The majority of information that comes into and moves around a business is unstructured. By unstructured, we mean data that it isn’t controlled. It enters the organisation as a fax, an email, via the post, or even a phone call or a text. Often, contained within this unstructured document is important content that is required for business decisions to be made.
This content will have a lifecycle within the organisation. It may need to be entered into a Business System, such as a Finance, ERP or CRM solution. Document management is the process of taking the content that arrives into the organisation as unstructured content and automating its lifecycle or route through the business.
The benefits of a Document management System break down into two main types; Tangible and Intangible. Tangible benefits are the things that can be measured or quantified. Intangible benefits are things that are hard to measure and attribute to the use of a DMS, but are nevertheless benefits that occur indirectly through its implementation.
Reduced physical storage, Flexible Indexing, Faster searching and retrieval, Controlled and improved document distribution, higher security and audit trails, Disaster proof archiving, more efficient compliance, improved internal operations and workflow.
Frees time for more value added activity, Greater competitive edge, reduced time to market, greater customer service and satisfaction, ability to share organisational knowledge throughout departments, more efficient decision making due to increased available data, improved cash flow.
Document Management Solutions cover all aspects of business but typically relate to transactional document processes. Some of the most common solutions and the associated benefits can be found below.
Electronically manage all of your invoices and other finance related content. Eliminate the cost of paper filing and storage. Reduce late payment charges and maximise on early payment discounts. Integrate and cross reference with other finance or back office departments. Greatly reduced admin whilst increasing accuracy and Automation. Track metrics more efficiently, allowing more informed decision making.
Automate the contract lifecycle, reducing admin and physical storage. Proactive contract renewal or closure, reducing costs. Make the documents more accessible and secure. Greater visibility of ongoing and outstanding contracts, allowing more efficient decision making.
Create expenses from anywhere, electronically, allowing inclusion of receipts via scan or photograph. Tailor the expense policy of your company to the automated process. Automate the authorisation by appropriate Staff members electronically. Integrate HR and Payroll into the system for greater efficiency.
Digitise all incoming mail from any source including email, post and fax. Automate the classification and distribution within the organisation greatly reducing time to desk. Deal with increase in volume with no detriment to productivity. Reduced costs due to less staff, copying/printing of documents. Improved data tracking and customer service.
Produce and manage documents electronically. Remove cost of manual filing, storing complete employee records with no paper. Create workflows to automate typical HR processes; such as starters/leavers, disciplinary and subsequent documentation approval processes. Less manual admin frees up time for more value added activities. Enables proactive and informed decision making due to increase in available data.
Document management is not restricted to specific departments within an organisation. It can be implemented anywhere that manual processing of documents is involved enterprise wide, automating a large part of the document lifecycle or Business Process. Any type of unstructured content, that has any kind of business process associated with it could benefit from document management.
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