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Process Improvement Blog

    7 Things to Look for When Choosing the Right ECM Solution

    Posted by Chris Lewis

    Dec 13, 2011 11:52:12 AM

    ECM ChecklistWant to take control of the documents, images, data and information that overwhelms your office?

    Looking to automate business processes and improve management of your corporate intellectual property?

    Are you unsure of how to choose the right Workflow and BPM provider?

    If your organization would like to gain substantial improvements in business processes, while reducing paper costs, here are seven tips to help you select the solution that will help you achieve your goals and get a quick return-on-investment (ROI).


    1. Proven ROI

    When selecting an ECM solution for your organization, look for one that offers a proven and quick return-on-investment. Some ECM providers have enabled customers to successfully achieve ROI in as little as 6 to 9 months. This can be realized in a number of ways including fast implementation, smooth integration with other business applications and more.

    When evaluating ECM solutions, consider both the direct savings–such as reduced resources and hardware costs—and the “soft dollar” benefits. By increasing productivity from 50% to 500%, organizations can enjoy significant savings by redirecting valuable resources to other critical areas of the business.


    2. Knowledgeable Professional Services Team

    When your organization is evaluating ECM solutions, make sure to -by-side to ensure that deployment strategies and product integrations are properly planned and supportable. A knowledgeable professional services team with document management and workflow experience can make all the difference in a smooth implementation.

    The best ECM providers will offer complete assessments of your business in order to minimize business disruption and ensure that your employees can get up and running quickly. A strong professional service team will create a detailed plan that will move your solution implementation through a clear process—the same way your documents will flow through a logical workflow. Proper planning will help you achieve a fast ROI.

    A knowledgeable professional services team will help you get the most out of your ECM solution right from the start. Make sure you get a thorough assessment of your business including:

    • Organization goals and key performance indicators
    • Current business needs
    • Cost-benefit analysis
    • Current workflow, capture and document management processes
    • Current infrastructure assessment to make sure there are no surprises.

    3. Quick and easy implementation process

    In addition to an experienced professional services team, look for a solution that can get you up and running quickly. The most mature and advanced solutions can be implemented in just 30 days—and you can effectively work with the product from the start. This enables your organization to make measurable changes and can help you realize a complete ROI within 6 to 9 months.

    4. Smooth integration with other line-of-business software

    When investing in a new software solution, you want it to work with your existing business software. Make sure your Workflow solution offers smooth, no coding integration so that you can easily share data between applications, without needing a programmer. Otherwise, you may end up paying extra for a developer to integrate your systems. Look for a product that offers simple integration tools that any user can leverage so your organization can further correlate data and increase usability.


    5. Easy to use, intuitive interface to access information

    Choose a system that offers secured access to information in a single, browser-based application. With an intuitive interface, your workforce will be empowered to easily organize and share information. Look for tools like dynamic linking, which enable you to link together related documents for quick and easy retrieval. By eliminating data silos, you further minimize search times and increase productivity. Mobile capability is also important, as it enables working remotely and empowers teams to make real time business decisions.


    6. Reduces/Eliminates manual administration and monitoring of document routing and handling

    The right ECM solution will enable your company to sync your people, paper and processes from the start. Look for a solution that offers authorized users instant access to information when and where it is needed. You’ll also want a program that provides built-in ad hoc workflow so you can optimize and automate business processes. With these powerful features, you’ll eliminate time-wasting manual paper processes and replace them with improved document sharing and collaboration across departments.


    7. Automate and enforces business rules and processes

    Another way to help your company achieve a quick ROI is to take advantage of workflow automation tools in your ECM solution. Auto-indexing features make sure your data is organized according to business rules and prevents lost or misfiled documents.

    Also look for the ability to add your own business process routing. Some workflow solutions offer an easy-to-use graphical interface, users can simply draw business processes to automate work tasks and integrate systems. This enables organizations to set up approval processes, routing, audit trails, and adds security to the management of document processing.

    6 Ways to Process Improvement Success

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