10 signs your company needs a new document management solution
Not all document management solutions are created equal. There's an abundance of products on the market designed to help organizations manage their information - but it can be hard to tell which ones are the most effective for businesses. Because of this, companies sometimes end up with systems that don't support their full spectrum of document management needs.
Here are some indicators that you need might to replace your document management solution:
There is a significant amount of manual work required for document capture. Document capture doesn't need to be painstaking work. If your capture software doesn't provide a level of automation that greatly reduces or eliminates the amount of manual sorting, data entry and exceptions processing you have to do, it's probably time to take a look at an alternative, or consider adding an advanced capture solution to your current ECM platform.
There is a low success rate for classification. Document management products that provide scanning or capture functionality and promise automatic classification are extremely appealing to businesses because of the expectation that they will eliminate the need to pre-sort documents. However, not all of these classification engines have the same level of effectiveness. If your software is averaging low rates of document recognition, you need to find a better solution. Check out a case study on this topic.
The system doesn't provide efficient accessibility options. There are two aspects to this point. One is that the right information needs to be easily accessible to the proper personnel without them having to jump through hoops. The other is that the system's security needs to be able to keep information from getting into the wrong hands. The best way to make sure both of these are taken care of is through secure user roles, which allow access to specific items based on permission settings.
The system is difficult to use, which has led to poor adoption rates. A solution is useless unless your organization takes advantage of it. If this isn't happening in your company, you need to assess if poor adoption is due to the product being too difficult to use, outdated or ineffective. If so, start looking for a more efficient solution.
There is no search function or it is not effective. Search is an essential element of document management. Your document management solution should include a document capture application that transforms scanned images into searchable documents, as well as a document repository that supports quick, easy searches for the information you need. Read a case study on this topic.
It is unable to scale throughout the enterprise, or it is very difficult and costly to do so. Sometimes companies acquire a solution specific to a certain department or pain point. This is understandable when there is an obvious problem that needs to be solved within an organization. Trouble arises when the organization is ready to expand the solution throughout the enterprise and the software is not conducive to such a change. While the solution might have worked for its original purpose, it's now time to make a change that will benefit the organization as a whole.
Configuration is time-consuming and requires professional assistance. While no one expects the entire office to know how to configure and make changes to the document management system, making minor adjustments shouldn't require sending for reinforcements in the form of billable hours. If your system is so complex that it's costing you more in support than its saving you, it's time to find a simpler solution.
The system does not support integration with your databases or other applications. Standalone applications simply don't cut it in today's world. Businesses need to be able to leverage their existing assets in order to get the best return on their investments and run their business in the most efficient way possible. Your capture program and ECM system should both support integration with your company's databases and scanning/MFP/fax devices.
Regulatory requirements are not being met. Whatever requirements your organization needs to adhere to, you need a document management system that helps you remain compliant. If your solution doesn't provide the appropriate security features for compliance, it's time to find one that does.
It doesn't offer business process/workflow automation. While there are many reasons for implementing document management in your company, one obvious benefit is the ability to streamline processes and make your business more efficient. If your current solution isn't meeting those expectations, you should consider looking for one that will truly help optimize your processes and increase efficiency throughout the organization.
Chelsea Bawab is a communications specialist with document management and imaging company PSIGEN Software.
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