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Konica Minolta ECM Blog

Document Management Software Will Improve Your Business Workflow

Posted by Alyssa Anderson on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 @ 01:58 PM

dreamstime_l_42750009 (3).jpgDid you know, that approximately 65 percent of companies could not stay in business if they had to be closed for a week? Research shows that less than 5 percent of companies are truly prepared to endure setbacks in operation. What’s your plan if disaster strikes? Could your company recover? Whether fire, flood, or natural disaster, it’s important for organizations to have a disaster recovery strategy in place to achieve business continuity.  

Document management software provides a secure back-up plan that can strengthen any company affected by disaster and get a business running again. Implementing document management into your recovery plan will keep business moving by ensuring these three essential components remain intact:

Security ̶  Losing a lifetime’s worth of documents and data is any business owner’s worst nightmare. Document management software keeps your data together in a secure area, with robust user-based security, keeping records accessible only to the appropriate employees. With a Test Server in place, administrators can confidently test all aspects of their document management system outside of their production environment as added insurance for the safeguarding of day-to-day document activities.

Compliance ̶  Depending on your industry and the types of documents you work with, compliance requirements can be complex as well as stressful. Any errors could lead to fines, loss of licenses and even criminal charges. However, with document management software these risks are eliminated. Document history can be logged through in-depth audit trails, giving managers a timeline of views, modifications and workflow. Records retention schedules can be automated and notifications can be sent to make sure all document deadlines are met.

Efficiency ̶  Information sharing, collaboration and efficiency is greatly increased with document management software. Cloud-based document management allows you to access your files from any mobile device, tablet or laptop, eliminating delays in production.  Your documents are secure, backed up and always available so that business can continue as normal and work doesn’t need to stop.

dreamstimemaximum_36608398 (4).jpgMaking sure your company has a business continuity plan is critical. With document management software you can be sure your business is securely positioned for any unanticipated event or natural disaster, keeping your business intact and profitable. Give your business that safety net it needs by implementing a document management solution today! These solutions are tailored to your specific business size and type. Learn more about our SMB solutions and Contact Us with any questions you have!

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, BPM, ECM, Workflow, Going Green

Business Continuity: How Document Management Software Could Save Your Company

Posted by Lauren Ford on Tue, Aug 09, 2016 @ 01:40 PM

123.jpg93 percent of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year. What would you do if all of your business documents were suddenly gone? Think of the aftermath. How would you recover? Most organizations fail to have an acceptable recovery plan in place because they don’t recognize the need for it. But having a disaster recovery strategy is critical to ensure business functions can continue despite an unfortunate incident.

Whether theft, fire or natural disaster, everything can be destroyed in minutes. There’s no insurance policy or filing cabinet that could bring back the data. But luckily, document management software can save it. Document management software provides a secure backup plan to ensure continuous data access and integrity. If you have a long-term business plan, you’ll need to protect it. Let’s explore how document management software keeps your business safe and secure.

Preparation: Having to tell your customers that all of your data has been lost in a fire is a company’s worst nightmare. This can be avoided completely if you are well prepared with a document management solution. With document management software, a Test Server can be put in place, allowing administrators to confidently test all aspects of their document database outside of their production environment. This approach to disaster recovery is strongly recommended as added insurance for organizations that rely heavily on digital business. Additionally, paper-based businesses going digital with document management software gain a safe haven for records which protects beyond fire, flood or theft. Customers, partners and employees need to know that sensitive data such as salary ranges, medical history, pricing and contact information is secure from people they may not want seeing it. Once files are scanned into a document management system, user permissions can be set through password based security parameters, ensuring private information is accessible only to those who need it.

Recovery: Paper documents stored in filing cabinets are extremely vulnerable to being damaged, lost or destroyed. But even electronic documents are exposed to disaster. An essential tool in any business continuity plan is the ability to run an offsite location where data and documents are regularly updated and can be accessed quickly. With a document management Disaster Recovery License, administrators can maintain a licensed “hot site” for continuous access to your records in a single location — one that does not include rent or utility expenses! That way, if disaster strikes, the digital files have been easily backed up and can now be recovered within minutes.  In the event of a catastrophe, your documents are available through remote, VPN or web based access.

shutterstock_203618407.jpgCompliance: Many businesses must comply with strict government and legal requirements when it comes to records maintenance. They need to be organized, secure and accessible. Document management software presents a system for handling the policies and processes used by an organization to manage its information through every phase of existence — from creation through to destruction. Document management software enables organizations to establish regular and consistent guidelines in audit situations, demonstrating and providing assurance of compliance and practice standards. Document management software makes it easy to be compliant so that, in an audit emergency, your business can prove it’s abiding by the rules set in place.

Looking at the cost of going paperless compared to the consequence of losing all your files, or even your business, the price is extremely immaterial. Don’t be another statistic. Beat the odds and be prepared by investing in document management software today. These solutions are tailored to your specific business size and type. Learn more about our SMB solutions here and Contact Us with any questions you have.

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, BPM, ECM, Workflow, Going Green, Data Security

Turn Your Paper Into Usable Business Information

Posted by Dan Termale on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 @ 03:31 PM

paperless solutionsI was recently conducting a transaction with a vendor and the sales process was heavily reliant upon paper. They emailed me my contract for our agreement and wanted me to sign it and send it back. You may be thinking, “Yes, I have to do that all the time,” and you’re right, it’s very common. Nevertheless, it’s pretty wasteful and time consuming. I had to print the contract that was emailed to me, sign it physically, then scan it back to digital format, and then email it back. Personally, it’s an annoyance, but if you think about this on a corporate level and the volume of paper and time these processes take, then you can see the huge opportunity for improvement. 

Having paper is not as useful as some seem to think; though it enables us to store information, it does not allow us to use that information in any other useful way. If you need to use it in a business process, there’s no quick and easy way to locate a physical document and then input that data into your business process without digitizing it and uploading it into a system. Having a digital database with your documents and information will allow you to easily do a search query and pull up the needed information. If you’re looking for a specific contract from a certain vendor, then you can drill down and pull exactly the information you need, whenever you need it. 

document managementElectronic Content Management (ECM) Solutions eliminate the paper and the inefficiencies it causes.  This includes scanned paper documents (e.g., invoices, employee files, recall records) and imported electronic files (e.g., emails, reports, e-forms, EDI transfers). By integrating one of Konica Minolta’s ECM Solutions with your ERP and other systems, all of your content will be in one place so that users can easily access it. With an ECM solution, information is routed to the right people at the right time. By directly integrating with your current systems that you’re most comfortable using, it will greatly improve your employee productivity and minimize training costs. 

For example, with an ECM solution, accounts payable departments can electronically capture documents in any format – mail, fax, EDI transfer and emails.  Automatically, invoices and related documents are routed for review and approvals. Related documents are tied directly to your ERP system, so users just double click and related documents open right up.  Invoice processing is much faster and more vendors are paid on time.  Accounts payable is just one of many applications that an ECM solution can improve, along with every other department in your organization. This enables you to make take your business from its manual paper processes and turn it into intelligent efficient workflows. 

ECMThe beauty of our ECM solutions is that they can integrate seamlessly with any ERP system. You can link content directly to screens on your ERP and employees never have to leave ERP.  In fact, they may not even know they are using a different solution – they sometimes think it’s just a new feature to the existing ERP.  It’s seamless. Staff can now stop wasting time searching for paper and spend more time on getting invoices paid faster and keeping customers happy.

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, BPM, ECM, Workflow, Going Green, go paperless, enterprise content management,

Do Your Research Before Your ECM Implementation

Posted by Dan Termale on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 @ 02:15 PM

dreamstime_l_29128177.jpgOne thing that your business has in common with every other business is paper. Everyone has it and uses it, but the way you manage your paper and information can set you apart from the rest. By now, you’re aware of the importance of using less paper and using business automation technologies to make your operations more efficient. The “Going Paperless” topic circulates daily, but you can only take it so far without an organized strategy for content management.

You know if you have a need for some type of Content Management system, but you shouldn’t jump right into the first solution that seems to fulfill your need. It’s important to do your due diligence in examining the state of your business and to determine exactly what business problems you want to solve. The research and discovery phase can be even more important than the solution you choose.

If you don’t have a crystal clear picture of what you need and expect from your Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution, then it’s going to be difficult to implement any system to meet your needs — which you haven’t really defined yet. No vendor can understand all the intricacies and specific requirements of your business like you, so you should start there and really focus on exactly what your business needs are first.  

dreamstimemaximum_50453047.jpgThere’s a number of different ECM solutions to choose from and knowing whether you need an in-house system or a Cloud-based hosted system comes back to the crucial question: “What are your business needs?”

A Cloud-based ECM solution can have many benefits and appeal to your business if you’re trying to keep your capital investment low and your infrastructure as simple as possible. This solution offers great benefits and may be a great choice for you – or not. It depends on what you need from your ECM and what your businesses structure is like. Don’t just go for the solution that looks better from a price perspective because you may end up with a system that looks good on the books but, in the end, can’t satisfy your business needs. 

If you’re leaning towards an in-house ECM system, then make sure you have the infrastructure to be able to securely handle your new system as well as all of your other critical business systems. Choosing a vendor that has a proven track record of quality support is a big must-have! You want to always feel supported and have the help you need to get the most out of your ECM.

dreamstime_l_42502797.jpgThere are inherent benefits to either type of solution and it all comes back to the same question: “What business challenges are you trying to solve?” Do your research. Educate yourself on how the ECM implementation process works, the different types of solutions, the different deployment options, and find yourself a reputable vendor that has the expertise you need for a successful ECM system that will strengthen your business. 

If you have questions or are looking for different resources to help educate you on ECM topics and all of the different encompassing areas, then Contact Us! We have many industry, departmental and solution-specific articles we can share with you as well as a number of case studies, whitepapers, and more! We would love to help you explore the ECM process!

Tags: Document Management, BPM, ECM, Workflow, Going Green, enterprise content management,, Technology,

Great Customer Service is Fast Customer Service

Posted by Dan Termale on Tue, Dec 08, 2015 @ 11:54 AM

customer-service.jpgWe live in a time of instant gratification and convenience. We don’t like waiting. While at our favorite coffee shop in the morning, we expect it to take a few minutes to get our coffee. This expectation is the new normal — not just for fast food visits, but also for the enterprise. Great customer service is fast customer service and having instant access to all of your customer’s information is critical to accomplishing this. 

The goal of every business is to provide customers with the best possible product/service and customer experience. It’s never been easier for consumers to find new companies with whom to do business, raising the bar for all of us to make sure we’re doing our best. 

The reality is that it’s nearly impossible to provide great customer service when business information lives exclusively on paper. It can be very time consuming to find a customer’s information when they’re stored by paper files in cabinets or storage rooms; oftentimes files are misfiled or misplaced which brings up more issues and takes even longer. These are challenges for many businesses, not having that instant access to information. This not only takes away from giving your customers a positive experience, but it also expends your employees’ valuable time. 

ECM SolutionsAn alternative to having paper-based information is having an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system that stores it digitally. This will give you fast access to information and will also greatly increase your data security. When you’re using an ECM system, you’ll have all of your customer information in one central place that can be accessed anywhere, even on your mobile device if you’re on the road. Having detailed notes on your customer’s past calls and experiences will help you provide them with more personal and tailored service.

You can also decrease the amount of new paper with the use of electronic forms. By using e-forms, you enable your customers to input their information and requests digitally which will improve the way customers provide their information to you. This will decrease the amount of time your customer services representatives spend sorting through information ecm solutionsand taking calls from customers who are waiting on you to respond to their requests. 

We need to be forward thinking and set our organizations up for success. If that means embracing new technologies and updating business processes to meet the demands of today’s customers, then so be it. We earn the right to do business with our customers; it’s a privilege to provide them with products/services that help them run their business successfully. Today’s business environment is fast paced and, as businesses, we need to do all that we can to keep pace and continually meet the demands of all customers. Contact Us, for more information!

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, ECM, Workflow, Going Green, enterprise content management,, Technology,, Data Security

Fear Of Change Can Prevent Paper Reduction

Posted by Dan Termale on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 @ 04:13 PM

dreamstime_l_29647833.jpgChange can be a very hard thing for people. We like being comfortable and following our daily routines. Both at work and at home, we tend to lean more towards our comfort zone than trying new things, especially when it comes to technology. This can be said about our paper usage in the workplace. As humans we’re tactile by nature and are more comfortable with something we can hold and feel. This plays a part as to why some organizations have delayed moving away from reducing or eliminating their physical documents. 

To implement the necessary changes that will help reduce paper in your office, you first need to analyze the processes and causes that may be creating bottlenecks or problem areas in your business. Is there a common denominator that you can pinpoint that may be contributing to the “cause” of the departmental inefficiencies? 

An AIIM’s Industry Watch Report shows that the top three reasons organizations do not change are:

  1. The lack of movement by management
  2. The perceived need to capture physical signatures
  3. People prefer handling paper.

All of these are human reasoning, not technology deficiency. 

ecm solutionsWhy wouldn’t you want every department to run efficiently and at optimum output? That seems like a no brainer! Yes, we want to bring change to our organizations, but sometimes we’re afraid of change. Don’t let that fear keep you from adopting new technologies that will help your business run better. With change also comes new costs, which is a usual and valid cause for concern. What you may not realize is that new solutions, like Enterprise Content Management (ECM), have such high ROI’s that they usually end up paying for themselves in 18 months or less and allow you to reap huge cost savings in the long term. 

Here are some great questions to ask to determine why you could use an ECM solution:

  • Can you quickly, and in one step, find the required documents while you are on a call with an important client?
  • Are you satisfied with the response time and the resulting images created for both internal and external document requests?
  • Are you OK with the amounts of papers and stacks of files on and around your office?
  • Can you track the history of any document and revert back to any version needed and view who has accessed it?
  • Do you have the management tools to check on the status of assigned projects given to your team?

dreamstime_xl_34697287.jpgTake the first step in your journey to going paperless and start to educate yourself in the different types of solutions available. No matter what size your business or budget, there’s a solution that will fit your needs. If you have questions or want to learn more, then Contact Us. We love helping people in every stage of their journey.

Tags: Document Management, BPM, ECM, Workflow, Going Green, go paperless, enterprise content management,, Technology,

3 Simple Reasons Why Converting Your Paper Makes Sense

Posted by Dan Termale on Thu, Nov 12, 2015 @ 10:52 AM

Paperless DecisionsThe decision to go from paper to digital is one that you’ll ultimately have to make. Whether it’s sooner or later, that’s up to you. Making this transition will bring many benefits to your office, employees and your customers. The list of those benefits is long and we could spend all day talking about them! Some of the most obvious ones include reducing paper and printing expenses, saving trees and the environment, and increasing your document and data security. 

If these benefits of this content management solution aren’t enough to help you decide, then here are three simple reasons that should get you thinking: 

1.) Increase Your Office Space

Paperless SolutionsAlmost every office has filing cabinets and some offices have lots of them. Filing cabinets are a perfect picture of the past. They take up your valuable office space and slow down your business processes. If you decide to digitize the files that are in those cabinets then you will free up that much needed office space and make better use of it. Some organizations have whole floors, rooms and even buildings dedicated to storing documents at outrageous costs — not to mention the security issues, which is a whole other story. The bottom line: Going paperless will reduce your expenses and improve your organization. 

2.) Collaboration & Document Sharing 

How much easier is it to share and collaborate with your coworkers and clients when you’re working with a document in digital form rather than a file stuffed with papers? If you want to share a document with 10 people, then you could just attach it and email it to them with a few mouse clicks. What’s the easiest way to share a 20-page paper document with 10 people? There is no easy or cost effective way to do that. Just think of this simple example and multiply it exponentially for an enterprise-wide perspective. The future is definitely heading in the direction of digital and mobile collaboration. 

3.) Mobile Access 

Mobile technology is still fairly new, but has really evolved quite rapidly over the past decade. Mobile Enterprise Content Management (ECM) has unlocked another level of productivity and flow of your business processes that has drastically improved the way many businesses are running.  Employees can review, revise and work on documents, collaborate and participate in business processes no matter where they are right from their mobile devices. People do very little waiting anymore; they’re expecting your products and services to be almost instantaneous and if you can’t offer them that, then they’ll gladly give their business to a company that can offer it. Having a mobile strategy is becoming more and more crucial. 

We only touched the tip of the iceberg here, but I wanted to highlight some of the basic yet important reasons many organizations are converting from paper to digital. Change can be hard for many, but no one likes to get left behind either. Start or continue your journey to improving your organizational productivity and find the right paperless solution that fits your needs. If you have any questions or would like more information, then Contact Us. We’re here to help!

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, ECM, Workflow, The Cloud, Going Green, go paperless

Time is Money. Your Money.

Posted by Dan Termale on Thu, Sep 03, 2015 @ 11:43 AM

Time_Equals_MoneyTime is Money. It’s a cliché—but people use it when they find they are stuck in a slow moving situation instead of moving forward productively. Sitting in traffic while watching a commuter train whiz by. Telephoning for a quick answer because IM and chat is not activated. Queuing at a store checkout versus receiving an online order at home. Waiting to pay for a movie instead of waltzing right in with pre-bought tickets. We used to be willing to wait, but now we want everything fast.

Think about the news. You probably digest your news via your smartphone or on-demand. Does anyone actually watch TV at the time the program is actually aired? Where you used to settle in with a physical magazine or newspaper—your medium is now digital. You have engaged a new process for your personal content delivery.

Streamlining-procurement-processesSo, how is it at work? Do you find your business processes match your personal processes? While business process automation across the enterprise has become more top-of-mind for organizations, it is the staff who are clamoring for the speed. And who is the most vocal? Your accounts payable and accounts receivable departments.

Think about it. If your AP and AR departments operate faster, you manage your money better. Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) go down and savings go up as you capture the early payment discounts. The dynamic with your vendors sending invoices and receiving payment is improved. It is monetarily beneficial to the company.

What are you doing: Leading the group, just an average player or a laggard that’s not even in the game?

Ask around; you may find your peers are ahead of you. With automation, you eliminate paper, speed up the process, introduce controls that never could work in the paper-intensive world and suspend the internal manual process that employees had to do to make Purchase Order (PO) requests, track down the PO and issue the approvals. Layering mobile capabilities on top of the automation— further pushes out the speed with alerts you can get anywhere. Everyone stays ‘on time’ with their review because you have better monitoring capabilities, process review, analytics and transparency for the CFO to see how the team is doing.

Screen_Shot_2015-09-01_at_10.52.32_AM

According to the Aberdeen Group, there are significant transaction cost savings with AP automatio (see chart). The statistics are impressive as we can see a 30% to 65% improvement truly demonstrating that Time IS Money. Big Money.

Screen_Shot_2015-09-01_at_10.52.46_AM

The study goes on to say that the leaders who have adopted AP automation have seen the greatest improvement in their metrics for DPO, Financial Reporting and Early Savings Discounts. These benefits of the improved operations illustrate the value to the company and the AP staff.

These statistics beg the question about your organization.

Where do you stand with business process automation in your enterprise—or more simply in your AP/AR department? Are you a leader or a laggard?

The message is clear; there are gains to be made.

Revamp the operation and clear out the paper. Embrace the change. You have a source of cost savings plus you have an opportunity to improve your vendor relationships. What do you have to do to find that money?

Information-Technology-PageThe study concludes that there are four things to consider within your organization to ensure everyone embraces the change especially by understanding the value of the change. What to do next? Select the technology, engage the employees, collaborate with suppliers and implement the technology.

At Konica Minolta, we can help you navigate among the options for selecting the technology that best addresses your business problems. We work with you right through implementation. Our consultants understand what you need to improve your AP/AR operations, and we can guide you to the solution that’s right for you. Let us tell you more about Konica Minolta’s ECM solutions to help you capture cost savings, smooth processing and gain transparent oversight that automation brings.

For complete information on Konica Minolta Enterprise Content Management Solutions please visit: KonicaMinoltaECM.com

Tags: BPM, ECM, Workflow, accounts payable, Going Green, go paperless, enterprise content management,

Going Green With Business Technologies

Posted by Dan Termale on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 @ 03:55 PM

green-business-tableJust about everyone has heard the saying, "Go Green." It has become an ever present topic that is impacting the way businesses operate. Going green, especially on the enterprise level, is definitely a complex-multi-faceted topic that has many moving parts. It is very important that we all do our part in protecting the environment. It does not always have to be a drastic change, but it can be an easy gradual process that businesses take that will bring huge benefits across the board.

When you hear that saying “Go Green”, you may automatically associate it with reducing waste, recycling, reusing resources and other references that have to do with nature. While all of those are true and big components of the Green movement, technology is a major contributor as well. Modern technology is playing a huge part in organizations of all sizes when it comes to becoming more efficient and doing more with less. 

paperlesChanging the way we do things always starts with educating ourselves and changing our mindsets. If you are trying to reduce the paper consumption in your offices, then you should start by addressing specific areas where most of the paper is being used. Once you can identify where or what process are the most paper heavy then you can start to plan how to offer new alternatives. This is where technology comes in and with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions, you can revolutionize how your organization operates.

benefits-of-going-paperless_1Many organizations are finding that Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Document Capture solutions are crucial to their environmental agenda. The benefits of using an ECM solution makes it hard to argue against. Just the efficiency increases that come along with having a document management strategy in place and all of the savings you will have from using less paper and supplies will pay for the solution itself -- extremely quick. It is a win-win situation both for the environment and for your business.

For more information on how an ECM solution could help your Paperless Initiatives then Contact Us, we will be glad to help. 

Tags: Paperless Office, BPM, ECM, Workflow, Smart Process Apps, Going Green, go paperless

Small Businesses Benefit From Paperless Solutions Too

Posted by Dan Termale on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 @ 03:23 PM

Images_Small_BusinessWhen you think of paperless solutions you may automatically picture a huge organization with crazy amounts of paper and information. Don't get me wrong that does happen and these solutions do handle those BIG paper problems well, but they also are powerful solutions for small businesses as well. The thought of going paperless can seem like an overwhelming task for some small businesses. You may think that you don’t have enough paper documents or information to need a paperless solution. It’s all about setting your business up for success and enabling future growth. Setting the infrastructure in place while your business is smaller will increase the workflow and efficiency of how it operates and will end up lowering your costs and improving the bottom line.

Here are 3 benefits that a paperless solution offers:

lower-costs1. Lower Costs - The bottom-line is the focal point of every business. You want to have low costs and high profits. For smaller businesses, costs for paper, ink, storage, filing, printing, and other similar costs all can add up quick and be a major factor in your operating costs. The larger the company the higher these costs tend to be. With a paperless solution these costs will drastically decrease and in some cases disappear while saving you a lot of time and headaches.

Work-Less-and-Increase-your-Productivity2. Increase Productivity -  The more paper in your processes the slower and more error-proned they are. The issue with paper is that it has to be handled physically and moved around. This takes time, human interaction, and costs your business more money. You need to introduce workflows into your processes that replaces the manual paper shuffling and filing in order to increase your productivity. You will be able to do more with a lot less resources. Free up your employees to spend their time on more value adding tasks and on customer service.

Business-Growth13. Enable Growth - The amazing thing about a paperless solutions like an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution is that is has a very high ROI. Most businesses realize their ECM investment within the first 12-18 months and after that it’s all cost savings. The money you will be saving can be put into other areas of your business that will help you improve and grow. Provide your customers with the best possible product or service that you can, isn’t that the whole point of your business? 

The list of benefits goes on, but these were just a few that I wanted to highlight. The world that our businesses operate in is ever changing and we need to make sure that we set ourselves up for success. Change does not happen over night, but we should be making steps towards improvement. Starting in the areas of our businesses that are the most paper-heavy and time consuming. For more information on where to begin your Paperless journey or to ask us questions then please Contact Us, we’re here to help. 

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, ECM, Workflow, Going Green, go paperless