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What Are E-Forms And What Do They Mean For Manufacturing?

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What Are E-Forms And What Do They Mean For Manufacturing?

For as long as business processes have existed, there have been forms to fill in. If you’re a business owner in any industry, you will understand the frustration of filling in dozens of forms (particularly for anything legal or government related) just to get one simple thing done. But for the manufacturing industry, with its huge volumes of paperwork, this problem is magnified tenfold. That’s why, over the last few years, the business sector has been working on a way to reduce the complexity of filling in those necessary forms, freeing up some much needed time and reducing all of those pesky errors. The result — E-forms.

What Is An E-Form?

An E-form is a fairly simple thing – it’s an electronic version of a paper form. It might not sound like much, but this simple thing can have huge benefits. Aside from eliminating the cost of printing, storing and distributing pre-printed forms, and the wastage of obsolete forms, e-forms can be filled out faster because the programming associated with them can automatically format, calculate, look up and validate information for the user. Combine that with digital signatures (where paperwork can be signed directly from the computer instead of printed out, signed and scanned back in) and routing via email, approval cycle times can be significantly reduced. Not only that, but with electronic submission of completed forms you can eliminate the cost of rekeying data and the associated errors.

For businesses, the creation of e-forms was a huge leap forward, but amazingly, there are still those who don’t utilise them fully, if at all. E-forms allow businesses to eliminate the need for paper from the very beginning, dramatically cutting down on cost and environmental impact from many different perspectives, from ink and paper cists right through tot storage and destruction. They also be integrated with your core business systems seamlessly, so there is no need for massive IT overhaul just to enable them. Using e-forms for your business has been proven to improve data accuracy and provide a very quick return on investment, all while being easy to design, set up and use. And thanks to digital signature technology, they are completely legally binding.

 

For The Manufacturing Industry

For the manufacturing industry, this small change can have a huge impact on productivity, efficiency and workflow. In an industry with so much paperwork, the number of forms that have to be generated and signed in single day is mind blowing. For example, paper based systems mean that every contract, along with all of the terms and conditions paperwork for it, is manually generated and filled in by hand by the sales rep. This often involves copying out client data from their systems onto the page, which then has to be signed by the customer and sent back to the offices for processing. At that stage, someone within the business must take that paperwork, enter the details into the electronic form on the system and send it off for processing. But E-forms take away the middle man, and instead allow reps to enter client information directly into a digital form with the client present. This reduces time spent going back and forth, lowers the risk of errors in data entry and eliminates unnecessary paper from created in the process. Not only that, but once the form has been filled in and checked by the client, they can sign it electronically as well. This not only means less paperwork to send around and get lost, or to be incorrectly entered into the system, but can dramatically increase the speed of all paperwork based processes, leading to faster manufacturing and happier customers.

At Tipac we help business owners from all industries, including manufacturing, to realise their potential with e-forms and digital signatures. Using our unique workflow automation and e-form software, we can tailor our solutions to suit your needs, giving your flexibility and control where you need it most. For more information, or to book your free demo, get in touch with the Tipac team today.