Document Management

How to Use Enterprise Content Management to Streamline Your Document Processes

How to Use Enterprise Content Management to Streamline Your Document Processes

by Chris Graves - February 11, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and the proliferation of remote work environments have created new complex barriers for businesses to overcome. The unprecedented outbreak of the novel virus sent many businesses scrambling to quickly find a document management solution that simplifies and streamlines their business operations. The additional rise in cybersecurity threats and the need for secure remote access has transformed enterprise content management (ECM) solutions from a savvy proactive content management tactic to a content management solution necessity.

For example, a recent Document Management Service Market Report indicates that the global document management services market size is projected to reach 57 billion by 2027, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9% during the forecast period from 2019 and according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) the global market for IT and business outsourcing services is expected to grow over 1.0% in 2021 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statistics make it clear that the need for a comprehensive, centralized document management solution that will improve business productivity and streamline document capture processes has never been higher.

Leveraging ECM Capabilities to Simplify Document Management

The importance of having access to business-critical information regardless of location - whether that be in the office or working remotely - has been revealed by the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By leveraging the document capture, document retrieval, and document storage benefits of ECM, businesses can eliminate these obstacles to reduce manual processes, minimize content errors, automate access classification, and provide additional benefits to allow the organization to focus their time and resources on high-priority areas.

Document Capture

One of the most attractive aspects of an ECM solution is the document capture capability. ECM solutions provide businesses a simple, secure and streamlined document capture process to improve workflow and automate manual filing tasks. In today's ever-growing competitive digital market, workflow automation can be the differentiator that puts your organization ahead of the curve.

The document capture phase transforms paper documents to electronic files and streamlines collected electronic files and data for easier management. Organizations that leverage the document capture aspect of ECM solutions can save money and labor by eliminating paper-based file handling.

Document capture works by centralizing storage of company archives and information to reduce time and money spent preparing and managing paper documents. This capability automatically classifies, extracts, and validates large volumes of documents, transforming them into high value information that fuels workflow automation. The captured data can be shared with other business applications and departments to turn what was once unmanaged and unstructured data into actionable intelligence. The automation of the document capture process provides businesses the ability to classify any file type from any location which accelerates processes, minimizes latency, speeds up transaction processing, and reduces costs.

The importance of efficient document capture in the digital age has led to many industries including healthcare and manufacturing to adopt ECM solutions to mitigate their document environment challenges.

Document Retrieval

The document retrieval aspect of ECM solutions can help businesses streamline their document process by reducing document retrieval time and enhancing document security.

The document retrieval component of an ECM strategy provides businesses an uncomplicated and undemanding process for quick and secure document access. Document retrieval capabilities provide intuitive software and increased functionality to retrieve content, whether employees are in the brick and mortar office location or on mobile devices.

Document retrieval capabilities provide organizations a powerful search engine to locate records using any combination of keywords, phrases and addresses to quickly locate content that matches search criteria. Businesses can provide immediate access to information via a centralized repository based on the specific security clearance levels of individual users which decreases overall security breaches.

The document retrieval aspect of an ECM solution will implement a clear and robust security policy to prohibit any users from being able to see or access documents outside of their job jurisdiction. The plethora of retrieval options at organizations disposal will reduce the time it takes to access important company documents.

Document Storage

The document storage function of an ECM solution provides a much needed answer to the seemingly ever-growing mountain of business documents. Organizations generate thousands of documents each year including sensitive employee information, proprietary marketing materials, confidential contracts, and internal-facing corporate strategies to name a few. In order for businesses to stay productive while keeping their content secure, organizations need to adopt an ECM strategy that encompasses a comprehensive document storage solution.

Document storage capabilities are the tools and techniques used for storing an organization’s documents. A comprehensive document storage solution will include rules for a document retention policy (DRP) and document destruction in order to ensure industry compliance. A DRP provides for the systematic review, retention, and destruction of documents received or created in the course of business. This is imperative as many documents must be kept for a specific period of time pursuant to federal, state or local laws. These laws include tax, employee benefit, occupational safety, and wage and hour provisions, among others. A DRP can save computer and physical storage space and ensure industry compliance, and assist organizations in the event of litigation.

Document storage can enable businesses to automatically capture documents such as faxes and forms and save copies of documents as images to be stored in a secure repository for quick retrieval. ECM solutions that offer cloud-computing options make document storage even simpler by providing reliable data backup options and a straightforward migration path away from on-premise storage to an ECM cloud repository. Controlled access and automated record management policies will also help to secure document storage.

>> Want to Dig Deeper? Learn everything SMBs need to know about ECM with this  guide.

Secure, Simple, and Compliant: the Future of Your Organization’s Document Process with ECM

Through document capture, document retrieval, and document storage capabilities, organizations can utilize enterprise content management solutions to navigate accessibility barriers caused by remote work and implement a streamlined and sustainable document management solution to mitigate future document process challenges. Organizations that leverage ECM solutions will increase workflow efficiency, storage, security, compliance, and simplify the flow of business information in areas like accounts payable, accounts receivable, human resources, and contract collaboration.

In order to maximize the benefits of ECM, businesses should partner with the right managed service provider to create a customized ECM strategy developed to solve their complex document challenges.

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