How can an organisation improve its handling of information?

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How an organisation chooses to organise its information depends upon many factors. For some organisations the choice can appear to be relatively straight forward, for example, in a highly regulated industry such as pharmaceuticals a company has to demonstrate the management of information (and documents) to the highest standards. For others a simple structured filing system provides the control they require.

The moment when an organisation or company has to be able to demonstrate greater management of its information and by default its documents may be triggered by a single event such as the desire to achieve a specific quality standard e.g.ISO9001 or ISO14001 where fully traceable documentation is required.  Perhaps the trigger for others is an audit by a customer or preparing the company to break into a new market where compliance is a must to operate in that market.

Like many things in life it is better to be forearmed and forewarned. It is a worthwhile exercise to assess how information flows through your business. Most businesses regularly assess their cash flow and their return on assets. In modern businesses one of the most important assets is information so working ways out ways to lever more value out of this is important.

Organisations can find they readily save in excess of 10 % of their time by using an electronic document management system (EDMS). For example, in a project based company who regularly bid for work; an EDMS significantly reduces the effort and time involved in the bidding process. It can also eliminate the risk of two or more versions of the same document being worked upon at the same time which is always a fear of a bid team working under tight time schedules. In other areas such as finance the use of an EDMS enables twice the number of invoices to be handled by the same number of people.  

If the decision is that an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) is the way forward then there are many things to consider some of which are:

- How easily can documents be captured and stored?

- How effectively is the system designed to retrieve documents?

- How effectively can it work with remote workers?( the right system can dramatically improve their ability to work more effectively)

- If users need to collaboratively work on pieces of work, is the booking in and out system easy to use?

- Can it integrate seamlessly with other software packages (good examples appear to be symbiotic in their operation with existing software)?

- Does the package offer a cloud solution, if that is needed?

Once you have a better understanding of the underlying processes that are important to your business it will be easier to identify the way forward. Most systems should enable you to calculate the Return on Investment (ROI.)

This article relates to this week’s poll. Click here to cast your vote.

If you would like to find out more about EDMS you are more than welcome to download a free trial version from our site at www.mintronics.co.uk  or contact  John Minto on 0844 3570378  or Mark Snell on 07948 380597 marksnell

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