Every team within an organisation, however small, has a role to play in its overall health and success. Today’s C-Suite is increasingly expected to work together and across disparate teams, gathering the relevant data from all business units in order to inform decisions on resource allocation, budgets and investments. This means that capturing the right information, in the right format, at the right time is vital for their work.
Many organisations suffer from the scourge of chasing the paper trail, which is notorious for slowing down the pace of decision-making. And in today’s increasingly competitive environment, faster decision-making is a sure way for companies to gain an advantage and steal a march on competitors. Delays can be a significant business problem, impeding productivity and sapping employee motivation.
But what causes these delays? Poor data management is one problem. In many cases, when information is needed quickly workers can become needlessly focused on the process of retrieving it. For example, a paper invoice that gets delivered to the finance department may have started with an electronic order (which is kept as an e-record in the accounting system) and include a signed paper contract (which is filed in the legal department). That’s three related documents, all in different formats and all saved in different places. If there was a problem with the order or the customer had a question, the issue could take days to resolve as employees would be forced to hunt for a number of isolated documents in separate locations.
In an ideal world however, workers would not have to spend hours searching for information, particularly if that information is required to solve a potential problem or answer a query. The focus should not be on finding data – it should be on using it.
For department heads, the key to making fast, accurate, strategic decisions is in being able to capture and organise all related information into easy-to-find electronic documents. Solutions such as document capture can tie departments together by scanning documents into one secure central electronic repository which is kept updated and accurate across a range of business functions. Document capture also allows documents to be indexed by any concept that makes business sense, giving users the ability to search and retrieve documents based upon different criteria. Technologies such as character recognition and metadata tagging are also the key to proper classification of assets, making searching and identifying almost instantaneous.
All of this can not only make employees more productive but it also ensures that the retrieval of the documents is just one step in the process of collating data, rather than a process in itself.
As our professional reliance on data increases, so does the importance of data accuracy and efficient information management across business departments. A strong document management and capture system not only has the ability to improve workflow, but also improve the decision-making capabilities of those in charge of the process, which is critical to increasing influence in the boardroom. Such a solution therefore, should not only be seen as a tool for efficiency, but also an important strategic one.