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Workflow optimisation strategies for the public sector

Our guide to optimising workflows so essential public services can be provided more efficiently.
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Professionals in the public sector provide essential services. Optimising workflows will ensure these services are delivered more efficiently. 

As the landscape of the professional world continues to evolve, workflow optimisation strategies in the public sector evolves with it. Where workflows once contained large volumes of paper and physical documents, paperless processes are now becoming more common in environments such as hospitals where doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals regularly use tablets and other smart devices. Similarly, administrative processes within governing bodies that once concerned stacks of paper are now being completed online using e-signatures and other digital processes.

In the public sector, productive workflows are priceless as professionals
need to provide essential services such as healthcare, public transportation, education, and law enforcement. In the UK alone, productivity in the public sector remains at 7.4% below pre-Covid-19 levels. 

However, paper-based operations remain a key day-to-day feature of many workflows in the public sector. A tricky balance between going paperless where possible and streamlining essential paper processes must be struck in order to optimise workflows.

Industries within the public sector can achieve this balance by investing in reliable printing devices and content management software. By adopting modern workflow optimisation strategies through tried and tested solutions, they can make the switch between the physical and digital worlds a seamless, hassle-free process that leads to maximum productivity and security.

What are workflows?

A workflow is a clear sequence of tasks that provides a roadmap towards the completion of a specific goal. These tasks pass through different phases, such as planning and completion, before leading to the next task in the roadmap. If a workflow is successful, the objective that has been clearly defined in the project planning stage will be achieved before the established deadline once the sequence of tasks has followed its course. 

By implementing workflows as part of a project planning strategy, professionals can guarantee that processes are executed with maximum
efficiency and productivity
. As the sequence of actions is clearly defined,
the possibilities of human errors and areas where vital tasks may slip through the cracks are eliminated. 

In addition, a logical order of steps and responsibilities allows clear communication channels to flow as uncertainties surrounding deadlines and the people involved in each step have been determined from the beginning. This is key in fields such as healthcare, where nurses and doctors will be unable to make timely life-saving decisions surrounding patient care if vital information is missing due to failures in communication.

How to create productive workflows

At first glance, investing in new technologies may be an unwelcome expense for business owners and CEOs. However, those who harness the potential of modern technology will be the ones who lead the way towards more a prosperous future. Ultimately, all workflow optimisation strategies begin with upgrading your new digital tools.  

As part of Ernst & Young’s 2022 Work Reimagined Survey, almost two thirds of government employees stated that changes were necessary for their workplace’s technologies and digital tools to evolve. The solution is clear: if officials in the public sector want to prepare for new business challenges as they emerge, technological evolution is critical. 

By reviewing the printing devices that already exist in your fleet, you
can identify where the most usage lies and which functions prove most essential in day-to-day operations. In addition, by upgrading existing devices and placing modern tools in the hands of your workforce, you can eliminate device downtime and the delays it causes as well as improve employee morale.

Mobile solutions to optimise workflows

Among the various workflow optimisation strategies lies the incorporation of mobile solutions, which empowers employees to work on the go and leverage the benefits offered by the abundant array of mobile solutions available on the market.

Gone are the days when professionals need to make endless trips from one side of a building to another to print and scan documents. Today it’s possible to use solutions compatible with mobile applications to manage physical documents on the move and prevent unnecessary back-and-forth activity.

The right content management solution can also facilitate a streamlined document management system, as professionals can use innovative software to upload physical documents to the cloud, no matter where they are. These tools incorporate physical documents into digital processes and they save files in easily-accessible central repositories, thus minimising the valuable time previously lost to document searches.

In the case of government officials, possessing up-to-date records of letters and documents will lead to a faster flow of information and more streamlined workflows, meaning public services can be delivered more efficiently. 

Improving document security

The strength of a workflow is only as powerful as its weakest element, which is why document security is a critical step in optimising its productivity. Complacency surrounding cybersecurity will only lead to an elevated risk of security breaches and attacks that can devastate an organisation’s finances and reputation.

While printers are often not considered when strategizing an organisation’s cybersecurity, these devices are an essential pillar of data protection. When sensitive information is sent from a PC, laptop, or phone to the printer, it needs to be encrypted so it can remain private. By bolstering your fleet with devices that are equipped with data encryption and the ability to destroy data once it is no longer necessary, you can eliminate concerns about security from your workflows, allowing them to be more productive. 

Professionals can also use software, such as Kyocera’s partner MyQ, that requests user authentication so documents containing important data are only printed once the product owner is able to collect it. For individuals who handle high volumes of sensitive information, such as those in healthcare and law enforcement, tightening document security can allow tasks to flow more smoothly as data breaches that take time and resources to resolve no longer occur.

Real-time data for greater visibility

When examining the success of a workflow, professionals may struggle to identify how it can be improved and where delays lie, as problems and pain points can only be resolved if their whereabouts are known.

Implementing software solutions that provide high-quality, real-time data on device performance and security provide greater visibility and awareness surrounding these issues. By taking back control over the devices used in each step of your workflow’s sequence, you can address potential pain areas before they arise.

For example, solutions such as Kyocera Fleet Services can provide a central overview of your range of devices and an automated supply management system so professionals are never dependent on the arrival of paper or toner to complete their tasks.

Workflow optimisation strategies in the digital age

To ensure the productivity of your workflow is optimised, professionals in the public sector should focus on productivity, mobility, security, and visibility. Building up these four pillars will eliminate inefficiencies and confusion, and providing valuable public services can be prioritised. To achieve these key components and embrace the most efficient workflow optimisation strategies, professionals require a trusted document solutions partner with the experience to adapt to the demands of the digital age. If you’re ready to turn to a partner with the expertise needed to transform your workflows, Kyocera is here to help. 

The strength of a workflow is only as powerful as its weakest element.

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