shortage of technology tools available to your operations teams, so you need to get specific about your needs and select the tools that align with your teams' goals. Here are some must-have technology tools for operations teams:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software: CRM software like Salesforce helps you track customer interactions, store customer data, and analyze customer behavior. It provides your operations team with a holistic view of customer information and facilitates effective communication between sales, marketing, and customer service teams, ensuring a seamless customer journey.

Hyperautomation: Hyperautomation is using multiple tools, such as AI and robotic process automation (RPA) to speed up processes and remove humans from the loop where possible. This reduces errors and allows your employees to get more done in less time. 

“Hyperautomation is when a machine completes a task more efficiently and with fewer errors than a human can,” said Gaurav Kheterpal. “That’s had a tremendous impact on the overall efficiency of organizations.”

Document Automation: Streamlining work with a document generation tool like S-Docs lets employees generate documents like contracts, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), or other agreements quickly so they can spend time on their other more valuable duties, like selling or supporting sales.

Prioritizing Solutions for Your Team

With so many technology solutions available, choosing the right ones can be overwhelming. Start by identifying the pain points and areas of improvement within your organization to determine your goals. Analyze your existing processes and workflows, and get your team members’ input in the decision-making process. Consider factors such as scalability, integration capabilities, ease of use, and cost, and prioritize solutions that address your team's most critical needs.

Balancing Technology and Collaboration

Building a culture of collaboration is essential for operational efficiency, and technology should enhance that collaboration rather than replace human interaction. Foster a collaborative environment and encourage your team members to actively participate in process mapping, problem-solving, and decision-making. By finding the right balance between technology and collaboration, you can unlock the full potential of operational efficiency.

Leadership in Change Management

Implementing operational efficiency initiatives often involves change management — supporting individuals and teams while implementing changes in the organization. Effective leaders often practice a form of servant leadership, where managers empower team members to perform at their best. 

An example of this is when a company needs buy-in from employees on a new technology. Employees may be resistant to adopting a new program like Salesforce because they’ve been using Excel spreadsheets for years. Companies can overcome resistance by designating a champion high up in the organization to use the preferred tool. When employees see managers embracing technology, they’re more likely to adopt it themselves.

Another example of effective change management leadership is to provide employees with the resources they need to effectively use the tools they have. That might mean after implementing a software tool like S-Docs for document creation, management provides training and the time needed to learn how to use the tool to its full potential. 

The Future of Operational Efficiency in 2024

Heading into 2024, operational efficiency will continue to be a critical factor for companies that want to have their best year yet. There are many pieces to the operations puzzle. However, you can start by focusing on data, technology, and leadership.

If you need more ideas, S-Docs had a remarkable lineup of speakers during 2023’s Operations Week, from keynote addresses to panel discussions featuring real-world success stories. For more inspiring insights on how to harness operational efficiency, click here to watch this panel discussion, Becoming an Architect of Operational Efficiency” and the rest of the Operations Week content.

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4 Ways Document Workflow Automation Increases Operational Agility

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4 Ways Document Workflow Automation Increases Operational Agility

As your company looks for ways to improve operational efficiency, one thing is certain: managing all the moving parts can feel like solving a Rubik’s cube. Once you get the red side lined up, you have to reconfigure the whole thing to get the blue side to fit as well (while likely messing up red and other colors in the process!).

Luckily, solving a Rubik’s cube is easy! Er, well…

While solving operational Rubik’s cubes isn’t simple, it is possible with the right tools. Using document workflow automation, you can speed operations and connect departments, teams, and customers so you all work as one smooth-sailing unit.

The Mess of Manual Workflows

Manually pushing paper or formatting digital documents slows and complicates business tasks. From document creation to storage, each step in manual workflows comes rife with human error, delays, and potential miscommunications - especially when multiple departments are involved. Instead of solving the puzzle, you and your team find yourself endlessly flipping the same edge of the cube.

With innovative technology solutions like document workflow automation, monotonous cycles of filling in a contract’s tenth “Company Name” field become simple, one-click shortcuts that enable you to jump from step to step without a single copy & paste.

Taking Steps Toward Modern Document Workflow Automation

Automation is en vogue — 44% of organizations are currently implementing automation to better connect processes and experiences. The journey toward solving modern document workflow automation begins with a systematic approach:

  1. Identify your critical needs: Analyze which aspects of your business would benefit most from automation. Consider both high-volume tasks such as invoice processing and nuanced activities like contract approvals.
  2. Select a tailored solution: With numerous software options available, you want an intelligent document automation solution that aligns with your industry needs and scales with business growth.
  3. Engage stakeholders: Include key players in the decision-making process – those who will interact daily with the new system can provide valuable feedback on usability considerations.
  4. Prioritize integration: Ensure your chosen platform works seamlessly with existing tools to support collaboration across departments.

These steps help you create an environment ready to obtain operational agility through intelligent document automation systems. 

4 Ways Automated Documents Increase Operational Agility

Let’s look at four important automated document management benefits that enable you to line up all colors of the Rubik's cube.

1. Document Creation

Document workflow automation makes it quick and easy to generate brand new documents. Instead of a series of 10-20 clicks (and a bag of animal cookies) to spin up a new document, you can get the job done in just one click (and one cookie!), using: 

  • Templates: Standardized templates in predefined structures guarantee formatting, brand consistency, and content consistency.
  • Data integration: Data can be integrated seamlessly from different databases such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems like Salesforce or software applications, so every document contains up-to-date information.
  • Conditional logic: A single template can produce different automated documents depending on the conditions, like different products or customer types. 

2. Revision and Collaboration

Automation also offers faster review cycles that keep individuals and teams in sync so documents are sent error-free: 

  • Collaborative editing: Multiple team members can simultaneously edit and review documents, with all changes happening in one place, eliminating the risk of using the wrong version.
  • Version control: All edits are meticulously tracked over time for transparency and accountability.

3. Distribution

Automated document distribution runs in the background, improving organizational efficiency while your team accomplishes more important tasks (like snacking on animal cookies?). 

  • Send Triggers: A finalized document can be instantly sent for signatures, distributed to recipients, or stored in your database or file system based on criteria you define. 
  • Automated reminders: You can also set automated reminders to recipients, ensuring your contract doesn’t get buried in their inbox — and keeping you on schedule.

4. Finalization and Storage

Once your document is in the right hands, you can complete your workflow automation with valuable features like:

  • Electronic signatures: Finalize documents faster by signing and counter-signing with e-signatures — a major crowd-pleaser for both customers and employees. 
  • Secure storage: Automated documents can be securely stored and retrieved on-premises or in the cloud, while meeting data retention policies — without storage facilities or file rooms. 
  • Regulatory compliance: Stay in compliance with regulatory bodies by securely managing data, maintaining client confidentiality, and using encryption and access control tools.

Advantages of Automated Documents

Automated workflows offer advantages to stakeholders throughout your company. Document management benefits include:

Streamlined Access and Organization

With intelligent document automation, it’s never been easier to put your hands on the exact piece of paper you need, exactly when you need it. And it’s never been simpler to log, track, and follow up on documents waiting for review or signature.

Robust Security 

Your company’s most sensitive data is protected by advanced security encryption. Controlling access is as simple as specifying who can view a document, what information they can see, and what edit permissions they have.

Sustainability and Cost Savings

Document automation reduces major office expenses by reducing paper consumption. No more piles of paper, no more waiting for the printer, and far fewer costly printing supplies. It also saves your team’s valuable time for more important tasks. Of course, you’ll need to watch the litter situation with all of those snack bags of animal cookies…

Document Workflow Automation: A Vital Piece of the Communications Puzzle

There are many moving parts in today’s business environment, and keeping all of those pieces synced up is a formidable challenge. Fortunately, S-Docs is here to help. We offer document automation solutions that help you solve the puzzle of peak operational efficiency.

Take a deeper dive by downloading our e-book, Mastering Customer Communications: Solving the Operational Rubik's Cube.” 

Request a free demo today!

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How to Set Up E-Signature to Simplify Business Workflows

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How to Set Up E-Signature to Simplify Business Workflows

Modern organizations must be agile and efficient to compete in today’s business environment. Forget about that old-school pen and paper (and the email-print-sign-scan-email process, which is almost as bad). Adopt the speed and convenience of electronic signatures to enhance overall productivity and responsiveness. 

In this blog, you’ll get a direct, simple guide on how to set up e-signature so you can seamlessly integrate it into your operations and accelerate your business workflows.

Three Benefits of Electronic Signatures 

Whether your organization is a small startup, a medium-sized business, or a large enterprise, electronic signatures can yield immediate benefits that your stakeholders will appreciate — the kind that might even make it into your Company Kudos Slack channel.

Three benefits of electronic signature tools include:

  1. Quicker Turnaround: Instead of waiting days or even weeks for physical documents to be signed and returned via postal mail (or printed, scanned, and emailed), e-signatures accomplish this task almost instantaneously. Contracts can be completed quickly, accelerating sales cycles.
  2. Reduced Costs: No more reams of printing paper or costly postal charges; implementing e-signatures cuts these peripheral expenses dramatically.
  3. Environmentally Friendly: Utilizing e-signatures is another way companies can show their commitment to sustainability—fewer trees chopped for paper production equates to cleaner air and a greener planet.

How to Set Up E-Signature in Six Steps

Setting up an electronic signature solution might sound like building a custom home, but it doesn’t have to be so complex. Here’s how to set up e-signature IKEA-style in six easy steps (and hopefully no leftover screws). 

1. Choose a Solution with the Right Features

Automation platforms are meant to simplify life, not complicate it. Look for solutions that have the following electronic signature features. 

  • Simple and Intuitive User Experience: Prioritize providers that offer a straightforward and user-centered platform. Navigation should be intuitive and collaboration should be a core element of the product. 
  • Cloud Native: With remote work becoming increasingly common, investing in cloud-native electronic signature provides enhanced security and document access from anywhere, anytime.
  • Salesforce Integration: Choose a platform that integrates with Salesforce and can pull data to dynamically fill and update documents — and write that data back to the CRM.
  • Customizable: Your chosen solution should be adaptable to the way your business works. That means customizable emails, signer profiles, automations, and workflows.

2. Build The Business Case For E-Signature — And Sell It

You’ll need to secure buy-in from key decision-makers to roll out e-signatures across your organization. To make a well-constructed business case:

  • Identify and Articulate Your Challenges: Start by outlining the current challenges your organization faces due to paper-based or manual workflows (e.g., excessive time spent on manual routing and approvals, lost or misplaced paperwork, and potential security risks).
  • Map Challenges to Concrete Business Benefits: Demonstrate how e-signatures can directly address these challenges and deliver tangible benefits (e.g., greater efficiency, less interdepartmental friction, customer satisfaction, and faster sales cycles leading to more revenue).
  • Strengthen Your Case with Real-World Examples: Provide specific examples from your business to illustrate the potential impact of e-signatures. For instance, “emailing documents back and forth for edits and approvals takes a lengthy 6 days. By implementing e-signatures, we can streamline this process and reduce turnaround time to just 2-3 days.”

3. Integrate E-Signature into Your Existing Tools and Workflow

Once you have chosen your platform and received buy-in from your organization, it’s time to implement the platform and integrate it into your teams’ workflows. If you’ve chosen a good platform, the implementation process itself should be very straightforward. 

From there, execute integrations with your Salesforce CRM, email platform, project management resource, and legal and compliance tools. Take user feedback into account while maneuvering through the electronic signature setup so you can make continuous improvements to the process.  

4. Set Up Automations and Customizations

Once e-signatures are integrated, look to add custom automations to provide further efficiencies and take full advantage of the electronic signature features available. For instance, you could automate follow-up emails for pending signatures, set up dynamic templates that pull data from Salesforce, or kick-off invoice creation using triggers you specify.

5. Ensure User Adoption

The implementation journey extends beyond installation or integration. Commit to creating a successful digital employee experience (DEX) by conducting training sessions, offering troubleshooting resources, and maintaining comprehensive documentation to actively foster adoption among employees. Ideally, choose a vendor that will engage with you in this process, ensuring everyone can make the most of the platform.

6. Measure Your ROI

Lastly, measure the return on investment (ROI) following the integration of your new e-signature technology. Increased efficiency, reduced costs associated with paperwork, and improved customer satisfaction levels serve as indicators of successful implementation. Remember – consistent tracking will give you the data you need to determine where improvements are necessary.

How to Set Up E-Signature with S-Docs

Discover the efficiency of streamlining business operations through electronic signatures with S-Docs. We offer a feature-laden platform that has all the benefits of a custom home, but only requires an Allen wrench. We prioritize simplicity and security to help your people easily adopt e-signatures into their workflows. 

With powerful analytical tools for tracking e-signature usage, S-Docs ensures your investment delivers value, allowing you to monitor efficiencies and optimize processes. Still not sure how to set up e-signature? Let us help. Request a free demo today!

See S-Docs in Action

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