Driving change within your organization: Dream big, but start realistically with capture solutions

After recently attending the Institute of Finance and Management’s (IOFM) Accounts Payable Conference & Expo, I realized one of the reasons users attend – they get great ideas about solutions for their organizations. Between training classes, keynote speeches, vendor solution demos and networking opportunities, it was easy to leave this conference confident your organization can achieve all that others have accomplished.

While this drive to optimize your business is essential for creating change, it’s also important to be realistic in your pursuit. For a successful implementation, you must create a comprehensive plan that takes into account your financial and talent resources. For instance, if your goal is to eliminate paper across your organization, it’s unlikely you’ll digitize all of your documents and processes at one time. Not only is it fiscally irresponsible (you’re not sure your implementation will be successful in one department, let alone the company), it’s also difficult to achieve while staying on top of day-to-day business processes.

To ensure your company makes smart business decisions that increase efficiencies and provide a return on investment (ROI) almost immediately, it’s important to start with projects that will help your organization optimize business processes. That’s one of the benefits of implementing an enterprise content management (ECM) solution – it gives you the ability to streamline processes in one department and leverage that success across the enterprise as your time, goals and budget permit.

One of the easiest points of entry for an ECM system is to begin with a capture solution to quickly digitize, ingest, and classify documents and files. Data can be lifted and validated from these documents and automatically passed to mission-critical applications for knowledge workers to perform their tasks, improving efficiencies and lowering your operational expenses.

For example, an ECM solution has the ability to streamline AP processes, such as invoice approvals. Once you receive invoices – whether they originate as paper, fax or email attachments – you can extract, validate and append them with information from the purchase order and other related documents, helping you make pay decisions, faster. The same can be done in other departments, such as human resources. While your team focuses on evaluating applicants’ resumes and applications, your ECM system automatically sorts and distributes this information to the right people for review.

With a capture solution, organizations also:

  • Improve document  data accuracy and allow users to focus on exception processing and more valuable tasks
  • Reduce traditional bottlenecks caused by manual document indexing
  • Expedite the entry of critical documents and data into your business processes

By starting small and implementing your capture solution in one department, you’ll be able to focus on the impact it has on specific processes. Once users, as well as your organization’s decision makers, see its ROI, it’ll be easier for you to leverage its success in other departments and business processes. Then, you can unleash all the great ideas you learned at that conference.

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