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For many of you who are familiar with Ontario record management this presentation may seem counter-intuitive to some document management solution offerings, and I’m sure if any document management company’s conversion services staff read this I would get an ear-full. But at the end of the day an Ontario record management company’s goal is to provide peace of mind, not pieces of paper, in other words, they’re problem solvers… no matter what the solution may be.
It happens around this time every year; companies’ fiscal year-ends are here and they look back at the cabinets and boxes of accounts payable and account receivable documents they have collected over the year and they want to scan them. Fantastic! I always applaud those organizations who want to manage their information electronically… That is if there is a business case for it.
A typical sales call for this applications goes like this:
Ontario record management solution provider: “So tell me about the challenges you’re facing managing these documents in paper form”
Client: “Well we’re running out of room”
Ontario record management solution provider: “Aside from real estate, what other challenges are you facing? Do retrievals take too long? Are documents going missing? Are vendors not getting paid on time? Are clients stretching out their terms?”
Client: “No not really. It’s just space. By the time the documents get to these cabinets, their inactive (read: paid, received, processed, etc.).”
Here in lies the problem, and would explain why the majority of these clients nearly fall out of their chairs when they find out scanning 100 boxes is going to cost more then a $100.00… There’s no business case, there is no challenge or pain, and storage space will always be less expensive then scanning.
That being said, accounting departments have one of the strongest business cases for Ontario record management, the problem is most of them are looking to implement the solution at the wrong phase. AP and AR documents are some of the most actively handled in a company. They are passed between departments, they require verification, processing, multiple approvals, line item matching, follow ups, signatures, etc. etc. all of these steps are said and done by the time the files reach the cabinet. At this point there is nothing left to automate, there is virtually no time-savings and there is no room for process improvement.
If we look at interjecting Ontario record management at the beginning of cycle this business case is clear for most organizations. For less than the cost of most back-file conversion, organizations can implement and electronic document management solution which would allow for:
Electronic document import of AR documents (no more paper)
Automatic emailing of invoices, PO’s, etc.
Automated processing and indexing of both structured (AR Invoices) and unstructured (AP Invoices)
Matching if scanned documents to existing files within the system (i.e. singed packing slips automatically being matched up with the corresponding order documents)
Electronic workflows for AP approval processing; and much more.
Don’t get me wrong, Ontario record management companies love to scan back-file collections and sometimes there is a very clear cut business case to do so; but interjecting Ontario record management at the beginning of the accounting process makes it simpler, faster and more customer service focused.
Contact your local record management company for more information about how their services can benefit your business.
Kevin D'Arcy is VP of Sales and Marketing for MES Hybrid Document Systems, Ontario's leading document scanning and document management supplier. For more information about microfilm scanners, visit http://www.mesltd.ca/.