SMBs: Yes, You Need Information Management
When we work with SMB owners and senior management, we often hear:
Owner: “ Well, I don’t know if I need Laserfiche; I mean, we are small….”
Me: OK, I understand; how do you stay on top of your documents and data? Do you find that you need to do a lot of data entry?
Owner/Manager: We have some file cabinets, and the admins handle data entry.
So, yes, they do need Laserfiche.
SMBs (and all businesses) need to use data and information to address challenges, find opportunities and figure out how to save time and money. I’d even argue they need Laserfiche because they are small, and management can only wear so many hats at once. Also, wouldn’t it be great to delegate all the document task work to Laserfiche and reassign staff to more strategic or creative work?
Devise an Information Management Strategy
First off, all businesses need an information strategy. An information strategy is a roadmap that identifies how a company collects, manages, and stores content. While a data strategy can vary in complexity, a simple approach explaining each component is vital. A business will never be sorry that they have put measures for who is interacting with their data and how.
A brief example will outline who has access to client or employee data, which computers can be used for reporting (including WFH staff) and how or if the team uses their mobile devices to log into the company ECM. In addition, the team should review who can log onto the various business systems.
How to Collect Data from Documents
Some immediate issues that will determine the direction of the roadmap are driven by these questions. What data do you generate? What information has business or compliance value? How will you collect that data? Do you need to set up a retention schedule?
While the aforementioned small business has admin staff performing data entry. Not every company has this luxury. However, a system like Laserfiche can be configured to collect data from documents and push it to the ERP system. It can also collect data through web forms. This data might be used to kick off a process such as order approvals.
Data collection occurs in various formats, such as digital, paper, eForm, in person, etc. The data is collected, processed, and shared is a serious matter. When dealing with sensitive or PII (personally identifiable information), the collection should be accurate and secure. This is why it makes sense to use a secure content management system with a robust workflow as automation mitigates errors. In addition, those without the proper permissions will not see the document. We can even take that security down to the word level.
Once you have data, you have to store it. While data storage can be relatively cheap these days, you don’t want to use a service that doesn’t have encryption. Laserfiche offers a trusted platform that is scalable based on current and future needs.
The critical thing to consider here is security. Ensure that wherever and however you store your data, it’s safe in a trusted system.
More intelligent and more informed data management can go from being a ticking time bomb to one of the best business enablers you can implement for your small business.