How Your Business Can Benefit from Content Management
You probably feel your business is running smoothly and efficiently. Take a closer look, and you’re likely to find that there are many manual steps for even the most basic business functions, many driven by the movement of paper documents from one employee or department to another.
Content management provides an infrastructure for efficient handling of documents electronically, and is often referred to as document management, or Enterprise Content Management (ECM).
Why Adopt ECM?
To start with, paper documents add cost to business processes:
- Creating and printing takes time, and requires costly printing equipment and associated supplies
- Distributing, filing, and storing archived documents adds manual steps and needs continuously growing storage space, which is often at a premium
- Paper documents can be misplaced, damaged or destroyed, or read by unauthorized personnel
- Special forms are expensive, and require frequent updates as needs or legal requirements change
- Delays in handling paper documents can slow down the pace of business, which is increasingly important in today’s competitive environment
- Green initiatives are a major objective of most businesses, including the move toward a paperless office. ECM enables your business to make a significant move in that direction
How often have you had to wait for someone to locate a specific document in order to answer a business question? How long have you made a customer wait for information on an important order?
Content management (ECM) provides the solution for improving efficiency and reducing cost. It also enables your business to get more done in less time, with fewer resources. Morale is even increased for employees, who are no longer saddled with the dreaded paper-shuffling back and forth.
How It Works
With the advancement of technology and the internet (now often referred to in business as the “cloud”), digital preparation and management of business documents is more practical than ever before. Of course, ECM can also be implemented in-house, leveraging internal IT skills and infrastructure.
Business departments can create documents electronically, and route them to the appropriate recipient or groups automatically through configurable workflow processes. This can be for informational purposes, digital signatures and approvals, or review and subsequent storage in electronic “file cabinets.”
Need to find a document? Intelligent search techniques are integrated into ECM systems that permit rapid retrieval of the item you need. Organizational options are defined as you need, sorting documents into the file cabinets or electronic in-baskets you’ve determined are appropriate for your workflow.
A critical concern regarding digital processing of documents is of course security. ECM can provide effective security for who can create, view, alter, remove, and distribute various types of documents. This is especially relevant for business practices related to financial services or healthcare.
Getting Started with ECM
You’re probably aware already of some component or process in your business that could benefit from a more efficient handling of documents, or a total transformation to paperless workflow. Getting started will require a well-defined strategy:
- Target a specific area or department as a pilot for ECM implementation. Don’t try biting off too much in your initial phase.
- Determine how you will measure the project’s success, with pre-defined metrics that all stakeholders agree to.
- Be sure you have buy-in from management to help smooth the way through replacing outmoded and inefficient processes. There will be resistance to change and you will need high-level commitment to avoid delays and provide the “wins” you’ve identified.
- Select an ECM system that meets your needs and provides the features that are most important to your business. A provider that cannot provide documented case studies and references is not the right company to lead you through such an initiative. Check the proposed vendor’s financial credentials and business reputation – steer clear of a company just entering the content management arena. Experience counts in this business transformation.
- Communicate! Keep stakeholders and impacted employees involved and informed of progress, and train effectively in the use of the new system. Buy-in and acceptance of the new methodology is critical to project success.
Kelley Connect – a Total Content Management Solution
Partnering with an experienced ECM provider is the first step toward achieving the efficiency and cost-savings that are part of content management.
Kelley Connect has the technical and business expertise that streamlines the definition of your goals and transforming them to reality.
Kelley Connect can help you implement a program of content management that includes efficient workflow and intelligent search capabilities. Contact us today for a no-charge, no-obligation assessment of how an all-in-one ECM solution can propel your business into the digital age.