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7 Ways to Increase Productivity and Save Money in the Cloud

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Published: Business-Software.com
Author: Jon Lincoln, VP Business Development, etfile

In today’s competitive economy, small businesses continue to face challenges keeping pace with larger enterprises. To compete successfully, SMBs need to leverage solutions that can help increase productivity and cut costs while streamlining workflow to better manage employees and workload. In the meantime, they need to deploy solutions that are cost-effective and provide immediate return on investment.

A cloud based document management solution is most often overlooked by SMBs for fears of the “cloudy” unknown.

Here are seven ways a cloud-based document management solution can cost-effectively increase productivity for paper-intensive industries and small businesses.

1. Real-time decision-making

Markets move quickly and executives need real-time, accurate views of projects and employee performance. In order to make the best decisions, organizations must harness data that’s literally distributed across their organization. A document management solution that provides a central repository will allow easy access, tracking and management of all projects so executives can easily streamline workflows. Basically, it creates a real-time picture of how work is moving – where the gaps and bottlenecks are so executives can make “real-time” decisions that directly affect their bottom-line.

2. Saying Goodbye to Tribal Knowledge Bottleneck

Tribal Knowledge is one of the biggest efficiency killers – it’s when that one person who holds the key to all the knowledge in your organization leaves, retires or is laid off. With a full-featured document management solution in place, knowledge is shared across the entire organization. There’s no holder of the “tribal knowledge.” Information exchange remains uninterrupted regardless of employee turnover. Instead of wasting time searching for information, you can automate workflow and provide the highest levels of efficiency and project success.

3. Taming the Digital Universe

The “Digital Universe” of information was measured at 40 zettabytes last time the IDC analysts issued a forecast. This means there are multitudes of documents, spreadsheets, invoices, and designs – among other things –waiting to be properly stored and managed. This is overwhelming to small businesses already stretched in time and resources.

With a document management system in place managers can quickly access critical paperless content without searching through file cabinets, or crawling into basement rooms where legacy files are stored. Everything from office documents and spreadsheets to presentations, invoices and CAD drawings can be stored and accessed – on a permission basis and with a click of a mouse.

4. It’s a bit Cloudy

Cloud-based solutions sometimes get a bad rap. But as we’re seeing, cloud is the next stage of the Internet’s evolution. You can save money in the cloud by putting the power of the cloud to work for small businesses lacking funds and resources – but in need of cloud computing power, applications and business processes delivered as a service – is a win-win situation. There are no installations, upgrades or heavy investment on purchasing new hardware and software – you push it out to the cloud and only pay for what’s used. Collaboration and project management becomes a breeze – without confusion about version control, or questions like who edited what, or when and where something was filed.

What’s more, cloud provides speed and affordability. Since it is web-based, it allows information sharing with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Whether at the office or traveling – you can manage projects, scan, share, and collaborate between employees, partners or customers. It basically means cloud-powered productivity —24×7.

5. Paperless Automation

If you’re sick of losing documents in an endless sea of paper – or witness employees taking more time to process paperwork than working on more important tasks – then you would love the paperless automation that a document management solution provides.

Now you can scan documents, invoices – including barcoding, zonal OCR and front-end scanning methods – with a click of a mouse. What’s more, when you file, the document management solution will automatically send the documents to the right place in the system’s central repository – and if you are lucky to have an ideal solution it can even connect them to contact records. Imagine that? Now you can organize, index and retrieve all customer information – with a click of a mouse. No more lost documents or emails. They’ll be at your fingertip.

You can cancel paper orders, file cabinet and file folder purchases. Now imagine the savings you’ll enjoy when you stop managing paper and spend more time managing your business.

6. Safeguarding Against Natural Disasters

Do you have a disaster recovery plan? Not many businesses do – even though natural disasters have become a way of life. We’ve seen how hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods devastate a community in the blink of an eye – but what happens to local businesses and economies that lose critical files forever. Did you know that 70 percent of businesses that experience major data loss are out of business within a year?

With cloud-based document management solutions you can safeguard your critical business documents and content against extinction in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. Even if you can’t get into your office, you can access your files “any-time and from anywhere” with total security. You can streamline your workflow and still manage your business processes – no matter how many feet of water may be floating in your office building.

7. Add the Last Piece of the Puzzle–Get a Clear Picture

Information is power – and all businesses need fast, actionable intelligence to make decisions and gain a competitive advantage, without wasting countless hours searching every databases and system for necessary content. Document management is all about a clear picture – much like a finished puzzle.

If you are searching for documents in basement floor file rooms, or asking folks at the office to find an email that you can’t locate – then you’re wasting time and money. A report by the Butler Group estimates that nearly 10 percent of a company’s salary cost is wasted when employees struggle to find the right data.

Streamlining data storage stimulates online collaboration–with no time wasted searching multiple systems, finding the right information, and then putting it to use. It’s all in one place. This translates into cost efficiencies and significant new revenue streams. So stop searching for lost puzzle pieces – now’s the time to put it all in one place. A good content management system may be just the missing piece you’you’ve been looking for.