Our organisation spends a lot of time assisting others to implement Document and Work Management solutions. We have been doing this since 2007 and individually many of us have been doing this for a lot longer with other organisations. We are still surprised at organisational avoidance of implementing change management processes for their teams.
Many years ago systems projects had a very strong technical leaning. Remember using the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) to structure long projects to deliver positive organisational outcomes? Projects these days happen a lot quicker (generalisation inserted – we would love your view). This speed is underpinned by advances in technology as well as globalisation driving a world market. We can now configure software to do a lot of things that we used to require software development projects to deliver.
What are the impacts of this faster delivery of organisational outcomes? Here are The Big Four impacts we see;
1. Less structure.
We do not see organisations using Project Managers (PM) and Project Management hygiene as frequently as they used to. This provides less organisational structure which leads to generally poorer outcomes. In our experience having a PM on a project virtually guarantees the project will not fail as well as ensuring the project will deliver at an acceptable time and cost (note the use of acceptable as opposed to budgeted, that could be a single blog in its own right). As a minimum, organisations need to have a responsible executive so that there is a single point of escalation for the technical resources on the project. We would love to see this trend away from formal PM reversed.
2. Less formal requirements.
A significant trend we see is the reduced focus on formal requirements. We often see projects being attempted with no agreed formal requirements. The theory being that the tools can be adjusted so easily that once a solution is live it can be altered as needed. Whilst this may be somewhat true, it does not deal with the various pre-conceived expectations of the stakeholders. Stakeholders are quick to get frustrated and unsupportive of the project if their early expectations are not met. One of the great things about a formal requirements document is the articulation of expectations before any delivery has happened. If there is a gap in the expectations of the solutions delivery team and any of the stakeholders it is highlighted and dealt with long before the project is thrown seriously off track.
3. Lack of a formal change control process
Just having an initial set of requirements is not sufficient. We see projects falter regularly because valid changes to the project are not managed with a controlled process. The beauty of a change control process is the involvement of all stakeholders and management of their expectations throughout the delivery. As with formal requirements, change controls are a vital commercial and legal instrument that can reduce your organisational risks.
4. People aren’t ready
With modern technology we can often implement a really complex solution to an organisational problem in a very small amount of time. Whilst this is great and any technocrats will love the speed and outcome, it give technophobes very little time to adapt to a new work design. We see this happen a lot and often those technophobes will start an internal marketing campaign against the project / changes (interestingly in our experience once the key issues of this group are addressed they can be turned into strong advocates). In our experience the number one reason why projects struggle is the human change element. Of course there is a direct link between this impact and the project management impact described above. Less Project Management hygiene leads to less focus on the core change management principles built into that hygiene. We would encourage anyone currently implementing or considering a technical change project to spend more time considering the human change elements. If you do you will be rewarded for having done so.
Of course there are other factors that can lead to implementation issues – poor technology choice, poor partner choice, external factors, poor resourcing and inadequate skills to name a few. Despite these other risk factors we still see most troubled projects having one or more of The Big Four issues identified above as the root cause of the challenges.
In summary, we suggest that all solution implementation projects have a Project Manager, use a tight requirements recording and change control recording process as well as have a program of change management built into the core deliverables. Implementing hygiene’s to account for The Big Four will seriously improve your chance of implementation success.
Document Management has come a long way since Edwin Siebel invented the filing cabinet in the 1800’s. It has to be said however that innovation in the Document Management space was pretty slow up until the advent of Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) in the 1980’s.
EDMS was brilliant because it immediately improved accessibility of the stored documents as well as the timeliness of that access. As the EDMS vendors continued to innovate they introduced innovative functions such as version control, document locking, annotations and even electronic forms. At the time this was all very forward thinking and really started to empower organisations and their users.
Move forward to the last 5 years and there has been a lot of the noise in Document Management around the addition of workflow capabilities to Document Management platforms. This is a match made in heaven as documents are at the core of most organisational processes. It is a great way of getting an ROI on what was once often considered a cost liability. I think all the major players in the EDMS pace are now adding workflow (office automation, work management, business process management etc.) functionality to their core offerings (some more successfully than others).
So what of the future? Where does Document Management go next? Well here are some of our thoughts at FileBound Australia;
1. Process Tuning
Implementing document based workflows (as mentioned above) has been a tremendous leap forward for organisations. The next logical step to that is having the ability to performance tune these workflows. To do this organisations will need to analyse the data created whilst running the processes and look for improvement opportunities. This will require EDMS vendors to build analytics capabilities into their platforms. Once this step is taken we could even see the emergence of self-improving workflows where the analytics engine makes assessments and adjusts the work process automatically.
2. Explosion of the electronic form
Essentially e-form engines allow organisations to easily create standard forms and letters. These documents are the lifeblood of an organisation and represent a significant administrative load (and therefore cost) to all organisations. Some of the EMDS platforms already deal with e-forms however we believe their use will multiply as more and more processes are automated. This is due to the fact that e-forms can be used to trigger workflows or created as a critical component of a workflow. Future EDMS development will revolve around e-form design engines and hosting platforms so that any organisations staff, customers and suppliers can access and use the forms.
Investment in mobility will continue unabated. BYOD programs will continue to proliferate and fuel the need for EDMS system to work with multiple mobile platforms. The mobile platforms have historically been lesser functioned to the core EDMS function and over time this will change so that users can have a richer experience whilst on the move.
EDMS vendors have been slow off the mark with Cloud. Most of the EDMS vendors have a client-server legacy and trying to cloud enable that has proven expensive and difficult. The growth of cloud-native vendors and the changed appetite for Cloud from the buying market will see Cloud delivered EDMS start to and continue to grow aggressively. One of the biggest influencers in future growth will be the SME market. Cloud represents an ability for these organisations to access valuable functionality that has traditionally only been afforded by larger organisations. Small organisations will start to manage their documents and workflows in ways that are similar to larger organisations.
5. Vendor specialisation
AS EDMS platforms have evolved many of them have tried to be all things to all people. We see tenders in market looking for requirements that span Capture, DMS, Web Content Management, Digital Asset Management, Case Management, Records Management, Knowledge Management, Analytics, Asset Management and Workflow. Now as we move forward each key vendor will need to determine which of these functions are their core strength. It is not feasible that a vendor will be able to tick all those boxes and even if they did it is unlikely that they would deliver quality outcomes. Vendors will need to know what they are good at and the market will need to be better at assessing which of these functions are their priorities for investment.
6. Capture integration
We have already seen some mergers and acquisitions where Capture Vendors buy EDMS assets and visa versa. Going forward these two groups will continue to merge, partner and tightly integrate. EDMS players will continue to build capture capabilities into their platform and offer capture capabilities as part of their workflow processing. These capture capabilities combined with the e-forms engine will allow the document to morph into a container of data that can take many shapes and forms as it moves through its work processes.
These are just some of the trends we see going forward. We would love to know your thoughts so jump in below.
FileBound can be used to manage the whole contract lifecycle. From contract creation through to implementation, review, termination, archive and destruction, FileBound can ensure that these processes are carried out efficiently and effectively.
One of the most common questions we get is; “Can FileBound notify me when a contact is going to expire?” Well the answer is yes. We can used the Scheduled Workflow capability in FileBound Office Automation to effectively poll your contract files and create a new review workflow for all contracts set to expire in your pre-determined timeframe (e.g. 90 days). This video will give you a great insight into the operation of this function:
If you would like to know more about how FileBound can be used to manage your Contract Processes please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After more than four years of using two separate document management applications to scan and archive patient data and financial records, Mary Rutan Hospital was completely convinced of the value of electronic document management. But the staff was less than satisfied with their legacy solutions, which were confusing to use, time-consuming to administer and offered limited functionality.
Mary Rutan’s CDW Healthcare account team suggested the Web-based FileBound solution and arranged Webinar demonstrations for the hospital’s Information Systems (I.S.) staff and end-user representatives. Immediately sold on FileBound’s robustness and ease of use — as well as the cost-effectiveness of its unlimited user licenses — Mary Rutan quickly decided to move forward on the conversion. Currently, about half of the hospital’s more than 730 employees use FileBound — and the number is growing rapidly, especially after the recent integration of the software with the existing clinical application.
In less than two years, Mary Rutan has taken giant strides toward its goal of becoming as paperless an environment as possible. Previously, less than a quarter of the hospital’s patient records were electronic — that number is now well over three-quarters. The ability of any user to find records easily and quickly translates into increased staff productivity and significantly fewer calls requesting file location to medical records staff. And with dramatically less paper, storage costs were slashed.
FileBound also seamlessly integrated with the hospital’s Web-based M2 electronic medical record (EMR) system, providing a single point of reference for document management throughout the hospital campus via computers on wheels, notebooks and desktops. In addition, since FileBound is so user-friendly, help calls to the I.S. staff have also plummeted, freeing them to better utilize their limited resources in other vital areas.
The vast majority of SEK employees are deployed in the field where they conduct student assessments. Once an assessment is completed, it is important for the assessor to quickly return findings to headquarters for processing. However, over the years it has proved increasingly difficult for assessing psychologists to manage all the paperwork and get it back to headquarters in a timely manner. This, in turn, has slowed government payments to SEK.
Assessments administered by SEK are often tracked for up to 20 years. As the years passed, it became apparent that the company needed a better, more organized and efficient way of storing the assessments so that they would be easily accessible when needed for comparison by government agencies.
FileBound Document Management System provided a highly efficient solution to all of SEK’s challenges. Now, once a psychologist completes an assessment in the field, he or she simply scans it into FileBound and it is immediately uploaded to FileBound On Demand for quick processing and billing to the federal government. Every assessment stored in the FileBound Document Management System is instantly available to governmental agencies through the FileBound Clipboard, so getting the copies they need is easier than ever before.
Processing of assessments that once took days or even weeks can now be completed in minutes from the field. By streamlining processing, SEK has also been able to speed up receipt of payment from the government. Furthermore, any assessment stored within the FileBound system is quickly retrieved whenever needed, eliminating hours of searching through records that over the years could get lost or misplaced.
By Rex Lamb
Return on Investment (ROI) is at the heart of every significant business decision. In the simplest of terms it is a measure of what you get for what you give. Research by Ohio State University found that 4 out of 5 buyers seek “value” before price. In other words, most people will give more to get more.
“Value” includes Quality, Flexibility of the offering and Availability all as a function of Price. “Quality” means the product delivers what is required (or wanted) and does what is promised. Economists call this the “Law of Marginal Utility.” For the rest of us, it means what blows your hair back won’t necessarily interest the next guy. When we talk about ROI, we have to keep it in the context of what is important to the buyer.
What are businesses requiring today? First, they want more customers and more sales. That is pretty well true no matter what the economic conditions are. Beyond that, however, is that business today is desperately seeking ways to engineer cost out of the business. Most of the improved earnings reports are the result of cost reductions. And while cost reduction began as a way to respond to the recession, evidence suggests that it is quickly becoming a permanent part of business culture.
With a paper-based invoice processing system the company incurs a significant “cost” in handling paper, but it is difficult to quantify the short-run cash savings. Creating a long-run “saving” by installing imaging, for example, doesn’t add value if I still have the floor space, the employees and all my other out-of-pocket expenses. The value may be intrinsic, but few businesses are investing today based upon intangible value. The CFO will say “Show me the money!”
FileBound offers a rare opportunity to eliminate work at a value-based price. A major task in the AP department is entering data from paper invoices into the Accounting System. Typical information entered is a vendor name, purchase order number, invoice number, payment due date and general ledger account code (s) and total due. Because this information is normally put into the accounting
system after all processing and approvals, other logging and data entry of the invoice typically takes place before the invoice is ready for entry to the accounting system.
With FileBound all of this changes. Invoices are scanned immediately upon arrival. The needed information is electronically picked up off the invoice and captured eliminating data entry and other manual tasks to a fraction of the time normally required. Routing and review of invoices is all handled electronically, eliminating hand routing and handling of the invoices. Finally, the scanned information is automatically imported into the general ledger accounting system and invoices can be paid without further data entry.
Best of all, not only is the work more efficient, much of the original work (key entering data) is gone forever. This provides the opportunity to either repurpose staff to cash-producing work (such as AR collections and sales proposal follow-ups) or eliminate head count. Either way, the business gets cash returns for the investment.
Added benefits include improved accuracy and reduced mailing expense. Errors in data entry create extra work and cost. With FileBound, that problem is gone forever because the information is picked up electronically from the invoice. Invoices received at field offices are now scanned, eliminating mailing or courier expense.
High value for a low price with FileBound – an easy ROI!
Ply Gem provides residential builders, remodelers and architects with a comprehensive range of building products including windows, doors, siding, stone veneer, fencing and railing. Serving stores located throughout much of the United States as well as Western Canada, Ply Gem has for more than 50 years been a dependable resource for those involved in new construction, remodeling and repairs.
In 2008, Ply Gem moved its accounts payable process from its individual locations to its Cary, North Carolina, headquarters, resulting in Cary’s staff each month being overwhelmed by more than 13,000 invoices, all of which were handled manually. Understandably,
labor expenses soared as the staff struggled under the load. Before long, payments were being made late to vendors, some vendors received double payments and other suppliers had to receive wired funds or manual checks in order to smooth ruffled feathers.
Other departments, such as legal, marketing and human resources, were struggling with the paperbased systems as well. Finding documents was becoming a serious issue, and on top of that storing the vast reams of paper processed each month was becoming an issue as space badly needed for cubicles was devoted to boxes overflowing with records. It was clear something had to be done.
Ply Gem implemented a complete FileBound system that included scanning, document management and workflow solutions. FileBound’s flexible licensing model allowed Ply Gem to not only automate the severely challenged AP process, but also provide document management and workflow solutions for the other departments as well. Best of all, the cost was well below that of competitive systems that would only have solved the AP problem.
By using an application integration module and making the complete FileBound Object Module available, integration with Ply Gem’s JD Edwards ERP application was achieved easily and at much less cost than would otherwise have been possible. Since Ply Gem makes the MS Office application available on every desktop, having the integration built into FileBound was a huge advantage.
Ply Gem’s Director of IT was especially enthusiastic about FileBound’s architecture. He felt his team could easily support the platform and create any required integration or customization that the business units would need to streamline their work.
Ply Gem’s system has only recently been implemented, but already the solution has been able to save the company on labor expense. Accounts Payable employees are now equipped to handle exceptions at their desks while on the phone with a vendor or customer, greatly streamlining the process. Vendor relations are much improved because payments are made on time and with fewer manual checks
While working with MCSC it was determined that they needed a more cost effective way to file, search, and transfer school records to colleges and universities. They also identified a need for a better disaster recovery plan for all of their school records from 1960 to present.
It was determined that a FileBound document management solution would not only meet their needs but was also at a price point that they could afford. This new solution automates the way they manage and protect their school transcripts, human resource files, and other records within the organization. FileBound allows them to securely access and share transcripts with outside requestors in a much more efficient way.
FileBound was installed and all the staff training completed in a matter of a few days and on budget.
As stated by Chuck Muston, Principal of Mooresville High School, “FileBound has made our school a better place to work and learn. It has given us the opportunity to organize our data and access desired information with ease.”
According to MCSC, they realized a $55,000 savings by purchasing FileBound compared to other solutions that they considered. They also estimate a savings of $1,000 per week for hourly employee costs. MCSC also saved approximately $3,000 in filing cabinets, labels, hard copy records, and other storage materials. The bottom line is that this system saved MCSC both time and money and resulted in a more efficient running organization.
Finkelstein & Partners have long appreciated the value technology brings to business. Over a decade ago, the firm purchased an AS/400-based imaging solution, which was at the time the operating platform of choice. However, as the firm grew and added offices, employees and clients, it became readily apparent that their system wasn’t keeping pace with the firm’s and its clients’ expectations. An investigation of available technology made it obvious that the FileBound Document Management solution offered advancements and capabilities that their current system could not begin to replicate. The demands of the firm’s clients and case load required a solution that offered deeper levels of security, more efficient electronic document folder management and more flexibility to transport files. These capabilities were available through FileBound.
FileBound’s flexible license model allowed the firm to implement processing efficiencies across the firm’s multiple locations without increasing user and support costs. The solution’s extension capabilities allowed the Finkelstein team to create multiple case integration points, custom functionality, custom views and a unique folder structure that weren’t available prior to the installation of FileBound.
The FileBound Clipboard allows lawyers to easily transport specific case files with them without facing the mountain of paperwork and preparation required in the past. In addition, since FileBound provides Finkelstein with the full set of APIs with the selected solution, the team is able to develop its own custom plug-ins, which permit even greater custom functionality specific to their business needs.
The firm also replaced its front-end scanning solution with an enterprise-wide FileBound solution to handle broader business functions.
Finkelstein & Partners has dramatically increased productivity since the introduction of FileBound. Upgrading to FileBound has given the firm’s lawyers greater flexibility in managing their demanding case loads and allowed them to be of greater service to their clients. By moving to an enterprise-wide FileBound solution, the company has streamlined its invoice processing capabilities and is saving valuable employee time, which translate into lowered costs for each case and greater security for the firm.
To determine eligibility for treatment at Kossuth Regional Health Center, staff is required to gather social, medical and psychological information on prospective patients. It was difficult to assemble all the required patient information and maintain it in one location that was easily accessible to all authorized to use it.
Handling the slow, manual preparation and storage of Explanation of Benefit (EOB) forms was another challenge that slowed responsiveness to requests for documentation of benefits.
Both the intake and the EOB management processes were costly and labor intensive. Clearly, something needed to be done to streamline the systems and centralize document storage.
FileBound document management was the solution KRHC needed to streamline and secure its intake and EOB operations. FileBound’s affordable price made it possible for KRHC to adopt the on-demand version that requires minimal IT resources from the client. Because the software is customizable and flexible, KRHC has been able to deploy it in multiple areas of the Health Center.
The adoption of FileBound has streamlined the handling of patient intake information and the preparation and storage of EOBs. FileBound has become a highly secure, central repository of information that can be shared throughout the organization. One of the most appreciated benefits of FileBound is the ability to provide EOBs to patients quickly and conveniently. KHRC anticipates a 50-60 percent time savings (which translates into significant cost savings on labor) once FileBound is fully implemented.