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The Basics of Document Management (Portfolio)


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Created for client to support DM sales efforts (they sell Laserfiche). It's a compilation of blog posts, a quick, easy way to reuse existing content.

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The Basics of Document Management (Portfolio)

  1. 1. THE BASICSof Document Management Find documents in seconds and make customers, employees, and your bottom line happy.
  2. 2. 2 ARE YOU FED UP WITH WASTING TIME LOOKING THROUGH FILING CABINETS AND BOXES OF PAPER IN CLOSETS TO FIND THE INFORMATION YOU NEED? There’s a better way -- document management. Document management software will place information at your fingertips -- searching for business documents will be just like searching on Google. Better yet, it doesn’t take as long or cost as much as you’re probably thinking. Read on to understand the basics of document management, puncture a few myths, and outline the benefits document management will bring to your office. Thank you, Lane LeBahn Document Management Aficionado 319-260-4119
  3. 3. 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS - WHAT’S INSIDE Are You in a Document Management Pit of Misery? Document Management Lets You Find Documents in Seconds SMBs and Document Management: It’s Time to Digitize SMB Business Priorities -- Digital Copiers and Document Management Help Fatten the Bottom Line 5 Myths, One Fear, and the Truth About Document Management Implementation Your Customers Want You to Go Paperless Too! 4 6 8 9 10 15
  4. 4. 4 ARE YOU IN A DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT PIT OF MISERY? Many of the city clerks (and others in charge of managing documents) I speak to have something in common with those recent Bud Light commercials – when it comes to finding documents, they’re in a pit of misery. Too many organizations today keep their information on paper. Why is that miserable? Do any of these situations remind you of your own day? You need to find the minutes from a meeting in 2010. It’s not in a filing cabinet, but it might be in one of the 20 or so boxes in the closet. Digital documents are printed, then scanned again – creating duplicate copies and lack of chain of authority (not to mention the potential of confidential paper documents winding up in the wrong hands). You need to pull together all notes and documents surrounding a decision, so you spend half a day combing through filing cabinets to find the right information. Paper isn’t the best way to store and retrieve information. Document management is. The file room can be a real pit of misery. A True Friend of the Crown. Dilly, Dilly! Document management software helps you get your documents under control so that you can easily find them when you need them. (CLICK HERE for a quick video below that shows Laserfiche – a document management product – in action.) Instead of looking for the right document in your pit of misery (er, file room); you find your documents via a quick search. You can find the exact document you want – looking up an invoice with the invoice number, for example. Or, you can find all invoices and contract documents relevant to a particular company by searching for the company name.
  5. 5. 5 Not sure of what exact document you’re looking for? A full-text search allows you to find keywords within documents (think about how you search online using Google) so if a document isn’t tagged with a company name, but that company name is in the document, the search results will include that document. How else is document management a friend of the crown? Save space. File cabinets and boxes of paper take up space. Put that space to more productive use by eliminating paper from your business processes. Security. Track who opens and edits each document. Provide proof of a document’s chain of custody for auditors or customers. Around the clock accessibility. Secure access to files when and where you need them via the cloud or a virtual private network. Work anywhere and anytime. Get out of the pit of misery and into the banquet hall – use document management to get a handle on your documents. For you cord cutters or those who only watch recorded TV, here’s the Bud Light commercial.
  6. 6. 6 DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT LETS YOU FIND DOCUMENTS IN SECONDS If the pit of misery is where you spend your day, let’s be crystal-clear about the benefit businesses in any industry, of any size need -- find your documents when you need them. We’ve all heard the expression, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” While that might be true for our feelings (sometimes), when it’s time to find your business documents so that you can get work done what you don’t know is wasting your time. Document management software will help you find your information in seconds (literally). Everyone who works in an office has wasted time trying to find the right document. Everyone. I think it’s over-hyped, but research shows that even business leaders and executives spend a substantial chunk of time simply looking for the right information. This isn’t just a problem for operations staffers. I want you to take a moment to think about where all of your documents are and how long it takes you to find them (whatever those documents are – patient records, financial documents, mortgage forms, accounts payable and invoices, human resources, etc.). If you’re like most offices, you use a combination of paper documents and email to share information. Email is an insecure way to share sensitive files. Paper is a slow way to share anything. How long does it take you to find a document? That’s probably a minute or three if it’s on your desk, 10 minutes if it’s in a filing cabinet (or longer if someone else has the file – then you have to email or walk around the office to find out who has it), or never if the paper was lost or simply misfiled.
  7. 7. 7 How many times have you stubbed your toe on the filing cabinets in the hallway? They take up valuable office space and can be a safety hazard (as this funny video shows). How would you recover documents if you couldn’t access your office or in the event of an actual disaster. If a customer calls you, how long does it take to answer their question? Do you have to call them back? Document management will let you find those documents in moments. And your stubbed toes? Because you don’t need paper documents any longer, you can save money by getting rid of them. Not only that, are you spending money in off site file storage? Scan and digitize those documents and you’ll save money there too. Find documents when you need them. Save money on physical storage. Improve customer service with instant answers to customer questions and end the frustration of not being able to find the document you want when you want it. What you don’t know about document management CAN hurt you – and probably is.
  8. 8. 8 SMBS AND DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT: IT’S TIME TO DIGITIZE How does work get done? Documents. Every business process relies on documents – invoices, order forms, product brochures, contracts, brainstorming presentations, . . . you get the idea. Many businesses continue to manage those documents no differently than 60, 70, or 100 years ago. Paper files move around the office until the business process(es) attached to those document is completed. Processes based on paper are slow, inefficient, and often cause missed opportunities. Xerox surveyed 1,000 SMBs for The State of SMB Document Management. One result is crystal clear: It’s time to get serious about document management. Before diving into the results, I want to say a few things about the result. The most important one is this – you don’t care about document management. Nor should you. You care about finding the information you need quickly. You care about fast and effective business processes. You care about productivity and making the most out of your limited resources. Document management IS a way for businesses of any size to achieve those goals. It provides the ability to control, find, and then use your business information painlessly. Here’s how forward-thinking SMBs are using digitization, document workflows, and managed print services to leap ahead of their competitors. Here at Advanced Systems, we talk about how managing your print environment can save you money, increase security, AND boost productivity. You can read about the advantages of managed print services here.
  9. 9. 9 DIGITIZATION: A TOP PRIORITY? 81% of survey respondents want to improve their document processes. Digitization (replacing paper with electronic processes) is a key piece of improving document processes. Three departments were identified as low-hanging fruit and easily attainable ROI for digitization: ■ IT ■ Finance ■ Operations IT has a cross-functional role managing documents in a print environment, on the network, and in the cloud as well as ensuring the organization’s security (including documents). Finance and operations are both low-hanging fruit for automation and a quick ROI win. The survey ranked seven business priorities in order of importance: ■ Growing the business ■ Increased productivity through improved workflow business processes ■ Reduce printing costs ■ Increase cash flow ■ Improve customer service/response time ■ Improve security/disaster recovery ■ People management ■ Making mobile computing easier/bring your own device (BYOD) ■ Digitization – and document management – plays a key role in achieving all of these objectives. What are some of the paper-intensive documents and processes to automate? ■ Billing/Invoices ■ Business and financial reporting ■ HR forms, employee files ■ Legal signatures on documents ■ Employees printing emails I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you’ve directly experienced poor document and process management relative to at least ONE of those paper-intensive processes this month (if not today!). ■ Purchasing approvals ■ Marketing materials ■ Customer quotations ■ Presentations
  10. 10. 10 SMB BUSINESS PRIORITIES -- DIGITAL COPIERS AND DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT HELP FATTEN THE BOTTOM LINE Improve the bottom line. That’s a goal every company – from a one-person freelancer to the Fortune 500 – strives for. It’s hard to get there. We know that we’ve helped our customers improve their bottom line and productivity. Xerox just released researched focused on just that; 2017 Office Productivity Trends to Improve the Bottom Line. As a Xerox partner, I’m always interested in their research. This particular report is one I find more interesting than usual. It reveals that the top business priorities of small and medium businesses for 2017 are priorities that our products and services can help with. These top ranked business priorities are: ■ Growing the business – 47% ■ Increased productivity through improved workflow/business processes – 47% ■ Reduced printing costs – 42% ■ Improved customer service/response times – 39% ■ Improve security/disaster recovery – 34% Companies also realize that their document workflow processes aren’t always effective – 81% plan to improve at least some of those processes. Growing Your Business Our products and services are supportive of business growth. Production printing allows your marketing department to control four-color printing of marketing materials. Cost savings from managed print services and document management frees up money to invest in growth activity. You will have more ability to focus on strategy for growth instead of the drudgery of making sure your digital copiers are working. Improved Business Processes While Laserfiche is widely-known and used for document management, the software also has great workflow tools available too. I’ve written about the value of process management in the past. Document management and workflow can combine to automate and streamline business processes – when you add digital copiers to the equation you can completely digitize some business processes. Part of a managed print services engagement is also to identify how documents are printed and flow through the business. Recommendations for improvements often lead to improved document workflow (shown in the research results in the next section below).
  11. 11. 11 Reduced Printing Costs Managed print services is designed to squeeze maximum production from your print fleet while being cost-effective. The research reveals a high level of satisfaction for the 42% of the businesses in the survey who said they have an MPS contract in place (40% are planning to have one in place in 12 months). Major MPS benefits reported by businesses include: ■ Reduced costs – 48% ■ Reduced paper consumption – 47% ■ Improved tracking of print costs – 42% ■ Improved document workflow – 41% Improved Customer Response Times Copiers and document management software can combine to place customer documents at your fingertips. Document management removes paper from your business and places it a mouse click away – or at least a quick search away. Without having to get up and physically look for files you can often answer customer questions quickly and accurately over the phone. Process automation, for payments and invoicing, also means customers don’t slip through the cracks either. Improved Security and Disaster Recovery While we don’t offer security and disaster recovery services, digitizing paper is a key component of being able to recover from a disaster. If you have one copy of a contract and it’s a paper document in a file cabinet in your office, what happens if your office burns to the ground? Or floods? Or you can’t reach your office for days or weeks? Document management and using digital copiers to scan paper to a digital repository can be a key element in a disaster recovery strategy.
  12. 12. 12 5 MYTHS, ONE FEAR, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT IMPLEMENTATION There are five myths (and one fear) common across nearly every potential document management client we speak with. How does believing in one or more of these myths hurt you? By keeping you from pursuing a document management system – or at LEAST doing some research to see if it could be helpful to your office – you continue to waste time looking for documents, risk losing documents you need, spending too much on paper file storage, and being stuck in manual, paper-based processes. We’ll begin with the fear -- fear of making the wrong decision. Even though document management software doesn’t cost nearly as much as business owners initially think it is there’s still hesitation even after they understand the value. There’s always the concern of “What if it doesn’t work?” because we’ve never done anything like this before. And software companies don’t make a habit of giving refunds if you don’t use their product well. This isn’t an uncommon (or irrational) fear, but it is overblown. With the right software and implementation, a DM roll- out will begin delivering benefits immediately. On to the myths. Myth 1 – It’s Too Expensive For a Company “Our Size” While true that some smaller businesses can effectively manage their documents with a simple file sharing system, as document volumes grow document management is the better answer. Plus, document management software offers more security features, automation capabilities, and often simple collaboration. It’s also not (always) expensive. There are cloud providers who can provide basic document management for $15 per user/month. A basic, departmental solution implemented in your office is often far less than five figures. An effective document management system is within the financial reach of businesses of all sizes. Myth 2 – It Takes Forever to Implement This myth exists in tandem with myth 1 and is equally false. While it’s true that it can take months for larger implementations (planning, mapping business needs, training, actual implementation, etc.), for organizations that simply need to organize, store, and retrieve their documents implementation can be finished in half a day. That’s right: implement in the morning, after lunch your digital documents are easily retrievable. The more complex your business is, the longer you’ll need to spend planning, but it doesn’t take as long as you think.
  13. 13. 13 Myth 3 – Process Automation Is Really Hard Most document management software products also include or have options for automating manual business processes. The trick is to automate only good business processes (i.e., processes that are effective). First, never automate an existing business process just “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Think through the process and create one that’s effective THEN use workflow software to automate it. While many business processes are simple and can be easily created with software, this is only as simple and easy as the process itself. Some processes are complex and require extensive planning, including customizing the workflow software to work correctly – not impossible, but certainly very, very difficult. That said, for the overwhelming majority of our customers – your processes aren’t that complicated. So let’s say this is a half-true myth. Myth 4 – ROI Is Hard to Define I’ve written about this before, CLICK HERE to read about hard and soft document management ROI. In brief though, think about how much time you spend looking for paper documents. Document management allows retrieval in seconds – think of what that can mean to your customers (much less the time you save NOT looking for documents). Office space is expensive. Eliminating file cabinets and maybe even offsite storage because your documents are now all digital saves you money. Myth 5– Document Management Is a Magical Cure For Business Challenges No software will magically fix your poor business practices. If you view any software as “the cure” for your business challenge, you’re implementation will fail. Think through your business needs. Identify your goals. Then, and only then, start looking for the software that matches your needs and will help you meet your goals. Can document management help your business? Absolutely. Can it automagically create the right business processes or file plan for you? Nope, that’s on you or your solutions partner. The Truth We use an implementation and purchasing process to alleviate our customers’ fears of making a poor purchase decision – wasting money and time. Our implementation success rate is 100% because we have put a repeatable, easily understood process in place to make everyone successful. Here’s how we do it. Most importantly, you can’t just buy software and expect it to magically fix an inefficient business process. You need to plan. We first decide the company’s business goals – what do you want to accomplish? We then align business
  14. 14. 14 processes with the software using simple business process mapping. Whether you work with us, someone else, or attempt automation on your own, don’t skip this step. Clearly define and state the objectives upfront to ensure dollars are spent wisely with and there is an overall end goal. Involve the people that do the work in business process remapping. Understand the entire process from beginning to end and map out each workflow that makes up the entire process. This creates employee buy in and everyone sees the value and important of participating in the new process. This process is simple, repeatable, and enjoyable for the people involved. It’s enjoyable because in one short meeting real progress will be made and involves the employees that do the work. Scope the entire project, but plan to do releases in phases. Look at the business process that is repeated the most or causes the most problems and start there. Once those processes are operating smoothly, then expand into other areas. What’s the expression about how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Once the work up front is done, the decision to purchase or not purchase should be easily recognizable. The plan to implement should clearly present itself. Installing the software and setting up the processes will be done behind the scenes. While this is done; it’s business as usual for the employees. Once the software is ready to go, training will cause the most interruption. For many implementations, training should take a day (at the most) and only involve the workers for that particular business workflow to minimize disruption. By releasing in phases, success in the first phase primes the pump for employees in the next phases to be ready for the improved way of doing business. Once the software is installed and employees are trained, it’s time to turn the implementation live. Just in case of glitches or bugs, the designers of the system need to be available that day for any questions that may come up. Good planning, solid understanding of the business goals, and communication with the employees involved in the process will lead to a successful purchase and implementation document management.
  15. 15. 15 YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT YOU TO GO PAPERLESS TOO! Ahhh, a paperless office – or, more realistically, a less paper office – has become a goal for many businesses now, but did you know most of your customers would agree that they would also like to see less paper? Your customer hates sitting on hold while you rummage through a buried-in-paper-desk to find the document you need just as much as you hate rummaging through the buried-in-paper-desk to find the document. Paperless Helps Provide Instant Satisfaction Imagine yourself as a customer. What if, instead of filling out paperwork in the waiting room of your doctor’s office, you were able to fill it out from the comfort of your own home at your convenience before the appointment? Or if your doctor could pull up all of your health records from a tablet or computer right in the exam room? How about if your real estate agent could access all the details on the home you were standing in from a tablet? Would you feel satisfied as a customer? Instant gratification doesn’t get much more “instant” than that.Everyone benefits from paperless! Client Communication Is Faster and Less Expensive Trying to provide good customer service and having information exclusively on paper is nearly impossible. Staff needs to be able to access all of the customer’s information instantaneously so they can help the customer immediately. Going paperless will improve efficiency greatly. A study from AIIM, revealed that going paperless provided an average of a 6.7 times faster customer response time – that’s a big deal. No More Rummaging With a paperless office, the software will fetch whichever document any staff member or customer requires in a matter of seconds. You no longer have to laboriously search for documents. The result is improved productivity and enhanced customer satisfaction. Enhance Your Professional Image Spending time hunting down documents slows down response time. And in an age where information is at our fingertips and Amazon is delivering orders with drones to our doorsteps in a matter of hours – people (your customers) like convenience. A digital document management system helps your business to proactively provide that convenience through access to all customer data. This ability to quickly locate and retrieve information can enhance your company’s efficiency and professional image. Financial Benefits As the amount of paper copies littering your office will dwindles, electronic communication also decreases storage costs. Going paperless saves money beyond just the cost of the paper, which can be substantial. The costs of other office supplies like ink cartridges, additional upgrades, or replacements to office equipment also decreases in a paperless office. Where there are many benefits to a (paper) document-free office, (improved efficiency, environmentally friendly, cost efficient, etc.) enhanced customer satisfaction is one of the top reasons to make the switch to a paper free (less paper!) workspace.
  16. 16. 16 WHAT’S NEXT? LET’S TALK. It’s time for you to be able to find the documents you need in seconds. Call us now: 1-800-274-2047. Or click below and we’ll be in touch with you. ADVANCED SYSTEMS, an independent office technology leader fulfilling the document workflow needs of businesses for 60 years. We are committed to providing productive and efficient office environments that help customers manage, create,reproduce,andstoretheircompanyinformation.Asanauthorizedreseller,wereceive training and sales support from our manufacturers. This helps us stay current on the latest innovations available so we can recommend the best solution for our customers’ current and future document production needs. We are headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa with over 80 employees in 11 office locations throughout Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota.