Get Your Head in the Cloud for BPM!
Having control of information is vital to your business. You need to protect sensitive records. You need to find the information you need right away to answer customer or vendor questions. You need immediate access to information for legal queries, or to improve compliance and accelerate processes. You need to control workflow so that you can track where all of your documents are at any given moment. Business Process Management is the answer!
In order to manage effectively, you also need to see what’s been done on your documents at any time during the whole process. Maybe it's time to get your head in the Cloud!
Here's a three-pronged approach that works:
- Eliminate paper documents at the source
- Use a Cloud ECM (like ImageSilo, our personal favorite) to secure your digital documents and provide log-in based access to authorized users
- Establish efficient, automated workflows to ensure that all steps in all processes are completed.
Elimination of Paper Documents
Paper document elimination usually requires several steps:
- Scan(digitize, image) existing paper files that need to be retained
- Store all archived files in a Cloud ECM.
- Scan all incoming documents in the mailroom and transmit them electronically to stop paper at its source.
- Use online forms rather than paper forms to gather data.
Most paper-based organizations find that it's helpful to have outside help when it comes time to eliminate paper. Scanning and imaging services, like Paper Alternative, are proficient at getting the job done quickly and accurately. While it's tempting to think that you can buy a couple of scanners and do it yourself to save money, in practice this is seldom a good idea.
Above all, have a plan for storing and accessing the data once it's digital. Don't replace paper chaos with digital chaos. Choose an appropriate Electronic Content Management (ECM) Sollution. We like Cloud-based solutions because they're quickly implemented, lower cost, and they eliminate your need for IT support. Bonus--their software is always up to date!
Use the Right Cloud ECM
Before you choose an Electronic Content Management Cloud, know your business process goals. If your only goal is to archive files, that requires a less sophisticated solution than is required to eliminate paper and implement automated workflows. One caveat: Most organizations that start out planning only to archive files soon find out that archiving files doesn't make a difference in daily business management efficiency. So, even if all you plan to do initially is to get rid of paper files, make sure you have a plan and a solution that allows for expansion into full-fledged BPM. (That's were you'll see a real difference in daily workflow and accountability.)
Workflow and Accountability
Workflow and accountability constitute the "secret sauce" of any Cloud ECM solution. Elimination of paper is like plain hamburger on a dry bun -- it's the starting point. But your automated workflows and business process management are the secret ingredients that can make your business succeed when others fall by the wayside. Accountability, compliance, automation, error reduction, increased production are all possible (and likely) with a Cloud ECM that supports workflow automation and Business Process Management.
So...get your head in the Cloud, and start cooking up your recipe for a successful transition from paper-based workflow to digital business process management. And, if you need suggestions, recommendations or a see-it-for-yourself demo, contact us. We're here to help.