Having a pool of cars for official purposes is a usual practice in organizations. These cars are available for use by employees once their request has been approved. This sounds quite simple, right? Fill up a paper form, wait and wait and then, surprise, surprise!! Your request has been rejected because there was an error with your form. As we said, very simple but not quite efficient and streamlined. Simple is only good if it is also powerful. However, paper or digitized forms are not enough to ensure this process does not waste time.
At present, the process is mostly paper based, and in some cases, makes use of digitised version of paper forms. It is easy to assume that digitising your forms will solve any efficiency issues. While this may be true for single step process, a digital form is not much help in multi step processes. This means that even with digitized forms, vehicle requests and their approval is a time taking process. Records need to be either manually updated or are available in large spreadsheets. Another issue is the availability of vehicles. There can be limited number of vehicles, less than the number of requests. So, it becomes essential to have a mechanism that prioritizes the requests. These decrease the efficiency of the process.
This is where automation comes in. It removes redundant steps of the process and replaces them with automated workflows. Communication channels are empowered and data is made available in real time. Below we discuss some benefits of automating this process
1. Efficient and powerful process
What we need to understand is that the current method manages to get your work done, but uses more resources than necessary. These resources can be money, time, personnel or something else. When employees request for a vehicle, a form is filled and forwarded to relevant authorities for approval. When we think about it, it can be seen that the time that it takes for this form to go from point A to B is significant. With paper forms, this time is easily noticeable. However, even digitized forms are not very efficient. Emails are the medium used here and it is possible to miss a particular email. Data from the forms serves no purpose than to populate large spreadsheets. When you introduce automation into the process, you get access to forms that not only maintain record of who requested for a vehicle and when, but also have information about the distance covered by your vehicles, which ones need maintenance etc. The form is easy to fill, and relevant authorities are instantly notified via SMS, app as well as email.
2. Data that is actionable and insightful
At present, the data that is gathered from this process is very generic, viz who applied for a vehicle, when was the application filed, duration etc. This data gives an admin no insights, and is not very helpful for improving the process in any way. With automated modules, like the one from IBISM, you get forms that are comprehensive and capture insightful data. You can integrate your vehicle’s GPS with the module to get mileage data. The app will remind you regarding vehicle maintenance once a certain parameter (mileage or time) is met. Users can also see which vehicles are used most often, average fuel consumption, frequency with which employees request for these vehicles, whether a single employee is requesting vehicles on a daily basis and other insights which are helpful in deciding budgets and other decisions.
3. Increased visibility of task progress
There is no tracking mechanism in place for this process. Similar to other paper or email based processes, it is impossible to track the progress of your request. The only option is to manually follow-up with the relevant people. We do not need to tell you how inefficient that is. When this process is automated, users can track task progress in real time. As soon as a request is filed, notifications are sent to the approving authorities. Approvals are expedited with the help of real time analytics as the latest data needed for approvals is readily available. With task tracking, identifying and removing bottlenecks also becomes easier.
Vehicle requests may seem like a minor aspect of the admin processes, but that does not mean it should be inefficient. A chain is as strong as its weakest link is a saying that also holds true for business processes. Revenue and resources saved here can be utilized to improve your business in other areas, preferably with automation. If you have doubts about this process, or about automating other business processes, check out our other blogs or contact us. We will be happy to answer all your queries. You can also sign up for a free demo and we will get in touch with you.
Published on May 31, 2018