Content Management: Secrets of Mastering the Modern Day Document
The foundation of this modern day document is the innovation in technology that office workers have come to rely on over the past few decades - the multifunction printer (MFP). The concept of modern day document can unlock a new realm of productivity, cost savings, risk management, and security that many are unaware of. Although many still call them copiers but the reality is MFPs are sophisticated information management resources. Sounds intimidating, but with a little knowhow, it's easy to use an MFP and its platforms to make the modern day document work for you.
Scanning: You Have It, Do You Use It?
With an MFP, users can turn paper documents into a digital file and send them to multiple destinations with a single scan. This is ideal for offices trying to work more efficiently and reduce paper consumption.
In the past, scanned documents had to be manually named and distributed - a tedious and error prone process. Now you can simply select a file name and destination from pre-programed tabs found on the MFP's touch-screen, thereby reducing distribution errors and simplifying document processes. It's also important to consider the variety of software applications available.
Today's modern day documents can be routed or stored based on bar coded information within the document. Information can even be extracted from the document via optical character recognition (OCR) processes. With the ability to scan and perform OCR, users can search their company's document library to quickly find the appropriate document.
With some of these applications, users can even preview documents from the display panel of the MFP for accuracy before storing them online in any number of document management systems. Similarly, many offer capabilities to browse and print those documents directly from the MFP touch-screen. These features take advantage of the MFPs' network capabilities, simplifying day-to-day business processes, and improving their value as a document workflow resource.
Open development software platforms let customers adapt their MFPs in the way they work. Anyone with software development skills can quickly and easily build applications that provide a customized interface for their MFPs, using standard web based tools.
For example, a doctor's office could customize the system's touch-screen to better manage patient forms. By touching an icon on the display, a healthcare worker could access the office's web based document management system and browse a list of patient forms. The worker could then scroll through the list which is updated instantly to preview documents and print. Another program could be used to scan patient records. Customizable display panels are HTML based, making it as easy to program as a web page. The user interface can be designed to add graphics, animated content, or internet access.
By customizing the system, the users can only see the buttons they need and document management becomes faster, easier, and more accurate thereby reducing time and money spent in handling documents.
ECM in Action
Leveraging MFPs with an enterprise content management (ECM) system turn the devices into a cornerstone of business processes. MFPs can automate office activities and accelerate document processing such as invoice handling and by scanning documents directly to an ECM workflow that routes the document to specific departments or colleagues. The process saves employee's time and improves customer service.
Take a look at an instance where the modern approach to document management and ECM is having major business impact: A forest products company's accounts payable process was labor intensive and lot of paper was being used. Every day, more than 700 invoices were received at the company's headquarters and more than 20 other remote sites receive from thousands of suppliers. With an ECM system and invoice workflow, the company saves nearly $20,000 per month, with improved turnaround times and reduced errors. Now, invoice processing time is cut from a week to less than 1 day.
An ECM solution keeps the modern day document compliant through features like permissions, digital signatures, and auditable workflows which make annual audits easier and help companies in avoiding the risk of potential fines.
Keeping it Secure
Modern day documents come with a new set of security concerns. While traditional documents can be lost or stolen, many users don't realize that an MFP can leave behind an image on the system's hard drive each time a document is copied, printed, scanned or faxed. With this in mind, it's important to recognize that the data on MFPs must be protected, just as you would install a virus scan on your laptop or PC, there are tools to help protect data on MFPs.
Benefits of Going Digital
The modern day document is changing the way companies do business with positive results. Converting paper documents to digital formats dramatically speeds up retrieval of information and greatly reduces storage and supply costs. It also improves staff productivity, allowing workers to spend less time searching for documents, and expediting review and approval cycles with clients. Documents can now be shared electronically with security among multiple office workers regardless of their location.
Additionally, keeping your company's documents stored digitally can shrink your organization's carbon footprint by minimizing paper use and waste. Once the value of the modern day document is understood, it will quickly become a tool the companies must not overlook as a competitive edge.