Taking Document Management Beyond Accounts Payable
Connecting People, Processes, and Data in efficient, digital ways
Electronic document management software gained its foothold in the Accounts Payable departments of corporations. With its long list of repetitive tasks, approval processes, and paper documents, it was a natural target as businesses tried to minimize paper handling and filing. But the efficiencies gained with an electronic document management system can be extended far beyond payables processing, truly connecting the people, processes, and data that drive your business. Here we look at additional areas of your business that can benefit from document management tools, highlighting benefits you might not have considered. But first, it’s worth providing a quick look at the broad functionality offered by electronic document management solutions.
Document Management Functionality
- Search and retrieve documents based on metadata you assign
- Securely store and protect data access by user
- Build a complete audit trail of documents activity and access
- Integrate with your ERP
- Build configurable workflows
- Email notifications keep users on task
- Automate workflows, such as approval processes
- Build smart forms to capture data and place it in the workflow
Electronic document management software brings similar efficiencies to accounts receivable processing that it brings to accounts payable. The software can be configured to automate invoice delivery, including supporting documents such as work tickets, contracts, or photos. Perhaps the most valuable benefit of digitizing your receivables lies in document backup, archiving, and retrieval. Any customer related document may be digitized and given relevant document properties (think invoice number, customer name, project number, etc.) that can be used for rapid document search and recall.
Inventory and Warehouse Management
Keeping a busy warehouse operation running involves a lot of forms and documents — many of them in paper form. An electronic document management solution can bring these documents under tight, traceable control, speeding warehouse operations and back office efficiency. Documents can be organized according any number and combination of metadata, from SKU, to certificate, to customer ID. Bills of lading, delivery documents, or quality certificates can be linked and associated together, turning traditionally paper documents into searchable digital files. Forms, such as inventory transfers, can be digitized and entered in the workflow to ensure proper processing.
An electronic document management solution makes it easy to share the documents and forms prevalent on a company’s manufacturing shop floor. Quality assurance documents (certificates of compliance, test results, etc.) can be associated with items or even specific lot and serial numbers, allowing you to instantly share with customers, or access in the event of an audit event. Checklists associated with various work centers or steps can be turned into digital forms, ensuring you retain a permanent record of various activities.
Your customer service department is charged with providing swift, effective, and accurate information in its interaction with customers. Electronic document management software is a highly effective tool to help in those efforts. For example, you can capture, track and recall product return-related documentation and photos to help resolve support issues. And that documentation can be tagged with additional metadata — such as the product involved — to build a knowledgebase that can help resolve other product-related issues more quickly.
Human resources – track confidential documents
Many human resource departments have enthusiastically embraced electronic document management solutions, and for good reason. The workflow and tasks associated with human resource management all traditionally paper intensive. Incorporating a solution here can literally transform the department by automating workflows and approvals, digitizing and routing forms, and securely archiving sensitive data — freeing HR staff time to focus on more strategic endeavors.
We’ll be taking deeper dives into many of these functional areas in upcoming posts, uncovering ways you can extend document management functionality throughout your organization, streamlining tasks, promoting efficiencies, and cutting costs. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.