Digital Transformation: 5 Steps to optimise document management

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Companies that have successfully embraced Digital Transformation do not simply adopt individual technologies to solve their individual problems. They often have a defined strategy and clear goals for digitalization in place that aim to guide the transformation of their overall business, instead of ad hoc functions. Bluntley put, the true advantages of Digital Transformation do not lie in the strength of individual technologies; rather, they are dependent on how these solutions are integrated to bring out the most in each technology and transform entire businesses. Below are Barrys Simmons, Client Services Manager at Nikec Solutions, top 5 steps on how you can optimize your document management with a digital transformation:

1. Define your existing business challenges

Before you can optimise your business’s workflows, you need to know what you’re working with. So it’s important to establish a baseline understanding of your current practices by asking the following four questions:

What current issues exist with your current processes?

Is it just too slow? Is someone spending too much time going through extracting data from pages of information. Are there too many errors being processed?

Where do bottlenecks exist?

What we mean by this is if, during a certain period of time, a particular document process gets more volume than it can actually process. That then causes an interruption to the flow of work and as a result causes delays across the production process

What impact are these issues having?

This could be things like higher operational cost, errors in data or just slow processing of information

2. Don’t automate a bad process

Assess and judge whether the process you are eager to automate is adding value to your processing needs of your business. If not, you will end up wasting a lot of time, effort and money automating a bad process. This is where it’s worth speaking to experts and getting their advice on what you should do

3. Integration

This is a question I get asked all the time, around integration and if a product connects into other products. But it does have a big impact, in that, if you are able to scan hard paper copies straight into your document management system, that then feeds into a finance system, then you can obviously save a lot of time and effort.

If you are manually moving the documents through different systems, then this will slow everything down. So pick software that integrates with your existing platforms.

4. Work with an expert

I think this is all about finding the right expert and telling them your challenges are and what issues you are currently experiencing

It might be that you are looking to improve invoice processing and workflows. Just to give you a very generic example of what we could do, which would be implementing a process whereby the user receives a tax return. They hit a submit button, our software is able to lift data out of those pages and then route the document to the relevant customer folders in the Document Management System, whilst being sent to be approved by someone else. Once approved, it’s then routed into the SAP system.

5. Aim for continuous improvement

Optimising workflows isn’t a “once and done” process. In fact, massively overhauling systems and procedures all at once may risk alienating team members and erasing the buy-in support needed for a successful optimisation effort. Many companies choose to start small with a test project before ramping up their automation or optimisation to larger scale initiatives. Keep the goals you identified at this stage in mind as you continually align your efforts to your established business strategies and targets.

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