AIIM - The Global Community of Information Professionals

6 Ways Document Management Software Can Make Your Next Audit a Breeze

Oct 30, 2018 11:07:00 AM by Suzanne McCormack

No matter what industry you are in, audits are stressful. Many of your company’s processes and documents must be analyzed to make sure you are compliant and up to standard. That means the auditor is going to need to see a lot of paperwork. If you currently use filing cabinets, inboxes, and hard drives to store your documents, then an audit is likely your worst nightmare. Luckily, there is a better way.

With a document control software, you no longer have to stress when it’s time for an audit. All your information can be stored within one comprehensive system that allows your data to be tracked, stored, indexed, and searched. Here is a look at six ways a document management system can help your company get organized and ready for your next audit:

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Topics: document management, audit

8 Things You Must Know to Automate Human Resource Processes

Aug 23, 2016 12:10:58 PM by John Mancini

It is the best of times and the worst of times for HR professionals.

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Topics: business process, bpm, human resources, document management

7 Tips to Make Information Chaos Worse in Your Organization

Aug 16, 2016 8:42:29 AM by John Mancini

The possibilities for more information chaos surround us.  Content is proliferating at geometric rates, and organizations and the people who work in them are struggling with massive amounts of information overload.  The sheer volume of content and data entering our organizations is growing in complexity, volume, and variety.

That would all be complicated enough on its own.  But what are organizations doing – often with the best of intentions – to actually make things WORSE? 

Here are my top 7 tips to make things WORSE!  I've put together a free tip sheet with the details -- check it out, and feel free to spread it around if you choose -- just click the button.

How might you be creating MORE information chaos?  7 ways.

  1. Assume that your existing process platforms – like your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Human Resource Information Systems or Accounts Payable system – can just handle everything.
  2. Assume your nephew can probably create the online forms you need because he is pretty good at technology.
  3. “Go paperless” by just using your copier to scan to a folder on a shared drive.
  4. Go cheap when it comes to getting outside expert help.
  5. Tackle ALL content and processes at once.
  6. Let IT handle this; business people don’t have time.
  7. Allow “the business” to buy lots and lots of unconnected single application SaaS solutions.

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In the Toronto, NY or DC metro areas?  We've got a process improvement seminar coming up in your neighborhood!  They're FREE.

Washington DC event -- October 4 at the National Press Club

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

New York event-- October 6 at the Manhattan Penthouse

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Toronto event -- October 13 at the Allstream Centre

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Topics: information chaos, content management, document management

Document Management, Version Control and the Art of the Industry Press Release

Feb 16, 2016 11:03:47 AM by John Mancini

Kudos to my friend Bob Zagami for bringing this to my attention from the editor of the RV Daily Report, Greg Gerber.

RV Daily Report changes press release publishing policy

Organizations constantly struggle with the question of not only the volume of content and documents they are managing, but amidst this chaos, they also wrestle with the question of "what is truth?"  Or in more practical terms, what is the "official" version, who has approved it, and how can we track the chain of custody and modifications throughout the life cycle of a document?

This clearly bubbles up when it comes to interactions with industry organizations, and the use of industry organizations for the timely release of industry information.  With all of the above tensions exacerbated by the addition of external players (like agencies) added to the release approval equation, industry organizations can be caught in the middle of all this.  I have to say we've seen the kind of dynamic that frustrates Mr. Garber pop up here are AIIM on occasion.  Plus, his post gave me a bit of a chuckle on an icy Washington morning.

My favorite quote in the article was this:

If RV Daily Report receives a press release from an official representative of the company or organization, or picks up a story from the firms’ social media accounts or the wire services, and it’s published in one of our newsletters, the story will NOT be removed.

The CEO can fall to the ground, flail his arms and legs, and hold his breath until his face turns blue, but it won’t matter.

Corporate attorneys can call me puffing their chests and beating them like Tarzan while threatening all types of hideous sanctions, but they’ll speak to the hand, as my teenage daughters use to say.

As a dad of daughters only and someone who grew up surrounded by females, I’ve endured more drama than any male should ever face in a lifetime. As a result, I’ve developed immunity to it.

Good for you, Mr. Gerber.

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Just a microcosm of the many content and information issues we'll be discussing at AIIM16 in New Orleans on April 26-28.  Join us.

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Topics: content management, document management, information chaos

Going Paperless Can Improve Customer Service

Sep 25, 2015 11:14:00 AM by Dennis Kempner

AIIM Expert Blogger Post by Dennis Kempner -- President, Biel's Information Technology Systems

Trying to provide good customer service and having any information exclusively on paper is nearly impossible. Customer service representatives need to be able to access all of the customer’s information instantaneously so they can help the customer immediately.Going paperless and using an electronic ticket management system will improve efficiency greatly.

A common problem facing many customer service representatives is not having the necessary information readily available to them. If they ever have to go into a filing cabinet to find information for a customer it can take a long time to find the right documents, and sometimes they get misfiled and now somebody has to spend hours finding it.

Using an electronic ticket management system, customer service representatives can see all the customer’s information, and what they’ve call about in the past. Even if they dealt with another representative, anybody can pull up the ticket and see what the last representative did. This is especially helpful if it’s a problem the customer has had in the past and it occurs again. This type of coordination between employees is what makes digital ticket systems so much more efficient than looking through archived papers in a filing cabinet.

A paperless office can also improve the way customers provide information to customer service representatives by implementing electronic forms. Customers can go to the website, make a new support ticket by themselves and even specify how they’d like to receive a reply. This means the phone lines will stay clear of smaller issues and instead of having a customer wait on hold, a representative can call them back once it is their turn. The customer won’t be as worked up after being on hold and a solution can be reached much more quickly.

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There are still some upcoming cities in the AIIM Paperfree/Process Transformation tour.  Join the fun. 

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Topics: paper free day, document management, paperfree office

Wanted: Practical Document Management Advice for Small Companies

Mar 2, 2015 3:52:00 PM by John Mancini

Going back a few years, I used this chart from Geoffrey Moore from Dealing With Darwin – internally we call it the two-humped camel jpeg -- to talk about some of the changes occurring in the enterprise IT space, and more specifically, in the content management space. 

The way to interpret this diagram is like this…(Per Harvard Business Review)

Most companies in the first category [Complex-Systems Model] have large enterprises as their primary customers, while many in the second tend to be consumer oriented, but the distinction is not as simple as B2B versus B2C. Rather, it is more deeply rooted in their contrasting economic formulas. In the complex-systems model, vendors seek to grow a customer base of thousands, with no more than a handful of transactions per customer per year (indeed, in some years there may be none) but at an average price per transaction in six to seven figures. In this model, a thousand enterprises paying a million dollars each per year generate a billion dollars in revenue.   By contrast, in the volume-operations model, vendors seek to acquire a customer base of millions of consumers, with tens or even hundreds of transactions per consumer per year, at an average price of relatively few dollars per transaction. Here it takes ten million customers each spending $8 per month to generate a billion dollars in annual revenue.

In the Content Management space, we clearly have lots of left-hump, right-hump confusion at the moment. 

When we say the phrase “ECM” we immediately create left-hump images – images of complex, expensive, mission critical applications driving high volume transactional processes.  Or images of case management systems that operate at scale, linking together disparate content and data repositories to create a consistent and rationalized view of the customer in context.

SharePoint originally entered the market as a project-team-focused collaborative solution dealt out by IT staffs to business people to handle very basic file share replacement functionality. Clearly a right hump solution. However, as time has gone on, and the scale and complexity of SharePoint has grown – and as SharePoint began to be viewed as a business platform rather than a document-sharing application -- it migrated into Complex Systems Land.  This confusion is clearly reflected in AIIM’s just released SharePoint Industry Watch, Connecting and Optimizing SharePoint – important strategy choices.

But since SharePoint came along, the market flipped again, and there’s another set of solutions like (just for example, NOT intended as an exhaustive list) Evernote, Box, DropBox, Google at Work, Office365, and M-Files clearly focused on right-hump land.  And truly opening up the market to thousands of companies and organizations who previously and justifiably viewed document management (or heaven help us, ECM) as something way beyond their means.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with EITHER the left hump or the right hump.  They are just different.  I like to think there are two questions we should ask about a technology solution – 1) is it good technology?; and 2) is it appropriate technology?

I was reminded of this Complex Systems/Volume Operations dichotomy last week by an article in Forbes, The One Thing That Can Transform An Idea Into A Phenomenon.

We like to think that disruption happens in Silicon Valley and other technological hot spots, but the reality is that things only take off when they gain traction somewhere else.  The true face of revolution looks more like The Good Wife than it does Homeland. Innovation doesn’t become real when you read it in Wired, but when you see it on CNN…. Ironically, it is often the early adopters, usually hobbyists who have built a tight knit community around new technology, who are most resistant to spreading it.... And that’s why we call people like Steve Jobs geniuses.  They are the ones who are able to see that the grimy bunch that collected around the Homebrew Computer Club could one day morph into a throbbing mass of soccer parents shopping for sleek laptops.  It’s the interface, not the mechanics, that makes an idea “insanely great.”

Think for a moment about small businesses with between 10 and 100 employees.  Just as a data point, there are 1,074,459 of these firms just in the United States. 

How many of these 1,074,459 companies would be interested in a left hump “ECM” solution?  Probably less than 1%.

How many could benefit from a right-hump “good enough” document management and workflow solution?  I would bet almost all of the remaining 99%.  How many of these have even rudimentary document management capability and how many are just utilizing a mess of unmanaged file shares and local hard drives? I’ll bet the ratio is 5%/95%. 

I was talking to some colleagues about this "keep it simple" challenge today and they came up with a good personal analogy that is extendable to organizations.  How many people use all -- or even a majority -- of the functionality built into Excel?  Answer -- probably just a very few finance types.  How many just want to do some pretty simple things with spreadsheets, things that are terrifically useful but not very complicated?  Almost everyone else.

I recently spoke with a legal clinic that had these fairly typically information chaos challenges:

  1. They process about 2,000 submissions per year (and 20,000 files needing back-file conversion)
  2. They don’t have a lot of IT staff and those they have aren’t terribly helpful with “document” questions.
  3. They have about 75 people on staff. Relatively few process the submissions, but a lot of the 75 access them.
  4. They need a solution that is 1) cloud-based, 2) easy to use, 3) able to scan directly into a repository (all submissions initially paper) using the MFPs they already own, 4) able to do so with full-text search (currently just static PDFs) and to automatically apply basic metadata, 5) able to check on who accessed which files.

Clearly this legal clinic needs mid-range right hump functionality.  Complex Systems Land is not even on the radar screen.

Which brings me to my point, and the points upon which I would like your help.

What does a company with 10-100 employees need to know to simply manage documents effectively and responsibly? 

How can they do this for less than $25,000? (Can they?)

Post a comment and let’s get the “Document Management on a Shoestring” conversation started.

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Topics: document management

5 Document Management Practices That Make Companies Less Competitive

Feb 24, 2015 3:27:11 PM by John Mancini

5 Document Management Practices That Make Companies Less Competitive

For companies without effective document management solutions in place, it will be increasingly difficult to remain competitive. We are in a disruptive environment where there are going to be a lot of unexpected winners and losers.

I recently did an interview focused on the five document management practices that make companies less competitive and three tips on how to avoid these traps. The three tips?

  1. The first probably sounds somewhat basic: Figure out where your real, intensive paper pain-points are.
  2. The second thing — and this will sound really obvious — is that you need to start somewhere.
  3. The third thing is to get smart about content management. 

 

Check out the full interview HERE.  Let me know what you think...

John Mancini Interview

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Topics: ecm, document management, aiim15, docuware

#Kodak and the Tidal Wave of Digital Technologies

Jan 19, 2012 11:32:09 AM by John F. Mancini

News of the Kodak (NYSE:EK) Chapter 11 filing is obviously creating ripples throughout the mainstream press. But closer to home, as one of the founders of both AIIM (back in the NMA days) and as an icon in the document management industry, Kodak’s filing highlights for me the challenges implicit for any organization as they try to navigate the complicated waters of the digital age.

[Editor’s note: as neither a legal nor a financial genius, please cut me a bit of slack me as I think through the implications of the filing for our industry.]

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Topics: content management, ecm, imaging, document management, NYSE: EK, aiim, scanning, Kodak

8 things you need to know about enterprise capture

Oct 25, 2011 5:59:46 PM by John F. Mancini

One of the things I talk about during my presentations is that will capture is a mature technology (i.e., it actually works as advertised), the capture market is still relatively immature. Specifically, while a relatively high percentage of user organizations are scanning to archive, relatively few are extracting data from images to doing indexing or metadata, even fewer are extracting data to drive processes, and still fewer have a true enterprise capture strategy.

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Topics: image, information management, 8 things, kofax, content management, ecm, document management, aiim, scanning, capture

Here's what #AIIM is all about - in case you were wondering!

Jul 22, 2011 3:03:00 AM by John F. Mancini

Lots of people touch "pieces" of AIIM -- our training, or our webinars, or our publications. They often come away really impressed with the product.  

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Topics: information management, content management, ecm, document management, aiim, records management, social business

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