At last month’s highly successful AIIM Forum UK in London, thedmcollaborators had the chance to sit down with a lot of the real movers and shakers in our sector.
Here we spoke with AIIM’s SVP EMEA, Atle Skjekkeland, about what he sees as the three biggest problems facing brands today – which also promise to be thedmcollaborators community opportunities
thedmcollaborators Can we start with a quick overview of how you see the whole Document Management/Enterprise Content Management space from a commercial point of view?
Atle The market is at an interesting point, because there are drivers on one side around customer engagement and how firms can better serve their customers – and on the other, on how firms need to better control operating costs. A third driver concerns compliance, and in particular GDPR: firms need to ensure that they have personal information under control.
thedmcollaborators What does that mean in practice?
Atle We see these three drivers as opportunities companies can’t afford to pass up, and need to act on in order to remain competitive. The good news is that by and large firms are responding well to these challenges and are making positive changes, especially in terms of exploiting cloud, for instance. Instead of having to institute a big, unwieldy IT project, they can manage their digital initiative as a service and quickly realise the benefits from it.
thedmcollaborators That sounds pretty positive.
Atle Mostly it is. An issue we’re all aware of, however, is Invoice Processing. That’s still not where it should be, despite being a core business process.
thedmcollaborators Why do you say that?
Atle Invoice Processing still isn’t adequately automated. Our research from the AIIM global membership shows only one organisation in three has made the process seamless and digital. And even then, there’s no data analysis being carried out. In general, organisations are also paying too much for the underlying technology. Another third of the market is managing too many processes by email, which means they’re not scanning and capturing invoices digitally, and as a result they are sitting in mailboxes. If a customer calls in and wants to know where their invoice is, the organisation will simply not know and will lose credibility as a result. In general, there is also issue of managing too many of these processes on paper.
In sum, Invoice Processing automation is a big chance for organisations to save money and reduce big processing costs per invoice.
thedmcollaborators Where else do you see problems with content in business processes?
Atle HR also needs to step into the modern world and digitise all its processes. Too many organisations have neglected their HR function for the last two or more decades. HR is effectively a kind of sleeping content giant as a result, where you find a high volume of paper-based and manual processes. Now we have millennials coming into the workplace, that’s starting to create some real tensions in terms of adequately managing expectations and the needs of an increasingly demanding and diverse workforce.
thedmcollaborators What could be a good place for HR to start?
Atle HR leaders should begin by using onboarding technology to ensure new team members are plugged in as quickly and completely as possible. In addition, organisations should digitise all the information sitting in filing cabinets, so they have one place for all current and historic employee and training information.
Another problem area is contract management. Two thirds of companies AIIM surveyed admitted they still manage that process with paper or some level of manual input. Better preparation of contracts, including signing plus the management of the contract over time, so managers are reminded when they need to renew or invoice things based on the contracts, could streamline a lot of business interaction – and therefore immediately increase efficiency.
thedmcollaborators There seem to be a lot of problems out there.
Atle Yes, of course, but better invoice processing, moving to paperless HR and making e-contract management a reality are also excellent opportunities for the Document Management community.
thedmcollaborators Very true – and thanks for your insights today, Atle!
We were speaking with Atle Skjekkeland who has been Senior Vice President at The Association for Intelligent Information Management AIIM International for nearly four years