How an Electronic Document Management Systems Can Improve Record-Keeping in the Manufacturing Industry
This article addressing how electronic document management can improve record-keeping is the third post in our Automate Your Industry blog series. Today, we’re focusing on specific ways companies in manufacturing can benefit from NextProcess’s software modules. (We’ll have more industries coming up over the next several months.) You can read the previous posts in this series here:
- Your Guide to Using Automation to Improve Accounts Payable and Procurement In The Manufacturing Industry
- The Role of Automation in Managing Capital Expense Projects In The Manufacturing Industry
Industrial automation has well-known benefits in the manufacturing industry. Similarly, business process automation (BPA) can help you make financial tasks more efficient. BPA lets you automate office work related to accounting, purchasing, capital project management, and much more. In this post, we’re going to focus on how our electronic document management software can help you in your manufacturing business.
Reasons to Manage Documents Electronically
As a manufacturing business, chances are your company generates a large number of documents. Many of these documents are vital to keeping your business functioning. In previous articles, we already talked about all the files and records associated with accounting, purchasing, and capital project management. In addition, you’ll also be working with important files like contracts and vendor information. It’s a lot to keep track of.
For years, companies managed important business files on-paper. This used to be the only way to keep track of business records. Even after electronic record-keeping became possible, many companies stuck with the tried-and-true paper system. It’s what they were used to, and it was easier than trying to convert paper files to electronic format.
Now, many important documents that arrive at your business are already electronic. We place orders online and receive confirmation receipts and invoices through email. We send editable files back and forth when negotiating contracts, and often sign important documents electronically. With so many files already in electronic format, there’s no reason not to start storing your files digitally, especially since storing documents this way comes with so many perks.
Perks of Electronic Document Management
Paper gives you a way to store data, but it does not make it easy for you to use that data. We’ve probably all had the experience of not being able to find files we need because they’re not where we thought they should be. Sometimes it takes hours to track down information in paper files, and that’s if we can find it at all. When you’re storing documents electronically in a system like the one from NextProcess, you can do full-text searches of all your files. This lets you quickly and easily find exactly what you’re looking for.
In addition to the time-saving and organizational benefits of electronic document management, going digital also saves space and keeps your documents more secure. Digital files take up far less storage space than paper files in boxes and filing cabinets. Plus, storing digitally means it’s easy to make back-up copies of the files. There’s also no danger that fire, flood, or other disasters will destroy your paper files.
Finally, going digital means you save money. You’re not spending nearly as much money on paper. Rather, digital document management is one more step toward a “green,” paperless office. In addition, you’re also not paying for space to keep extensive paper files. And you’re not wasting time (and therefore money) keeping those files organized and trying to sort through them when you need to locate documents.
Digital Records for Manufacturing
So far, most of what we’ve said about the benefits of digital document management could apply to any industry. What makes managing your files and records electronically so good for manufacturing?
Manufacturers often have to manage complex workflows that rely on multiple suppliers, contractors, and vendors. There’s plenty of paperwork to go along with all that. Plus, there’s paperwork associated with supply-chain and inventory management for those workflows. On top of all that, there’s also product distribution, transportation, and delivery to manage.
Digital records management makes it simple to store, file, sort, and look-up all the records associated with your manufacturing business. And if you’re also using accounts payable, purchasing, and capital project management automation software in your manufacturing business, then all the files associated with those business processes can be automatically entered into your document management system. The more aspects of your business processes that you automate using NextProcess, the more efficient this side of your business becomes.
How NextProcess Can Help
When you’re looking for a software partner to help you manage electronic documents, it probably comes as no surprise that different software providers offer different levels of functionality. The software provider that’s best for you will depend, at least in part, on what you need your software to do. You’ll also want to find one with good reviews and excellent customer service.
One of the big things to look for is what type of scanning the software provider offers. You’ll want one that offers Optical Character Recognition (OCR) as well as document indexing. Used together, this technology creates a high-quality image and generates a searchable index for just about every aspect of the document. That includes the file itself (text, barcodes, etc.) and metadata (date received, user who submitted, etc.). NextProcess includes both OCR and indexing.
You’ll also want a software provider that can scale to your needs. If you’re having them scan paper files into your system, you’ll need a provider that can handle your existing document load and any unexpected spikes in the number of incoming files. You’ll also want a provider that you can trust to keep original copies and digital files secure. For example, here at NextProcess, we follow your company’s policies for how you want us to secure any paper-based information you entrust to us. We also offer state-of-the-art digital security.
If you’re interested in digitizing document management, we will work closely with you to customize a digital solution that works perfectly for your manufacturing company. If you have any questions, please just get in touch with us. You can schedule a free demo and see exactly how our software will work for you.