Ideal for any agency that wants a better way to handle their forms and manage their documents, FormWORKS converts your paper-based and text-based forms into intelligent electronic forms that integrate directly with your agency’s caseload system.

  • Overview
  • Features
  • Benefits
  • Uses
  • Implementation

One of the most dramatic ways to improve your agency’s workflow is to streamline and automate its use of forms. Adding FormWORKS to your system transforms all of your paper forms into powerful data-aware electronic forms, organizing each case’s disparate collection of paper and Word files into a comprehensive electronic case record whose relevant documents are all accessible, right at your fingertips, anywhere, anytime.

The problem with forms

In most organizations, forms are the primary conduits for most of the crucial information that flows through them. Forms capture, store and relay valuable data that your team needs to provide all of their programs and services. The busier your agency is, the more forms you use.

And the more your agency grows, the more those forms pile up. And get misplaced. And slow things down. And hide their insights. And lose their value. Considering how important forms are, and what useful data and statistics they contain, it’s surprising how few agencies have a proper strategy in place to manage all of their documents, and to glean all available potential from their forms.

What’s a data-aware form?

We’re all familiar with paper-based forms. You fill them out by hand, and the information that they contain is as stuck to the paper as the ink that they’re written with. Misplace that piece of paper and your information is gone.

Text-based electronic forms aren’t that much better. True, entering your form data into a text-based word processing document or spreadsheet may eliminate some paper from your workflow. But the form’s data is still stuck in a single place, namely, the file that it was typed into. It contains text-only information that must be read by every person that needs to act upon it. And anyone who wants to access the information has to track down that specific digital document, just as they used to have to track down its former paper-based equivalent.

FormWORKS takes a dramatically different approach to form handling and document management. Unlike simple text-based forms, in which all of the entered data is essentially just ‘dumb text’, FormWORKS’ data-aware electronic forms convert all of the valuable data that they collect into intelligent, retrievable, and actionable information. Information that connects directly to your IT system’s database.

The advantage? Converting your paper forms into electronic forms not only extends your system’s capabilities to support one of the most prominent aspects of your workers’ daily work—namely, the filling out and processing of forms—but it also makes all of their forms’ rich data available throughout your agency for quick retrieval, searching, cross-linking and, perhaps most importantly, statistical analysis. It incorporates your form data into your database in ways that plain text fields simply cannot.

In addition to being a powerful addition to the CaseWORKS system, FormWORKS can also perform as a stand-alone program, and integrates well with other legacy case management systems.

 

The beauty of FormWORKS is that the information you enter into its data-aware forms automatically becomes part of your existing database, regardless of whether or not there’s already a place for it in your system.

This is such a powerful concept, and such a departure from traditional approaches to form automation, that it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate exactly what it means. In essence, it means that you can design your own electronic forms, to gather, share and analyze any information you want, without having to limit your forms’ data to only those fields that already exist in your database. You’re free to introduce new types of data into your system without having to call in a programmer every time you want to do so.

With FormWORKS, you can design and automate as many intelligent forms as your agency needs, and then do detailed searches and statistical analyses on virtually any information that is worth building a data-aware form to collect.

FormWORKS forms support your team’s workflows

Every form is essentially a map of someone’s workflow – an attempt to capture the specific data set that he or she needs to get a specific job done. FormWORKS forms are workflow-based documents, because unlike paper or text-based forms, they can integrate and interact with your agency’s database. That means that you can build your business rules right into the way each data-aware form is structured and processed.

A completed FormWORKS form can do such things as:

  • Adjust existing tasks, such as editing, signing, printing, and sending documents
  • Change due dates
  • Set a task to be completed or abandoned
  • Close a case
  • Change a phase of a case
  • Change a database value
  • Trigger an alert

And because these workflow rules are soft-coded, they are easy for you to modify as your business processes change over time.

FormWORKS forms have workflow rules that are ‘self-actioning’

Once paper or text-based forms are filled out, you have to personally remember – and do – everything that needs to be done with them.  Someone has to personally shepherd each form through each step in its required workflow. 

You may need to process it, file it, show it to specific colleagues, get approval for it, follow it up, attach it to specific other files, archive it, and so on. The life of a form is often complex. And too often unfulfilled! In a busy organization, it’s almost impossible for everyone to remember to do everything that every form needs to be done to it.

With FormWORKS’ data-aware forms, all of this actionable workflow intelligence is built right into each form. This means that once completed, the workflow-based form will itself follow all of the next steps that your business rules require of it. For example, it can forward itself to all appropriate people and destinations, seek its own signatures and approvals, send notifications back once approvals have been obtained or denied, prompt all next steps from everyone involved, and store itself in a secure and retrievable central location. Automatically.

FormWORKS stores your documents reliably

Once all actions have been taken, two last crucial things need to be done to every form. It must be archived securely, and it must be retrievable on demand. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen with either paper or text-based digital documents. Paper files can get lost, or buried in boxes. And text-based files could be saved anywhere on your server, or on someone’s local hard drive. In both cases, the wrong people could gain access to them, and the right people may never find them again. This isn’t just inconvenient and unproductive – it’s also a potential risk, both to your clients and to your organization.

Apart from all of the built-in intelligence of its data-aware forms, the other major advantage of using FormWORKS is that it also introduces a simple, affordable but very reliable document management system to your organization. By virtue of its connection to your database, FormWORKS also acts as a central portal or repository for all your important documents, past and present. No more guessing where your documents have been stored. No more worrying if they’re secure.

Document management is not restricted to its own forms either: FormWORKS is capable of storing any type of document that may be cluttering your hard drives or languishing in your archives, including PDFs, Word documents, spreadsheets, web-based forms, scanned documents and legacy files from other systems.

 

FormWORKS facilitates collaboration

By automating all of the workflow rules that connect your form to others, FormWORKS makes it easier to ensure that everyone who needs to be involved stays in the loop. A completed form can trigger multiple tasks and notifications in your system, making things like internal referrals and multiple program enrolments a breeze. You no longer have to worry about remembering to forward vital information to those who need to see it next. Just build it into the workflow, and the FormWORKS form will do it for you.

This capability is especially useful in an approval-oriented work environment. Completed forms can be programmed to flow directly to supervisors, and their approvals or rejections can in turn trigger appropriate next steps. The FormWORKS system is capable of three distinct approval levels, and also allows for subtleties like pending approvals and an optional field for additional comments.

FormWORKS can find documents and the information that they contain

FormWORKS assigns unique metadata to each form and document that it handles. This makes it easy for you to put your finger on any archived form at any time. It also allows you to do any document versioning that may be required to keep track of changes in the life of a form.

Retrieval capabilities extend not just to the forms themselves, but also to all of the data within the forms. Being data-aware, the contents of FormWORKS forms are completely searchable. Imagine how long it would take you to find all instances of a keyword in a big stack of paper forms and you’ll quickly appreciate what an advantage this is!

FormWORKS lets you do reports and statistical analyses on your form data

Think of all the data contained in all of the forms that you’ve generated and archived over the years.  As unique snapshots of everyone’s workflow histories, they represent rich stores of information that could reveal significant trends and statistics – that would surely help you to run your agency better – if only you could extract and compile all of that data. 

As soon as you start capturing your form data with FormWORKS, you open the door to exactly those types of new reporting possibilities. Suddenly, all of the data you’re collecting day after day becomes part of your database, able to respond to all the same types of queries that you can apply to the rest of your information system. Storing its data in XML format for easy reporting capability, FormWORKS allows you to filter on that data, and to generate dynamic reports that can drill down below top-level facts and figures to reveal what lies beneath them.

 

Use FormWORKS to:

Create electronic forms by program.

Because FormWORKS documents are highly configurable, you can create virtually any type of form you need. This allows you to reproduce any paper form electronically, allowing you to preserve the familiarity of your existing agency forms. It also opens up new possibilities to design highly customized forms for very specific programs or purposes, without requiring any additional programming in CaseWORKS.

Save time.

With FormWORKS, important processes like Intake or Referral will no longer require your staff to enter different data on different screens. Simply create a single form that captures all the data you need, and let eForms take care of entering it all into the appropriate areas of your database. With eForms, you only need to enter information once. You can also design forms that pre-fill designated fields with CaseWORKS data, saving time by eliminating the need to look up and enter already known data.

Manage your workflow.

Because of the built-in intelligence of data-aware forms, you can build sophisticated business rules into your documents that move both your data and your workers through predetermined workflows. Adding conditions to certain form fields will automatically trigger notifications, reminders, or time-limited “next steps” that appear directly on the worker’s dashboard to guide them through all required procedures. You can also build instructions into your forms that automatically carry relevant data forward into other documents, and tie form field responses in to special alerts or task notifications. The possibilities are endless.

Automate the approval process.

FormWORKS adds an important “Send for Approval” process to CaseWORKS, allowing you to identify which forms need a supervisor’s approval, and automating the process of obtaining and noting that approval. More importantly, once that approval is obtained, eForms will go ahead and change whatever data was pending approval, according to the workflow rules you’ve set up. You can also add a Quality Assurance process that sends certain forms for an extra accuracy check before they are stored in CaseWORKS.

Share forms and other case-related documentation.

Being able to put every form and document related to a case directly into CaseWORKS makes it so much easier for you to organize, retrieve and share the information that you and your team need. FormWORKS facilitates informed service delivery by presenting a single view of all case forms and related documentation, both electronic and scanned. This opens up many new opportunities for sharing and collaboration, in ways not previously thought possible.

Perform statistical analysis.

One of the most powerful advantages of making your forms data-aware is that their information can also be used for intelligent analysis of your agency’s activities and effectiveness. You gain the ability to sort, sift, and search through all the data collected to detect trends and measure outcomes, giving you valuable new insights into the services that you provide.

 

Our approach to software implementation

Even great software won’t improve your agency’s workflow if your workers don’t use it. Once our system is ready for you, our Implementation Division takes over to make sure that your agency is ready for it. Here are some of the steps we take to ensure that your staff is up and running with their Coyote software as quickly and painlessly as possible:

Implementation Toolkit

We use a comprehensive document mapping process for every step of your software implementation, from project kick-off to go-live.

“6 Steps to Success”

Coyote’s tried and true process for successfully implementing software.

Dedicated Project Managers

We assign Implementation Managers to work directly with your agency, ensuring that all aspects of the rollout are properly planned, communicated and executed.

State of the Art Training

Coyote has a variety of training methods that can be customized to fit your agency’s unique educational needs. They include: Train the Trainer, End User Training, Forms Training, Reporting Courses, and Basic Windows Navigation.

On-Site Go Live Support

We don’t just install your system and disappear before you go live.  We will be on site at this most critical time to troubleshoot and to help your staff adjust to their new software.

Full Documentation

We provide comprehensive, easy to follow Users Guides for all of our software.

Ongoing Support 

Coyote Software Corporation has a team of helpful, dedicated support specialists waiting to assist you by phone or email.