Every company is unique and has unique challenges. However, we have seen over the years that when it comes to content management, every company seems to face one of four common problems.
If there are four common problems nipping at the heels of organizations today, they are:
- Regulatory compliance and risk management
- Retention and dissemination of business knowledge
- Cost and process efficiencies
- Innovating new ways of working
The solution is almost always a modern Enterprise Content Management system, sometimes called just Content Management. But whatever you call it, we believe the solution should always start with the user. Given the complexity of the digital, interconnected, cloud-enabled world, a solution must simplify your processes, and not produce an even more complex and cumbersome user experience.
How do you know if you have one of the four big issues? Here are some of the common complaints that indicate your business processes are not working:
- It takes too long to onboard staff.
- It takes too long to get a requisition through
- It costs too much to have staff typing in data from one document to an application
- We spend too much time reminding folks, and chasing down information
- We expose sensitive information
Start at the Beginning
When attempting to fix these problems, very often ECM can make a big difference in simplifying how documents enter your systems. Yes, this often is paper, but it can also mean standardizing the way digital documents are processed. The goal is to use software to “read” documents so that we can use the data in them and move that data into other systems without anyone ever having to manually type it in.
In fact, I propose a new rule: Any time you have staff typing data into one of your systems, it’s an opportunity to make data entry more accurate and less expensive. The second area is in how documents move throughout your systems once they arrive. They get emailed, they get handed off, they travel by truck, or sit in a virtual queue. Map these routes and see if there’s a better, more direct way to help things move to their ultimate destination.
Real World Examples
To see what we mean, consider the case of Halquist Stone. The company needed to transition the sales order process from a paper and manual process to an electronic process. Customers and staff were frustrated with delays and orders were being lost.
By adopting a Laserfiche Content Management system, the company discovered an annual cost savings of $120,000. Just as importantly, Halquist increased production and delivery time and customer satisfaction. “Nearly 3,000 hours spent on data entry per year have been eliminated,” says Wade Bolson, Halquist Stone CFO.
Similarly, G&J Pepsi needed a system that could automate more of its paper-based workflow processes. Processing payments and managing HR functions had become too time-consuming and cumbersome. Departments like Human Resources and Accounts Payable needed to share documents so that approvals, invoices, and payments could all be routed and shared with the appropriate people.
G&J Pepsi recently centralized its accounts payable operation. “Accounts payable used to be in four different buildings,” says Jeremy Harper, director of accounting operations at G&J Pepsi. “As we continue to grow, we knew it was going to be more difficult to process invoices if they were done in different locations, and they were done manually. We needed a way to make the process digital, collect what we needed, push invoices to managers for review and approval, and pull information later if we needed it.”
If you are struggling with any of the four hurdles we’ve discussed, take the short quiz below to learn more about how ECM technology can help. And if you’re ready to start digging out from underneath that pile of data and documentation you’ve accumulated, contact the ECM experts at the Gordon Flesch Company for a complimentary assessment of your business environment.