Making the transformation to digital can seem especially frightening when it seems like you are completely doing away with your tried-and-true methods of conducting business. You might be questioning whether or not the new technology is even going to work effectively. Business transformation does not mean you are tearing down your business and restarting from the foundation. Instead, when this is done correctly, you will find that it is an innovative renovation. The business process transformation is a refreshing approach to information management and continuous growth. Not all organizations require a total transformation, but some are ready to completely overhaul their existing processes and methods for managing data and documents. Businesses that implement paper-free office software have the opportunity to see a 59% payback in the first 12 months which has the ability to increase up to 84% by month 18!
Phase 1: Auditing & Digitizing Paper Documents
By digitizing paper documents, businesses are able to increase their security, confidentiality, and disaster recovery capabilities should a flood, fire, or any other calamity occur. Taking on this task does not have to be difficult. Document storage and managing records can be costly and finding unstructured information is time consuming– this is why businesses want to get their paper documents digitized.
You can digitize paper documents on your own using a scanner, multifunction printer, or other scanning device and assign document identification and indexing. However, a document management software can automate parts of this. When getting started, an outsourced firm specializing in this type of work might be the best option for your business needs.
Phase 2: Organizing Content Into An ECM Framework
We have found that businesses looking to digitize their documents are often ready for this phase of the process. We know that trying to route all the data and records you have collected to the desired destination or department should not take an excessive amount of time or effort. But for some, especially those in regulated industries, the task of maintaining a record retention policy may require several resources. When everything has been digitized and indexed using an ECM software, the business will be able to capture, store, and utilize data appropriately across all of their systems using a single repository.
Implementing a smart managed content strategy, you have the ability to map out an ECM framework that consistently works for your content lifecycle.
Content may be organized in a fully searchable central repository based on the following:
- Creation Date
- Keywords, Texts, or Phrases found within the document
- Metadata or Metatags
- Names of Users who have edited the document
- Other information pertaining to the document
A client of ours who launched an ECM solution has all their handwritten records scanned and electronically tagged daily so that they can be sorted efficiently and electronically produced when needed. According to the company, this has helped them significantly reduce the time it takes to complete audits. This company has estimated that our ECM system has saved them more than 500 hours of labor each year.
Phase 3: Automating Workflows
The next phase is to create processes capable of using those documents in an automated fashion. If an invoice, record, or contract of any kind is received electronically or scanned into a document management system, there is no reason that it should be directed to a digital box where someone will have to search for it all over again.
Information Consultants offers workflow automation software that can route invoices without any human intervention based on coding by your accounting clerk. When the necessary coding has been completed, the invoice will then be routed to the right person for approval depending on the invoice amount. In order to close the loop, the final approver has the option to pay the invoice and a record of the transaction from start to finish will be automatically generated then stored for accounting or regulatory review.
How much time will this save your employees? Our client did some research and found that over half of employees felt that they could save 240 hours annually when using automated processes. In addition, nearly 40% of business leaders have begun leveraging automation technology enterprise wise.
Is your business ready to gain and maintain a competitive advantage? Automation and document management tools will play a major role. Think of all the possibilities that will come when your employees have more time to devote to revenue generating functions versus repetitive tasks and routines.
Phase 4: Streamlining Processes
After the processes have been automated, many businesses can start fixing those that have been inconsistent and ineffective. Generally, such issues lead to decreased productivity and sometimes regulatory risk. An ECM platform will assist you in doing things differently from emailing a document or form to filling it out online instead of on paper.
A client of ours was using an antiquated sales order process. Their business analysts noted how much frustration and wasted time the manual data entry and paper storage created. We provided a comprehensive solution centered around their needs which included Laserfiche to automate the sales order process and eliminate the problem. Order processing takes them much less time time and it’s all available electronically. Supervisors are able to respond fast to customers, complete orders quicker than ever, and make any necessary changes to orders instantly. This ECM strategy has saved 3,000 hours of employee time that was being spent on data entry. Customer and employee satisfaction have both increased significantly.
Phase 5: Transform Your Business Operations
Ultimately, the goal of any ECM system is to assist businesses in creating a more innovative and efficient work environment while minimizing costs. An ECM is able to achieve this by forcing companies to assess their existing strategies and processes. When manual and labor intensive tasks are removed, all of the information and documents can be categorized, accessed, and shared through the Enterprise Content Management system.
Content Management will not only enable you to handle data easier and with more accuracy, it also has the ability of learning from the data to provide you with the best results as your business grows.
Information Consultants Can Create an ECM Plan for Your Company
Information Consultants ECM solutions provide the following benefits…
- Decreasing overhead costs of paper storage, office space and additional hiring.
- Streamlining operations by automating repetitive, manual processes.
- Managing all organizational content throughout its life cycle.
- Facilitating compliance with robust security and auditing features.
- Integrating seamlessly with the applications employees use everyday.
About Information Consultants
Information Consultants uses Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software by Laserfiche to help businesses create, organize, manage, and access all documents and forms through secure, easy-to-use programs. At Information Consultants, we work closely with each of our clients to consult, train, and operate Laserfiche in order to boost efficiency and profitability within the company! We are a leader in global technology services and solutions consulting based in South Florida with offices in Pembroke Pines and Downtown Miami.
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