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What Public Records Access Non-Compliance Looks LIKE

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 @ 12:25 PM

I just finished reading an article in the Providence Journal, “Town settles suit over records access.”  In this article, it stated the Town of North Kingston, RI agreed to pay a fine as they acknowledged it violated the state’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA) a year ago.  It got me thinking that if a small Rhode Island town such as North Kingston was fined, what calamities are happening at the city, county state and federal levels.  This inspired me to write about it, knowing the perfect solution exists right here in the Konia Minolta storehouse of Information Management offerings.

To begin to understand how requests can slip through the cracks or mistakes are made, let me recap this article and use it as a simple example of an APRA breach of compliance.

What happened?

A former School Committee member sent an email seeking information about a School Committee request to transfer money out of its budget.  He received no reply. He then filedperson a complaint with the Attorney General’s office, which, in turn, filed suit against the town in Superior Court.

Under APRA, a public body must supply the requested documents within 10 business days or seek a 20-day extension.  If a request is denied, the reason must be sent within 10 days. 

The town only responded after the School Committee member filed his APRA complaint with the Attorney General’s office.  The original request had been overlooked in the pending resignation of the town finance director.  The Attorney General’s office, however, found the town in violation and announced in a news release that the town acknowledged the violation, agreed to pay the fine, and settle the suit.

Does it seem harsh to you?  It does to me.  BUT, it is a state and federal mandate.

So how do government agencies cope with the overwhelming amount of requests, tight deadlines to meet these requests, the unexpected occurrences such as resignations, and the usual lost or misplaced paperwork/information?

We recommend our Public Records Request solution. With this solution, you simplify create a request submission and it follows a workflow until fulfillment.  From simple, automated online request capabilities and comprehensive record searches to digital delivery, our Public Records Request solution  improves the process from beginning to end. The solution tracks and stores all information surrounding a request as well, so any time an audit comes up, it’s easy to demonstrate that your organization completed requests within the legal timeframes. With a digital solution to record your requests and activity, you get the transparency and speed your constituents expect for completing public records request.


We love this solution as it allows the government agencies to meet its responsibilities of safeguarding and providing public records – despite budget cuts and staff reductions- and to use a phased in approach. This Information Management system allows governments to start with a basic system to fulfill immediate needs and then ramp up the system’s capacity when cost allows or demand increases.

Need to see for yourself how an automated Public Records solution can help your government entity complete timely records requests without using additional staff?  Contact us now for a complimentary demo.

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Tags: Document Scanners, OnBase workflow, Workflow, go paperless, enterprise content management,, government, Records Management

Eliminate ECM User Experience Obstacles

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 @ 11:40 AM

Let’s face the truth, some people are resistant to change.  Whether it be the simple “foot dragger” or the outright rebellious staff member, when people resist change it’s because they believe some aspect of what you want to do as not being in their (not the organization’s) best interest. This could be a mistaken belief or they could possibly be correct.  Either way, their resistance makes perfect sense to them.

With new technology you have the potential to make a big impact that will affect both the organization and your clients.  If you have identified a need to implement an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution to digitize, centralize, and store documents electronically so you have total access to all supporting documents as it applies to a Human Resource file, a contract or a customer service issue, training of staff might be when of your top concerns.  So don’t force them to use another system if they don’t have to. After all, the point of ECM is to use the technology to get more work accomplished in a more efficient and time saving way.

With Hyland’s  OnBase solution provided through Konica Minolta, the ECM system does not have to be what the user lives in for their primary line of business software.  Instead, The ECM system can be running in the background of their existing line of business whether it be SAP, PeopleSoft,  Microsoft Sharepoint, Saleforce or any of the hundreds of applications. As a result, many people don’t even know they are using ECM, they simply see additional functionality as a new feature in their existing line of business software.   Read on….

Tags: Document Management, ECM, enterprise content management,, Technology,

Extend Microsoft SharePoint ECM Strength with OnBase

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Fri, Dec 29, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

Would you go to an Irish pub to get a good Italian dinner? Granted, that pub may have lasagna on the menu and it would taste okay. But if you’re looking to get a real “Italiano” meal, you would go to an Italian restaurant; specific to the quality and taste of food you’re looking for.

The same goes for Microsoft SharePoint and Enterprise Content Management (ECM). You could use the ECM component in SharePoint and it would work fine, but it wouldn’t provide the robust functionality your organization needs for a true content management system. The basic goal of SharePoint is to make possible for a company with many employees spread all over to work with the same level of agility and coordination as a company with just 10 employees working out of a single office.

A classic example is Project Management. SharePoint is great for collaborating across teams and organizations. It’s a great repository for new documents and presentations while you and your team work together. But SharePoint falls short in many areas when categorizing it as a “Document Management” or ECM option. Specifically, it falls short of its promise of storing all of a company’s information centrally and in an organized fashion. It’s significant in many areas, but when it comes to central, organized storage, the functionality just isn’t there.

First, let’s learn more about SharePoint.

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 11.02.07 AM.pngSince its introduction in 2001, Microsoft SharePoint has been widely used to build team collaboration sites and portals, most frequently to address content access and document collaboration for work groups. SharePoint is an inexpensive , easy to deploy, easy to use solution that addresses the complex requirements organizations have for managing and collaborating on business documents. With the release of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, the product expanded beyond its initial roots to include more complete capabilities for content management, business intelligence, search and electronic forms creation and management.

Today, I turn your focus to the “content management” hexagon piece. Content is a low level form of ECM. Many experts question whether it provides true enterprise content management capabilities.

What challenges/problems were organizations facing that created a need for a more robust “content” SharePoint piece?

  • Drowning in Paper
  • Manual processes causing too many errors that were costing time and money
  • Manual file and document retrieval was time consuming and therefore expensive
  • Project content sharing not easy

While Sharepoint contains elements that can either enhance or replace some of the more basic ECM functions, it’s more difficult or nearly impossible for Sharepoint to be a true ECM replacement. Some even argue that it’s just another general purpose application -- albeit powerful -- that can clean up and organize many a cluttered shared drive.

A key limitation that warrants consideration is SharePoint’s challenge to support large amounts of content. While capable of managing scanned document images, such as paper invoices, legal contracts and correspondence in low quantities or within smaller organizations, Sharepoint quickly reaches its limits when storing large document volumes, which are typical in most organizations. In addition, many users consider Sharepoint to lack enough bandwith for some applications, particulary records management and archives. As a result, users are showing a very strong interest in third-party integrations which complete the functionality gaps. Many are looking to integrate Sharepoint with front-end capture systems and new or existing repositiories to fashion a more robust and capable ECM infastructure.

The functionality gaps caused many organizations to recognize the need to use SharePoint in tandem with traditional ECM platforms. To enhance an ECM solution, you could use any of the 20+ products marketed and known today.

So why chose OnBase?

  • OnBase is continually evolving to meet the changing needs of your organization today
  • OnBase solutions are flexible and scalable(you can start in one department and move to other departments at your own pace)
  • Seamless integration with SharePoint and all other Line of Business systems

Using the SharePoint integration, OnBase provides users with real time process visibility into OnBase workflow activity, process bottlenecks and exceptions. Users can search, access, view or retrieve documents through a single interface, eliminating the need to log into multiple applications (known as application jumping). With the SharePoint and OnBase integration, users can scan documents directly through SharePoint, allowing users to manage all of their content within a single familiar interface. Documents scanned into SharePoint are automatically stored in OnBase and/or matched with related content and routed through workflows.

Why is the integration valuable?

  • Leverage investments by integrating these enterprise solutions to take advantage of the strengths of each.
  • Promotes worker efficiency by providing SharePoint users with instant self-service access to related content in OnBase.
  • Easy configuration and easily deployed without the burden or cost of system development. Easy to update pre-built workflows.
  • OnBase runs in the background but allows for high volume scanning and capture solution that complements SharePoint’s native capabilities.
  • Access critical business documents stored with OnBase directly within familiar, user -friendly SharePoint interfaces.

Untitled.pngIntegrating OnBase and SharePoint takes advantage of the strengths of each. SharePoint is great for collaborating across teams and organizations. It’s a great repository for new documents, presentations, etc. while you and your team work together, but it doesn’t address all the requirements organizations have for content management solutions. Once that business content is complete, OnBase is the better choice for long term archival and customized workflow.


Tags: Document Management, BPM, OnBase, ECM, Workflow, Microsoft Sharepoint

For the Record: Records Management Will Help You Find What You’re Looking For

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 @ 01:57 PM

records managementDuring a recent records management chat room that I belong to, one user asked, “Can you share a song to depict a day in the life of a Records Manager?” The first person to respond said, “I apologize that this one has been around for a long time, but it’s so apropos to Records Management: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2.”

When it comes to your experiences with records management, have you found yourself singing these lyrics on a weekly or daily basis?

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

Organizations accumulate various types of documents, such as financial information, personnel records, office correspondence, reports, forms, publications, contracts, vendor and customer records. Today, many documents kept as records are created electronically and can be delivered electronically to an organization. However, with a paper, manual-based records management system, documentation must be converted to paper documentation for handling in the current, manual records environment. Filing, retrieving and disposing of records are all examples of manual tasks requiring the conversion of electronic documents to paper documents.

Manual records management can be done a million different ways and everyone has a system for filing, storing and accessing their documents. In one example of a manual records management environment, documents are file coded, filed and maintained all by hand. Manual records management requires personnel to determine the file code and retention rule for the document or file, hand write the code on the document, then place the document in a file folder associated with the file code. Under this system, managers typically do not know where documents are filed and must rely on administrative personnel to locate records. As documents accumulate over time, retrieval can be difficult even for administrative personnel and misfiles do occur.

So if you find in your time of document need you’re humming the U2 song, what can you do to change your tune to Jerry Camp’s song, You’re Right Here?

Everywhere I go I know You're not far away.
You're right here, You're right here

workflow automationHere’s the solution: Look to adopt an electronic, automated records management system to fully automate the process from record declaration through final disposition. One system is used for both document management and records management – meaning that a single copy of the document is both the transactional and the business record. Our solution, OnBase, provides a centralized management software tool to manage physical records alongside electronic records in a single system. Now anyone with security rights can track, locate and request both physical and digitized records. Gone are the frustrated managers and administrators who can’t find the record they are looking for.

Management of records has always been important – from ancient times to today. Put an end to lost, missing or hard to find files. Digitized records simplify accessing and finding documents. You’re just a keyword search away from finding any important document and singing a very happy tune.

Tags: Document Management, ECM, Workflow, enterprise content management,, Records Management

Achieve a Competitive Edge By Automating Your Business Environment

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Fri, Dec 08, 2017 @ 09:55 AM

dreamstime_xl_50167118 (2).jpgAutomation is drastically impacting the competitive landscape of many businesses. When was the last time you called for a taxi, opened a bank account in a physical bank, or waited in line for a concert ticket? Prior to the internet, customers and businesses interacted primarily in person or over the phone and no one anticipated it would be very different. Expected wait times for the final product or service were expected and anticipated. Now the younger generations not only expect instant outcomes or service but demand it. If they are not happy, they switch to another supplier or never use that supplier again.

This technology is rapidly altering the nature of competition in the late twentieth century, leaving managers with tools that were effective in the past, now with no other option than to find improved approaches in order to compete in today’s landscape. According to KMPG,” Successful digital labor automation projects see cost takeout in the range of 40 percent to 75 percent.’ This means that organizations prioritizing automated electronic business processes are not only faster, but more efficient. The outcome of automating processes is not only better response times and more effective processes but the reduction of human capital on mundane or repetitive low value tasks.

So how do you identify specific processes that could benefit from automation?

First of all, know that it is not only “big” processes that should be automated but significant efficiencies can be tackled with smaller processes. With that in mind, begin by looking across the organization and identify any workflows that can be simplified and automated. For example:

  • Invoice Processing. Are you receiving invoices from various sources, email, fax, snail mail, or EDI? Are you then printing off all sources and manually keying data into your ERP system? What about exemptions and approvals? Are they manually processed? Your goal should be to find areas that are open to efficiencies to help enable a working smarter approach. Check out what a paperless invoice process looks like.
  • Customer Service. Are you still keeping client files in paper form and filing them in file cabinets? Are you taking too much time finding those files to provide instant answers to client inquiries? Are you scanning paper supporting documents to provide to clients for their orders? Check out how an OnBase scan, retrieve, store solution can provide instant access to any documents necessary to provide instant customer information.
  • Credit Unions. Do you have member servicing delays on loan approvals due to manual paper based approval processes? Are you missing or losing important paper loan documents? Check out how an OnBase workflow eliminates delays and automatically routes documents to be reviewed. Are you sharing paper files with approvers and underwriter’s leaving sensitive information in files on people’s desk? Check out how the OnBase Data Security protects confidential information.

dreamstime_xl_18101491 (7).jpgWe here at Konica Minolta love efficiency and automation. Our ECM consultants and professional services staff are in the business of making you more efficient. Known for our Discovery calls, we take a look at how you are currently processing your invoices, customer service inquiries, HR onboarding, loan approvals and many more department workflows and map out better, more efficient ways to simply or combine any repetitive steps while recommending the best Electronic Document Management solution to capture, manage, access and store those documents associated with the processing of paper.

Organizations investing in new ways to streamline and automate existing business processes are achieving the competitive advantage by enhancing the bottom line and keeping customers happy.

Tags: Document Management, BPM, OnBase, ECM, Workflow

The Ongoing Attraction of Paper

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Tue, Oct 31, 2017 @ 02:55 PM

dreamstime_9311137.jpgMaybe you’ve noticed a decrease volume of your personal mail from the United States Postal Service (USPS) postal service. I certainly have. In fact, it’s been confirmed by USPS stats, including that First Class paper volumes have dropped 30 percent since 2007 and are predicted to drop another 40 percent in the next seven years. This decrease is illustrative of a more widespread trend that we’re gradually seeing important transactions migrating to an electronic space of some kind, thus paper transactions are increasingly going away.

Even paper money is quickly fading as you receive your paycheck via direct deposit or pay for goods and services electronically with your credit card, smart phone or PayPal. Money, the most of traditional of paper documents, is gradually going away and becoming less important.

Electronic signatures and electronic records were legalized in virtually every situation by President Clinton in 2001 with the enactment of the Digital Signature in Global and National Commerce Act. Leaving aside a small handful of documents as exceptions (e.g., wills, house repossessions, etc.), virtually every electronic record is acceptable in electronic format with very few barriers or requirements of any kind. Based on what I just wrote, you might believe that paper records are effectively dead.

But you’d be wrong.

Paper is alive and well. Paper will be around for some time. Why?

There are many reasons why paper does need to stay around that have anything to do with technological efficiency. Paper has an ongoing attraction. Notwithstanding the efficiency of electronic technologies, paper is a very appealing medium for many reasons. No matter how electronic your mindset may be, in one way or another there’s something on the list below that will appeal to you.


dreamstime_m_31958911 (2).jpgIt’s a misconception that people hold onto paper and a wet signature (one made with a pen) because it’s a legal document and has some sort of special legal status. People perceive that paper and ink have special legal status over electronic documents, but they really don’t have the legal significance that people think they have. In reality, that isn’t so. A wet signature is an old 12th century technology intended to reduce fraud and forgery. Is a wet signature any more secure that its electronic counterpart? No, they are actually less secure because a signature can easily be forged. A wet signature is really an illusion of security that people retain because it’s an appealing illusion. Anything you intend to be your signature is your signature, including any sort of electronic mark or code.


People like paper – it’s familiar, it’s traditional and it has the appearance of being official and permanent. For example, a diploma on someone’s wall. If their building burns down they haven’t lost the official record because the official record is at the registrar’s office . Also, at graduation ceremonies, you wouldn’t hand the graduates a flash drive as they walk across the stage rather, you’ hand them a paper diploma. They are essentially bling and nothing more, but these characteristics are powerful psychologically. Paper documents are so powerful because they are tangible and people don’t let go of easily.


dreamstime_xl_31666572 (1).jpgPaper is convenient stuff – no technology required, no internet connection needed, no charger required, its available anyplace, and only minimal skill and training is required. Also important is that a paper document is universally accepted. It’s rare for someone to refuse a paper document and demand an electronic document.

The bottom line is that, even though electronic technologies are secure, trustworthy, accurate and reliable, people are people and not necessarily entirely rational and efficient about these things. Even when electronic equivalents are available (and the reasons to utilize electronic far outweigh paper) people have a preference because paper is tangible, familiar, simple, and old-fashioned often feels better. That’s gradually changing over time as younger generations come up and are not only more comfortable with electronic records, but demanding the transformation.

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, ECM, Workflow, enterprise content management,, Technology,

The Pathway to Faster Public Records Fulfillment

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 @ 02:46 PM

dreamstime_5865029 (3).jpgMore than ever before, government officials feel increased pressure to provide easy access to public records and often face mandates for fulfilling requests. Unfortunately, an overreliance on paper-based and manual public records request fulfillment makes meeting request deadlines difficult. Hunting down documents from multiple departments, locations and filing cabinets puts a strain on government staff and leads to lengthy fulfillment cycles. Given the increase in public requests and the scrutiny from the federal government to provide the public with better access to records, there is no doubt constituents want more access to public records while government expectations increase.

To address this situation, many agencies have decided to use an enterprise content management (ECM) system to digitize records. The challenge of finding records is overcome by providing a single, central and electronic repository to store and retrieve records.

With an ECM solution such as OnBase, you are ensured a complete search and a full list of documents that meet that request, whether the request is submitted online or by paper request. Keyword and full-text searches allow the clerk staff to find documents, easily saving staff time and money and making the processing of requests faster. With OnBase redaction tools, you protect any sensitive or confidential data on documents before delivering the request.

dreamstime_l_17691204 (1).jpgOnce a public request is submitted online or by other methods, requests enter a workflow so OnBase can automatically route them to the correct department for review, assignment and fulfillment. OnBase eliminates manual methods to track the request, logging the requests, staff fulfillment assignment, compiling documents into packets, redact confidential information and even sending electronically to the requestor or posting to a portal. Staff is notified of new requests and those in need of immediate attention. Deadlines are easily met without worrying about fines or other penalties for noncompliance.

Additionally, OnBase equips you with reporting dashboards that describe and identify bottlenecks. Dashboards report on many areas – open requests, request types, assigned departments and more – allowing better management of tasks and increased visibility into types of requests, number of requests and information being requested.

With the OnBase solution, you simplify request submission and fulfillment. From online request capabilities and comprehensive record searches to digital delivery, OnBase improves the process from beginning to end.

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, OnBase, ECM, OnBase workflow, Workflow, government

Why Adopt Content Management Technology in 2018

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Fri, Aug 11, 2017 @ 09:42 AM

dreamstime_10957071.jpgOrganizations are moving away from paper documents and are “going digital” or “going paperless”.  Content Management has always been key to business operations, but current methods have improved vastly from those of even 10 years ago. Content Management software, also known as Enterprise Content Management (ECM) or Document Management, has taken the lead in improving and streamlining current front and back office processes.  If your organization hasn’t started making the switch, you’re already behind your competition. 

A number of trends have recently emerged in content management practices and many have the potential to stand the test of time.  Some have been around for years, yet are now just starting to become commonplace. Some, however, are just debuting in the world of content management software.

The biggest content management trends for 2018 are:

Cloud Computing:

When Cloud computing started to gain popularity, many people were hesitant to jump on board. The technology seemed promising, but was it secure?  How did it work?  Could I lose all my information?

Cloud computing has revolutionized software in general and has had a profound impact on document management software. Documents and files are available anytime, anywhere with just an Internet connection..  You no longer need to be on a specific computer or within a closed network in order to access your files.

Mobile Friendly

Today’s professionals are constantly in motion and they must have constant access to important files and documents to approve invoices, review HR applications, review contract changes and much more.  Document management software needs to be accessible from mobile devices to avoid the bottle necks caused by being away from the office.  Accessibility isn’t enough; the experience must be user friendly.  As mobile devices continue to increase in use and popularity, so has the availability of a mobile-friendly software platform. Quick access, simple routing and easy approvals make mobile content management an essential part of daily collaboration, no matter where staff are working. 

dreamstime_19608025 (2).jpgCollaboration Enhances Content Management

Email has typically been the tool for collaborating on documents, but email collaboration can be cumbersome and confusing, especially when you need to track changes and reference earlier versions of a file.  When you are collaborating within a single space and changes are automatically tracked, the problems disappear. The best document management software vendors know the importance of easy content collaboration and they make sure to incorporate this functionality into their document management solutions.


We can all agree on how manual paper-based processes suffer from process errors, bottlenecks, and missing information causing delays and reduced productivity. Traditionally many processes such as invoice approvals are processed and approved manually, but it’s important to understand there’s a better way to do this in the 21st century. That better way is through an electronic automated workflow. Workflow isn’t just a way to automatically push documents through work queues, it also optimizes your processes. 


As your business grows, can your current document management system grow with it?   Can it migrate smoothly from one department to others, eventually to entail the whole enterprise?  Document management software that has been designed with scalability in mind enables organizations to transition smoothly as they grow in size.

More Affordable Solutions

dreamstime_l_41372515 (1).jpgCutting-edge document management software was once so expensive that many organizations chose to avoid it altogether.  Today’s vendors know that in order for their software to be adopted, it must be affordable.  Cloud  computing and advancements in technology have made it possible to purchase document management software without blowing the budget.

These content management trends provide an idea of what has improved and changed to make solutions more accessible to organizations.  Businesses are rejecting out dated stand alone applications in favor of integrated, user friendly solutions. Advances in document management technology is making life easier for organizations in every industry. In today’s world the need to partner with highly competent organizations such as Konica Minolta becomes essential to the success of any Content Management experience. Contact us today for a demo.

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, ECM, Workflow, Smart Process Applications

OnBase ECM Provides Speedy Public Records Request Fulfillment

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 @ 02:30 PM

Many county and city clerks embrace technology to deliver paperless agendas and provide meeting videos online, but they struggle with the public records request obligation. Increasing records requests and predatory records requests — along with lack of staff — all add to the challenge of meeting this legal responsibility. 

ECM Challenges

The mismatch between the increasing number of requests and staff availability isn’t the only barrier clerks face. Unlike records management, a record request can ask for just about anything. Hunting down paper documents from multiple departments, locations and file cabinets puts a burden on government staff and leads to lengthy fulfillment cycles.

When you add up these challenges, it’s clear that clerks can’t meet request deadlines and responsibilities to fulfill all the requests. The only reasonable course for clerks is to implement and encourage technology that addresses these challenges and restores control to the individuals who have this legal obligation.

You can find meet these challenges with an enterprise content management (ECM) solution like Hyland Onbase, one of our strategic partners. OnBase by Hyland combines capture options, automation and reporting, and a central repository for records in a single package. It provides all of the features that your city/county clerk needs, including:

· Instant capture

Ensure all documents and records are captured and stored immediately upon creation through scanning, electronic forms or archiving emails and attachments.

· One single, central and electronic location to store records

By providing a central location to store records, you save staff time as they no longer are digging through filing cabinets or offsite storage sites. They can now search for records electronically using keyword and full-text searches. With a central repository, you are ensured a complete search and a full list of documents that meet the request.

· Move requests online an automate the process

Today’s constituents expect speedy fulfillment of requests and to be able to conduct those requests online. By moving to a web submission process, requests are never lost, are instantly routed for attention, and are tracked via electronic workflow management.

· Use of reporting dashboards

Paperless ECM Solutions

Once you automate you can identify bottlenecks, allowing better management of tasks and reasons for slow fulfillment.

Access to public records is a cornerstone of an open, transparent government and the OnBase Public Records Request solution provides your organization with the tools it needs to quickly complete records’ requests so you can successfully fulfill your legal obligation. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, then please Contact Us. We would love to help.

Tags: Document Management, OnBase, ECM, OnBase workflow, Workflow, document capture, government

Justifying Your ECM Solution With A Fast ROI

Posted by Dan Termale on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 @ 09:20 AM

ROI - Three Arrows Hit in Red Target on a Hanging Sack on Natural Bokeh Background..jpegIn life there are principles and laws of nature that we follow when we’re making big life or personal financial decisions. Before we head to the car dealership to buy a new car, we have most definitely spent time researching the car we like online, reading reviews and checking prices. By the time we arrive to make our final decision and purchase, we are confident that this decision is the right choice.

The same is true for every business decision or investment. There’s one important factor that needs to always be present: Whether or not that decision or investment is going to bring back a positive return on your investment and time spent. It's a fundamental principle that helps organizations with their decision-making. If you’re going to be making a large investment into your company, there needs to be a great reason for it — and it should always make your company better off than it was before while saving and/or making you money. 

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions has been one of the fastest growing areas in technology for several years. Many reasons — including compliance and regulatory pressures — continue to drive the importance of ECM along with its promise of a very high ROI. The return on investment on an ECM solution is usually realized within the first 12 to 18 months of deployment. A survey conducted by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), a Silver Spring, MD-based ECM association, reveals that while cost reduction is still dominant in driving ECM decisions, compliance and payback are also top contending reasons.

Businessman finding the solution of a maze.jpegDecision makers are focusing on very practical applications with clear payback. If the investment can't be justified quickly, it will most likely not get approved. A great way to determine if your organization would benefit from an ECM or document management solution is to have an ROI profile completed. This profile will tailor the ECM solution to your company's exact needs and requirements, and it’ll tell you your cost reductions, annual savings, and also your payback and return. If the ROI does not tell a good story, then maybe that solution isn’t the right fit for you. Most of the time the ROI profile will serve as a rude awakening on how expensive your paper-intensive manual business processes are and will make you say, "Why didn't we do this a long time ago?" 

It’s important to explore ideas and to clarify the ECM ROI opportunity from a technology, business and change management perspective. Though ECM can be a complex topic, it doesn't have to be a painful process; it actually can be an easy, smooth transition if done correctly.

If you would like to get an ROI profile on your company or organization, or maybe just get some more information, please click this link to contact us!

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, ECM, Workflow