Optimizing Your Business ProcessesIn a previous blog post, we discussed the six building blocks of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and, specifically, the concept of capture. Capture focuses on importing information and data into an ECM system. Once the information is imported into the system, we can begin to process business workflows. Process is the second building block of ECM.
An ideal ECM solution should include the automation of business processes. By optimizing business processes, you are driving efficiency in your organization by eliminating wasted time and effort. An ECM solution can be used to manage structured processes, unstructured information and case management. Below, we briefly discuss each of these three topics and how they relate to process.
Structured processes are predictable, repeatable business processes that can be automated. These processes have standardized outcomes and can include routing documents to the correct person, electronically revising and signing documents or the generation and distribution of documents. Typically, structured processes have many repeated steps that can be automated based on logical decisions.
Example – accounts payable, accounts receivable, employee hiring process, document authorization and approval.
In the instance of unstructured information, it is important to capture and manage ALL information related to a business process, not just the associated documents. When exceptions occur in your standardized business processes, the information generated must be captured. A few examples of unstructured information include notes, reasoning for decisions, correspondence, collaboration, scheduled tasks and reminders. All of this information is critical to a business process.
Example – exceptions to the standard process, ancillary notes or approvals for a document, email authorizations.
Case management is neither predictable nor standardized. This type of process relies on the knowledge, experience and discretion of qualified people to determine the next step in the process. In the scenario of case management, it is vital to have all case-related information such as records, documents, forms, background, history, communications, updates, insights, tasks, notes, observations, data, emails and events in one place to instantly empower your employees with knowledge.
Example – customer service client file
In order to have a successful ECM solution, it is important to gather and manage this information in one application such as OnBase by Hyland. If your business processes and the associated information are not managed well, the information will be spread throughout your organization in various forms causing inefficiencies and wasted time. Of course, we recommend optimization and efficiency!
If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your business processes, contact us for more information.