It’s common misconception that all document management solutions are complex and unaffordable. People assume you have to buy the whole expensive software package with all the bells and whistles, and don’t realize that they can purchase a scalable solution like Sage ERP Document Management to start small and grow at the company’s pace.
Some businesses may not have the budget for the full solution all at once, so being able to purchase a smaller solution that meets the immediate needs and having the ability to add on as those needs change is much more feasible. This is the three-step program we recommend to dip your toes into the paperless pond.
Step One: Electronic Documents
The easiest concept to explain, and perhaps the most important, is the idea of taking printed, physical documents and replacing them with electronic ones. To accomplish this, we simply need to capture an image of the document, either by scanning it or sending it to a virtual printer, then give that document meaning by adding index values. By purchasing this simple, document repository system, you could save significant amounts of time and money that would be spent storing and searching for documents.
Step Two: Output Automation
Being able to store and view documents electronically is huge when it comes to saving on storage costs, but the costs to send documents through the mail or via courier can get quite expensive too. The Output tool will automatically distribute documents via email, fax or print – depending on the recipient’s preference. Not having to separate, fold, apply postage and mail all of those documents is a significant benefit, and not having to keep track of who needs which documents sent in what format is certainly helpful too.
Step Three: Workflow Automation
The next step in a paperless office environment is being able to route documents for approval. An invoice, for example, might need to go through several levels of approval before accounts payable can cut a check. Sometimes that even involves sending it to different approvers based on the amount or the vendor. With workflow automation, those documents can automatically reach the appropriate first step in the approval process once they are scanned in or created electronically. Then after reviewing, making notes or coding, that approver can click a button to send it to the next step in the approval process. Workflow automation saves time while allowing for reporting and auditing of activity. Managing processes electronically minimizes the chances for error and gives supervisors the ability to manage to the exception instead of the rule.
There are even more advanced tools that could be added to the solution to automate indexing, create custom electronic forms, or make documents accessible via the web, for example. These three stepping stones represent a strong, simple foundation that can be enhanced later through an extensive business process review. It is important to remember that document management is not an all-or-nothing solution. You have the ability to configure the solution to best fit your company’s specific needs and budget.
To learn more about how to go paperless and streamline processes throughout your business, attend our educational webinar on Sage Paperless Office and PaperlessPLUS on September 18 at 2 pm ET. http://bit.ly/19xG9ir