PlanetPress for Work: Transactional document Paper Trail
Workflow is a term, like many, that is used to describe many processes. I think that before looking at workflow processes I need to define workflow, in a way that works for me.
The process I want to focus on is the “transaction document paper trail” for two companies transacting business. Workflow in this case is the flow of paper between companies and through their systems.
Typical Business Transaction
As we know, businesses are always looking at ways of automating business processes. Think about a normal B-to-B business process from a transaction perspective in terms of steps.
1) Customer sends a PO to the supplier (Paper by mail? Fax? Email PDF?).
2) Supplier enters PO in the accounting system (manual).
3) Supplier creates shipping documents (delivery receipt and shipping labels), usually printed.
4) Customer receives product and accepts delivery (signed delivery receipt becomes proof of delivery).
5) Supplier posts transaction in the accounting system and an invoice is created (Paper by mail? Email PDF?).
6) Customer receives Invoice and “workflows” it manually for approval.
7) Customer posts the transaction in their system (manual).
8) Customer pays the invoice, most commonly by cutting a check, that is printed and mailed.
I could have missed a couple of steps, but what a lot of paper going back and forth?!
Using Electronic Document Management
The most common workflow automation I have seen is customers implementing a document scanning, capture, approval workflow and storage system. Electronic Document Management (EDM).
So the question becomes, how do you connect the original transaction, from the accounting system, to the EDM system? The answer is usually, SCAN IT because it’s paper. The PlanetPress technology removes this very manual step and facilitates delivering the documents electronically.
How PlanetPress comes in
PlanetPress can augment the EDM system by taking care of document composition and delivering documents electronically or via mail based on the customer preference. PlanetPress can also jump the scanning step by pushing documents directly into EDM for workflow and approval. For documents that require signature, PlanetPress can even eliminate paper for, as an example, delivery receipts by pushing documents to tablet technologies for almost instant collection of the all-important “proof of delivery” that kicks off the invoicing process.
PlanetPress becomes an excellent complement to such a system, reaching back to the transaction data that the transactional document is created from in the first place.
The faster you invoice the faster you get your money!