With the purchase of any new technology there has to be a reason to justify the expenditure and the trouble of training personnel and moving systems. In the instance of document management that purpose is efficiency, which has many impacts elsewhere – not least in terms of reputation, as well as your finances. invoice processing, for example, allows you to pay suppliers and clients on time (whilst not overpaying or duplicate paying); whilst this has financial benefits, it is also an important courtesy to those you work with and will do much to maintain the relationship between you. That, of course, has knock-on impacts for the long-term arrangement between you. Cost is so usually not the sole criterion for changing provider or supplier; bad service is a more common reason. People often don’t mind paying a touch more so long as it’s worth it. Remove that incentive and you can find their loyalty is (rightly) short-lived. Document processing can therefore be an important tool in your customer retention, with all that means for other sides of your business.
The overall idea is simple: all of your physical documents are converted to electronic ones. This is carried out by several means. At the bottom end of the scale a scan-to-pdf may be used. More sophisticated systems use optical character recognition and are capable of turning handwritten notes into computer documents.
These files can then be saved centrally, where they can be accessed by anyone who has the right permissions. That means documents cannot be lost or destroyed, and photocopying certain papers is no longer required. It allows you to treat all documents the same – letter or email, paper or virtual invoice. Companies can often unwittingly employ a two-tier system depending on which medium they are more familiar with; either they will deal with paper first and leave the electronic communications, or vice versa. The problem is that some clients may get left behind this way.
Document processing cuts out this hierarchy, and a good document management system will mean that your people do not have to distinguish between paper and electronic copies. This will be particularly important for your accounts department, since ignoring invoices or being slow to process them is a sure way to upset clients and suppliers. Consequently you should find that invoice processing enables your organisation to run more efficiently – something that those who use you will like.
Please visit http://www.bottomline.co.uk/ for further information about this topic.