Consider this: It’s 7:00 p.m. and your boss is breathing down your neck to finish the job in an hour’s time. This gives you a panic attack. All the papers are scattered on the table and the very thought of searching for the required document gives you goose bumps. You faint and the boss gives you the pink slip.
Ever thought about working in an office which is paperless? Well, if you haven’t, then the time has come to change your thinking as paperless office has no longer become a willing suspension of disbelief.
Happiest Minds Technologies was quick to take advantage of this and took the plunge to make many workflows paperless. Account payables, accounts receivables, contract and legal teams have digitized their workflow.
At the same time, the groundwork has been laid to digitize everything in the HR department. This will become operational in the second half of 2016.
When did the idea strike Happiest Minds Technologies to make departments in the office paperless? Talking about the old system, Darshan Appayanna, CIO, Happiest Minds Technologies says, “When the exit process is triggered on the last working day of employees, they carry a couple of sheets of paper and meet the finance, IT, facilities, and HR team to check if any dues need to be recovered or paid. Completing all the checks from the departments, it finally gets signed."
This caused a lot of frustration and wastage of time as employees had to run from pillar to post.
So, what did the company do? “We automated work through the common workflow platform called ‘Smile Sign’. Our workflow platform is our primary foundation, which has been built to ensure that anything which needs audit trail is routed through the workflow mechanism in order to have efficient access to information,” says Appayanna.
Before digitization in finance, when it came to approval of cab service, everyone would send an email and fill up a form where they mention the pickup route. But now, there are routes which are defined in the system and once it goes to the admin, they will do the allocation. If they are fine with the workflow, they will give an approval.
With respect to travel and expense management, “We have made sure that people don’t have to submit physical copies of bills. Scanned copies are accepted. At the same time, re-imbursements and expense settlement are also digitized.
Also, any invoice which comes from the vendors are digitized and accessed by the finance team. Unwieldy folders have become a thing of the past. Appayanna says that people are not wasting time to open a storage room to search for files or dig out invoices.
Coming to the HR department, the company has begun to automate employee dockets. “We are introducing a new platform where, at the time of joining, people can send their digital copies of mark sheets instead of taking a printout,” says Appayanna. This platform is ready, and will be rolled out by the second half of 2016. The advantage is that everything is searchable.
Appayanna, says: “It reduces bureaucracy as people don’t have to run around. They can do the work at their own convenience.”
Appayanna said that, earlier, when the auditors were in place, the finance and HR team spent a lot of time searching for documents. “Now we give them access to our repository, which is catalogued. When any paper comes, it is uploaded and tagged appropriately with the reference number to a particular department. With this, they can search with the reference number and get the listed documents they wish to look at.”
It has been a year and three months since the company launched this project and they have gained fruitful dividends. Highlighting a major gain, Appayanna says, “We have saved $175,000 yearly in terms of documents being made available and acceptable at any time.”