But how can you truly tell you’re getting the most out of your ECM? Or, if you’re only just in the market for an ECM, what should you hope to achieve?
If you can answer the following four questions with a resounding ‘yes’, then you can be sure that you’re getting the most value out of your ECM.
1. Is your content accessible?
It’s not uncommon for organisations to use complex sales processes. The steps involved could include an array of touchpoints as sales representatives court the customer - everything from meeting the customer in person, to answering technical queries, creating quotes in the CRM, and, once quotes are accepted, sending the quote to the appropriate department to process and ship the order.
As you can imagine, with such a complex process that touches so many departments (sales, implementation, logistics and finance), it can be difficult to make sure that every department is always on the same page. But if at any point, the process is stalled, and the departments are unaware of it because they simply don’t have access to the information, you risk becoming incredibly inefficient. This is why providing ready access to information is extremely important if you want to make a good impression on the customer and process that sale efficiently.
So, how can you tell if your content is accessible?
- Remote staff can access what they need with an internet connection and mobile device.
- Only one login is needed to access all content because it is centrally stored.
- Each department involved can see the progress of a task at any point in time.
- Delays in the process are evident to those with appropriate access.
2. Is all your content digital?
It goes without saying that when content is stored on paper and filed away in filing cabinets, it’s much harder to retrieve what you’re looking for. This is why managing content in an ECM is the modern-day standard.
When content is digital, it’s easy to search through because it’s sorted and indexed. This allows users to search through all content while applying relevant filters so that they see only the most relevant results.
Virtual content also has significant gains from a security standpoint, as with an ECM you will be able to limit content visibility according to the user’s level of access. This means that they will only be able to search through content that is available to them.
So, what are the expectations of virtual content within an ECM system?
- It’s in a searchable format (digital as opposed to paper-based)
- All content is indexed and tagged with appropriate tags
- Staff can apply filters and tags to find what they need
- It’s intuitive and easy for staff to use
3. Is your content secure?
One of the key objectives of enterprise content management is to enforce robust security controls around content flowing throughout your organisation.
In fact, the biggest threat to security is human error - for example, if a staff member prints a confidential document and leaves it lying on their desk!
So, how can you tell if your content is secure?
- You can apply access controls, organising users into groups and applying basic access rights (read, edit, delete) on a set of documents grouped by type and category.
- You can apply feature controls (limiting what employees are allowed to do once they have access to content - for example, printing, emailing or exporting).
- Audit trails are recorded for each and every document.
4. Is your content relevant?
Making sure that staff can easily access relevant content is what enterprise content management is all about. Besides allowing users to filter through content, an ECM will manage the versioning of documents so that staff can reference documents with confidence, knowing that what they are looking at is the latest version. It will also allow you to set up workflows, automating each step in the process. This means that only the relevant person sees the content at any given time.
Some modern ECM systems will also include dashboard reporting as an add-on. For example, if you’re working in the Accounts Payable department, you could set up a dashboard to see how many invoices are processing, how many invoices are waiting for payment, and how many are ready to be paid - all in a chart format. You can then drill down to your invoice dispute list, and see a list of people who you are having disputes with, as well as all the relevant documents.
So, what are some signs that your ECM system is helping users access relevant content?
- Staff are always working off the latest version of a document.
- Automated workflows can be set up between departments with varying access control and feature control limits.
- Drill-down reporting is available and searchable using lists and/or dashboards.
So, are you truly getting the most out of your ECM?
To make sure you’ve considered everything, see our ECM fact sheet – the complete guide to finding the right ECM for your business.
KYOCERA Document Solutions provides document management solutions with long-life print technology that delivers greater productivity, reliability and uptime.