Enterprise Data Analytics

Why Enterprise Data Analytics Is the Key to an Insight-Driven Enterprise

Enterprise Data Analytics

With half of all companies worldwide using big data to help them make informed business decisions, the demand for powerful business intelligence tools is at an all-time high. Companies that are already utilizing enterprise analytics are finding ways to set themselves apart from the competition. Those resisting this change are beginning to witness firsthand how the competitive landscape is shifting – and how enterprise analytics is driving those changes.

 

Businesses that rely on intuition alone will never have the same level of insight as their competitors that allow data to drive their most important business-related decisions. Plotting your growth strategy requires vast quantities of relevant data sourced directly from your business. What good are models and predictions when the data being utilized to generate them is inherently flawed?

Enterprise data analytics helps companies gain superior visibility into all of their business processes, the employees involved in those processes, and the various uses of capital that fuel those processes. With real-time enterprise analytics guiding key decision-makers, businesses become more resilient and less susceptible to having their market share usurped by a more tech-savvy competitor. The insight-driven enterprise is looking to establish a cohesive strategy for both present and future operations, and enterprise business intelligence tools like IntelliChief are at the crux of this crucial component of digital transformation.

Business Leaders in North America and Europe Embrace Enterprise Data Analytics

Today, over a quarter of businesses in North America have already started using enterprise data analytics to improve business processes. A roughly equal portion of North American businesses has already launched pilot projects to catch up with their competitors. The other half of businesses aren’t currently using enterprise analytics, but the majority of these businesses plan to use it in the future.

In Europe, slightly fewer businesses are utilizing big data in their business processes right now, but the overall sentiment is largely congruous with that of North America. Soon, half of all businesses will be using big data to improve processes and customer relations, especially in industries like retail, finance, manufacturing, construction, and education.

The Benefits of Enterprise Analytics

For those (roughly) half of North American businesses that are already using enterprise business intelligence platforms to gather valuable data about their processes, the benefits of enterprise analytics are clear:

  • Improved strategic decision-making
  • Superior process control and management
  • Enhanced insight into customer, employee, and partner behavior
  • Significant cost reductions
  • Fewer errors related to manual data entry
  • Increased revenue

According to Dr. Carsten Bange, CEO of the Business Application Research Center (BARC), an industry analyst and consulting firm focusing on Business Intelligence/Analytics, Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), “Big data analytics brings many benefits to the table, but companies shouldn’t underestimate the challenges involved.”

Namely, data privacy and data security are two very important issues that cannot be ignored as companies migrate to one of the available business intelligence platforms. Selecting the right vendor that will walk you through the process of implementing (and integrating) your solution within your existing ERP environment from start to finish is essential for companies who want to improve their technological infrastructure while simultaneously protecting their company against disruptions.

Are You Ready to Experience an Insight-Driven Enterprise?

Once a company has access to enterprise data analytics, they will need to select or hire an employee to manage the insights and their related initiatives (unless a C-level executive plans to oversee big data). For example, if a company wants to reduce invoice processing time in their Accounts Payable department, they will need to have an understanding of their overall processing time, individual processing time per employee, and the cost per invoice. Once this information has been gathered, additional training can be prescribed to the employees that are working slower than their counterparts or to those who are producing more erroneous transactions.

This is only one example of the insights gained with enterprise analytics and barely scratches the surface of what is possible with real-time analytics driving every key decision and mitigating the risk of the unknown. The insight-driven enterprise can capably identify wasteful cost centers, eliminate bottlenecks, and restructure in accordance with facts – not assumptions.

Are you ready to experience the benefits of an insight-driven enterprise? Contact IntelliChief today to learn more about our industry-leading Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions backed by robust enterprise data analytics.

Business Process Automation Benefits

4 Benefits of Business Process Automation in the Workplace

Business Process Automation Benefits

Automating inefficient, time-consuming products has become essential in every industry in the United States. Whether you are a project manager working in construction or an Accounts Payable professional for an enterprise-class manufacturer, automation can help you forge a path forward during one of the most challenging economic periods in American history.

 

According to a recent Harris Poll survey, Accelerating Automation: How Businesses are Adapting to a Post-COVID World, “92 percent of business leaders agree that to survive and flourish, companies must enable digital channels and process automation in the workplace.”

As a business leader, your reasons for automating your company will differ drastically from those of others. Some automate to cut costs, while others do so to help control the workload being placed on employees. If eliminating costly transactional errors is your objective, automation can help with that too.

Business process automation benefits can be a significant game-changer for your company. In this article, we’ll briefly discuss four benefits of business process automation. Keep in mind that these benefits are NOT mutually exclusive.

1. Meet and Surpass Your Growth Objectives

At the end of the day, every business has the same goal: growth.

Whether you want to grow to generate revenue, to spread your message, or to give yourself the tools to make a positive impact on the world, the most direct path to your goal is through growing your business – and business process automation gives you an array of tools to do just that.

The initial cost barrier of automation can be a tough pill to swallow; however, just beyond this initial investment lies an endless bounty of opportunity for businesses that decide to take the risk. Ironically, the risk of not investing in automation for the workplace is significantly higher – especially if your competitors are already getting their own automation projects underway.

Once your competitors automate their companies, you must begin calculating the opportunity cost of your decision to not automate, including:

  • Stifled profits
  • Overburdened employees
  • Erroneous processes
  • The rising cost of paper and storage
  • Lost market share
  • A growing gap in the capabilities of you versus your competitors

After you have justified your investment with the help of an expert, you will be able to forecast your ROI and create a plan to help you scale your solution into the future. With your company firing on all cylinders and productivity elevated by as much as 90%, you can rest assured that your company will continue to meet its growth objectives year after year.

2. Reduced Time to Fill Keeps Productivity at Peak Levels

Whenever an employee decides to quit or retire, they will leave a void in your business process that must be filled with another employee who possesses the same or similar skills and knowledge to complete the job at a high level.

If that role is unable to be filled, the responsibilities of that employee will fall squarely on the shoulders of your other workers. An overly long time to fill can cripple productivity and create bottlenecks in your workflow.

Automation can help you eliminate issues caused by an excessive time to fill. Better yet, it can bridge the gap when an employee leaves for good. If there’s no other candidate out there who can capably do the job or a lack of qualified talent, automation can nullify the impact.

3. Cultivate an Employee-Friendly Working Environment and Improve Retention

As a business leader, you are not only at war with your competitors when it comes to dollars and cents, you are also battling over the top talent in your industry. If your employees report being overworked or overburdened, regularly being tasked with taking on multiple duties or a large volume of manual tasks, they could be heading for greener pastures sooner than later.

The competition in the recruitment market is one of the least talked about struggles facing all employers, but that does not diminish its impact. The best way to avoid this obstacle is to retain employees, and the only way to retain employees at a high rate is to ensure that your working environment supports your employees and is willing to make necessary changes to improve retention.

Here’s the thing: Shallow improvements to the workplace, like installing pong tables and vending machines, won’t actually help you retain workers. Bells and whistles are nice, but they won’t help your workers relax if they are constantly working on repetitive or menial tasks.

Business process automation benefits your working environment because it takes on redundant tasks, freeing up your workers to focus on more meaningful responsibilities or those that require some form of creative problem-solving. Workers that arrive each day with a sense of autonomy over their work-life balance feel valued, which means they are more willing to stay with a company in the long run, as opposed to employees who constantly feel anxious or depleted.

4. Unheralded Efficiency Drives Your Business Past the Competition

Companies that focus on maintaining efficiency across all areas of their business generally have a leg up on the competition. They outfit themselves with superior technology that allows them to establish streamlined companies that waste very few resources. Take Tesla for example, which is now considered the most valuable car company on the planet despite being founded in 2003. Not only is their product more efficient, but their entire business model is also structured on the principle of efficiency.

Efficient processes ensure that information flows in and out of your business without any interruptions, resulting in faster transactions and increased operational bandwidth. For the enterprise, this is achieved by forming a seamless integration with the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system at the core of the business (i.e., Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle PeopleSoft Infor LX, JD Edwards World, etc.). Once integrated, business process automation software can help you reclaim the 520 hours per year lost to repetitive tasks per employee.

Your company can cash in these hours on new projects, additional training, and other important organizational benefits. Repetitive tasks that could be automated cost the US economy over $10,000 per employee each year. How many employees does your company keep on its payroll? How many “invisible” dollars are you really losing? And how do these dollars lost compare to the dollars gained after investing in automation?  These are important questions that should be answered with the help of an expert who has experienced implementing automation in the workplace.

Automation in the workplace can help you establish stronger and more resilient business processes to help you become an industry disrupter? Contact IntelliChief today to learn more about the benefits of business process automation.

IntelliChief

Why Your Company Should Consider Going Paperless

Going Paperless

Information is the heartbeat of an organization. Businesses need to manage and distribute information related to all of their departments’ business processes. This list can be long, as it typically includes Accounting, Customer Service, Human Resources, Legal, Operations, and more) and may need to be compliant with Sarbanes Oxley or HIPAA. If circulation and management of this information slows down or becomes ineffective, progress gets stalled, and business concerns start to surface.

When a company is working under a tight budget in a demanding economic environment, every technology-related decision is predicated on its ability to generate an appreciable ROI. One major cost area in companies getting scrutinized is paper-based business systems. Traditional paper-based methods for creating and delivering documents are fraught with huge costs, chronic inefficiency, costly errors, and offer little flexibility. Some of these costs, which can be mitigated with ECM and Automation, include:

  • Paper and paper-related expenses
  • Storage
  • Labor
  • Capital expenses
  • Employee productivity
  • Business processes

Why Do Companies Still Rely on Paper?

Many companies keep old paper-based systems for two reasons:

  • They do not know how much they’re really spending
  • They fear negative ROI from implementing a new solution

Paper-intensive companies need to find alternatives to these methods to reduce paper usage and eliminate paper costs that decrease their bottom line.

Successful ECM Projects Start With a Review of Your Current Expenses

Converting a company from paper-based processes to digital processes can seem like it is going to be an overwhelming expense, but it doesn’t have to be.

Calculating an ROI financial analysis requires careful study of current physical costs (paper, toner, paper storage, postage, shipping, envelopes) and labor costs (retrieving, handling, and filing paper copies).

Forrester Research references the ROI of imaging, suggesting companies follow these steps before converting to a paperless process management system:

  • Create a formal needs assessment
  • Establish specific goals to be addressed
  • Know your costs
  • Evaluate solutions
  • Build a business case with a clear ROI.

When companies go through the exploratory process, they begin to discover the excessive costs related to paper and inefficient processes. They can now consider adopting a paperless process management strategy document to achieve long-term cost savings and better efficiency.

Why ECM Is the Only Solution for Large Enterprises and SMEs

The Gartner Group recognizes the components of paperless process management as top technology priorities for businesses.

A paperless process management system makes it possible to lower the high costs of paper and paper-related products, reduce manual processing of documents, improve business processes, enable businesses to scale their operations, and improve general efficiency in their organization.

Cost reduction from eliminating paper and storage for documents, a cut-back in operating expenses (daily time savings, eliminated rework, time lost looking for misplaced documents) are some of the benefits businesses achieve immediately.

A new paperless system can be added in stages, with a series of projects that do not require converting all paper documents and business processes at the same time. New processes can be added over time as a business grows.

Are you interested in learning more about adopting ECM and Automation for your business? Contact IntelliChief today to learn more about our award-winning, time-tested solutions that have helped hundreds of customers work smarter, not harder.

Clear Choice ECM

Why IntelliChief Is the Clear Choice for Enterprise Content Management

Clear Choice ECM

IntelliChief’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution helps you meet your ROI requirements when streamlining and automating your company. Users can create, capture, manage, archive, retrieve, and distribute mission-critical documents directly from their PCs, eliminating the need for storage facilities, fax machines, copiers, and paper files.

IntelliChief is the clear choice for Enterprise Content Management. It helps companies of all sizes go paperless with a typical ROI procured within one year or less. IntelliChief’s time-tested methodology is easily integrated with existing ERP systems and business processes. In fact, as one of the only universal integrations on the market, IntelliChief is uniquely suited to help companies across all industries regardless of their existing ERP infrastructure.

IntelliChief uses its workflow functionality to focus on business process improvements, resulting in smarter, more powerful results for users. It is easily incorporated into existing business applications without any customization or coding. IntelliChief enhances business processes in numerous ways, including:

Integrates Seamlessly With Any Enterprise Resource Planning System

IntelliChief integrates with any enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, providing users with document retrieval directly from the ERP application, and access to the application data itself. It enables auto-indexing, and the ability to initiate the workflow process.

Helps Employee Manage Problem Resolution

A documented, electronic version of business processes expedites approvals, automating sending and receiving of files for reviews, along with other related operations. IntelliChief enters all documents in electronic format for easy retrieval and resolution so employees can serve customers quickly.

IntelliChief creates a faster process by electronically routing information to the right person to approve, then route to customers or vendors. The workflow engine helps gain better visibility of the entire business process by notifying employees where certain documents are in the business process. It lets authorized users focus on the task at hand without worrying about following up on requests or hunting for lost transactions.

Complies with Industry Regulations

The electronic trail available for authorized users guarantees compliance with industry regulations. You’ll be able to meet specific deadlines to avoid penalties. IntelliChief is designed for highly flexible document retention rules. These rules help provide detailed audit trails and security against unauthorized access and loss of records.

Offers Web-Based Access from Any Location

IntelliChief offers full functionality through a Web browser. It is available to all authorized users from any Internet-accessible location where there is Internet access. IntelliChief is accessible directly from a green screen, a GUI, or a Windows-based dashboard.

Brings a Wealth of Knowledge and In-Depth Technical Support

IntelliChief has helped hundreds of clients across all industries solve their paper problems and business process challenges. They have long-standing expertise and are industry experts who offer support for all types and sizes of businesses to meet specific support requirements. Support includes highly trained personnel, offering both on-site and live remote assistance to respond quickly to problems for complete resolution.

Are you interested in learning more about how ECM and Automation can help your business gain a competitive advantage? Contact IntelliChief today to learn more about our award-winning, time-tested solutions that have helped hundreds of customers work smarter, not harder.

ECM Provider

What to Look for in an ECM Provider

ECM Provider

Understanding the costs and return on investment involved in an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution is important before deciding on a software vendor. It’s important to consider the following factors when choosing an ECM provider:

Integrates With the Existing ERP System

Finding an ECM system that is engineered to unite with your existing ERP system is a huge benefit. When talking to ECM vendors, you should insist on finding a seamless integration that will allow you to achieve your goals.

Once a system is put into place, ECM needs to be a seamless fit, ensuring that current systems function as effectively as they did before installation. Having documents stored in centralized repository results in the merging of business processes and computer applications so information is stored in a high-quality digital format.

Increases Productivity of Employees

When choosing an ECM system, it’s important to assess how much employees will be freed from unnecessary work to give them the needed time to be productive in other areas. Imagine if your workers didn’t have to spend upwards of 90% of their time manually handling paper documents and keying in data. What other tasks could they work on to benefit your organization? The possibilities are truly endless.

Supports Compliance With HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley

Companies need to take into account external government regulations and internal security policies as a critical part of doing business in their marketplace in order for documentation to be accessed in response to compliance audits and requests.

Health care providers have to consider how to create high levels of security for HIPAA and place physical safeguards (such as access to certain users) and/or technical safeguards (password-protected files) in place.

For Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, ECM systems need to store company information in a centralized location. Find a solution where documents are easily tracked through the entire process lifecycle for responses to regulatory audits.

Offers Browser-Based Interface

An ECM system should give employees the ability to access the system from any location using a secure browser interface. This will increase your ability to do business remotely by a significant margin without the need for a dysfunctional, expensive mobile app. If you want unrestricted mobile content management features, a browser-based interface is the most flexible, secure, and cost-effective option.

Provides Solid Experience and Market Knowledge

It’s crucial to work with a company that understands the business goals and technology needs. ECM solutions work well when the vendor has worked with many types of organizations. An ECM vendor who has a solid track record, significant experience, and who shares their large knowledge base ensures success.

Gives In-Depth Technical Support

Look for a company that offers extensive support and will partner to provide fast and easy solutions to problems. They should offer traditional support offerings as well as remote services, to meet all needs. They should offer a quick resolution of any issues.

Ready to find out whether Enterprise Content Management is right for your business? Contact IntelliChief to learn more about how we help businesses justify their projects with real-world ROI examples using actual business data.

Decrease Unnecessary Spending

Decrease Unnecessary Spending With Enterprise Content Management and Automation

Decrease Unnecessary Spending

Staying competitive is a challenge for every business in today’s business climate. Innovation is at an all-time high, and if you fail to keep up with the trends sweeping your industry, you could find yourself at a significant disadvantage. Fortunately, there are two ways to increase your bottom line:

  1. Generate More Revenue: This can be a challenge. Creating new pipeline typically requires a heavy input of company resources.  You need to invest in training salespeople, marketing your product or services, and closing deals at a rate that supports your expenses.
  2. Decrease Unnecessary Spending: On the other hand, you can eliminate (or at the very least reduce) the types of unnecessary expenses that most businesses are completely unaware of. By doing so, you can free up capital to spend how you see fit or save for a rainy day.

In this article, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Automation experts at IntelliChief will cover the types of unprecedented cost savings that can be achieved when your company is running at peak efficiency.

Say Goodbye (and Good Riddance) to Paper

Paper and its related expenses are one of the biggest spending items for a company. Enterprise Content Management greatly decreases costs due to printing, faxing, storing, and otherwise using paper for all types of business transactions.

Replace Costly Physical Storage With Consolidated Digital Storage

Storage is an expense many companies incur for keeping paper documents. If a manual system requires the retention of paper documents, such as accounting records, for a certain number of years, the cost of doing business can rise sharply. These expenses only grow as more physical storage is required, as does the cost of retrieving these documents. ECM eliminates costly storage and consolidates all documents within your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system with everything available at the press of a key.

Improve Working Conditions for Your Valued Employees

Labor is one of the largest expenses in most companies. Making copies, manually routing documents, and hunting for lost paper items is time-consuming, inefficient, and repetitive. Companies that can pass of menial tasks to automation tend to have happier employees. These employees are empowered by the use of electronic tools to search for information and complete customer service tasks with ease. Documents move through an electronic workflow system so employees make decisions quickly. Losing information is no longer a costly problem. Employees can collaborate to resolve problems and issues directly from their PC or mobile devices, in any location, working together at the same time for speedy resolution.

Bolster Confidence Among Your Customers

With a manual system, companies need to keep constant track of purchase orders, requisitions, orders, and invoices. Not only is it time-consuming but it also leads to important items falling through the cracks. ECM and Automation improve customer relations because it shortens the time to find information, produces invoices faster, and keeps employees updated for faster turnaround with vendors and customers. It frees up employees to go where they are needed, rather than continuously handling paper to get business done.

You can still receive Purchase Orders, Requisitions, and Orders how yo always have, whether it is a fax, postal mail, email, or Web; however, once these documents enter your system, they will be accessible on-demand whenever and wherever they are required.

Overhaul Accounts Payable for Immense Savings

With Enterprise Content Management, any authorized employee can gain immediate access to all Accounts Payable documents – purchase orders, acknowledgments, receiving documents, invoices, and checks.

A major advantage of using ECM is avoiding lost or missing documents and the costs incurred with a lost document — costing an average of $500 per document to replace. Other major savings by going paperless with Accounts Payable documents include lower costs for printing, postage, faxing, special delivery, and storage.

Electronically managing the Accounts Payable has many benefits:

  • Saving money by taking better advantage of vendor discounts
  • Saving money by using less equipment, furniture, and supplies
  • Saving money and time with immediate access to all Accounts Payable documents
  • Saving time with faster research, better organization, cross filing and matching documents
  • Saving time for employees because of higher accuracy, avoiding manual keying errors, and
  • Utilizing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for quick, accurate search and retrieval of electronic documents

It’s also worth noting that these benefits are largely transferrable to other departments, including Accounts Receivable, Order Entry, and more.

Superior Compliance and Security…Simplified

Regulatory compliance for Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA requires strong security and specific legal mandates for companies. They have to consider external government regulations and internal security policies as a critical part of doing business. With paperless process management, time limits for retaining documents are easily established. When documents are no longer needed, they can easily be purged according to strict time controls to limit any liability issues.

An Enterprise Content Management system provides security against unauthorized access as well as the accidental or deliberate loss of records. Documents are automatically stored according to company-designed rules and regulations.

Stay Safe With Industry-Leading Disaster Recovery Services

The Gartner Group concludes that two out of five organizations that experience a disaster go out of business within five years. The principal reason: loss of documentation critical to a businesses’ daily function. A paperless process management solution has built-in backup and recovery capabilities in the event of a disaster.

All business processes can be integrated into a Disaster Recovery Plan with paperless process management. All documents can be retrieved as needed from any location.

Want to learn more about decreasing unnecessary expenditures with ECM and automation? Contact IntelliChief today.

Hard and Soft Dollar Savings of Automation

The Hard and Soft Dollar Savings of Automation

Hard and Soft Dollar Savings of Automation

In theory, making a case to automate your company shouldn’t require much justification at all. Businesses that automate are faster, leaner, and less susceptible to interruptions. Not only do they benefit by pleasing their customers and employees alike but they also save critical dollars that can be used to future-proof their businesses for years to come.  If your main goal is to cut costs and gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in your industry, automation is the answer —and the hard and soft dollar savings ensure that your project generates the ROI you’ve been promised by your vendor.

Hard Dollar Savings

The first category is the hard dollar savings or increased revenue in the operating budget. Hard dollar savings are usually the result of having tangible and identifiable reductions in expenses. These savings include:

Lower Business Operating Costs

Automation drives down business costs by:

  • Substituting electronic repositories for filing cabinets to eliminate long-term storage space
  • Using workflow automation to easily manage high volumes of orders, receiving documents, and invoices
  • Scanning, classifying, recognizing, validating, verifying and exporting data/images quickly, accurately, cost-effectively
  • Providing built-in tools to help avoid late payment penalties, and capture higher percentages of discounts
  • Reducing mailing, postage and shipping costs associated with document delivery, to and from customers or vendors
  • Cutting labor expenses – slashing time for printing, copying, filing, and document research using unsearchable paper
  • Lowering equipment expenses by reducing the need for printers and fax machines, and added maintenance cost

Better Utilization of Personnel

Another benefit of automation is the elimination of menial tasks. Employee productivity increases because they no longer must make copies of documents or look for lost or misplaced files.

It also reduces the need for employees to manually send documents to supervisors to approve expenses and purchase orders. Using automated workflow routing of documents eliminates management time and expenses to manually move documents from one department to the next. They can complete tasks right from their desktop.

Increased Cash Flow

It can also automatically prompt users to take advantage of vendor discounts, and to invoice earlier, faster, and more efficiently. The result is increased cash flow, which allows your company to invest capital in the things that matter most.

Soft Dollar Savings

The second type of cost justification revolves around soft dollar or intangible savings. Benefits are realized, but they may not easily translate as cost reductions.

Increased market share, higher employee retention, and the ability to bring products to market faster are examples of strategic benefits that tend to get ignored in hard-dollar ROI discussions.

Other soft dollar savings include:

Better Customer Service

Immediate access to automated documentation encourages better customer service. Companies that go paperless show improvement in overall customer satisfaction with products and services. Employees have fast access to information to meet customer requests in shorter timeframes.

“Green” Improvements

Environmental savings are realized by bringing a company paperless. According to the Environmental Paper Network, “If the United States cut its office paper use by roughly 10 percent or 540,000 tons, greenhouse gases would fall by 1.6 million tons. This is the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road for a year.”

Eliminating the printing of multiple documents alone can dramatically cut carbon and energy costs. Lighting, heating, and cooling costs for print equipment are also significantly reduced.

Ready to find out how automated sales order processing can fit into your business? Contact IntelliChief to learn moreor to request a custom demo of our order to cash automation software, click here.

ecm market

Projected Enterprise Content Management CAGR Suggests the End of Point Solutions Is Near

ecm market

A recently published report by MarketsandMarkets™ forecasts strong growth for Enterprise Content Management vendors in all regions, indicating a shift from disparate point solutions to robust, scalable offerings.

 

At this very moment, countless businesses are inquiring about how Enterprise Content Management (ECM) can help bring them into the future. They have heard whispers of faster processing times and fewer errors, streamlined exception handling, and the increased capital that comes with a system designed to generate ROI around the clock. Companies are phasing out point solutions that have provided short-term relief for some of their most pressing issues and, instead,  opting to look into the ECM market, which can deliver on promises of scalability, interdepartmental synergy, and cost savings.

Understanding the ECM Market

The ECM market is defined by the businesses it serves. Although ECM technology is robust, flexible, and scalable, the sector grows in response to the needs of its existing and future customers. When businesses fail to manage their enterprise content, it can create significant logistical challenges. For example, individuals working in procure-to-pay are often tasked with working with other employees outside of their direct team. If information is unable to pass from one department to the next, business grinds to a halt.

There are two different categories of enterprise, including:

  • Large Enterprises
  • Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Initially, solutions vendors are expected to cater to large enterprises to help them manage large quantities of data from multiple departments or channels and measure data to drive decision making. That said, it is actually the SMEs that are expected to really push the ECM market to the next tranche. For SMEs, the benefits of ECM include unrestricted access to data, significant cost savings, streamlined compliance, and operational elasticity.

The Why Behind ECM Market Growth

According to a new market research report published by MarketsandMarkets™, the ECM market is slated to grow from $40.1 billion in 2020 to an estimated $66.9 billion in 2025. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for the forecast period is 10.8 percent.

The report, titled “Enterprise Content Management Market by Component, Deployment Mode, Organization Size, Business Function (HR Operations, Procurement and Supply Chain Management), Vertical (BFSI, Transportation and Logistics), and Region – Global Forecast to 2025,” goes on to identify a series of drivers for the projected growth in the sector, namely:

  • Inability to keep up with high-volume transactional content
  • Growing expectations for companies to facilitate streamlined content processing for all information entering or leaving the company
  • The increasing need for improvements in tasks involving organization, categorization, content structure, workflow routing, accessibility, and more

The Automation Market Is Thriving in North America

North America is considered the leader in ECM development and market growth. Over the next several years, this trend is expected to continue as new investments fund new projects to push the envelope. Reliable, long-time ECM providers like IntelliChief will begin to experience pressure from newer competitors in the space, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle. However, IntelliChief has the unique distinction of being an ECM solution through and through, ensuring best-in-class service and support that can’t be matched by larger corporations just starting to get their foothold.

Are you interested in learning more about the ECM and Automation implementation process? Contact IntelliChief today to learn more about our award-winning, time-tested solutions that have helped hundreds of customers work smarter, not harder.

Software Implementation

3 Reasons Why the Software Implementation Phase Will Determine the Long-Term Success of Your Automation Project

Software Implementation

Automating your business processes gives you the opportunity to gain a distinct competitive advantage, but all your hard work can be undone by an inferior implementation or a lackluster integration.

 

“Since the software implementation ended, we’ve literally never used it,” sighs an Accounts Payable Supervisor for a chain of Midwest manufacturing plants.

He sits back in his chair as his eyes slowly rise towards the ceiling.

“We purchased our current solution six months ago because it checked all of our boxes. Unfortunately, we have not had enough help implementing it to actually use it properly. That’s why we called your team.”

Another man, dressed neatly, sits across from him taking notes on a legal pad. “It’s just sitting on the shelf?”

“Well, not literally,” the AP Supervisor laughs. “But it might as well be.”

“Well first, let me start by saying that I’m sorry your business had a poor experience with your last vendor. However, I’m happy to say that we can help! We aren’t going to leave your side until your system is fully functional and you’ve observed an appreciable ROI. How does that sound?”

“Sounds like we’ve got a deal.”

When our Solution Engineers hear horror stories like this from our customers, which, unfortunately, is more often than we care to admit, they are flabbergasted. Whether you’re looking for a simple fix to address a single issue with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system or a robust solution to transform your business, it is the vendor’s responsibility to ensure that your purchase is not only integrated securely in your existing work environment but also generating the ROI your company needs to justify its purchase.

When it comes to automation, you cannot afford to waste money on an unusable solution. Comprehensive, industry-leading features are important, but not if they’re locked away behind a wall of complicated code. Therefore, it is paramount that businesses keep implementation and customer service top of mind when shopping for an automation solution.

Caution: Companies Purchase the Wrong Solution All the Time

Let’s face it, shopping for enterprise software isn’t easy. When you start your search, you’re going to be confronted with hundreds, possibly even thousands of software options, but only a handful of those will have the features you’re looking for. Among those, maybe two or three will be compatible with your ERP system or line of business application – if you’re lucky.

It’s not uncommon for a company to purchase the wrong solution. In fact, it happens more often than you might think. Sometimes, it results in a situation similar to the scenario described above. In other cases, a solution might yield positive results but fail to live up to its true potential or the potential of a different solution. There’s an opportunity cost when you implement the wrong software integration, one that can undercut your bottom line for years.

The software implementation phase is your chance to test your system, ask questions, train your employees, and ensure that you have everything you need to successfully automate your company. Here are three reasons why you can’t afford to make a mistake:

Reason #1: Seamless Integrations Require Intimate Familiarity With Your Core Business Processes

Most businesses are seeking a seamless integration with their existing ERP system. In other words, a solution that has been carefully architected by an expert who understands the vulnerabilities of the system, how to work around them, and how to get the highest level of functionality from the integration – but that’s only the beginning. Let’s set aside the technicalities of a seamless software integration and focus on what matters most – your business. You need to be able to answer a lot of questions before you can be certain that your proposed solution is the right fit, chief among them:

Can the solution emulate my core business processes perfectly?

 

At IntelliChief, our Solution Engineers are trained to answer this question, and because IntelliChief has the rare distinction of universal compatibility with all ERP systems and line of business applications, our team’s implementation experience is unparalleled. Here is a brief summary of some of the steps that must be taken for a perfect implementation:

  • Detailed analysis of top vendors, processing time, and opportunities for business process optimization
  • Robust testing and validation of AP automation with top vendors
  • Automated OCR testing using real transactional content
  • Integrated training using live samples in the actual working environment
  • Daily engagements to answer questions and address challenges
  • 30-60-90 milestones to validate independent metrics against testing metrics

Reading #2: Only an Expert Can Provide Evidence of ROI Before Launch

Models and statistics do a fantastic job of conveying what should happen following your software implementation; however, many businesses find that their results differ drastically from their expectations. It requires a unique talent and a gift for working within the fabric of a client’s company to guarantee ROI that meets their goals.

There is only one way to truly know whether your software integration can meet your requirements, and that is by testing it live with your authentic business data. This will give you an unrestricted look at how your solution operates within your existing ERP environment. You will know precisely what to expect on Day 1, ensuring that there are no unexpected surprises as you begin to work faster, smarter, and more accurately than ever before.

Reading #3: Planning for Future Projects Begins During the First Phase of Implementation

Another reason why the software implementation phase is a strong determiner of future success is that it gives you the opportunity to establish a long-term plan. This is one of the major benefits of a software partnership as opposed to a faceless software vendor. There are only a handful of vendors who offer this level of service, IntelliChief residing chiefly among them.

With IntelliChief, you can automate one department (i.e., Accounts Payable), reap the benefits, and then use your new-found capital to continue automating other departments. For example, automating Accounts Receivable is essentially the inverse of automating Accounts Payable, which means you can essentially double your savings. It’s worth noting that a software partnership with an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendor like IntelliChief will give you the ability to scale your solution according to the needs of your growing company.

Are you interested in learning more about the ECM and Automation implementation process? Contact IntelliChief today to learn more about our award-winning team of implementation experts.

 

 

process improvement automation

What Are the Consequences of Canceling an Automation Project?

process improvement automation

Due to the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic, executives gearing up to automate their companies are facing a difficult choice – whether to cancel their project or proceed full steam ahead. Quick decisions can have long-term consequences for your business; these are the risks.

 

Business interruptions tend to pop up at the least opportune times. In early 2020, Americans were on track to reap the benefits of the strongest economy in the history of our country. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly swept in, erasing years of economic progress since our country began to rebuild following the Great Recession.

As a result, the economy tanked, millions of jobs were lost, and the future of our country’s business leaders was brought into question. Meanwhile, stock market speculation shifted into bear territory with a series of record Dow Jones point losses on March 16 (-2,997), March 12 (-2,352.60), and March 9 (-2,013.76). For reference, the previous record loss was -838.55 point on September 29, 2008.

Many businesses were forced to make difficult decisions to remain viable, such as whether to pause (or cancel) plans to automate their company. While it’s true that process improvement automation projects can be costly upfront, they can also give businesses the tools they need to remain viable regardless of the type of business interruption keeping them from operating at full capacity.

There’s an opportunity cost for every canceled project, and in the case of process improvement and automation, that opportunity cost can be crippling. Before you cancel your automation software implementation, consider the following risk:

1. The Financial Cost of Cancellation

One of the biggest selling points of process improvement automation is the tremendous ROI to be gained from faster processing with fewer errors. Automation can increase productivity by as much as 90% while ensuring that every opportunity for an early payment discount is secured. Furthermore, in the context of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution, it can also eliminate duplicate payments when integrated into an intelligent workflow.

In other words, you do not want to squander your future ROI by cutting ties with a vendor you have already signed an agreement with, especially if you are already several stages into your implementation. Performing exhaustive due diligence is critical to making the right purchase. If you want to make things easy on your company, find a vendor that offers a reliable integration with your core ERP system.

2. Overburdened Employees

Automation can help reduce employee stress by eliminating time-consuming and redundant tasks, giving them more time to focus on big picture projects that have a long-lasting effect on the company. For example, the keying of data into your ERP system is inefficient when performed manually. It is a highly error-prone process that requires several internal confidence checks on the part of the processor. If any of the information is input incorrectly, it could lead to a delayed payment or order – either of which will have a negative effect on your bottom line. When employees are forced to do jobs that are impractical or overly repetitive, it affects morale daily. When these same employees are criticized by management for their work ethic, it raises the question: Is the employee’s performance lacking? Or is the process the problem?

Oftentimes, we find that the process is the true cause of a company’s woes, not the employees. With automation working alongside your employees, you can reach unprecedented levels of productivity while ensuring that your most important assets, your employees, are given the support they need to serve your company for years to come.

3. Loss of Market Share

There is no other competitive advantage quite like process improvement automation. The before-and-after data following an automation software implementation can be staggering. Not only does your company get faster but it also gets smarter and more cost-friendly. Unsurprisingly, one of the most common reasons why companies decide to start looking into process improvement and automation is because they have caught wind of their competitors doing the same.

Now, here is the inescapable truth. And please be warned, it can be a tough pill to swallow. In the future, every company will rely on automation in some capacity. It is not a matter of if but when your competitors will begin to use automation to improve their processes. It is highly likely that some of them have already started. Automation can help you maintain your market share and fend off your competitors by placing a wide functional gap between your capabilities and theirs. The longer you can take advantage of this functional gap, the brighter the future outlook for your company will be.

4. Legal Disputes

Have you already signed a contract with your selected vendor? If so, you could find that canceling your project is a bigger challenge than you initially expected. While not all companies will penalize you for pausing your project, there are many who will. Read your contract carefully before signing; otherwise, you could find yourself on the phone with your lawyer. To avoid a situation like this, seek out a vendor who treats you like a partner and not a customer. At IntelliChief, we are invested in the mutual success of our partner businesses. By helping you meet your goals, we can continue streamlining your business processes and helping you reach your next milestone. In fact, IntelliChief has several capabilities to help your business improve legal compliance, such as Retention Manager, which can automatically schedule purge policies and provide quick audit support.

Whether you are thinking about taking on an automation project or your current project has been placed on indefinite hiatus, our team is standing by to discuss any questions you might have regarding business process automation and successful implementations. Contact IntelliChief today!