Digitisation of documents (EDM): 5 success factors
The current digital revolution is profoundly disrupting the business environment. At the forefront of this transformation is document management. The volume of documents produced by companies is increasing exponentially. Changing regulations and the constant search for productivity gains often force companies to review the way they manage their documents. They then embark on a digitisation project, not always successfully… While it is essential to choose the most appropriate Electronic Document Management (EDM) equipment and solutions for the company, the success of such a project also depends on the implementation methodology and the change in users’ habits.
In this article, you will find out about our 5 concrete tips for successful document digitisation projects.
What is EDM?
Electronic Document Management (EDM) is a computerised solution that directly supports document management operations among:
- Archiving and storage
- Research and restoration
- Control and management of access rights
But what is digitisation?
Digitisation is the act of transforming a flow of documents, as well as the associated processing, into a digital flow with automated processing. This is the case, for example, of the digitisation of incoming mail, the digitisation of invoices or payslips, expense report management systems…
Why initiate an electronic document management project?
The volume of information is constantly growing, so all companies are concerned by these subjects, regardless of their size. The motivational factors for implementing EDM solutions are multiple:
- Optimize the company’s printing budget
- Improve productivity (archiving time, document search time…)
- Simplify users’ daily lives (Who has never wasted an hour searching for a lost document?)
- Improve the circulation of information, especially in increasingly mobile work environments
- Meeting regulatory obligations
- Secure your data
- Reduce your ecological footprint
What are the key factors for success?
A digitisation project does not stop with the deployment of a machine park (scanners, multifunction printers, photocopiers…) and the associated software. Quite the contrary! The first step is a needs analysis with a strong input from all users. The comprehensive preparation of the project is the key to achieve the objectives in terms of productivity and budgetary gains. Otherwise, the risk is to fall into a system that fails users and subsequently generates internal frustration.
Here are our 5 tips to make your document digitisation project a success.
1- Audit the equipment and uses of users
A digitisation project is an opportunity to review all document flows. Each company has its own project that will require a tailor-made solution.
The first step is to produce a documented audit. It will allow you to understand how all your company’s documents are created, stored, archived and controlled.
This audit will include 2 components, 2 missions to be carried out by you:
- Equipment component: accurately identify all available equipment (photocopiers, multifunction printers, scanners, etc.), their physical location, printing volumes, maintenance and consumables costs.
- A user analysis component: Identify the main document management processes within your company: Who prints what? Who consults what? And who validates? Who archives or searches?
Also identify the most important documents, among those that are the most valuable and those that will waste time and effort.
These very simple questions will allow you to define the needs and constraints of your project and to precisely design the workflows to be automated.
Depending on the size of the company, this audit will take a variable length of time. But this step will certainly help you to ensure success of your project and save valuable time. Good luck! And on your way to the second stage!
2 – Involve users in the project
Without the involvement of users, the project is doomed to failure. Including them into the audit stage will allow you to define the overall businesses needs more precisely. And it will be all the easier to make them aware of good document management practices once the project is completed. Because yes, the implementation of the project will definitely involve changes in habits. It is, therefore, necessary to combine dialogue and training to accompany these changes.
3 – Set up control and security procedures
In addition to supporting users, set up control procedures that will allow you to validate compliance with good practices. All printing equipment includes user identification devices. In this way, prints and scans are logged and assigned to a person. These identification devices can be adapted to the constraints of the company concerned: PIN code, card or badge reader… They make it possible to limit unnecessary printing and secure your data.
4 – Choose an expert service provider to avoid poorly designed projects.
Rely on a service provider capable of providing you with global support based on a rigorous methodology. Quality of equipment and services, efficiency and expertise, cost reduction: Through all its recommendations it will contribute to the success of your change.
This service provider will be able to audit your printing fleet and equipment They will analyse your document management needs and propose a tailor-made solution for your company.
Check their ability to support you throughout the project:
- Documentary audit and creation of the report
- Recommend the most efficient equipment and document management solution
- Installation of printing and scanning equipment
- User training for hardware and workflow configuration
- Maintenance with minimum intervention time
- Proposal for continuous improvement, even after the project has been completed.
5 – Finally, do not neglect the training phase!
When deploying the project, you should have planned all user training. You will have to adapt your training according to the services and the employees: not everyone will have the same needs and constraints. Think about using video training courses, available to everyone and future new employs as they join the company. This is will help ensure the sustainability for your project.
What to remember?
For many companies, especially in small and medium-sized businesses, the digitisation of invoices, pay slips or any document seems complex.
And yet there are simple solutions that save time and money on the printing budget very quickly.
For example, our multi-function printers and scanners offer powerful and cost-effective solutions that will enable you to meet your digitisation challenges. Discover all our products by clicking here, or request a call by filling out this contact request form.