Information and paper are two things that companies handle every day and both cost businesses a lot of money. It doesn’t matter if your company is big or small, dealing with information management and paper processes affect us all.
Managing information and paper without an information management strategy can bring bottlenecks into your processes, which can increase financial and regulatory risks and damage vendor and customer relationships. If your operation falls into the small or medium business (SMB) space, you may not feel the pain as severely as if you operate a large enterprise organization where order needs to reign so your hundreds or thousands of employees can all operate efficiently.
Over the past decade, the topic of information management has been getting more traction as increasing numbers of organizations adopt new solutions to manage their information and reduce their reliance on paper. But, there are still many companies that haven’t put a priority on implementing an enterprise content management (ECM) system and have not developed an information management strategy.
As you research a strategy, we’d like to clear up the top four information management misconceptions.
There are many types of information management strategies. Figuring out which is the right one for you will usually involve some decision makers from your IT department. Whether you have a large internal department, a small group or you outsource, the IT team is critical in playing a part in the process of choosing, implementing and adopting your solution. But, the decision is not solely on them. More and more, the business departments have their say. If you want to have a successful ECM implementation, it will take a group effort from all areas of your organization.
Change can be difficult. People typically like to stick to what they know and are comfortable with, even if it’s not the best process. Instead of having to store every document physically and then going crazy to track each down, it truly is easier to have an information management strategy that gives employees a much easier time accessing information. The employee mindset is not unique to specific industries. We see a struggle in a five-person town clerk’s office and a Fortune 500 accounts payable group. Once they realize that having a system in place will make their job easier, they look forward to the change.
If you are looking for a more structured and automated way of managing information, then research an ECM solution. If you focus your search to address a specific problem area, you can ease into that change and set the stage for expanding ECM throughout your company. You don’t need to try to solve all of your issues at once. Work on improving your main areas of concern and then leverage that solution to other areas with a roadmap for installation. Most consultants know that the roadmap is the best tool for showing an organization how process will change and how it can affect different areas. The truth is, you do not need to wait for our ECM implementation to start governing your information. The most common mistake that organizations make is failing to plan and strategize. Develop a methodology now for organizing your documents and information. The more you plan and organize, the easier and more successful, your ECM implementation will be. The larger your organization, the more critical this pre-planning is to your employee adoption and success.
How do you view your organization’s information? Do you see it as just content that needs to find storage space? Your business documents and information are critical assets to the success of your organization and should be managed with strategy. Get the full value from your information and enjoy the assurance and peace of mind that you are minimizing your risks and compliance issues with a well-planned information management strategy. The best part about investing in this area of your business is the huge ROI your organization will realize between monetary savings and valuable employee time. Just think about enabling your accounts payable team with the ability to accelerate their invoice processing so you never accrue late fees. Do more with less and create an audit trail for transparent management review. The risks and costs of not having one far outweigh the initial investment.
The list of misconceptions goes on, of course, but for every misconception there is usually a logical explanation. The key is educating yourself on the technologies, best practices and deployment options around information management before your organization makes those big decisions and investments in new technologies.