It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.
“Essentialism holds the keys to solving one of the great puzzles of life: how can we do less but accomplish more?"
Greg McKeown was explaining how each of us wake up every day with a limited amount of what he refers to as “discipline currency” – the ability to get things done. He suggested that we use up this limited currency by spending our time making and remaking the same decisions. We should rather, he says, be “saving” it for the most critical decisions and tasks. To do this, we need to create a system that makes executing what is essential as easy as possible.
The essentialist knows that the discipline currency is limited so they use it to build a routine, a way of operating. That means they don’t have to make the decision again and again.”
~ Greg McKeown
As I was listening to this, bells started to go off in my head. I was thinking about how the businesses I work with every day are actively putting this principle to work – with great success.
At SharePoint Revolution, we help people in businesses and organizations of all types, to build and automate the daily routines (the processes) that are the foundation of their business. We do it through workflow and document automation.
Automating these processes saves time and money directly via the documents and processes that were automated. And it makes available the time, space and energy required to do the more important activities of the day…the activities that require creative thought, deep work, or valuable communication with clients. These are the crucial activities that have the bigger payoff but that are often left undone.
A good example of the benefits of document automation, is a project that SharePoint Revolution ran with one of our best customers, North American Roofing (NAR) of Asheville, North Carolina in the USA.
The company wanted to streamline its time-consuming RoofGuard Inspection report process. The aim is to provide service contracts for clients’ commercial roofing systems and to help maintain, repair and replace roofing systems as necessary.
All roofing inspectors are required to do inspections and send the data and images they collected onsite back to NAR headquarters. These are collected via a SharePoint forms app, which populates SharePoint lists and libraries back at HQ. Once all the data is collected, a client-facing inspection report and a photo log, each with different formatting requirements, are generated.
At the time, this process was manual. It took about 2 hours to generate and format each report, and was a tedious and error-prone job. NAR support representatives completed dozens of these reports per week, making for an overwhelming workload.
We worked with NAR to implement a new, automated process. As soon as the new system was implemented, the support team was able to generate RoofGuard Inspection reports within 60 seconds, at the click of a button.
As a result, NAR made huge savings on labor time – which you might expect would lead them to reduce their workforce. Quite the contrary. Rather, these support reps were free to use the redeemed time, previously spent on tedious paperwork, on higher value activities like direct conversations with their customers, critical thinking and decision making.
Automating this reporting process freed up time, space and energy for NAR to devote to more essential matters, resulting in higher levels of both employee and customer satisfaction.
To see a short video about the North American Roofing case study Click Here.
In your personal and professional life, take time to ask yourself, “what am I doing (what are we doing) over and over again that could become an automated routine or process?” Automating such a process could have a better payoff than you can imagine.
You may also want to take time to read Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.