No one will use a typewriter for business in 2023. Even if you didn’t already go completely paperless, you first prepare the document in a digital format and print it out later. How do you track it all with so many documents you’re working on within a digital environment? The wisest way to approach this topic is with a decent ECM.
What is enterprise content management?
Before we proceed, we must stress that an ECM isn’t a tool. It’s a system that allows you to obtain, organize, store, and access critical information on demand. Now, different platforms allow you to do this differently; for instance, M-Files vs. SharePoint. The choice of the platform is on you, but the fact that, as an enterprise, you need an ECM is non-negotiable. Here are the top five reasons why!
Save Time and Money
How long would it take to find a file stashed in a drawer or a cabinet? Well, it depends on how stacked it is and how lucky you are. The thing is that your search is, for the most part, random. Unless you know the exact serial number, you will have to go through volumes and volumes of folders. With the ECM, you can use an advanced search function to get what you need immediately.
Second, hiring a person to tend to these archives can be expensive. Moreover, just buying a storage unit in the form of a file cabinet can cost your company upward of $1,500 per year. Going paperless and using an enterprise content management system lets you skip all these unnecessary steps.
Lastly, you must consider what else you are sacrificing by not saving time here. Searching for files is not just boring; it’s actively taking people from their core tasks. You’re assigning people to something menial while distracting them from creative tasks that a human should do.
Better Customer Service
The main reason why your customer service is taking so long to help your clients is that they lack access to vital customer data. To get the information they need, they must ask for access from someone in a different department (sales, IT, etc.) and wait for approval. With an ECM, they can access the data they need immediately without waiting for this confirmation.
By getting ECM, you’re streamlining the customer service process and making it much quicker. You see, the quickness of response and successful resolution of a problem are two of three pillars of great customer support (the third being the politeness of your staff). It’s easy to see how ECS could help you improve in both fields.
Remember that good customer service helps improve the overall reputation of your business. A solved problem can seriously contribute towards making a return customer.
Content management software is optimized to provide the greatest data protection against cybersecurity threats. Needless to say, this is one of the biggest concerns of anyone doing business in a digital environment. You can also give access to various data based on your position in the enterprise. This means that you control who can access what data.
Having your data stolen by a malicious third party is just one thing that you should be worried about. According to some surveys, about 7.5% of documents eventually get lost. With content management and all your documents in a digital format, this won’t happen. You should not underestimate the amount of money lost due to this document misplacement/mismanagement.
A good enterprise content management system will prevent this data loss by backing up your documents and making them easily recoverable. Because the data is optimized for browsing and getting on-demand, it’s a lot easier to check if everything is there (if you’re suspicious about the security of it all).
Automate Business Process
The content management system automatically stores and protects your data. There’s no active effort like you would have to do with the printed version of the documents. You don’t have to print anything, put it in a folder, and then categorize it properly. You don’t even have to digitally drag it into a folder and name it in a way that will make it easier to search.
The reason why this is so important is that it saves effort while providing uniformity automatically. As your business grows and the number of documents you’ll work with will grow exponentially as time passes. Automated business processes are scalable, and the sooner you introduce them, the more resilient your business will become.
With the right automation framework, you can easily set up this system. Just keep in mind that automation is a descriptive term that doesn’t have an innate, intrinsic value. This means it’s up to you to automate the process in a way that’s the most convenient for your business.
Your business processes heavily depend on your inter-departmental communication. As we’ve already mentioned, this can be inefficient and time-consuming. Luckily for you, by automating business processes, this can run a lot smoother.
Previously, we’ve talked about the importance of leaving people to tend to their core tasks instead of them wasting time looking for files. There’s a hidden reason why this is so important. Creative businesses require inspiration. Breaking this inspired state to do something menial is one of the easiest ways to lose this spark.
Finally, the flow of information is important, and many tasks rely on other tasks being handled first. For instance, you need to complete stage A to start working on stage B. Finding and handling the right document may be a bottleneck slowing you down from progressing to the next stage. With the right ECM, you can eliminate this completely.
In the end, the benefits of using an ECM outweigh the costs. The method is scalable, saves time and money, and increases productivity. Most importantly, it makes your documents easily accessible, which is the original intention behind archiving. All that is left is to find the best enterprise content management system and start using it.