Forward Planning Delivers the Best Document Management Solutions
When considering a move to an electronic document management system it is critical to think carefully about what you are looking to achieve and to ensuring the systems you are viewing can deliver these.
So How Do You Achieve This?
- What Does Success Look Like?
It is not unusual and often for perfectly good reason that companies don’t always plan ahead when considering the very infrastructure which underpins all their activities.
What are the key issues being experienced currently and what are the main drivers in relieving these, be it locating documents more quickly, reducing costs of space and storage, improving security and compliance, or facilitating remote working?
Time spent consulting with your staff and considering your KPI’s in introducing a document management system is never time wasted.
Look critically at your existing storage, retrieval, and processes. How long do they take, how many potential errors result and what time is taken in resolving these?
Can home based staff access all they require to carry out their work efficiently, where are the gaps.
Once you have benchmarked your existing arrangements you will be clearly aware of the existing issues and this will act as a blueprint to relieving them moving forward.
- Make Automating Your Processes a Priority
The ability to securely store and retrieve documents via a document management system should be frankly standard, albeit some are easier to work with than others.
The real benefits are delivered through automating your existing manual processes and replacing them with fast, accurate and paper free alternatives.
This is an excellent opportunity to dive deeply into your existing working practises. What works, what does not and what should and can be significantly improved.
Do your existing methods leave customers and suppliers frustrated and annoyed, are your current software applications joined up, how much valuable and expensive employee time do they take up both in the processes but also fixing errors?
- Don’t Just Replace What You are Already Doing.
One of the most common mistakes when implementing a document management system is simply to replicate existing processes warts and all. This is a huge, missed opportunity.
Carefully consider what you are doing and why. One of the most common responses to the question “why do you do that” is “because we always have”. As a result, conventional working practises can often contain completely unnecessary steps and duplications.
One company we encountered recently maintained everything in triplicate hard copy just in case something was lost!
Implementing a document management system provides a great opportunity to thoroughly examine your current processes. Under this analysis it is very common to discover that many existing processes, perhaps developed over years have become cumbersome, duplicated and unnecessarily protracted.
When scoping these as part of a future automation process it is possible to streamline your processes by removing all those steps and duplications which may have been important as part of your manual processes but are superfluous when working electronically.
- Capture Content Close to the Point of Origin
Document capture that is as close to the source as possible saves time and improves data quality. Tools like virtual printers and electronic forms are great examples. Virtual printers enable you to save documents directly to your document management system without printing and scanning them first. And electronic forms allow you to automatically extract data from a document, reducing manual data entry. These eforms simplify, improve and accelerate data collection. Not only are they instantly available to anyone on any device, but forms provide structure to data, so it can be used to automate information flow.
It’s also important to be able to share data with your ERP, CRM or other business software. When your document management solution and other systems can “speak” to one another, retrieving data and sharing it between systems keeps business information in sync.
- Make sure the System is User Friendly
Not all document management solutions are as user friendly and intuitive as others.
To avoid resistance to change and to ensure that employees see a move to electronic working as a positive, choose one which most clearly mirrors your existing ways of working and requires the fewest mouse clicks to deliver the required results.
The best systems allow an individual to access only those aspects and data relevant to them and avoids potential confusion caused by overwhelming them with unnecessary data and processes.
- Cloud is the Way Forward
Most everything we do these days is in the cloud as increasingly this is so with document management solutions and there are many advantages to working in this way.
The once popular on-premise solutions delivered high levels of functionality but at a cost as they required. Requiring capital expenditure on servers, routers, hard drives and hardware they needed regular maintenance, upgrade, integration and security provision.
By contrast, cloud service providers assume full responsibility for support, upgrades, integration and support for a single all in subscription which has the added benefit of being an operational expense as opposed to a capital one so very easy on the finances.
By far the biggest benefit delivered by cloud-based solutions has been realised by business in recent months.
With the increased requirement for home and remote working driven by the pandemic, cloud solutions have allowed employees working away from the office access to the information and processes they require to work efficiently from anywhere and on any device.
- Try before you Buy.
At BPMS we have been delivering document management solutions for more than a quarter of a century and being independent we can provide genuinely impartial advice ensuring you invest in the solution entirely suitable for your requirements both now and in the future.
We completely understand that any decision to move away from traditional working methods should not be taken lightly both from a cost perspective but also in respect of the implementation of change, ensuring that this is achieved sympathetically and that your colleagues see it as a significant improvement and not an inconvenience.
With this in mind, we are always happy to set up a trial environment to allow you to trial the benefits of electronic document management before committing to expenditure. Whilst we are very confident the benefits will be felt immediately, should this not be the case you really will have no charges to pay.
To find out how you can work more efficiently, cost effectively, securely and compliance assured why not get in touch and speak with one of our specialists and let us begin your journey together.