Knowledge Management, Document Management, Records Management, Procedures, Templates and "the Paperless Office" – what do they all mean and how important are they to my business.
What software companies typically do not realise, is that achieving the 'paperless office' is about more than having a Document Management System and dual screens for your staff. It's not 'something you buy', it's something you create. To create a 'less paper office' requires a number of elements to be effectively implemented with a coordinate approach, and these elements span not just software and hardware related issues, but also people, process and change management issues.
At Focused Management we specialise in helping businesses effectively implement the 'less paper' way of working regardless of which document management software you choose. The Focused Management approach will step you through the many other considerations of going paperless, including document scanning options, automated filing, whether dual screens or widescreens are more appropriate for your team, how to design Word and Excel templates for effective on-screen (i.e. paperless) completion, protocols for paperless handling of incoming mail and outgoing correspondence and so on. The typical "install the software and run" approach of software companies will not help you go paperless. A well researched and focused approach that is right for your business will.
Regardless of your industry or the size of your business standardised and systemised processes will always differentiate the efficient business from the rest.
If you think about what you do each day, how you process an order, pay your accounts, set up a project or write a report, you will be following a routine that works best for you.
Consistency occurs when a business activity is repeated following the same logical process – step by step.
Standardisation occurs when everyone in your business follows your consistent and approved processes.
Knowledge Management is about documenting your approved business processes, capturing the experiences that you and your team have learnt, integrating experiences into processes to create best practice and then making all that information readily accessible to the team.
Document Management is an extension of the Knowledge Management process and is the capacity and capability to store and retrieve your documented processes, captured knowledge and standard business templates.
Records Management is the ability to store and retrieve documentation relative to dealings with your clients - letters, quotes, reports etc.
HowNow® is a Document Management System purpose-built for professional service firms and applicable to any business regardless of size or industry. Being a specialist Document Management System, HowNow® provides far greater efficiency and ease of use than a 'Documents tab' in a Contact Management System or the folder systems typical of PC based operating systems.
Focused Management are approved consultants to businessfitness™ and implementation specialists of HowNow®.
HowNow® is a tool that makes 'going paperless' much easier because it provides your team with one place to look for any working paper, checklist, template, precedent, standard letter, email, accounting data file, reference material, client correspondence, file notes and so on. Any document or file can typically be found within 2 seconds, no matter where or who filed it, unlike other systems. If your team are currently using Windows Explorer or an equivalent 'browse through a folder structure' method of electronically filing and retrieving documents, you are likely to be wasting at least 20 to 30 minutes per team member per day in needlessly unproductive time.
Call David Cole at Focused Management for an obligation free assessment of your business processes and an evaluation of your document management capabilities.