AIIM - The Global Community of Information Professionals

Document Capture Automation Tools to Improve the Way You Work With Data

Nov 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM by Tim Dugan

Your business deals with documents on a constant basis. Without technology in place, organizing the different types of files and contact points for written communication can be intense. You might have paper contracts, email and attachments, faxes, and web forms all integral to the same client or customer file. This is where capture automation becomes effective in streamlining your productivity and organizational ability.

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Topics: process automation, automation, data capture

Applying Lean and Six Sigma Principles to Drive Digital Transformation

Oct 24, 2016 9:30:00 AM by John Mancini

Is "information chaos" in your core business process processes slowing your organization down? Making you less competitive? Frustrating your employees, suppliers, and customers?

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Topics: process automation, information management, business process, digital transformation,

12 Things You Can Do NOW to Use BPM to Drive Digital Transformation

Jun 6, 2016 5:15:39 PM by Bob Larrivee

Process improvement and workflow are not new; in fact they have been around since the late 1980s.  Yes, they have evolved and continue to do so but as was true of ECM, Business Process Management -- once seen as a nice to have -- is now considered a critical part of business operations.

Process improvement and automation using BPM as the framework is an essential part of the Digital Transformation of businesses. The more paper is eliminated from processes and digitally born information is created, the greater the dependence upon and need for efficient, effective, and secure digital workflows. When assessing process improvement and automation opportunities, include the identification of and ways various information sets are integrated with the process and remember to look at the end-to-end process rather than just the departmental workflow. What gets changed in the department could have negative impact on other departments feeding this process or that this process feeds.

Our new survey (executive summary downloads free -- Process Improvement and Automation 2016) is available!

business process and automation 

12 Key Process Improvement and Automation Recommendations:

  1. Begin with existing process maps if they exist and if they do not; create at minimum, high level maps to document the steps in the process.
  2. Identify areas of opportunity for process improvement. Look for bottlenecks in the process and ways these bottlenecks can be eliminated. Perhaps use of parallel processing would be the approach.
  3. Improve the existing process before introducing automation or extending the automation capabilities you have in place. Automating an inherently bad process will not resolve the underlying issues.
  4. Uncover the real business problem you are trying to solve. When you are told that the issue is slow processing times or too many exceptions, look deeper into the root cause. Ask the question of why there are too many exceptions.
  5. Assess how paper can be eliminated from the process. If the reason for paper is one of acquiring signatures, explore how esignature can be incorporated to enhance the process and eliminate the paper.
  6. Take time to design the process. The best question to ask is why things are done the way they are and then explore how it could be different.
  7. Take inventory of your current BPM capabilities, using this as the foundation of reference when developing a set of requirements. In this way you can maximize your current investment and only purchase those technologies that are missing.
  8. Document the business requirements first. “I need capture capabilities of 500 pages-per-minute,” is not a business requirement. The business requirement is, “to process 10,000 applications per day, in 50 locations around the globe.”
  9. Build your functional requirement based on the business requirements. Map the current process of capturing applications from each location, including volumes and all activities to bring this information into your systems.
  10. Develop technical requirements based on the functional requirements and map these against your current technology sets. In other words, do a gap analysis to determine what is missing then seek to purchase the missing elements.
  11. Consider how cloud and mobile device use, along with mobile apps, can help address your current needs and support remote workers and stakeholder of your processes. At the same time, assess how these would be synchronized across the enterprise and the line-of-business applications. Remember that BPM can serve as the integrating mechanism.
  12. Establish a continuous improvement program that will periodically review and refine those changes you make now. BPM is not a one-stop project; it should be a cross-functional team sport that is ongoing across the enterprise.

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Some related resources on Business Process Management best practices worth checking out:

Download the FREE Process Improvement and Automation 2016 Executive Summary.

Check out this article on the survey -- AIIM research: more than half of businesses now view Process Management as imperative or significant

FREE white paper -- Business Process Management:  User Perceptions and Expectations

FREE webinar on June 15 with me -- No Longer a Luxury, BPM Is Imperative to Business Operations:  5 Steps to Learn How It Can Work for You.

Sign Me Up 

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Topics: process automation, business process management, business process, bpm, digital transformation,

Why is Getting Rid of Paper Critical to Digital Transformation?

Jun 1, 2016 9:52:18 AM by Bob Larrivee

Process improvement and workflow are not new; in fact they have been around since the late 1980s.  Yes, they have evolved and continue to do so but as was true of ECM, Business Process Management -- once seen as a nice to have -- is now considered a critical part of business operations.

This continued evidence that business organizations have begun to seriously embrace the idea that their operations can survive without paper, and in fact function more effectively when paper is eliminated from their business critical processes. Getting rid of paper is a critical first step dealing with a broader question -- What is the role of content in Digital Transformation?  What we are seeing is Digital Transformation taking hold, not only between the Fortune 500, but also across all business types and sizes.  

New AIIM Process Improvement and Automation survey results released

A few key data points from our new survey (executive summary downloads free -- Process Improvement and Automation 2016):

  1. The majority of respondents see BPM as the combination of a systematic approach to improving business processes (97%) and workflow or BPM technology (79%). 66% see these technologies as "change management."
  2. Forty-eight percent of respondents say they are vaguely familiar or have no clear understanding of BPM. 18% say it is well understood and embraced in their organizations. [Note:  For newbies, you might want to check out our "What is Business Process Management?" page.]
  3. Nearly a third of respondents say there is no one directly responsible for ownership of their processes. 58% say they have process owners.
  4. Fifty-five percent of respondents say BPM is significant (38%) or imperative (17%) for their business. For 14% these technologies have little to no importance.

business process and automation

 

There is a growing realization that information once born digital, should remain digital and can in fact bring about greater value to the organization when managed and processed quickly and efficiently. There is also a growing realization that designing, automating, and refining operational processes enables business organizations to explore new types of innovation and instill creativity in relation to business process options, rather simply trying to enhance and support their current ways-of-working. Where once the limitation was based on media type or restricted to confinement within the corporate walls, businesses today can extend their processes and interactions beyond the corporate walls – securely.

Process improvement and automation are an essential part of the Digital Transformation of businesses. The more paper is eliminated from processes and digitally born information is created, the greater the dependence upon and need for efficient, effective, and secure digital workflows. When assessing process improvement and automation opportunities, include the identification of and ways various information sets are integrated with the process and remember to look at the end-to-end process rather than just the departmental workflow. What gets changed in the department could have negative impact on other departments feeding this process or that this process feeds.

-----

Some related resources on Business Process Management best practices worth checking out:

Download the FREE Process Improvement and Automation 2016 Executive Summary.

Check out this article on the survey -- AIIM research: more than half of businesses now view Process Management as imperative or significant

FREE white paper -- Business Process Management:  User Perceptions and Expectations

FREE webinar on June 15 with me -- No Longer a Luxury, BPM Is Imperative to Business Operations:  5 Steps to Learn How It Can Work for You.

Sign Me Up 

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Topics: process automation, business process management, business process, bpm, digital transformation,

Report from the Field -- #WPFD -- Cool Images -- Part 1

Nov 6, 2015 12:49:38 PM by John Mancini

Some fun Twitter images -- Part 1 -- on World Paper Free Day.  Keep them coming!

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Topics: paper free day, process automation, ecm, world paper free day, paperless processes

With apologies to Julie Andrews, these are a few of my favorite #AIIM15 tweets

Apr 6, 2015 2:32:00 PM by John Mancini

Here is a sampling from some of my favorite #AIIM15 tweets.  Enjoy.

If you weren't able to attend in San Diego, we hope to see you next year in New Orleans.  And here is a short (and FREE!) e-book to give you an idea of what you missed...

Click here to Download

 

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Topics: RISK, process automation, content management, ecm, engagement, analytics

Confess -- Are Your Processes Better Suited for 1995 than 2015?

Feb 5, 2015 9:49:00 AM by John Mancini

4 Trends That Will Force You Confess -- Are Your Business Processes Better Suited for 1995 than 2015?

"It was 20 years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play..." And also, 20 years ago is a pretty realistic picture for most organizations of what many of their back-end business processes look like.

It's time to act -- check out 4 Trends That Will Make You Rethink Your Processes.

The amount of paper still used in your business processes is a good indicator of how far behind you are in preparing your organization to address the challenge of digital transformation.  Think about these data points...

1 -- In 25% of organizations the volume of physical paper is increasing instead instead of decreasing.

2 -- Even when organizations deploy scanning technologies to reduce their use of paper, 16% of the original paper documents still get photocopied before scanning, and 65% of these documents are not destroyed or recycled after scanning. In other words the paper still survives, and keeps piling up.

3 -- Even business processes that many think were automated a long time ago still use significant amounts of paper. For organizations committed to financial automation, 44% of their invoices initially arrive in electronic form, yet 59% of those digital invoices will still end up as a paper copy.

Reinventing your core processes is clearly critical to building your digital transformation strategy. AIIM15 will give you the tools to succeed.

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How should your organization TRANSFORM and AUTOMATE your information-intensive business processes? This free e-book provides some tips:

Download the free AIIM15 ebook.

Join us at AIIM15 and connect with hundreds of other executives wrestling with these challenges and get access to sessions like these... Full List of Conference sessions HERE.

  • AIIM Certified Information Professional Briefing
  • AIIM BPM Practitioner Training Session
  • AIIM ECM Practitioner Training Session
  • The Race to Digital Transformation -- Keynote Speaker: Brian Solis, Principal, Altimeter Group
  • Industry Insights 2020 Expert Panel -- Focus on Process Transformation
  • The Gen Z Effect; The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business -- Keynote Speaker: Tom Koulopoulos, Founder, Delphi Group and author of nine books
  • Living the Digital Transformation Dream -- Case Study -- ConocoPhilips -- Keynote Speaker: Christy Clark, Director Enterprise Content Management, ConocoPhillips
  • Living the Digital Transformation Dream -- Case Study -- Yale School of Medicine -- Keynote Speaker: Daniel Barchi, CIO, Yale School of Medicine & Yale-New Haven Health System
  • Innovative Use of SharePoint 2013 for IKM in a 9000+ Person Organization -- Barry Byrne, Sr Information & Knowledge Mgt Officer, Irish Defence Forces HQ
  • Before Leaping Into That Technical Solution, Consider Assessing Your ECM Status -- Alix Kneifel, Owner/Principal Consultant, A.Kneifel and Associates
  • What the Oil and Gas Industry Can Tell You About Documents and Data -- Neale Stidolph, Head of Information Management, Lockheed Martin UK
  • Smooth is Fast: Transforming Your ECM Strategy -- Rich Medina, Co-Founder, & Principal Consultant, Doculabs
  • Letting Go Of "Perfect": A Case Study of a One Size Fits All RIM SharePoint -- Renee Latham, Director, ERM, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, and Christine Padilla, Director, ECM, Sunovion Pharmaceutical
  • Change Management: From Chaos to Transformation -- Laurie Fischer, Managing Director, Huron Consulting Group
  • and much, much MORE.

 

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Topics: process automation, process management, bpm

4 Trends That Will Force You to Rethink Your Processes

Feb 4, 2015 4:39:00 PM by John Mancini

4 Trends That Will Force You to Rethink Your Processes

1 -- The walls that used to exist between your customers and all those messy back-office operations are being torn down by social technologies. Organizations can no longer hide the weakness in their processes.  Customers are PART of our businesses now, and can voice their displeasure vocally and immediately via social outlets if they confront dated and inefficient legacy systems.

2 -- The next five years will witness a massive reinvention of business processes. If the first wave of automation was all about digitizing existing processes, the next wave will be much more radical and involve the actual reinvention of processes from the ground up. Who have ever thought that an entrenched business like the taxi business could be eclipsed by a newcomer like Uber?

3 -- AIIM data indicates that organizations still have a significant gap between what their customers see -- their external-facing systems of engagement -- and how business actually gets done -- their core back-end systems of record.  Most organizations just have a thin veneer of engagement, with messy back-end processes that are ripe for disclosure.

4 -- Organizations understand that they have to automate and they need to expose their back-end processes to the light -- 68% of organizations agree that business at the speed of paper will be "unacceptable" in just a few years. Getting there, though, is quite another thing.  Our data suggests that most organizations have a long way to go.

How should your organization TRANSFORM and AUTOMATE your information-intensive business processes? This free e-book provides some tips:

Download the free AIIM15 ebook.

Join us at AIIM15 and connect with hundreds of other executives wrestling with these challenges and get access to sessions like these... Full List of Conference sessions HERE.

  • AIIM Certified Information Professional Briefing
  • AIIM BPM Practitioner Training Session
  • AIIM ECM Practitioner Training Session
  • The Race to Digital Transformation -- Keynote Speaker: Brian Solis, Principal, Altimeter Group
  • Industry Insights 2020 Expert Panel -- Focus on Process Transformation
  • The Gen Z Effect; The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business -- Keynote Speaker: Tom Koulopoulos, Founder, Delphi Group and author of nine books
  • Living the Digital Transformation Dream -- Case Study -- ConocoPhilips -- Keynote Speaker: Christy Clark, Director Enterprise Content Management, ConocoPhillips
  • Living the Digital Transformation Dream -- Case Study -- Yale School of Medicine -- Keynote Speaker: Daniel Barchi, CIO, Yale School of Medicine & Yale-New Haven Health System
  • Innovative Use of SharePoint 2013 for IKM in a 9000+ Person Organization -- Barry Byrne, Sr Information & Knowledge Mgt Officer, Irish Defence Forces HQ
  • Before Leaping Into That Technical Solution, Consider Assessing Your ECM Status -- Alix Kneifel, Owner/Principal Consultant, A.Kneifel and Associates
  • What the Oil and Gas Industry Can Tell You About Documents and Data -- Neale Stidolph, Head of Information Management, Lockheed Martin UK
  • Smooth is Fast: Transforming Your ECM Strategy -- Rich Medina, Co-Founder, & Principal Consultant, Doculabs
  • Letting Go Of "Perfect": A Case Study of a One Size Fits All RIM SharePoint -- Renee Latham, Director, ERM, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, and Christine Padilla, Director, ECM, Sunovion Pharmaceutical
  • Change Management: From Chaos to Transformation -- Laurie Fischer, Managing Director, Huron Consulting Group
  • and much, much MORE.

 

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Topics: process automation, process management, bpm

If I want to buy a car, why do you insist on explaining how the pistons work in the engine?

Feb 3, 2015 2:51:00 PM by John Mancini

Thinking About How We Talk About ECM

I recently sat down with AIIM Chair Paul Engel, CEO of VeBridge, to talk about some of the challenges of selling CIOs on ECM as a platform.

[Paul Engel is the chairman of AIIM.  Paul began his career in the software business. He has sold, installed, and supported software and technical services while working for companies like Unisys, Systems and Computer Technology Corporation and his own firm, VeBridge.  Since starting the company, Paul has focused on best practices and quality improvement processes.]

JM:  What do you see as the current state of ECM adoption as a strategic platform within organizations?

PE:  While most organizations are already using some form of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) tools and techniques, such as document imaging, storage, retrieval and sharing of documents, few have embraced the transformational features of a mature ECM solution that includes tools such as workflow optimization, audit trails, case management and line-of-business application integration.

JM:  What do you see as the business benefits of ECM adoption across an organization?

PE:  I think this is where as an industry we get into some trouble.  We simply make this whole ECM thing too complicated.  I liken it to someone asking to buy a car, and the salesman going into a full-blown explanation of how the pistons work in an internal combustion engine. 

The C-level just doesn’t care about a lot of the things we tend to talk about in the content industry.  My experience is that the C-level cares about only three things – 1) reducing operating costs; 2) improving customer service; and 3) minimizing risk and improving compliance – and anything else is noise.

JM:  Going from a single department point solution to something more strategic is a big step.  How should organizations go about this migration?

PE:  Again, I believe in keeping things simple.  Start by looking at all the paper in your organization and consider how to capture it.  Go from there to really understanding your core content processes – how they work, how they consume or generate paper, and who touches them – and think about how you can streamline access to all of the information in those processes.  Think about what kind of common platform you need to tie across all of these processes, and set up measures to understand your processes and audit their performance.  Lastly, don’t neglect the back end – how are you going to systemically document the business. At the most basic level, who did what to whom, when, and in what context – in a form that is robust enough to stand up to compliance reporting requirements, and if worse comes to worse, to legal scrutiny.

JM:  If organizations are uncertain where to start, what should they do?

PE:  My experience is that most of the business my company loses is not to other competitors, but rather to procrastination and the decision to address their information chaos “someday.”  Well, “someday” is here and it’s time to get moving. AIIM did a good job talking about this in its Information Chaos vs. Information Opportunity e-book. 

I recently put together a free e-book that gives my recommendation on how to extend the capabilities of your ECM strategy -- Tearing Down Silos, Building Up Productivity

We are in very challenging times – dramatic changes in technology are putting pressure on business models – and organizations need to make sure they are putting in place an infrastructure that can handle this change.

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Former AIIM Board member Michael Croal talked about some similar themes in How Do We Focus the C-Suite on ECM? -- Or Do We Need to Change OUR Tune?

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This question of managing and automating core business processes is one of the themes we will talk about at #AIIM15 -- Check out the AGENDA -- I think you'll like it.  Also, I've published a new ebook with insights/predictions from some of the speakers (all well-known authors) -- like Brian Solis, Tom Koulopoulos, Chris Surdak, and Sarah Robinson.

Download the free AIIM15 ebook.

 

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Topics: process automation, content management, ecm, process improvement

Process automation is only as good as the weakest link in the process

Nov 2, 2009 1:13:56 PM by John F. Mancini

One of the points we try to make during our educational events (especially our ECM seminars) is that an automated process is only as strong as its weakest link.  

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Topics: process automation, content management, document management, college board, bpm

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