Process | Optimize Business Processes
ECM promises to optimize your processes by driving efficiency and eliminating wasted time. This goes beyond automating indexing and retrieval. An ideal ECM solution should:
- Automate and manage your structured process. Certain processes within your company are predictable and repeatable; they have standardized outcomes. These processes, in departments such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, and human resources, typically include many repeated steps which should be automated based on logical decisions. Automatically routing documents to the right person, checking agreed thresholds for approval, and then generating new documents based on those approvals, are all tasks that can be automated within an ECM solution. Look for a system that allows you to build these solutions without the need of custom code. Your ECM solutions integrator / partner should provide you with a configurable tool to allow you to build these processes yourself, and then reap the benefits by putting them into use.
- Consolidate your unstructured content. Though system data and documents are incredibly important to your organization, exceptions occur outside of your standardized processes that create other information that must be captured. Notes and reminders, written reasoning behind approvals and other decision making, and correspondence with your clients may be examples of this. If you cannot manage these other types of content in your ECM system, then important information will instead be spread across spreadsheets, email inboxes, Access databases, and post-it notes. Your ECM solution should ensure that you can capture and manage all of the information that is related to your business processes, not solely paper documents.
- Facilitate Case Management. Unlike the business processes described above, many case-based processes are not so predictable or standardized. These processes rely heavily on the knowledge and discretion of qualified people to determine where the document involved needs to go, and what work needs to be completed. Your ECM solution should provide case management solutions that help empower your knowledge workers to more effectively handle issues and high-value exceptions (cases) that are unique or difficult to predict in advance. In your ECM system, you should have an entire 360-degree view of all case-related information, including: data records, documents, forms and history, phone calls made, updates and notes, insights, tasks, and events. With all the information related to a case in the same application as your other standardized processes, nothing is lost and everything is organized. The relevant information is available on-demand to those who need it. Furthermore, an audit trail is kept for all document views, changes, and more.