Elevity IT

Elevity, a division of Gordon Flesch Company, provides comprehensive technology management services. Their IT experts take a holistic approach and provide a right-sized plan with a tailored strategy, robust security, best-in-class solutions and unrivaled support.

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How to Create an Enterprise Content Management Strategy

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Digital transformation can be a scary proposition. Some might imagine it involves tearing down established ways of doing business and replacing them with new, unproven technology that may or may not work.

The good news is that business transformation is not a teardown project. When done right, it is an evolution, not a revolution.

We think of business process transformation as a fresh approach to information management and continuous improvement. Some organizations don’t need to completely transform while others are eager to overhaul their outdated processes and the ways they manage documents and data.

In either regard, an Enterprise Content Management strategy (ECM) can help. What’s more, organizations that implement paper-free office software achieve a 59% payback in less than a year, and 84% achieve a payback within 18 months!

Got your attention?

When implemented in the following five stages, organizations can identify their pain points and build a roadmap to digitize, streamline, automate and transform their business with managed content services.

  1. Audit and Digitize Paper Records
  2. Organize Content
  3. Automate Workflows
  4. Streamline Processes
  5. Transform Business Operations

RELATED: What is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)? 

Level 1: Audit and Digitize Paper Documents

Businesses that rely on paper records can digitize physical documents to improve security, confidentiality and disaster recovery capabilities if a fire, flood or other calamity were to strike. Doing so doesn’t have to be difficult. If document storage and records management is a major cost consideration, or you find locating unstructured information takes too much time, you will want to get paper records digitized.

You can digitize paper documents yourself using a scanner, multifunction printer or other device and assign document identification and indexing, though using document management software can automate parts of this. For initial mass data inputs, however, outsourcing to a firm that specializes in this work might make sense. 

Level 1

We find that organizations looking to digitize are often ready for...

Level 2: Organize Content Into An ECM Framework

Trying to route all the data and records you collect to the right destination or department shouldn’t take an enormous amount of time and effort. Especially for regulated industries, simply maintaining a record retention policy can take a lot of resources. However, once digitized and indexed using ECM software, an organization can capture, store and utilize data appropriately across all your systems within a single repository

RELATED: See Why ECM Is The Ultimate Search Tool

With a smart managed content strategy, it is possible to map out an ECM framework that makes sense and delivers consistency across the content lifecycle. Content can be organized in a fully searchable central repository based on:

  • Keywords, text or phrases within the document
  • Creation date
  • Names of users who have edited the document
  • Metadata or metatags
  • And more

For example, Gordon Flesch Company launched a Laserfiche ECM solution that manages, organizes, maintains and electronically delivers quality assurance records for Bellisio Foods on demand. Handwritten records are scanned and electronically tagged every day so that they can be quickly sorted and electronically produced in the event of an unannounced inspection. The company says it has also significantly slashed the time required for completion of audits. Bellisio estimates that the Laserfiche ECM system saved the company more than 500 labor hours annually.


The next evolutionary stage is to create processes that use those documents in an automated fashion.

Level 3: Automate Workflows

If an invoice, contract or record of any kind is received electronically or scanned into a document management system, there is no reason it should simply go to a digital inbox where someone has to search for it again.

Workflow automation software like LaserFiche can route invoices without any human intervention based on coding by an accounting clerk. Once coding is completed, the invoice will be routed to the appropriate person for approval based on the invoice amount. To close the loop, the final approver can pay the invoice and a record of the entire transaction is automatically created and stored for accounting or regulatory review.

Wondering how much time employees can save? WorkMarket research revealed that more than half (54%) of employees believed they could save 240 hours each year through automation. What’s more, about four in 10 business leaders are already leveraging workforce automation technology enterprise wide.

If your organization wants to gain or maintain a competitive advantage, automation and document management tools will likely need to play a key role. Imagine the possibilities when your employees have more time to dedicate to revenue-generating functions rather than routine and repetitive tasks.

Level 4: Streamline Processes

Once automated, many businesses can finally begin fixing inconsistent and ineffective processes that lead to lost productivity or even regulatory risk. An ECM platform can help you do things differently, from emailing a form or document to filling it out online rather than on paper.

For example, Halquist Stone is a Wisconsin-based company whose full line of building and landscape stone is distributed nationally. The company was established in 1929 and has continued to grow, but their sales order process changed very little since those early days. After assessing their workflows, Gordon Flesch Company (GFC) business analysts noted how much frustration and wasted time the manual data entry and paper storage caused. GFC offered a comprehensive, custom solution that included Laserfiche to automate the sales order process and eliminate the problem.

Now, order processing takes a few hours instead of a few days. Supervisors can answer customer questions quicker, complete orders faster and also make necessary changes to the orders in a snap. Nearly 3,000 hours of employee time spent on data entry has been eliminated per year as a result of their ECM strategy. Customer and employee satisfaction have both increased dramatically, along with an estimated annual cost savings of more than $120,000.

Level 5: Transform Business Operations

The ultimate goal of any Enterprise Content Management system is to help organizations achieve the overall goal of improving daily work and reducing costs. ECM can accomplish this by forcing companies to evaluate their business strategies and key business processes. By cutting out manual and labor-intensive tasks, all available information can be categorized, accessed and shared through a system like Laserfiche.

Managed Content is not only capable of handling data faster and more accurately than humans, but it’s also capable of learning from that data to provide better results over the long term with next generation technologies like machine learning and AI.

No matter where in this evolutionary chain your business may be, we can help. Download our guide, 4 Keys to Successful ECM Implementation below. To learn more, talk to the managed content experts at GFC about how we can help your organization digitize, organize, automate, streamline, or transform. 

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