A few years ago, as the world began getting really serious about reducing the use of paper, the Association for Information and Image Management’s online column called “The Digital Landfill” offered a list of things you need to know about business process and workflow. This item—abbreviated here— leaped off the page (er, screen):
Document Your Process to Process Your Documents
What documents need to be captured? Where do they come from and in what format are they (i.e., paper, fax, email, pdf)? Who needs to be involved in their processing? How do rules and regulations affect the process? How can this be done in a better way? What exceptions are there to the processes and how should they be handled?
Documenting your processes allows you to gain clarity and determine the sources of inefficiency, bottlenecks, and problems. You can then re-design the process to focus on the desired result with workflow automation.
Here’s the kicker: “The biggest mistake an organization can make is to replicate their manual, error-prone processes with technology.”
Well, that’s obvious, you might say. But it happens all the time. If your business is document-intensive and in the market for a document management software solution, then the way to avoid falling down that rabbit hole is to begin evaluating software to see if it can deliver the intuitive, cloud-enabled system you envision—not just an upgrade of the cobbled-together process you may have.
Assessing the Software
Top 10 Reviews of new technologies conducts an assessment of software solutions every year. They’ve found that the most important things to consider when you’re looking for document management software best suited to your business are organization, workflow, and usability. The software’s features, tools, and integration capabilities are key. Here are a few questions they suggest you ask yourself:
- Software Features: Does the software come with advanced Scanning Profiles and templates? If so, great. They will help you manage large volumes of documents and store the digital files consistently.
- Tools: Will the tools facilitate collaboration? Your software should be able to convert virtually any document–—paper or electronic—into a pdf and to capture text from imaged documents. Will the software’s tracking tools help you maintain proper procedures, processes, and permissions at multiple levels of security? The answer should be yes.
- Integration: Is your new software compatible with your existing and any widely used software programs, such as Microsoft Office?
Again, this last item may seem obvious, but think of the many different software programs you’ve added in the last couple of years, Accounting? Customer relationship management? Enterprise resource planning programs? You want your document management software program to fully integrate your current email systems and word processors.
Other factors that leading document management system providers such as Commonwealth Digital Office Solutions advise you to consider are:
- Easy customization: You want a program that can solve everyday problems with “out-of –the-box” solutions for processes such as account payable automation, employee onboarding, case management, and contract management.
- Enterprise Scalability: Whatever the nature or size of your organization—from a small, paper-intensive law office to an interstate trucking company, a national corporation or a global enterprise-class organization—you want to be sure your software is scalable.
A modular design that scales out as well as up will provide you with the robust tools you need now, or in the future, to handle variable data printing, workflow automation, and web forms management. At the enterprise level, you’ll want to evaluate the software for test bench applications and licensing for disaster recovery.
- Easy to Learn and Use: In addition to the factors above, the best document management software for you also should be one that is easy for your employees to learn and use.
- The Cost Factor: No matter the size of your business or complexity of your organization, there comes the time to weigh value and price. The great advantage of modular-designed software is its flexibility. You can purchase only the tools you need now and add more later. But it’s important to know your supplier will be there when you are.
- Trust and Support: That brings us to the matter of trust in your document system provider, their software partners, and the quality of help you can expect to receive from them.
Top 10 Reviews cautions you to be sure you can count on the software provider for help. “ FAQs, user forums, video tutorials and other helpful information are some of the options that may be available from the provider’s website. You’ll also want to know if you can contact the company by email, phone or live chat.”
At Commonwealth Digital Office Solutions, the commitment to customer service is in the company’s DNA. Through its All Covered Care program, the company ensures customers of 24/7 support for Document Management Systems, Managed Network Services, Systems Integration, and Hardware and Software Solutions, including Document Management Software Programs.
Clearly, there are a lot of factors to consider when you decide it’s time to get serious about your document management issues. In addition to those above, there’s one more: a resource like Commonwealth that you can trust to give you sound advice.
To learn more about Commonwealth’s software programs and how they can meet your needs and expectations, just call or contact us here.