Thursday, March 15, 2012

Document Management can be a strange word for Copier Reps

Document Management can be a strange word.  For some, it means "scan to network" and for others it is a whole workflow solution.  Finding a solid document management provider can be a real nightmare for a small business because of the steep costs of entry.  Regardless of what solution you choose, if there is any real "document management" and not just a scan to folder scenario, paying less than $10,000 to implement it is almost impossible.

Here is where the nightmare occurs.  What happens when your company spends a ton of good money on a document management solution, but then finds it to be such a nightmare that no one really uses the technology.  Copier sales reps fight against using this technology consistently that we sell, how much more will sales reps in a non-technical field?

I was chatting with a friend of mine in Colorado who has a copier company, and they are starting to get excited about a document management system called M-Files.  M-Files is an intuitive system of storing, indexing, retrieving and archiving files in a Explorer kind of view.

Let's take an example of some of the features that might help actual users.  In a legal setting, here are some ways M-Files can help... (We'll use a Criminal Defense Attorney as an example)
A new client comes in with a charge of disorderly conduct.  The first thing that may happen is the client fills out their intake forms as well as the contract that is going to be in place.  This contract is important as it will have signatures needed and thwart off billing debates later.  So, the client may be entered into Freshbooks or whatever CRM the attorney decides to use.  These databases automatically synch with M-Files.  So, when Bill Smith is added into Freshbooks as a new account, they are replicated into M-Files as a tagging option.  When the contract comes in, there can be a process in place that it must be tied together with a current client.  So, there is a little dropdown menu that has all of the clients listed and one of those is Bill Smith.  Now, M-Files can send this over to Mary the accountant so she knows the billing rates.

Mary does not have to be Emailed to do anything here, because M-files does process organization automatically.  Every document that the attorneys work on can go into a "billing" folder, and Mary can see how long this was worked on and include it as part of the ongoing bill.  Long story short, whatever paper trail is set up manually and maybe getting lost can be set up automatically.
Now, the cool part about M-Files, is the attorneys can decide to have "Judges" as a tag.  When Judge Olson is assigned to one of their cases, they can see their cases dealing with Judge Olson and look at the strategies they employed when taking a case to trial.  Maybe they tried to plea their client to a lower charge.  They can look at Judge Olson and do a search for "Felony" and see all the files dealing with Judge Olson and a felony.  They can then pare that down to "Misdemeanor" and see if any files talk about going down to a misdemeanor.  Now rather than trying to remember or look up every case, the attorney can efficiently and effectively manage their practice.

Document management is not just scan to network.  Properly implemented, it can reduce the need for extra staff and make the whole office more efficient and effective with their work.

  • Some common document management benefits:
  • Eliminate the chaos of traditional scan to network folders by using well organized dynamic folders
  • Find documents quickly and accurately (including the latest revision of documents)
  • Eliminate or reduce duplicates and increase storage space on the servers
  • Gain cloud access to files for employees not in the office
  • Keep all files secure in a single vault
  • Comply with standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001
Ultimately, for document management to make sense, whether it is M-Files or another solution, you need to feel some pain.  Most people implement a document management system because they are spending way too much time looking for files or simply losing files too often.  The other main reason to use a doc management solution is because the current paper process is too manual and you'd like the systems to be automated.

Document management properly implemented can save your company tons of time and resources and make the need to add additional employees lower, or you can change the type of employee needed so that your business is growing and not just surviving.  Here is a white paper with an actual example of how M-Files was used by a customer.

-=Good Selling=-

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

fine analysis.....carry on....