Green Benefit # 1 — Improve Employee Productivity

The results of a 2008 Gartner survey5 show that employees who work in front of a computer spend an average of 4.9 hours per week searching for information.

This is because many organizations are still storing their files in filing cabinets, boxes, or storage facilities.   The time it takes to walk to the storage room, search through folders, and ultimately find a document is valuable time that organizations can no longer afford to waste. 

By storing documents electronically employees have instant access to files without ever having to leave their desks.  Furthermore, most content management systems allow for multiple users to view the same file at any given time.   When an employee wishes to edit or make changes to the document, a check-out tool is used.  This ensures that multiple users are not making changes at the same time.  When the user is finished making edits, the document is checked back into the system.  Activity logs and version control lets users see the various edits that have been made to a document. 

By having a 360-degree view of information, employees can perform better.  Companies thereby realize a higher return per employee, as each employee is able to achieve more work.

Green Benefit # 2 — Reduce Paper, Printing, and Storage costs

There are many hidden costs associated with a paper-based filing system.  Paper is a prime example: Although the cost of 1 sheet of paper is relatively minor at 3 cents per page6, if you were to examine all of the hidden costs, you would begin to realize that paper is actually quite expensive.  According to a study done by Alameda County, CA, the cost of paper only accounts for about 10 – 11% of the lifecycle cost of paper.  The main cost actually comes from copying, delivery, handing, storage, and retrieval.

 Here is a breakdown of costs to consider for each:

 •  Photocopying – cost of equipment, toner, paper, maintenance, and time spent waiting at the copier.

•  Printing – cost of equipment, toner, paper, maintenance, and time spent waiting at the printer.

•  Faxing – cost of equipment, toner, paper, maintenance, phone charges, and time spent waiting at the fax machine.

•  Mailing – cost of paper, envelopes, postage, or courier services

•  Storage – cost of filing cabinets, storage boxes, off-site storage costs, file folders, and labels.

•  Waste – cost of document disposal or shredding services.

 By using an Electronic Content Management system, companies can address the problems that surround paper records:

 •  Reduce the risk that is associated with storing paper.

•  Reduce cost – no need to pay for office storage, filing cabinets, boxes, file folders, labels, etc.

•  Provide instant access to files, by searching keywords contained with documents.

•  Automated controls to help support compliance throughout an organization.

 Green Benefit # 3 — Increase Document Security

Many organizations are required to follow compliance regulations and mandates, typical examples include: HIPAA, SOX, and SEC.  Ensuring the privacy of customer and employee personal data is a top priority.  With a paper-based filing system documents are not secure, as there is no efficient way of securing files beyond placing a lock on the filing cabinet.  Furthermore, even locking up files can still present problems:

 • Restricting access can prevent legitimate access to files for normal business operations.

• Employees can still access personal information within files, including: credit information, health records, etc…

 The need for security measures must be weighed and combined with an organization’s ability to have quick access to information.  By implementing an electronic content management system, an organization can dramatically increase the security of its documents  while still providing quick access.

 Comprehensive document management security allows an administrator to control which users can perform certain actions within the system.  This is typically done by employing some level of permissions that determine who can access, create, modify, delete, move, lock, view, annotate, or modify a document

 Additionally, a Content Management solution typically provides the following:

 • A way to classify documents as they are entered into the system.

• A mechanism for defining access to users or groups, so employees have access to only the documents they are authorized to use.

• The ability to apply retention policies and dates to documents.

• An audit trail that records which users have accessed or modified documents.

• The ability to manage both scanned images and electronic documents.

 Green Benefit # 4 — Integrate all of your Business Processes

Organizations of all sizes are faced with managing repetitive processes such as expense report approvals, invoice approvals, vacation time tracking and purchase requisitions, just to name a few.  Manually managing these processes is time-consuming, costly, inefficient and error prone.

 In his book, Success through Quality, Timothy J. Clark examines the cost poor quality can have on an organization. He estimates that the cost of poor quality is equivalent to 20% of the average company’s sales. Other studies show that poor quality can cost an organization millions of dollars per year, and its reduction can result in additional profits.

 The benefits of using workflow collaboration technologies can be significant.  Typical workflow solutions work by bringing together people involved in the decision process and providing fast, efficient communication.

 • Workflow Designer- Lets you design or draw out commonly used business processes in a completely graphical environment. 

• Task Assignment – Automated system assigns and sends tasks to users.

• Notifications – Email notifications and reminders can be sent to users when tasks are ready to be performed.

• Process Reporting – All actions taken in the system are reported and stored. This allows organizations to examine employee productivity and resource allocation.

 Conclusion

Eliminating paper-based processes and moving towards Electronic Content Management presents clear economic and environmental advantages: Improve Employee Productivity — Reduce paper, printing, and storage costs — Increase document security — Integrate all of your business processes.

 

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