Start with digitalization, then power to digital transformation, with Laserfiche’s 5-step plan
The stereotypical image of a disorganized office is one in which beleaguered workers are pulling their hair out, surrounded by unruly piles of paper that are falling out of filing cabinets, off shelves, and that cover every available surface.
It’s this image that the paperless office – first mooted in 1975 by Business Week magazine – hoped to dispel. And while many organizations today don’t particularly rely on paper, the influence of paper and the work processes that it dictated remain.
So, as we shall see, most businesses still struggle with disorganized information and processes, just like they used to with that jumble of papers. It’s only the format on which information is held that’s changed: today it’s not only in cardboard boxes but hidden away on hard drives or across various cloud storage services.
In order to become genuinely digitally-transformed (the ultimate objective of the journey in which becoming digitalized is the first stage) organizations must go on a step by step journey. It’s by following the logical digital transformation model offered by Laserfiche that companies can truly realize not only the benefits that the original dream of the paperless office offered but never produced, but so much more.
There is massive potential for positive gains by digitizing, automating and analyzing the untapped resources of data in your organization and the processes that surround them. You’ll gain better, more efficient processes, faster response times to customers, cost-savings, the ability to analyze and improve your processes through powerful analytics, and an empowered workforce that will move together towards your company’s strategic goals and success.
Phase I: Digitize
A survey by the Association for Information and Image Management found that only 17 percent of workers believed they worked in a genuinely paper-free office. With information dormant on paper, or rarely accessed on various hard drives spread around the building and in the cloud, you can’t hope to work efficiently.
Laserfiche’s platform will help you scan all existing paper documents and upload them to where they can be collaborated on, and the information contained in them set free. After undertaking this process, Aspen Contracting in the US found that it had dramatically reduced the speed of record distribution from its branch offices to its headquarters. In the last ten years the company’s growth has blossomed, easily hitting US$100 million in revenue.
Cutbacks in required physical space made further savings, with records no longer at risk of fire or flood, and backups help cover simple human errors, quickly and efficiently.
Phase II: Organize
IDC (International Data Corporation) has found that only 12 percent of a typical organization’s files are held in a secure, central content management system. The rest of the information – representing an enormous untapped resource – is scattered between cloud, file sharing systems, email archives & individual email clients, with only 11 percent in collaborative platforms.
This lack of an organized filing system means vital data cannot be located, collaboration is impeded, and the business suffers. Staff spend a large proportion of their administrative time merely looking for the information they need to do their job. This has knock-on effects on the company’s customers, partners and profitability figures.
Laserfiche creates business-oriented filing schema which mean that files and media can be located quickly. There is also no danger of old versions of documents being used, as discrete silos of older documents don’t exist.
Phase III: Automation
Despite many enterprise’s best efforts to go paperless, specific business processes have invariably remained unchanged since their creation, and paper trails will have dictated their form. A prime example of this is the Human Resources function. In many markets applicants for vacancies still submit their resumes on paper, and the information needed must be manually entered into digital systems.
When new staff are onboarding too, the company ‘manual’ may be a ring-bound folder. Training materials for career development could be paper handouts: all of this can be automated with simple online forms and documents, available on a company’s intranet or public website.
At furniture company Steinhafels, the HR Department eliminated all its paper forms and replaced them with electronic versions. This step alone prevented the company from having to employ new HR staff as the company grew, saving it US$80,000 annually. It was Laserfiche’s platform which enabled the company to create forms using existing materials quickly and set up the processes by which HR staff could work more efficiently, ensuring they could take on increased workload seamlessly as the company grew.
Phase IV: Streamline
Having digitized information and many of the business workflows in the organization, it’s now time to think about how many processes can be changed for the better, using the new facilities from the Laserfiche ECM platform.
Problems and bottlenecks that were traditionally caused by paper-based workflows can be significantly altered: this is the type of strategic insight that real-time document and data management brings.
Data policy oversight can be achieved quickly, and measuring success becomes simpler as workflows are mapped out digitally. For third-parties (like supply chain organizations that wish to integrate systems with your business’s) the workflows are logical and insightful. Direct customer interaction with your systems is also a possibility (a goods return facility, for instance, can be made into a data-driven self-service portal).
“The best return on technology investment has been in terms of manpower in the office. There are so many projects that we’re working on now that will each save almost a full-time staff member per year. That’s our goal—to allow our staff to focus on what they do best.” Richard Clowser, IT and business systems manager, RWH Travel
Phase V: Transform
Predictive analysis and business intelligence are powered by interaction with live data. With the Laserfiche platform, you can assimilate both structured and unstructured data, and let the power of the software reveal probable occurrences. That means the business is agile and able to respond to changes in the business, as decided by strategic planning.
Workflow patterns, carefully monitored, allow managers to predict time-frames for fluctuations in caseloads, and as a result, increases employee efficiency.
Proactivity drives innovation: your digital business is now fit for whatever the future may have for it, and the Laserfiche digital content management platform helps with the rapid adjustments you’ll need to take.
Find out how to speed your organization along its digital transformation journey, and how to transform your workplace for the digital future: click here. Alternatively, you can get a webinar demo of the Laserfiche platform, or feel free to email the company for more information.