Businesses are cropping up every single day, and the competition seems to be getting stiffer. It is one thing to start a business and another thing to run a successful business. Making your business lucrative in this digital era calls for a lot of commitment, hard work, as well as the incorporation of some business tools. In this article, our primary focus will be on enterprise content management, what is it, and why is it essential for any business?
Enterprise content management (ECM)
Any business regardless of what it is dealing with should know that information is very vital. Taking a step back, most of the business information was stored in files, and this was quite hectic, especially if the business deals with a lot of data. Fortunately, digital technology has significantly revolutionized how data is stored nowadays. Access to information has been made easier, all thanks to digital technology. What is enterprise content management? It is the systematic collection and organization of meaningful information that is collected and stored so that it is accessible to the right audience.
How ECM works
The enterprise content management system software works in different steps which include;
- Digitally capturing data
As aforementioned, enterprise content management has eliminated paperwork in businesses by ensuring that any information received is captured in digital platforms. Information in businesses can be found in invoices, resumes, reports, contracts, correspondence, and so much more. Some of the ways through which data is captured using the ECM software includes filling digital forms, automatic filing of documents, and managing the PDF’s, emails, word documents and videos.
- Managing the content
The next step is managing the information that was captured digitally in locations that they can easily be retrieved. The data can be managed through web content management, transactional content management, collaborative content management. Web content management allows specific persons to make any modifications on the websites by following strict guidelines. Transactional content management, on the other hand, ensures that data is always available to the right audience and deletes content that is not needed. Lastly, collaborative content management allows a number of people to access the documents and make modifications where need be.
- Storing of the digital information
After the information is managed, it is then stored in the computer. The information can be stored in files, folders, and drives which makes it easily accessible to the right parties.
- Archiving the information
Some of the information that business acquire is very important even in the long term. And that is why the information has to be archived for future reference. It ensures that critical business information is not misplaced and can be easily retrieved when need be.
- Delivering the information
This is the last step which ensures that all the right information in the correct format is delivered to the right audience be it the management, employees or even the customers.
Why do businesses need ECM software?
- Reduces paperwork and saves time
This is a no brainer; ECM has helped to reduce paperwork in the organization. Information can now be stored digitally and retrieved easily. So much so, this has also helped to save time that would have otherwise been used to look for documents in manual files. ECM streamlines the whole information lifecycle as it organizes and manages all the information in a systematic manner.
- Increased productivity
The fact that using the ECM software in businesses helps a great deal in saving time and sharing of information means that productivity levels also increase. You can make good use of the time that you would otherwise use to look for information in the manual files to focus on other key elements in business.
- Reduced operational costs and risks
Using digital forms and other ways to capture, manage and store data is way cheaper compared to using paper. ECM also eliminates the risks of losing crucial business information.
- Improved customer service
Customer service can make or break your business. ECM has greatly improved customer service in that any information that customers need can be made to them easily without having to make them wait for long.
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Source: CEOWORLD magazine