For many years, business process analysts have advocated for Electronic Content Management systems (ECM) as a better way for business information to be stored and managed. Often times companies get caught up in the day to day of business operations and sales, without realizing the average worker is spending one to two hours per day searching for information — or as much as 30% of their daily activities. Industry experts have articulated to C-level contacts that by creating a central repository for information, their workforces can experience significant efficiency gains.
ECM’s provide employees information with folder-based, database driven architecture for storing their information. At a basic level, the ECM system converts the document search environment from archaic Windows folders structure, to an organized database of corporate information. This new way of accessing information has assisted companies by making information available at their employee’s fingertips. With quick access to the information they need, workers are able to deliver even better service to their customers.
Today’s business needs have evolved and caused the industry to re-think what we do with information. The efficiency gained by organizing information was great, but today’s business needs require a better way to move this information around the organization with a goal of reducing costs and eliminating paper intensive processes. Information Management Systems (IMS) keep the existing benefits of ECMs but add huge value with many more advantages, such as:
- Information Available, Anywhere on any Device: Companies can have information available for their employees on any Apple or Microsoft device. Offline Capabilities allow company employees or executives to work on the road or in the air to maximize productivity.
- Eliminating Silo of business information: IMS software enables internal systems to communicate in harmony. Both CRM’s and ERP’s go from isolated silos to working together seamlessly.
- Workflows and approval processes. Companies have been challenged with paper intensive ways of moving information or emailing information. Now these processes can be automated, reducing time and costs in many departments such as Accounts Payable.
- Collaboration: Whatever kind of documents or media your company works with, IMS and ECM solutions can integrate with Word, Excel and Outlook. Now workers can use the latest version of documents and share and collaborate internally with ease and efficiency.
- Meta Data at its Core: Eliminate manual storing of information based on where it goes. Tag information with relevant meta data, and let the system do the storing and organizing, thereby eliminating folder structures.
This new way of managing information greatly benefits many different verticals — particularly Manufacturing, Construction, Medical Billing, Property Management, Education and Retail (Accounts Payable). These industries all have one thing in common. They are now trading in the new business currency — information.