Are PDFs or online files costing you money?

A quick search of state and county websites for PDFs often returns a wealth of results. Anything from DMV forms, to records requests and background checks, are available. It seems reasonable that one would use the form to communicate with the state or local organization. It may appear to be an automated process because it’s a file versus a printout, but it’s broken. The other consideration is the cost of automation. Does it matter if the individual interacting with the PDF form or the website doesn’t like the experience? (For some research on the PDF user experience check out this study It may not matter to your organization, and that’s OK. The reality is that the organization is reliant on a broken process too. The customer fills out the form, only for it to arrive in nearly the same state as a paper document. Extracting the information or initiating the next steps (or workflow) automatically is an achievable benefit that is not addressed by posting a file on a website. The duplication of work costs an organization money. On average companies and organizations miss half of the automation available to them by partially addressing broken processes. On average a full-time employee spends 20% of their time duplicating the effort of someone else (, costing about the employer $14k per employee per year.

  • a couple of years ago