Managing Business Forms

Robert Barnett,

Managing Business Forms
 
 
Managing Business Forms,' by Robert Barnett, is based on the author’s experience in the business forms world for over 40 years. But it is also heavily influenced by the pioneering work of others in the field since the concept of forms management was introduced around the 1940’s. We live in a technological world; a world that places a great emphasis on effective management; a world where communication is one of the most talked-about business subjects; a world where business would almost cease to exist if paper didn’t exist. Yet we still haven’t come to grips with the clerical worker’s basic tool of trade—the business form. Of even greater significance is the huge error rate generated by difficult-to-understand forms, bureaucratic language and an almost total lack of understanding of the basis of human communication. Scientific research since the mid-1980’s has shown that in excess of 80% of most public-use forms are wrongly filled in resulting in a gigantic cost to business, government and individuals. “Managing Business Forms” aims to address a key component of the problem—the lack of control over forms. Large corporations can have many thousands of different types of forms. Many people look on forms management as just a means of eliminating unnecessary or duplicated forms. There is a belief that all you have to do to get control of forms is to conduct a short-term systems study, cut out the forms that aren’t needed, introduce a good stock control system and place an experienced senior clerk in charge. Some organizations even think that all they have to do is outsource their forms stock control to a printing company. “Managing Business Forms” takes the view that if this was all you had to do, forms would not be the problem they are to business and government. The book starts with a brief history of business forms before dealing with major topics such as the structure of a forms management department, indexing and filing of forms, managing new and changed forms, conducting forms reviews, form production and stock control. It also has important chapters for people implementing forms management for the first time covering the planning of a forms management program, getting senior management backing, collecting and cataloguing forms, measuring and reporting savings, and a final chapter on making sure the program works.


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