When making any decisions for you organization, understanding its Return on Investment (ROI) is a key factor. When implementing an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution, it can initially be difficult to see its ROI. The benefits of ECM are clear, including streamlining your paper-based processes, enhanced protection of your data, and the reduction of your reliance on physical documents to name a few. Its ROI can be further improved by establishing your investment in ECM as a stepping stone towards complete digital transformation.
Going Beyond a Point Solution
Many businesses implement solutions by solving individual problems with point solutions, typically stemming from specific pain points within the organization. While the solutions they embrace do solve specific problems, they often overlook the cause of the issue or additional potential for future stability through a stronger holistic solution.
This can quickly lead to organizations spending more money and time on individual solutions, rather than embracing complete transformation of their processes. Often the concept of “digital transformation” is daunting to executives worried about the initial upfront investment, but the decision can be made easier by educating yourself on the specific benefits of a solution as well as how it can integrate with your existing business infrastructure.
DocStar, PiF Technologies’ software partner, recently published a white paper in partnership with Levvel Research titled “Tackling AP Automation with a Holistic Document Management Approach.” This report focuses on primary research of middle market organizations and how they can directly benefit from a holistic approach to ECM.
In it they identify middle market as companies with $2 billion to $100 billion in annual revenue. The research study looked at companies within this revenue range in North America.
They highlight that an approach to establish ECM ROI is by utilizing it on top of existing technology efforts, specifically within the Accounts Payable and Invoice Management space, but also within Human Resources, Contract Management, Sales Order Processing, and Quality Control. By integrating your ECM, specifically one that’s cloud-based and designed to scale with your existing line of business applications, it means that its ROI greatly improves. This also means there’s a longer-term benefit to your organization.
Embracing Digital Transformation
The report highlights AP Automation as the entry point to full scale digital transformation. This is especially due to three key drivers highlighted in the report:
ECM drives ROI by expanding the value of a single technology implementation. Organizations seeking to maximize the ROI of an AP automation solution should aim for a best-in-class solution targeting a particular pain point, but that can also be applied beyond that space as resources grow. This enables an organization to increase the long-term value of a single technology investment and enables scalable digital transformation for companies determined to remain competitive.
ECM drives ROI by empowering departments and supporting processes across the organization. With a strong ECM platform, one solution can transform many functions. For example, advanced document management and workflow features can automate AP processes as well as HR onboarding, training, and form management. ECM can also support other departments, such as Accounts Receivable, Procurement, Expense Reporting, Sales, Customer Support, and the C-suite, as the platform is applicable to multiple business functions.
ECM drives ROI by comprehensively improving collaboration and efficiency and reducing costs. ECM helps reduce paper volume, manual data entry, and time-consuming manual workflows. It also facilitates more strategic allocation of back-office labor. By providing secure digital storage, ECM reduces the pressure on an organization’s IT department, which further contributes to better use of company resources and higher ROI. ECM also improves overall communication and streamlines back-office processes. ECM leads to savings from optimized labor costs, strategic staff reallocation, and a reduced need for outsourcing various back-office functions.
Beyond those three key factors, there are also additional trends to make note of:
Invoice receipt method: how does your organization receive invoices? Physical? Digital? A mix of the two? Do they come in the mail or over email?
Invoice data entry methods: how does data get input from your invoice to your ERP?
Invoice approval time: how long does it take from the receipt of an invoice to the final approval? A day? A week?
AP pain points: where do you see room for improvement within your AP process? What is slowing down employees in their process?
Barriers to AP automation adoption: what is preventing your organization from moving forward with implementing an automation solution? Timing? Cost? Understanding your barriers can better help prepare for selecting your solution.
Net benefits of AP automation: Understanding your organization’s specifics of AP automation benefits can help you better understand