As you begin your journey to go paperless, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the many options and different types of functionality available. The best way to get started is to take a look at your current processes and identify the biggest challenges you want to solve. You can come up with 100 different ways to use a document management solution within your organization, but tackling the most pressing issues first will help you focus. However, keep the other 99 or so ideas in the back of your mind and make sure the solution you choose can accommodate your needs as you grow.
So what is your biggest paper challenge? Is it simply the fact that you have trouble finding documents when you need them? Or maybe you are spending too much money on mail and courier fees trying to send documents between remote office locations? Let’s walk through a couple of challenges and the types of solutions that can be used to address them.
- Access to Documents – One problem with a paper document is that as soon as it leaves your hands, you no longer have visibility to that information. Storing paper documents in file cabinets can be a time-consuming system to maintain and makes them easy to lose. Consider simply starting with an electronic file cabinet to store your documents digitally and give continual visibility to everyone with the proper security rights.
- Structuring Workflows – Another common challenge is managing the document approval process. Invoices might need to be passed to one person if they’re over a certain amount and to another person for certain vendors. If you ask one person to describe the workflow, you might get a completely different answer than from someone else. If the process a document goes through is structured and automation is added, the guesswork will be taken out of the equation. Plus, you gain reporting capabilities and notifications if anything goes outside the protocol, allowing you to manage to the exception instead of the rule.
- Document Delivery – When it comes to sending documents outside your organization, mailing gets expensive and keeping track of who has authorized the email alternative can be even more challenging. An integrated document management solution can automatically send the documents to the recipient in the preferred format and delivery method once they are created.
You can go paperless in any department – accounts payable, accounts receivable, human resources, legal, and many more. You can also use the solution to manage a number of different tasks – storing documents, processing them through workflow, outputting them, minimizing data entry to the ERP, and many more. The important thing to keep in mind is that you can start small and address your immediate needs, but you must find a solution that can scale up and continue to add functionality and value as your needs change.
The TM Group can help you find the perfect solution to meet all your needs – no matter how big or small they may be. To see a presentation about Altec’s scalable document management solution integrated to Microsoft Dynamics,
Authored by: Christi Sobodos, Altec and Jennifer Swiderski, The TM Group