Go Beyond Document Management to Business Processes Management
Many paper-based processes, while at their core essential to a business’s operation, can be improved when transformed into digital processes. That’s why it’s important to go beyond your old document management system (or outdated paper system), and look at your business processes to see how they can be better managed using today's AI and automation technologies. The benefits are amazing!
Document management, whether digital or paper-based, refers to the organization and storage of documents, in a predetermined system that enables users to find, share and edit documents. Electronic document management systems commonly provide storage, versioning, metadata, security, indexing and retrieval capabilities. Paper document management systems commonly provide...file cabinets.
Benefits of Business Process Management
Business Processes Management (BPM) is a systematic approach to making an organization's workflow more effective, more efficient and adaptable. The goal of BPM is to reduce human error and miscommunication and focus stakeholders on the requirements of their roles.
A document-centric BPM system is one that focuses on the management of documents within the context of the business processes that the documents fulfill. For instance, a legal document may require editing by an administrator, review by a legal assistant, case law research by a legal intern and final signature by a partner. The document needs to be managed as it goes through the processes to its completion.
The paper-based way of doing this is by moving a paper document from one desk to another. A more advanced way is with an electronic document that is emailed from person to person. The problem with either of these methods is the human element.
A more effective way is to remove the human element from each transaction by creating business process rules that “move” the document seamlessly from one person to another. This rules-based workflow allows an administrator to create a rule that dictates the flow of the document through an organization: for instance, an invoice passes through an approval process and then is routed to the accounts-payable department. Dynamic rules allow for branches to be created in a workflow process. A simple example would be to enter an invoice amount and if the amount is lower than a certain set amount, it follows different routes through the organization. Advanced workflow mechanisms can manipulate content or signal external processes while these rules are in effect.
Using the Cloud
This entire document management/business processes management paradigm is easier to combine and manage in a Cloud based BPM. IF your business is a large one, with many locations, many employees and many different processes spread across various departments, you would do well to hire a business process consultant to help you map out your essential processes and recommend a solution. Even small organizations benefit from an outside opinion when it comes to workflow automation.
Large or small, your business will be improved with a Cloud-based BPM. You’ll be able to:
- Eliminate paper files and paper at its source
- Determine which processes can be improved with AI and digital automation.
- Choose a BPM system that will enable you to store, manage, search and process your documents in a logical way
- Provide enterprise and remote access to documents, based upon need
- Create audit trails for process management and legal discovery
- Integrate and automate business processes with your document management system
- Make the best use of your resources
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.