The triggering of Article 50, signalling the UK’s plan to withdraw from the European Union, has introduced a period of considerable uncertainty for UK businesses. As they navigate new uncharted territory, these things are paramount; the need to be more agile, productive, cost-effective, competitive and more desirable to trade with than ever before. Companies face increased pressure to be proactive, make informed decisions and respond to changes quickly.
To flourish in this new business landscape, firms must take control of their basic processes. All businesses, regardless of size, industry, or location, need to manage their paperwork. This is often seen as a necessary evil, dealt with as part of how the business functions.
However, companies rarely analyse how much time this takes, or how accurate and effective they are. This has a direct impact on a firm’s ability to meet deadlines, respond to queries, offer great customer service, win new contracts, pay suppliers, effectively track payments and provide up-to-date financial reporting.
Managing your paperwork
How can organisations build a solid foundation for effectively managing their documents and data? Firstly, they must analyse what they do and how they work. What’s good, what’s not and what steps can be removed altogether. Secondly, they must introduce the right technology, such as document management, workflow or data processing systems to improve and automate the way they work.
What is a data processing system?
A Data Processing system takes raw data and uses automated technology to convert/manipulate it into a more useful form such as a diagram, report, or table.
What is workflow?
Workflow describes the flows of work within a business or the steps involved in a particular process.
What is Cloud storage?
Cloud Storage is when your documents and data are stored on remote servers that can be accessed by users over the internet. The remote servers are maintained, managed and backed up by a cloud service provider.
What is manual data entry?
Typing information into a computer system by hand. The information may have been received on paper or in a digital format such as a word document or pdf. Information received in a digital format is printed out and then typed back into the system by hand.
A document management system is often described, in simple terms, as a central repository to store electronic documents and data, however, it is so much more. It allows you to work with your documents and data and can provide many benefits to your business.
Document management systems integrate with other business systems and technology to streamline and improve how you work. Think about how you currently manage your documents. How do you find the document in the filing cabinet? What happens when a document is misfiled or lost? Do you print out documents that you have received as electronic files?
With a document management system, data is automatically captured as it enters the business, thus removing the need to enter data manually, saving time and reducing errors. This creates indexed documents that can be searched for and retrieved in seconds. Companies can answer queries quickly, and no longer need to print documents to store in filing cabinets. When colleagues store important documents on flash drives, as attachments in email inboxes, on desktops, or in cloud storage, accessing them can be difficult, or impossible. A document management system makes key documents available to the people who need them when they need them.
The addition of electronic business workflow allows companies to be more productive by using automation to deliver documents to the right person, at the right time. Workflow ‘rules’ are used to ensure that procedures are followed every time, reducing the need for human intervention and allowing employees to deal only with exceptional cases.
For example, in an Automated Invoice Processing workflow, data is captured from paper and digital invoices, recognised, interpreted and processed with little or no intervention. A process that can take multiple steps from receipt of invoice to payment can be completed in seconds.
Typically, only 20% of invoices contain an anomaly. This workflow allows users to deal with those invoices, while the other 80% are processed automatically. By integrating document management with your finance system, data can be seamlessly transferred from one to another.
Security and permissions are set restricting who has access to which documents and what actions they can perform. For example, only employees in the Human Resources department can access HR documents. This security and additional features such as audit trails, version control and reporting, allows firms to prove they have acted in line with compliance regulations. It’s extremely important for customers and businesses to know their data is safe and processed correctly in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Embracing cloud technology
In a changing business landscape, more firms see the advantages of embracing new technologies to support a diverse mobile workforce. Cloud-hosted systems can offer distinct advantages.
The speed, connectivity and mobility offered by a cloud solution, enables mobile workers to function as part of a close-knit team. With internet access and a web-enabled device, they can collaborate with colleagues in real time. With access to unlimited processing power, applications hosted in a cloud environment are faster, more secure and more flexible than existing IT systems.
As business processing needs fluctuate, you can quickly increase or decrease the amount of cloud storage you want. You don’t have to pay for cloud servers 24/7; you only pay for what you use, when you use it, with some companies only paying for access five days a week.
Cloud storage is typically more secure. Cloud providers invest a lot of time and money in their technology and operational processes, keeping their data centres and servers safe and secure and ensuring customers always have access to the latest technology. When you store your data in the cloud you can take advantage of this enhanced security.
The following examples demonstrate how YourDMS have improved a variety of businesses:
Fileturn Construction replaced the manual paper data entry with automated data capture using scanners and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, instantly transforming documents and forms into usable, accessible data ready for export into business applications, saving time and reducing errors.
Endeavour Insurance Services introduced Email Capture, an automated workflow that stores copies of selected emails in the document management system, where they are easily accessible. Lost emails are a risk to effective decision making and good customer relationships.
At Pets Corner, we reduced the time it takes to process, approve and pay supplier invoices, enabling them to take advantage of prompt payment discounts, strengthen supplier relationships, and create an agile Accounts Payable department.
We moved Derby Healthcare PLC to a cloud platform in less than a day, with minimal downtime, allowing them to work faster using cutting edge technology.
At Weir Minerals, we automated the process for collating export documentation for products that are shipped overseas, ensuring that goods don’t get held up in customs.
Our solutions allow businesses to grow in a sustainable way. They can handle increased amounts of administration without employing additional staff. This increases bottom line profit, which can be invested in sales and marketing, where new business can be won.
UK businesses who embrace new technology will take the first steps in future-proofing their operations.
For organisations who need to better manage their documents and access the vast amounts of data at their fingertips, a document management system is essential. It will enable an organisation to become more cost-effective, productive and competitive. It has been shown to proactively increase bottom line profit, growth and market share. Everything a business needs in a highly competitive world!cona
If you would like to understand how you can improve your business processes and reduce your operating costs, then contact us today and let’s talk.