The EPA WasteWise program has identified “office operations” (reducing paper that is mailed or used internally), as one of the top three areas in the manufacturing industry where companies can improve efficiency and cut costs. Copying, printing, mailing everything from contracts, purchase orders and receipts to order acknowledgements, reports and invoices. It adds up.
Document management systems (DMS) can help streamline the entire manufacturing workflow chain. In each area, companies are seeing a reduction in expenses and increases in efficiency that directly impact the bottom line. From Fortune 100 to SMBs, companies can gain the efficiencies with affordable document management software and companies with the most complex processes can realize the biggest return on investment.
Here are a few ways companies are capitalizing on the benefit of DMS:
Sales Order Management
Storing all documents in one location can help speed up quote-to-order cycle times. When data is stored in a central location that key stakeholders can securely access, you eliminate the costs and time associated with faxing, emailing and getting approvals. All the necessary changes and approvals can be made from one location — helping companies ship products to customers faster.
Quality Control & Compliance
At the heart of every manufacturing company — from Apple, Inc. to Tough Traveler, is quality control and compliance. Whether making smart phones or suitcases, all companies need to maintain quality and comply with industry regulations and standards. When dealing with a complex audit, for example, where the process requires aggregating multiple paper documents from multiple locations, the ease of access by authorized personnel to critical documents and sensitive data is crucial to a successful audit. Audits become compromised when data is not easily accessible. With DMS, data is searchable, much like Google with results in real-time.
Invoicing & Accounts Payable
When the entire procure-to-pay process is streamlined, businesses can benefit not only from increased profitability and a reduction in errors, they can also ensure customer and vendor satisfaction. Fulfilling orders and managing accounts payable faster with more accuracy helps companies take advantage of early pay discounts. With all documentation centralized, invoices are processed quicker for improved cash flow, at the same time AP staff has access to all records they need to pay on time.
When integrated with an existing ERP system, document management software can help drive even more efficiency by exchanging data and eliminating the time and expense of data entry. In an environment where innovation means a competitive advantage, an enterprise-wide system that works smarter means bottom line savings.
Another benefit to purchasing document management software is that you can take full advantage of the software tax credit available. The popular IRS §179 Deduction for software is a must if you have capital budget still available and are in a position to fast-track a software purchase and implementation for your organization prior to year end. Your company could benefit greatly by purchasing "off-the-shelf" computer software that “a) is not custom designed, and (b) is available to the general public is qualified for the Section 179 Deduction in the year that you put the software into service”, according to the website Section179.org. You can find everything you need to know about the Section 179 Deduction in support of making a software purchase before the end of the year here.
Every business — no matter how large or small — can benefit from the improved customer satisfaction, profitability and cost savings benefits that efficient technologies can deliver. With both on-site and cloud based models, there is a document management solution for every company. Including yours.
Jeff Frankel is Executive Vice President and Principal at docSTAR.
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