3 Tips for Improving Workflow Using Business Process Management Software
Get to Where You Need to Be—Today!
Nearly half a century after the idea of a “paperless society” first emerged, businesses around the globe are still chained to file cabinets jammed with unorganized paper. For many companies, document management still flows sluggishly by way of paper-based processes, which can cause more problems than the occasional paper cut. In a paper-reliant organization, it’s easy for documents to get lost, be misfiled, or go unaccounted for. Often, business-critical data sits unanalyzed and unused. Contracts can expire before final signatures are applied. HR files can get dusty, causing your ideal candidates to be snagged by the competition. Various departments may be using different versions of the same document, working with inaccurate data that can negatively affect your next audit.
It’s time to end the paper chase! Intelligent, fast, and easy-to-use business process management software streamlines productivity across your entire organization. Whether an established enterprise or an ambitious startup, taking paper processes digital will remove any obstacles in your way towards organizational synergy and success. Here are just three ways that enterprise content management (ECM), otherwise known as document management software (DMS), can cut expenses, save time, and boost efficiency.
1. Convert Paper Documents to Digital, Searchable, Actionable Data
The first step to breaking the paper chain is to go full-on digital with documentation. This may seem nearly impossible given the sheer amount of paper most companies store over the years—some estimates say that just one average office employee may churn through as many as 10,000 sheets of paper annually. But, a smart business process management solution with a strong document management component will make document digitization seamless.
Document management software converts paper documentation into digital forms that empower companies to mine, sift, sort, and analyze data quickly and easily. Instead of spending hours hunting down reports, ECM software instantly searches through all of your digital documents for the data you need. ECM software enables decision makers to grasp essential business data and insights in mere moments—something that once took hours, if not days to accomplish.
Let’s face it: Rent can be expensive! A smart document management system also saves a lot of space, both in the office and at offsite storage facilities. Keeping your company documents digital eliminates high rent expenses and saves office space that can be repurposed for more creative, profitable uses.
A business process management software system will also ensure that these digital documents are easy for users to access without any special training. Using a browser-based system, employees at all levels can quickly search and access the documents they need, find the essential data, make necessary changes, and immediately send notifications to pertinent decision makers, moving the documents along their lifecycle. That way, everyone is on the same “digital” page at the same time, cutting down on confusion, mistakes, expense, and wasted time.
2. Collaborate from Anywhere Using the Right Documentation
Think of how much time the average executive wastes while on the road without access to business information. Often, they’ll need a file that unfortunately is back at the office. Tracking down a colleague to scan and email the document takes time out of their day, while delaying your access to that information. When mission-critical documents are housed within an easy-to-use, easy-to-search, digital document management system, information is at your fingertips! Documents can be accessed from any mobile device, eliminating hours of stress and difficulty.
Business process management software systems give companies more power. They provide the most up-to-date documentation and data from the entire enterprise through a secure and reliable interface. ECM software enables faster, more efficient collaboration in the moment, as ideas and conversations are flowing. This speed of access from any location, on any device, puts the decision maker ahead of the game against competitors who may still be digging through their folders back at the office.
3. Boost Document Security and Audit Ease
Putting document management software to work also streamlines efficiency in two key areas: document security and the ability to properly prepare for audits.
Security is top of mind for every company, of any size. Blocking malicious code, hackers, and internal mistakes that leads to data leaks requires a document management system with multiple layers of protection. But the ideal system will go further with granular security controls that enable decision makers to decide which parties within the enterprise can have access to which files. Taking it further, the best business process management system will keep track of who has accessed a document, when the document was accessed, and what modifications were made. Document management software also operates as a system backup, ensuring local disasters will not destroy business documentation—another layer of security that’s just as essential, though much less discussed.
This granular level of security control segues very smoothly into preparing for audits and maintaining regulatory compliance within the selected industry. Knowing that regulations, documents, and specs are all clear, up to date, and up to code prevents uncomfortable moments during audits and helps reduce the points at which non-compliance—and disaster—can take place.
Adopting Business Process Management Software Moving Forward
Perhaps one of the reasons that the paperless office still seems so far away is fear of change. Paper is something a person can hold and touch. Local documents on computers seem close and secure enough. And yet, paper and local computers can be burned, shredded, water damaged, or stolen, and file cabinet locks can be broken into. Staying with paper and disorganized files, in the end, will be more painful than moving to a business process management software system. Moving to the ideal document management system might be just what company’s need to put rocket boosters toward their vision of the future.
Guest writer Lauren Ford is the Marketing Communications Manager for Square 9 Softworks.