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Just as importantly, what we do is within the context of the client’s overarching business goals and strategies.
Here are some of the services we offer:
Eight ways to get more value now
Many companies still lack an organized approach for handling unstructured data. Some rely heavily on manual processing which is time-consuming, expensive and prone to errors. Others ignore unstructured data altogether or have not yet learned how to tap into its power. Either way, companies can end up leaving a lot of value on the table.
These days implementing ECM is easier than ever and the potential benefits of taking action far outweigh the costs and risks. Here are some things to consider when getting started:
Take an integrated approach
ECM evolved from niche solutions for document management, records management and workflow. Over time, new capabilities have been added and integrated – advanced search functions, automated business rules, network access, new types of data, etc. – giving companies the ability to effectively manage many forms of content across the enterprise. This integrated approach is what makes ECM such a powerful tool.
Modify your processes
Many companies try to force-fit the ECM software to their existing processes. That’s a mistake. Effective content management cannot be achieved through technology alone. Process reengineering is a critical requirement for any ECM implementation to take advantage of the new technology. Clearly define what information you need and assess your business processes for delivering that information. Then adjust the processes to support and harness the new capabilities.
Look at the content lifecycle
Develop systems and processes for managing content from creation to deletion, including information capture, storage, indexing and retrieval. Provide secure access to enterprise content from multiple locations. Create an enterprise portal that combines document management with collaboration and search functions to drive wide-scale user adoption.
Break the work into bite-size pieces
Implementing content management across the enterprise can be difficult and complex, but it doesn’t have to be. Although it’s important to establish an enterprise-wide vision and standard application for managing content, the implementation itself can be done in phases. Start with a subset that is well-defined and critical to the business or focus on a specific business unit. Implement that narrow slice from top to bottom before moving to the next one.
Deliver return on investment early and often
One advantage of a phased approach is that you don’t have to wait years to see a return on your investment. Incremental results help build and maintain momentum for ECM. They also deliver short-term cost savings that can help pay for subsequent work phases.
Measure twice, cut once
Every company wants a return on its ECM investment, but simply wishing won’t make it happen. To increase your chances to achieve your desired return, set realistic and achievable goals for the project, establish solid baseline metrics and measure performance often.
Don’t forget change management and governance
Everybody understands the importance of change management but that doesn’t mean they do it well. Change management is one of the most critical actions for encouraging user adoption and for ECM to gain traction within the company. After the change is implemented, you need to sustain it and that takes a defined support organization, policies, standards, processes and metrics that can enable the ongoing success of ECM.
Don’t miss the forest
Companies can fall into the trap of looking only at operational aspects of content such as improving content storage. While that approach can deliver incremental improvements, the broader benefits will not be realized without relating ECM initiatives to business objectives, drivers and constraints. Look for business value and ask how ECM can support core business needs and strategy.
A life sciences company with presence in more than 140 countries needed a content management system to help reduce the approval time for new drugs and to help improve process quality, safety and yields. We helped the company develop an architecture with features that delivered the desired results including a portal for building out a common taxonomy, a content management platform, and a range of automated processes that improved notification and escalation features to reduce drug approval time.
An energy company needed tighter collaboration across a globally distributed organization and an outsourced hosting model that would provide 24/7 support. The client also required secure access to content for designated business partners, connecting on both Internet and intranet networks. With our assistance, the company was able to streamline communication costs and provide a flexible, future-proof solution which could easily be upgraded as requirements changed. This new approach also reduced travel costs significantly since teams were able to interact electronically rather than in-person.
A large federal bureau followed an inefficient paper-based process to administer license applications. Not only did it take too long to issue licenses, but the information was not managed as records. Therefore, it wasn’t available for Freedom of Information Act searches, wasn’t easily shared with other government agencies and couldn’t support specific business processes. We helped the bureau build a custom ECM solution to automate activities that took place after paper-based applications were scanned. The solution stored the information pertaining to license applications in a repository that made the information available to search. As a result, case processing times dramatically improved. For example, a license application that once took 15 minutes can now be handled in less than a minute.
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