What to Expect from Your ECM Solution
The right enterprise content management solution will help you save time, stay competitive in your industry, and help you outpace your peers. Here’s how:
Save Money: Cost Savings and ROI
For many companies, investing in an enterprise content management (ECM) solution means a significant capital investment. Like with any capital investment, you want to know that what you’re purchasing is going to pay for itself and produce a return on investment (ROI).
With an ECM software solution, there are some fundamental cost savings that quickly rise to the top, including employee reallocation of resources to value-added tasks, reduced paper consumption, reclaimed floor space once you ditch your physical document storage vices, and elimination of other services like offsite storage, courier and shipping fees, microfiche and film creation, and so on.
Other ways ECM can make an impact:
- Capturing early payment discounts on AP invoices
- Ensuring that previously negotiated contract discounts are applied throughout the contact term
- Elimination of duplicate payments to vendors
- Issue resolution on the first call, often an inbound call, without the need for inefficient research methods and a return call for resolution
- Demonstrable, documented compliance with industry regulations that otherwise carry financial penalties for nonconformance
But wait…what about Total Cost of Ownership?
How do you determine the overall cost of your solution? It’s not just about what the ECM solution will cost you today during implementation, but you need to factor in what it will cost you in the future (to change, maintain, integrate, upgrade).
Business software applications (ECM, ERPs, CRMs, etc.) are highly-valued assets. They are typically used every day throughout an organization for as many as 5 to 15 years. Basing your ECM solution’s total cost of ownership (TCO) on initial implementation costs is like estimating the cost of raising your child based on the initial hospital bill. When purchasing an ECM solution, value must be based not only on what it takes to get the solution in the door, but what it will take to make sure that solution provides long-term value. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of resources will the solution require to operate at full potential?
- As I expand my ECM solution to other departments, and as my organization grows, will I have the ability to grow my own solution? Will I need to pay the solutions integrator to make these changes?
- How much customization will it take to make changes or to upgrade my solution? What about when wanting to integrate with my other applications?
- What about ongoing maintenance costs?
When determining the total cost of ownership you should also consider product depth. An ECM solution that is flexible, has a wide-range of functionality, and is easy to configure with little or no custom coding is much more cost-effective to maintain. It provides more long-term value because when you want functionality, it’s there. You don’t have to spend time and money customizing a solution or researching a new product to fill the gaps.
Technology decision-makers are responsible for not only finding the right solution, but the one that doesn’t drain the budget over time. An ECM solution with a low total cost of ownership frees up spending for other projects, instead of just paying to maintain existing applications.
Save Time: Empower Your Employees
Discover how a strategic enterprise content management solution can help you empower your employees by eliminating the low-value tasks they conduct every day. Conduct calculations on the time spent per day (even if it is as little as 2 minutes per day) and figure the amount of money you are paying your employees to complete these menial tasks. Eliminate the time spent tracking down documents by implementing a carefully considered ECM software solution, and the math allows a company to reinvest that considerable amount of money into the business.
It’s not just paper. It’s emails, forms, reports, and document-based processes that nearly every organization still struggles to control. That’s why an effective use of enterprise content management (ECM) is a differentiator. When you’re one of the few that knows what information you have, where it is, and how to use it…you’re staying competitive.
Ways you stay competitive with an ECM solution:
- Improve the Bottom Line and Gain Market Share. By operating more efficiently with more information at users’ fingertips and by outperforming in speed and quality of customer interactions, you ultimately realize a return on investment that gives you a competitive edge.
- Become More Responsive to Customers. Because your content will all be in one place, your organization will be able to give all customers (or prospects) the same answers in quick time. Can your competitors provide this level of service?
- Maximize Use of Other IT Investments. Your team has used a lot of well-spent time and budget on your current business applications; ECM makes them stronger. When users click on a button in their everyday applications to bring up related documents, they shouldn’t even know they’re accessing an ECM solution to provide them with that functionality.
- Make Better Decisions Faster. Your organization can’t make better decisions faster than the competition when users hunt through folders, file shares, and multiple other applications when searching for information. Strong ECM solutions put content where the users need it, when they need it.
- Minimize Risk. Don’t put your content at risk for security breaches or compliance fines. Putting them in a secure, auditable ECM solution keeps them safe from both.