7 compelling reasons to use, optimise and automate your document management platform
This blog has touched (sometimes at length) on the benefits of regularly reviewing business applications and their wider functionality to get the best out of them. For many though, their document management system is still something that was put in to address a specific need and then never advanced / improved to the benefit of the company as a whole. A few years ago BPA (business process automation) was a fairly capable set of workflow tools but these days, with improvements in technology, the scope and potential of BPA has increased dramatically.
According to Gartner Group, “Business process automation (BPA) is defined as the automation of complex business processes and functions beyond conventional data manipulation and record-keeping activities, usually through the use of advanced technologies.”
In terms of business use case for BPA, a few examples may include:
- Processing orders from customers
- Purchasing of goods and services for the business
- Operational reporting and analysis
- Reconciling accounts
- Forecasting and budgeting
- Recruiting new talent
- Evaluating the performance of current employees
- Handling of standardised employee requests
So, without further delay, here are the 7 compelling reasons to continue using, further optimse and include business process automation configurations on your existing document management platform.
- Productivity – human interaction with any document is both ‘expensive’ and time consuming. By reducing the number of human touchpoints in a process, using automation to extract, associate and progress not only frees up the time of employees to work on more demanding work items, it likely will increase data accuracy and reduce errors.
- Cost saving – as above, releasing your workforce to concentrate on the more complex tasks means a faster, more efficient processing of work load leading to a reduction in overall costs as delays are avoided, transactions are processed efficiently and supply chains are optimised – it won’t mean a reduction in headcount, just your staff not getting bogged down in ‘admin’.
- Higher client / supplier satisfaction – with efficient processes and with employees readily available to converse with suppliers and customers alike, the perception of your business can only improve. This ‘good’ rating may allow preferential rates from suppliers and increase orders from existing clients and new (through positive recommendations).
- Source / Location / Time agnostic – bringing the first three points together, a well optimised capture process with BPA enabled and an ECM (Enterprise Content Management) platform with web / mobile tools allows that ingestion, processing, approval and completion of task regardless of the what/when/where/how.
- Secure Storage of files and data – Gone are the days of box files / steel filing cabinets littering the office space as are the long tedious searches through them to find (a potentially misplaced) item. ECM platforms not only store current items for immediate, easy retrieval through contextual searches but they can also quickly and efficiently be used to store the historical archives created pre-implementation. Not only does this make potentially useful historical data available for forecasting / customer service but it could allow the removal of significant storage space and reduce cost.
- Access control and audit trails – With increased availability comes the need to ensure proper control on the data, whether for GDPR, financial or intellectual property security. ECM platforms should be continuously reviewed to ensure employees have only relevant permissions (to their role) and auditing should be reviewed periodically to ensure that data is being correctly captured. Doing this will not only ensure consistency during normal operation but will minimise risk both legally and financially to the company.
- Creation, version & growth control of records – Not everything needs to be stored and that which does is not necessarily needed to persist forever. Maintaining records, both versions and destruction of, could be a monumental manual task for an employee but is simple to automate through BPA. Ensuring only current documents are used during transaction processing is vital for accuracy and efficiency, whilst records management ensures compliance in data removal therefore reducing risk. Effective records management can also reduce cost by ensuring the storage infrastructure required does not have to continually expand.
Toby Gilbertson, Customer Services Manager. June 2021.
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