How Does ECM Enable More Efficient Work-From-Home During COVID-19?

Jon Dedman |

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, businesses have had to adapt to a whole new way of managing day-to-day processes. As staffers move away from offices to working from home, how do paper-based processes evolve to allow remote staff to access the information they need, produce the content required, and make it available to others?

Take a simple process of sending a statement out to a customer, a common challenge faced by countless companies. The statement is printed and then posted to the customer. Since so many companies now have staff working from home, without the necessary printer or paper and with no way to send physical statements, a new solution has to be found.

For users of leading Enterprise Content Management (ECM) tools like our own DataStore, they’ve been able to solve this using the solution’s overlay capabilities, creating an electronic version of the statement that duplicates the previous physical product . Their customers can still receive statements in the same format, but now much more quickly because it’s electronic.

Once the COVID lockdown is lifted, this company should save money and time by creating statements digitally and improving the speed of response to customer requests.

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Revising internal processes around ECM

Internal business processes also need to re-evaluated. A number of ECM users have processes that are paper-based at the start of the process and scanned in as a batch later on. Some processes even involve printing emails for later scanning. These are handled by teams that can scan, index, and store the documents using powerful scanners to help quickly turn paper into electronic content.

But these scanners are only available in the office environment and there’s currently no easy way to pass paper along to these teams for processing, not while the lockdown is in effect. A best-in-class ECM has tools that can help, with Microsoft Office add-ins for Word, Excel, and Outlook to capture documents as their source and store them from within the application.

The scanning team can still add significant value to this process even after ECM implementation. Their skills in checking and categorizing documents can be adapted to quality-checking the electronic documents being added. This ensures the quality and accuracy is maintained despite a significant change to how information is captured.

Developing processes to manage this in a process management solution (such as DataStore’s Document Routing or DataStore Workflow) can provide a formal structure to this process, building a queue of content for processing and automatically generate a full audit that would be very difficult with paper.

ECM can drive Business Continuity Transformation

While business uncertainty is an obvious impact of this pandemic, this is a great time for organizations to take a step back and review their processes. Once the lockdown is lifted, staff may be more comfortable and confident in continuing to work from home.

An ECM solution can be part of a forward-looking strategy for adding agility, responsiveness, and security to an organization, making Business Continuity Transformation™ a reality.

By adapting and changing processes, your enterprise can become more efficient, more aware of your content and communications, while also being more supportive of your staffers and better able to utilize the key skill sets they’ve honed over the years.

To better serve our own clients during this time, we recorded a webinar that addresses many of these key issues, providing some fairly easy-to-implement solutions to the challenges working from home has presented to some businesses.

If you have any questions, need any guidance, or are desperate to find a solution like ECM that will be quick to implement and as robust and secure as you need, please get in touch.