Over the past decade, the way we manage our files and documents has evolved. With the introduction of major smartphones in 2007, over time we as consumers began utilizing free digital storage applications like iCloud, DropBox, and Google Photos to make sure our most precious memories were secure and safe in case anything were to happen to our fragile, shiny new smartphones.
But at the same time, we’d head to the office where our work essential files are stored in so many different places – our desk drawers, file cabinets, bookshelves, flash drives, computers, and more. How can this be efficient or effective? Shouldn’t our workplace be just as organized, if not more organized, than our personal files?
Unorganized records and paperwork can have negative implications for your company as well as wasted employee hours and potential civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance. When’s the last time you thought about the effectiveness of your company’s records retention?
Is record management that important?
In a typical business environment, the average employee navigates four or more applications or programs to complete a single task. Doing so may also require the employee to manage multiple passwords and login information, wasting additional time and potentially compromising security. All of this time and focus takes your staff away from other important tasks. On average, employees spend 25% of their time searching for information and managers can spend more than half their time executing routine tasks.
Record-keeping activities impact an organization beyond just the employees directly working with these documents on a daily basis. The broad definition of records management requires that every employee at every level be responsible for following retention requirements. No department is immune.
Many managers don’t fully realize that records consist of every scrap of paper and electronic documents, from faxes and invoices, to hiring and onboarding documents, to voicemails, emails, and database reports.
Across all industries, companies often find themselves disjointed with their storage methods, keeping important records in boxes beneath desks, filing cabinets in unused closets, and flash drives tossed in desk drawers. This leads to missing files, incorrect information, or worst case, compliance issues.
Many organizations believe that using a free online document storage system, email archives, and physical off-site storage facilities are enough. While these types of systems may be sufficient for your personal life, these systems aren’t secure enough for business use, and the costs can add up.
That begs the question, how do you protect your organization while saving employees’ time and resources?
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the answer
Leading organizations, both public and private are investing in electronic records management software and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems to reduce the time and cost associated with records management and document storage and retrieval while keeping their organization compliant.
- Eliminate paper – 90% of business records currently exist on paper
- Save money – 95% reduction in costs related to physical record storage
- Reduce labor costs – 30-50% reduction in costs related to manual data entry
- Improve handling – 20% increase in productivity
Enterprise content management approaches require flexible, scalable, automated records management systems deployed in conjunction with a comprehensive record retention policy which includes a legal hold policy and well thought out business workflows.
What to consider when implementing a new electronic content management system
As you begin your search for the right ECM for your business, there are three important factors to consider to ensure you find the right fit. Different systems also offer different levels of security whether they are locally based on a server in your office or on an external cloud network.
Not all ECMs are created equal; prior to committing to a certain brand or dealer, make sure they can guarantee that the system will integrate with your existing infrastructure. This will help your team save money in the long run.
You don’t want your system to fail, think about worst-case scenarios for your organization, will this system hold up? Ask questions and talk through emergency procedures to ensure you will trust the solution.
Consider who will be using your system, and who you don’t want to have access to it. What protections will be in place? How will you prevent unauthorized users from getting in?
Easy integration with your current IT infrastructure and software products is essential for long-term success post implementation.
What type of features do organizations look for when shopping for ECM software?
Ultimately, all Enterprise Content Management Systems offer similar features, but the decision-making factor for businesses is driven by use case. PiF Technologies ECM systems are completely customizable to your business and industry needs and offer enterprise-level functionality to enhance your workflows company-wide.
- Completely customizable to your industry’s specific needs regarding daily operations, organization size, and security needs. Whether you need 3 users or 33 users, we’ve got your covered.
- AI Intelligent data capture (IDC) simplifies and speeds up the processing of documents in demanding, high volume environments – for example, auto-matching and routing your accounts payable invoices, and quickly converting sales orders, medical claims, and more!
- Advanced scanning & uploading features that allow the import of paper and electronic records in any format from any source. When switching to a digital records system, you will need to efficiently move everything to the new system. Regardless of the form of the record, the system will capture it at the earliest point of entry without additional steps. Importing via scanner, fax, and print features are critical.
- Real-time indexing and data capture that allows a broad array of information to be retained for easy searching, retrieval and filing.
- Secure user-access controls that prevent unauthorized viewing, alteration, and deletion of documents. Staff have access only to their job-necessary documents. This ensures staff privacy across the organization by only allowing staff access to what they need. Authorities can be adjusted as management sees fit on a needs-be basis to ensure effective collaboration.
- Sophisticated search capabilities that allow users to search for a record based on its content, file name, text, metadata, relation to other documents, and more. No more searching through a file cabinet or through your computer’s hard drive – searching via an ECM is quick, painless, and efficient!
- Audit trails for important records. An ECM system centralizes all your important documents for easy and fast retrieval. Regardless of what industry your company falls under, from non-profits to corporations, everyone has a certain set of standards they must follow in order to maintain compliance.
- Defensibility in the case of an auditor’s need for proof of compliance, ensure that your ECM clearly documents policies and procedures that drive processes. Support them with clear proof that the organization follows them.
- Export and transfer documents via PDF, email, png, and more for easy sharing and collaboration across your organization and with your vendors.
- Back up your system via the secure PiF Cloud to protect against accidental loss due to natural disasters, human error, cyber-attacks, and more.
- Easy to Use for all departments. Our professional services team will help your team during and after product implementation to ensure everyone is well equipped on how to best use your new ECM system. Whether it be group training, a webinar session, or one-on-one, we want to ensure your team’s success.
Go digital & save money
PiF Technologies’ ECM systems are completely customizable to your business and industry needs and offer enterprise-level functionality to enhance your workflows company-wide. It is an optimal investment for companies on the rise hoping to maximize their money, time, and resources.
Given the benefits and the predicted rapid growth in the market, the question may not be, “Can I afford to implement an electronic document management system?” It may be more appropriate to ask, “Can I really afford not to?”
Send us a message to set up a one-on-one virtual demo. We’d love to chat with you.