Small to Medium Businesses around the globe use Ademero Software Solutions to capture, index, and intelligently store documents and records. Available on-premise and in-cloud, our solutions always include all the same powerful features that are easy to setup so you can start saving valuable time and see a return on your investment asap!
Where do I start?
In many businesses, paper-based processes inherently mean more time and higher hard costs for your company – and ultimately the business owner themselves (as 83% of SMB owners have bootstrapped their companies with personal funds).
There’s a common tipping point where businesses start to realize how underwater their staff has become, and how much time and money is spent dealing with paper-based
Document Scanning/Capture Software
Document Management Software
processes in the business. When this happens, the first step is to start researching what types of business software solutions can help alleviate this burden – that’s probably what led you here to this article.
Manually entering data from receipts and stacks of invoices into an accounting system, for example, can be tedious and – well – painful. Hiring new employees can feel overwhelming when you don’t have an HR department to handle all the W-4’s and benefit forms and training that new hires expect when they start a new position. If your business deals with compliance requirements, you might find yourself scrambling each year when you discover that your policies need updated to include all the updates to government policies in the last calendar year. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if there was software that could handle some of this data entry and storage for you, or if software could send out new-hire packets or notify you of upcoming deadlines for that ISO compliance planning that’s next month?
Let’s take a look at what a complete software solution brings to the table for your small to medium-sized business.
Document Indexing or 'Capture' Software
The first piece of software you might be considering is Document Scanning or ‘Capture’ Software. This is where physical, paper documents are turned into electronic ones and really gets the whole electronic process started. Whether you’d like an HR onboarding process to still include physical applications or if you’d just like to store all those applications and resume submissions for future reference, Document Capture Software makes it easy.
Capture Software lays the foundation for an automated onboarding process by both classifying and indexing documents, then working hand-in-hand with a Document Management System and your Human Resource Management Software (HRMS) to streamline document and office workflows. Truly ‘smart’ or fully-automatic solutions in this category mean that your staff simply scans in paper documents and the software handles classifying and indexing each document or form before handing it off to your DMS or other software applications.
If you’re dealing with relatively low-volume physical paper scanning, you might find that a Document Management Software can handle this for you. But, if you’re dealing with high-volume paper scanning (very common for accounts payable invoices for example), you might need this extra type of software for your solution.
The first feature found in most Document Capture Applications is called ‘classifying’ – where the type of document is identified within the software. Most software solutions in this category can recognize information on a type of document, but those that can do it without or with very little human interaction are pretty rare.
Most require a user to select from several options starting with what department the document is for and then moving on to a selection of what type of document it is, (like a benefits form or W-2), before it can move onto the next step – indexing data.
Once the Capture Software knows what type of document it’s looking at, it will index and create a kind of roadmap that will help you search for that information later in your document management system (DMS).
It can identify information like names, vendors, dates, department names, hire date, employee id’s and more to ensure your staff no longer has to manually enter this information – even in other vendor software applications like QuickBooks, Sage100, Microsoft Dynamics, or any other business or payroll software.
Plus, more robust solutions can even recognize handwriting which means applications filled out by hand can still be indexed and included in your new automation and digital archiving processes. While Document Capture Software could easily integrate directly into any current 3rd party business software you already have, the next area we’re going to focus on is an important step toward fully automating your business processes and saving on your bottom line – document management software.
How does Ademero measure up?
CapturePoint automatically recognizes your documents and can tell the difference between an invoice for accounts payable, an application submitted for a new position at your company for HR, or even a group of related documents to then sort, process, and route them intelligently without human interaction.
Just drop your documents in a scanner and let the software do the rest for you.
Document Management Software
Whether you’re considering nixing the paper-based processes altogether or thinking you might move to a fully-electronic format for your business processes, you’ll also be looking at Document Management Software (or DMS).
Document Management solutions offer a host of features valuable to many areas of your organization, but when it comes to business processes and flow, there are a couple key functions of DMS that are worth their weight in gold:
1. Finding Documents
A Document Management Systems’ core functionality is to track and store documents, though most solutions on the market today do a lot more than this with features like workflow and approval processing, electronic signatures, deadline notifications, and more.
DMS handles document storage by utilizing a file system that works with key data stored in a database to keep search-speeds fast and databases small, even for heavy document-loads. Documents are easily found via several different methods, but one of the most popular is via Full-Text Search.
Full-Text & Index Searching
If you’ve ever used your office scanner (or mfp) to capture a physical document and then tried to highlight text on that document to share in an email, you’ve probably come up empty. That’s because scanning just creates an image of your document – a picture where no text is recognized. Your newly scanned document needs to be turned into a digital document in order for your computer to be able to see it as anything more than a picture.
Remember that OCR process I mentioned earlier during capture? Basically, that process (whether you use a DMS or an indexing software) turns the scanned image of your physical document into an electronic one where all the text on that document is now searchable inside your DMS.
Since your entire document’s text is searchable, you can type in a single word or a phrase to easily search your entire database of documents or narrow into catalogs, customer files, or a specific type of document – like invoices from a specific vendor.
Logical File & Folder Building
Of course, as handy as Full-Text Search can be, searching it’s not the only way to find documents in your DMS. One of the most appealing things about DMS is the logical and consistent folder and file building it provides.
If you’ve been using a network share drive at your office you’ve probably already encountered problems with ‘lost’ documents; you know it’s somewhere on that shared drive but you just can’t seem to find it!
With DMS, you just upload your document and the system will handle filing it away so that you or anyone who has permission to access those documents can locate it quickly by navigating logically named folders based on the standards you require.
How does Ademero measure up?
Whether you use a Document Capture Software, like CapturePoint, or just capture directly to Content Central, documents are OCR’d as they are captured into the system so your documents are Full-Text Searchable right away. Plus, if there’s something you search often or a folder you use frequently, just save it to your dashboard for even easier access to your customized Content Central.
Packets are a great way to group, link, or digitally staple documents together inside your DMS. You can search for a single document within the software and easily view all the related documents in that packet.
Even better, you can set up what finishes a packet or even set up 2 or 3-way matching so you know when all the proper forms have been submitted by your new-hire and even set up automatic notifications to let you know what’s missing or if the packet is complete. Then,
completed packet workflows will automatically send pertinent information or custom notifications to the new-hire’s manager, the IT Department, and the payroll department so they each have the information they need for their next steps in the onboarding process.
Plus, when you tie documents together search and retrieval becomes even easier. Admins or those with proper access can just type in an ID number or name and pull back all the files related to that employee in one click. No more digging for an hour through those file cabinets we mentioned earlier, or worse, coming up empty-handed because documents were accidently misfiled or lost.
How does Ademero measure up?
When you pair Content Central’s powerful workflow engine with ‘Packets’ you get the most reliable method of 3-way matching available today.
Content Central’s packet notifications provide alerts every step of the way for things like missing documents, new document arrivals, impending deadlines, and more. Then, searching related documents is even easier – just enter a name, employee id, or even a time frame to quickly and easily find the documents you’re needing right now.
3. Automated Workflows
Workflows within DMS act as a kind of controller within the software – recognizing key data and determining next steps. Next steps might include notifications of impending deadlines, routing documents to appropriate department heads for approval, or flagging specific criteria on a form that needs attention and placing in a review-queue.
Workflows ultimately save time for you and your staff so they can focus on higher-level goals and projects. Workflows help businesses complete tasks like performance reviews, automatically route travel or leave requests and time-sheets to managers, send employee training and development documentation, and more. But, let’s take a quick look at a basic onboarding workflow to get a better feel for how it might work using DMS:
eForms are delivered to new-hire which, once completed, are submitted directly to DMS
HR completes all pre-employment checks and captures results to DMS as part of employee packet
Once packets are complete, pertinent employee information is routed to department manager and payroll for onboarding next steps (this step can include a 3rd-party software integration)
Completed packet is digitally archived and protected by appropriate security roles (this step can include a 3rd-party software integration)
In the basic walk-through above, all the paperwork is captured electronically and automatically routed where it needs to go next via workflows. At any step of the way arrival and deadline notifications can be sent to appropriate users, documents can be assigned for review, and information can be passed to other software applications as needed.
How does Ademero measure up?
Built into Content Central is a powerful workflow and approval processing engine that lets you manage the stages of a document’s lifecycle by automatically moving them along workflow paths you define.
Automatically notify managers of the new-hire’s status, let IT know that a new employee is ready for an office and equipment, or even let managers approve expenses on-the-go from the mobile app to keep your office and documents moving.
Integrating with 3rd Party Systems
When considering the whole solution for your business, the final piece to the puzzle is one of the most important – integrating any software solutions you already use.
Integration means that all the data that’s been captured, indexed, and approved can now be passed to whatever other system you’re using so you don’t have to enter it all in again!
You can do recursive lookups and leverage quicklinks to pull info from your existing business software or tie information stored in those systems to actual documents stored in your DMS.
Many SMBs use QuickBooks for their accounting and payroll needs. When your accounting staff handles invoices and PO’s, they’re having to manually enter vendor data, (like names and contact info), line items, and amounts into that system by hand before they file away (or worse throw away) the physical documents. That kind of manual process, no matter how meticulous your staff, is tedious and subject to human error. But, if you pick a DMS that integrates with your QuickBooks software, you can eliminate the need for data entry at all – and eliminate the chance for human error, too. If you have any type of business software in place, be sure to check with the vendor to ensure that your next purchase can integrate with your existing systems so you can really maximize your ROI.
How does Ademero measure up?
Ademero Software Solutions integrate with many software packages, from Quickbooks, to Sage, to Microsoft Office. Information can be pulled from or sent to other applications to make tasks like data entry a thing of the past.
Keeping it Simple
The hardest part of going paperless for any organization is picking the right software. But it doesn’t have to be. Ultimately, you’re looking to accomplish a few things:
Automate Data Collection & Entry
Eliminate Redundant Data Entry
Streamline Business Processes
Automate Office Workflows
Centralize and Package Related Documents
Integrate with Existing Systems
Cut Costs and Eliminate Physical Document Storage
When it comes to picking Document Capture Software, it’s best to focus on the purpose of this software to better weed through all the different solutions available on the market today.
There are a number of bells and whistles you’ll be exposed to, but as long as these two requirements are met you’ll be getting what’s right for your team and for your company:
Automatic Document Type Recognition
Automatic Data Extraction
Document Management Software can be a great addition for your entire company. Look for features like:
Full Text Searching
Permission-Based Document Viewing
Data Encryption & Decryption
Automatic Folder & File Building
Packets & Related Documents
Automated Workflows & Routing
User-Based Permission Roles
Integration with 3rd Party Systems
When it’s all said and done, you’ll be looking for much more than just another business software application. You’re looking for a robust and simple solution that won’t break the bank. One that’s fast to implement, smart, and packed with all the features your business needs.
CapturePoint and Content Central work together to provide the complete solution for your documents; packed full of powerful features designed to keep your office moving. But don’t just take our word for it, give it a try for yourself and see your customized solution in action.