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Document management for retail

Ana CanteliWritten by Ana Canteli on 21st September 2018

The retail industry presents the same needs as any business today; they must offer the best service quickly and easily and the best possible customer experience in order to build loyalty. All this at increasingly competitive prices in the only way possible, reducing costs. Moreover, taking the time to archive the file cabinet, classifying and storing the documentation resulting from commercial activities is not the best way to maximize business performance.

That is why for some time now, for logistics and warehouse management, administration of invoice processing, employee onboarding, financial management (accounts payable) and customer relations, retail businesses rely on specialized sector solutions, necessary to offer high levels of service and quality. That is demanded in such a competitive environment as the wholesale distribution or the retail trade.

In the retail sector, more devices and technologies are added to achieve multiple objectives: to improve employee productivity, optimize and speed up sales; especially with the maturation of the new e-commerce sales channels. Increase the satisfaction of all types of customers and promote their loyalty; at the same time increase the presence of the retail industry in an economic sector dominated by telecommunications. Now the consumer combines purchases in physical stores, with the acquisition of goods and services in online mode and requires that both experiences were similar in their characteristics; easy to use, reliable and efficient.

In this area, OpenKM document management software solution can be the ideal tool to strengthen the position of retail businesses in the sector, contributing to the improvement in retail operations, accounts payable, customer service and the retail documentation management.

With OpenKM document management solution, the document storage related to the activities of the retail logistics and utility companies will no longer be a problem. All purchase orders, invoices, delivery notes, receipts, records, HR documentation, and other paper documents do not have to occupy physical space in the head office. Thanks to the zonal OCR incorporated in the OpenKM document management system, the organization can perform the document scanning & document capture of all the information in physical formats to become a paperless office. The OpenKM scanner client helps streamline the data capture process.

In addition, through the automation of processes, competitive improvement is stimulated by increasing productivity, the rise of the management capacity of high volumes of documents, reducing the incidence of human errors or non-compliance with document processes. The OpenKM document management solution also incorporates workflow automation that can be used as a management solution for both wholesale and retail distribution. It is about creating a univocal management channel, which means that the involved parties receive notification (either through the PC or mobile devices) that they have a workflow assigned to them. This streamlined process invites those affected to manage the business process more efficiently and effectively, resulting in better warehouse and accounts payable management and quick customer service.

On the other hand, the digitized documents, apart from reducing storage costs, facilitate the recovery work. OpenKM document management solution includes among its management tools, a search engine that helps efficiently recover any information or data of interest. You can search by location in the repository, or by content - any word or data that we remember that is part of the document - by name; by title, by the author, by date range. Even if we have documentation in several languages, we can use this condition to obtain a battery of results more in line with what we are trying to find. If we have also categorized the document, or added notes or keywords, we can use these criteria to retrieve the information that interests us. Moreover, the most efficient way to conduct searches is through metadata; high-value information linked to the document (which can either be extracted through OCR or from a separate database) that is used to retrieve the data or documents we need.

The OpenKM document management software is prepared to archive emails, including attachments; so if we communicate with customers, public administrations or distributors by this means, we can consolidate our documentary repository with this type of files, without the extension being a limitation. Also, the program suite offers MS-Addins so that any user from Word, Excel or even Outlook can access the document management system and perform the tasks you need. On the other hand, to facilitate interoperability between different solutions for retailers, and with OpenKM management software, the management solution offers Java, PHP and .NET SDKs that provide the set of tools needed to integrate document management with third-party applications.

Security is another of the most prominent claims of retail. Who accesses the repository, when, what do they see and what do they do? In OpenKM retail document management system, only users with login and password can access the document manager, either from computers or mobile devices (OpenKM presents an App for Android). Depending on the assignment of roles and profile, the user can access more or fewer work areas and the features that they need. The management of security at the granular level allows each user access the material that is their responsibility and under the conditions stipulated by the administrator: reading privilege, writing privilege, deletion, download, and more linked to each piece of content (folder, document, record, e-mail, and attachment). Through the Reports feature, we can create reports related to any aspect that is of our interest. Moreover, the Activity Log section allows us to analyze every one of the activities that have been carried out on any content: who when, on what version, and what has been done.

OpenKM retail document management solution also offers version control over documents. Only users with the right to edit can create new versions of the files. This section also allows us to quickly spot the differences in content between versions, something very useful to see at a glance the new contributions of the author. It is also possible to preview the file from the document manager - an important option for users who cannot download the document from the document management system. If they have the privilege of writing, they can add notes or comments to the preview, at the same time respecting the authorship and the current version of the document.
In OpenKM you can add more information to the files, and this will be visible only to users who have that privilege. For example, a document may have two metadata groups assigned; the "client" metadata group (containing the contact data) and the "status" metadata group (which contains information regarding the payment status, means of payment chosen by the customer, and other related information). We can make the customer service staff see the customer's contact information, but only the finance staff will see the payment status, linked to the document. We can do the same with any detail associated with the documentation, such as Relationships. In OpenKM management solutions for retailers, we can show the link that the documentation develops in its life cycle; An order generates a delivery note, which leads to an invoice. From the Relationship tab of the invoice, I can see that the invoice is related to the order, which is located in another section of the repository, the same as the delivery note. This is just an example; we can define all the type of relationship: equivalence (a document in English, translated into Spanish), father-child relationship (an invoice generates an invoice), multiple relationships (the order, the delivery note, and the invoice are linked to the same project)

All these management tools, used in coordination with the sector solutions already present in the organization (business intelligence), such as ERP software, are what turn management into a retail company into a success story.
If you want to know more, we invite you to request a personalized online demo or to go to the webinars that we call regularly.

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