Digital transformation can be a scary proposition. Some might imagine it involves tearing down established ways of doing business and replacing it 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 revolution. We think of business process transformation as a continuous process of change and improvement. Some organizations are at the beginning of the process, others are farther along. Some organizations don’t need to completely transform, others will follow through to the end.
The good news is that, if done in stages, any organization can identify their pain points and build a roadmap to digitize, streamline, automate and transform their business with managed content.
Level 1: Digitize
Many businesses that reply on paper records recognize digitizing paper provides physical 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 is a major cost consideration, or you find locating paper records is a taking too much of your time, you will want to get paper records digitized. You can attack paper records yourself, creating document identification and indexing, though using document management software can automate parts of this, or outsourcing to firms that specialize in this work.
We find that organizations looking to digitize are often ready for...
Level 2: Organize
Trying to route all the data and records you collect to the right destination shouldn’t be taking all of your time and effort. Especially for regulated industries, simply maintaining a record retention policy can take all of your resources. The good news is that, once digitized, an organization can begin to capture, store, and utilize data appropriately across all your systems. It is possible, with a smart managed content strategy to map out a content chain that makes sense and delivers consistency across the content lifecycle.
For example, the Gordon Flesch Company launched a system based on Laserfiche that could manage, organize, maintain and electronically deliver quality assurance records for Bellisio Foods on demand. Handwritten records are scanned every day and can be electronically produced for inspections. The company says it has slashed the time required for completion of audits. In addition, Bellisio estimates that the Laserfiche system has 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
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 in-box where someone has to find it again. Workflow automation software like LaserFiche can then route the invoice coding by an accounting clerk without any human intervention. Once 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 whole transaction is created and stored for accounting or regulatory review.
Level 4: Streamline
Once automated, many businesses can begin to think about finally fixing inconsistent and ineffective processes that lead to lost productivity or even regulatory risk. ECM can help do things differently, from emailing a form or document to filling out a form online rather than in 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 has changed very little since then. After assessing the workflow, GFC business analysts noted how much frustration and wasted time the manual data entry and paper storage was causing. They offered a comprehensive, custom solution that included Laserfiche, to eliminate the problem by automating the sales order process.
Now, order processing takes a few hours instead of a few days. Supervisors can answer customer questions faster, complete orders faster and also make necessary changes to the orders faster. Nearly 3,000 hours of employee time spent on data entry has been eliminated per year. Customer and employee satisfaction have both increased dramatically, along with an estimated annual cost savings of over $120,000.
Level 5: Transform
The ultimate goal of any Enterprise Content Management system is to help organizations achieve the overall goal of improving daily work and reducing costs. It can accomplish this by forcing companies to evaluate their business strategy 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 time with next generation technologies like machine learning and AI.
No matter where in this evolutionary chain your business may be, we can help. To learn more, talk to the managed content experts at GFC about how we can help your organization digitize, organize, automate, streamline, or transform.