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There are at least four types of document management systems. But actually, only one type is important - the one that will help your company digitize. It may be that an isolated document management system is sufficient for a particular use case. But as a rule, DMS or ECM systems unleash the company's true potential when they are fully integrated into the IT infrastructure. In this blog post, learn why the processes are crucial for your document work and what you should look for in a software solution.
1. The document as a discontinued model: That's why processes have become the focus.
Processes define our everyday work. The processes on which work is based link tasks, employees, and software in a regulated system. In the best case, these processes run according to a predefined scheme and follow defined rights and role management. In the very best case, they are automated and digitized as far as possible in order to provide the company with the greatest possible benefit. Consequently, we define processes, workflows and procedures as the basis for office work. Not the document.
And this is exactly the crux of the matter. Treating the document as the linchpin of office work is rooted in the history of document management systems. Placing the document as the starting point, processes were defined, rights assigned and workflows established. As a result, the limits of the document management system, just as often, also become the limits of a company's digital potential or its level of digitization. This is because not every process contains documents, not every role can be decided by a document, and not every right can be assigned on the basis of a document. As a result, it is not uncommon for all intermediate steps that cannot be digitized to have to be processed by hand or bridged with additional "stand-alone applications". A document-centered workflow model does not cover all process steps and does not tie rules and authorizations to company-wide roles.
2. Processes form the basic framework of how we work.
Processes define our workflow. They describe roles and link them to authorizations, tasks and finally people. There are data-driven, document-related or meta-processes, all of which occur in a certain relationship in a workflow. It is therefore apparent that processes should be digitally modeled independently of documents - and in their entirety as an end-to-end workflow. To get as close as possible to the goal of a paperless office, the workflow capabilities within a document management system are crucial. Unless the company decides to use one platform to digitize all business processes.
The workflow solution within a good document management system should include a range of functions that support the digital workday, adhere to fixed rules, and not lose flexibility in the process. Apart from the standard functions, the additional functions listed next are particularly important.
3. Modern document management systems require a broad core of functionality.
- Interfaces and integrations to third-party systems
- Rule-based workflows
- Captures structured and non-structured data through integrated OCR recognition
- Substructure of rights and role management include position-related redaction
- Staged escalation management
- Audit-proof archive with rule-based archiving
- Indexing and automatic enrichment with metadata
- Process monitoring
- Posting in the background
- Legally compliant stamping incl. meta data storage
- Legally compliant digital signature
- Common information base through web-based / cloud-based access
- Secure provision of information
Digitize, create, share, manage and digitally archive documents; the list of general functions of a document management system or enterprise content management system reads largely the same for all software providers. The difference lies in the work that occurs between the individual steps and functions. How automated and seamless the individual intermediate steps are depends on the performance of the process automation. If this is set globally, the organization is integrated - and manual supplemental or testing work is reduced.
4. Manual rework damages your business growth.
Every decision maker should be aware that any interruption to a digital process has a negative impact on the overall efficiency of the business. For example, due to manual intermediate steps or manual verification. Continuous or even exponential business growth, which business process digitization promises, is inhibited. Wherever disruptions to integration or interchange occur, long idle times can result. Tasks are completed according to the employee's choice, and follow-up, reminders or substitute arrangements cannot be automated. As a consequence, all subsequent steps have to wait. Important potential is lost - sometimes even market-oriented decision-making advantages or discounts are lost.
Every process that is not automated carries a higher risk of errors, omissions or an insufficient exchange of information. This can have a negative impact on employee motivation. Secondly, the efficiency and quality of work can suffer, which in turn can have a negative impact on the company's overall results. Finally, long wait times, uncertainty, increased potential for errors, and interruptions in the process flow all diminish the success of the day.
5. Workflow-based document management systems are more powerful.
A document management system that has strong process automation at its core automates both document-based and data-driven processes. The employee remains flexible and can work on a process digitally from start to finish. That is because the workflow controls document work across the enterprise.
Eight functions in process management that make the difference:
- Partners and external parties can be easily integrated (link, web browser, rights management).
- Documents can be created, edited or commented on during the course of a process
- Documents can be digitally signed in a legally binding manner, both by employees and externally
- Documents can be automatically enriched with a wide variety of data from connected systems
- Documents and corresponding data reach all persons and systems in the company
- Manual reworking, intermediate work or corrections are largely eliminated
- Data is automatically recognized and forwarded throughout the company according to roles and rights
- Processes are fully and consistently documented
6. End-to-end processes maximize business success
By comparison, a recent Deliotte study shows that highly-digitally-mature companies reported net revenue growth and net profit margins that were significantly above industry average and three times higher than those of lower-digitally-mature companies. In addition to financial performance, digitization of business processes has the additional effects of greater flexibility and efficiency, an adaptable business model, higher customer and employee satisfaction, and better product quality.
In any case, a decisive factor for the measurable success of the company is the digitization strategy chosen. The selection of growth-oriented and scalable software plays just as much a role in this as the end-to-end, digital transformation of business processes.
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