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Document management for distribution sector

Ana CanteliWritten by Ana Canteli on 22 June 2018

One of the most important challenges the distribution sector is facing is to increase the speed and efficiency of its processes, to achieve success in business. Because delays or non-compliance with deadlines have a great impact that can very negatively affect the company. We shouldn’t forget that customers rely on companies in the distribution sector to deliver their products and services on time and in the right way to their recipients.

Effectiveness, efficiency, proximity, and sustainability over time are the basic pillars on which the relationship with customers is based. For this reason, it is necessary to undertake with responsibility, a follow-up from beginning to the end of all the information that is produced in each document process. In many cases, the level of automation and technological equipment in some companies in the retail sector is high, but there is still a need to incorporate document management solutions that help companies improve the supply chain; business management and speed up the sales channel. Alternatively, make the company capable of transforming data into information and information into knowledge so that will optimize business decision-making through the information management (Business Intelligence).

For companies dedicated to the distribution sector, the acquisition of enterprise document management solutions can be the best investment, since their success depends largely on the good quality management of their documents and services.

On the other hand, it must be borne in mind that the distribution sector is subject to great regulatory pressure. Organizations have to comply with regulations at the local, regional, national and even global level. Also, they not only have to meet the requirements of the public sector, but from the insurance or law firm that rates the policy to the distribution company based on its organization and systems as well; until the presence of other actors in the distribution channel, who demand better coordination with us, to provide the customer with a better experience. Everyone contributes in this globalized environment to increase the pressure and the variety of requirements to fulfill.

Therefore, following the philosophy of business process optimization to increase quality, provide immediate information supply that improves productivity, streamline administrative tasks and help digital transformation, OpenKM web-based ECM software can provide business solutions in a multitude of contexts to companies in the retail sector thank it set of software features.

  • Reduce costs: With the OpenKM document management system, the company can reduce or even eliminate the need to maintain the physical file in the company. Tasks such as printing purchase orders, delivery notes and invoices, so that they are signed and archived will no longer be necessary.
  • Time-saving: the document management solutions provide immediate and instant access to information and documentation, through the website that will display the appropriate legal notice. The system is accessed based on the role and profile developed in the company using a username and password. Users can subscribe to any content so that if the content is updated, the user will receive an automatic notification.
  • Reduce risk: Document management software applies the document security on three levels. As we have mentioned before, to access the repository it is necessary to have a login and password. Then depending on the assignment of roles and the definition of the profile, the user will access user interfaces adapted to their needs (work areas, functionalities, information sections, etc.). Finally, security at the granular level allows defining security specifically for each node in the content manager - folder, registry, e-mail (including attachments) or document -. In this way only designated users in the security of the node can see that it exists (read privilege) edit it (edit privilege) remove it (deletion privilege), etc. The administrator can extend the security with other privileges. OpenKM content manager includes access to OpenKM Knowledge Center, the documentation that allows you to complete and extend the installation.
  • Increase productivity: OpenKM document management software automation eliminate repetitive tasks that add little value to the distribution chain, improve business processes - payment and collections, contract management.... Makes staff available to detect incidents and helps improve customer satisfaction by increasing response speed.

Example of success case of document management solutions in the distribution sector.

A company in the retail sector detects dissatisfaction in its customers, reduction of the conversion rate of potential customers to real customers and that they find the requests by third parties ( public sector, entities and other distributors with whom it has to collaborate- ERP distribution- ) increasingly difficult or expensive to manage.

The company has information in a physical format stored in folders and/or filing cabinets. The criterion is not fixed. The paper documents are stored in folders that are stored in boxes, when not in file cabinets. Related information is stored in different ways, which makes it difficult to search and the decision-making. The company decides to implement an electronic document management system that allows coordinating its activities, accessible from a website ( multiplatform ), that covers all the departments of the organization. The access to the document manager through the website (which will comply with the mandatory legal notice), shows in turn facilities for the management of the legal notice, personal data, cookies policy, privacy policy, data integrity and data protection based on the RGPD.

To start in OpenKM, the user can make use of a series of templates that will allow them to generate new documents, fulfilling the appropriate formal requirements for each case. The product suite offers SDKs ( development kit ) for Java, PHP and .NET that facilitates the integration of management software with third applications (ERP software system) that may contain data, which has useful information for decision making - business intelligence -. Moreover, this information, thanks to the integration can be accessed through electronic document management software, without the need to log in simultaneously in a multitude of applications to look for the data that you miss.

On-going with the business case, we can provide the customer with the information they need through email. OpenKM content management system offers MS-Addins for the Microsoft Office suite including Outlook, which allows the user to access the document management software from the mail client; attach files to the e-mail or even convert them to download links - if the attachments are too heavy, so it doesn’t compromise the reception of the e-mail -. The client can access the documentation that they need through the OpenKM mobile application, and make use of the OpenKM electronic signature client to sign documentation. Thanks to the document automation implemented in the ECM solution, the act of signing the documentation by the client, updates the metadata of the document - from "signature pending" to "signed" -. This event promotes the document to a workflow of approval processes, in which the participants will receive a notification, informing them that they have an assigned business process, waiting to be managed. OpenKM has a workflow solution inserted. It is a good set of collaboration tools which guarantees communication and coordination between the stakeholders.

Each user could access the document manager, to check the document - to see if it has keywords, assigned categories, notes added, comments inserted in the preview, different versions (that gives access to the file's life cycle), if there are comments in the forum -. The document can have a multitude of metadata groups assigned, but the user will only see those that relevant to them. If the user has any question, they can use the chat, to communicate online with your colleagues, or consult the Wiki tab, that is where the bibliography or reference resources are. Once all the information has been checked, the user performs the task that is expected of them, and the workflow goes to the next phase; maybe revision control.

The Reports functionality will allow us to carry out detailed monitoring, even audit reporting if we want, of those activity indicator elements ( compliance reports). It will help us detect deviations, bottlenecks, etc.

Following this business case, the company receives requests for certain information - from a client, from a public administration ... - Through the OpenKM powerful search engine, the company will be able to satisfy the information requirements, thanks to the set of management tools that provides the advanced document search engine and promotes business intelligence. In OpenKM we can find information searching by free text. If the user makes an error, the system will suggest the correction.

The more data we have, the more filtering criteria we can apply. We can perform more specific searches, looking for information depending on the context in which they are (personal documents, templates, trash, etc.). By name, by the title - an alternative name given to the document - keywords. By author, by language, by date range. If we do not know any of these data, but we know terms that appear in the body of the file, we can use them to find the document. This is called search by content. However, we will also have at our disposal more criteria: we can search by its location in the repository, depending on the assigned categories. We can filter the results, specifying in the search engine that you look for enterprise documents and/or records - records management -, folders or emails ( in that case, the search engine will enable extra fields to search depending on the sender, the recipient or the subject ). We can even find information or documents based on notes added to the file. It is also possible to recall information based on metadata. For example, how many electronic bills are pending payment? The user selects the invoice metadata group, selects the status field; choose pending payment, and OpenKM will only present you the dockets that meet that condition. If you select to see Relationships from the search engine, you can see the documents linked to the invoice (e-mails, purchase orders, delivery notes) alongside with the type of link they maintain.

On the other hand, the distribution company has decided to digitize its physical repository. Using the zone OCR engine integrated with OpenKM enterprise content management, so the document management software identifies through the scanner (document capture) - integrated with the document manager through its scanner client - the documents; making the data capture. It indexes, classifies, and extracts all information considered high valued, as metadata. In addition, it adds information, from other applications, with which OpenKM is integrated, thus being an example of a successful case in the creation of a powerful, comprehensive document management system. User-friendly for the end user, an integrated document management solution that protects the information, the data integrity; provides unified document storage, version control, business process automation and document scanning solution thought the enterprise content platform.

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