Let’s first start with the basics. We must first define workflow in order to understand how it is affecting your business. Simply put, a workflow consists of a sequence of connected steps to accomplish a goal or task. More or less, business processes from start to finish.

Think about how many hands a document goes through from the start of a process to the finish. For example, a document starts out in life as a customer support representative filling out a form. The form is then handed off to a manager, who must approve the accuracy of the form. The form is then passed onto an executive for approval of action. Once the action is approved or denied, the form comes back to the manager, who then returns the form to the representative who filled out the form in the first place. This is a pretty simple example of workflow. Workflows can take many more steps to complete, and any link in the chain can hold your business back.

Here are some common workflow issues to be aware of:

Gaps in Information

If you’ve ever received a sticky note on your desk stating “Come talk to me,” with no mention of who the note is from, you’ve experienced this kind of gap in information. The same thing happens every day in large corporate offices. When a document is missing information, it needs to go back to the source to fill in the gaps.

Misplaced Documents

We’ve done some pretty interesting research on how much a misplaced document will really cost your company. This is a huge hang-up in workflow, and it is a problem that we at eFileCabinet have worked very hard to remedy. The less time you spend searching for documents, the better.

Agreements and Invoicing

This one can go hand-in-hand with misplaced documents. Many times businesses don’t do work for their clients because they are waiting on payments or waiting on approval of agreements. It is often the case that the only reason the invoice hasn’t been paid is simply because it hasn’t been sent, or it is sitting on a manager’s desk for approval. It happens more often than you might imagine.

Absent Employees

This is an obvious hang-up in terms of workflow, but it’s worth mentioning. The business will only run if every cog and gear is doing its job. If one of the cogs or gears is missing, the job simply cannot be done, and the business cannot run as efficiently as before. There are a million reasons your employees might be absent, and not everything can be planned. If possible, it is important that you prepare for these days ahead of time.