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System for Approving Different Types of Documents in Collaborative Work from Home

Written by Igor Grgur, OpenKM Serbia staff member on 23 March 2021 

Many companies have recognized the need to conduct their business with a flexible working model. Besides working from a business location and office, employees can also complete their business from home and a remote location.

It is common for companies today to operate in very dynamic conditions with a growing number of partners, subcontractors, and customers and the need for accelerated development of new services and products. What is essential for companies that position themselves on the market with their GROUP COMPETITIVENESS is that business models, value chains, and value networks are reorganized in an AGILE manner. With the development of service quality, business agility has long been a prerequisite for success among such a group of companies or individual companies within the group.

Companies that want to achieve business agility need to have agile systems, and among them, a method for approving different types of documents and processes is vital. Companies can achieve speed more successfully, internal, and external service quality, and adequate employee performance.

All documents in the company can be divided into types of documents, and the most common types are:

  • Purchase order
  • Invoice
  • Proforma invoice
  • Despatch advice
  • Sales report
  • Inventory report
  • Product-Price-Sales catalogue
  • Expenses report
  • Different project documents

Although many believe that e-mails, telephones, tools such as Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, or other instant messaging or video conferencing tools are sufficient for efficient communication and productivity in tasks accompanying the above types of documents, the reality is different.

Without an adequate system for approving different documents, a company sinks into information silos, process gaps, poor service, slowness, and errors in work. In general, a company's performance declines with exposure to security risks.

The complexity of document workflows in an organization when the action of employees is required is reflected in the following variables:

  • operations are divided into several departments (or several companies)
  • departments often rely on certain types of documents in their work
  • different kinds of documents need various operations such as approvals or other processes
  • operations on documents must be performed in a standardized and timely manner
  • several internal and external executors participate in operations on one document
  • different stakeholders should be provided with easy access and review of the status of the document
  • records and comments on documents and versioning of documents should follow their movement in the system
  • documents should be automatically classified and systematized
  • segmented by a particular data property in the document itself, i.e., metadata
  • certain documents may be available only to specific employees
  • employees can perform only certain actions on documents, i.e., have greater or lesser rights to read or change the data or status of documents
  • all documents should be protected from intentional or accidental risk to the security of documents
  • documents should be available for viewing with various devices from business and remote locations
  • document files should be able to be observed as physically systematized, logically systematized, metadata systematized, by the time of change or operation on the document
  • automated notifications about changes or entry of new documents should be maintained, to name just a few complexities.

The above operations become more complicated with the rising number of different types of documents, the number of departments in the company, the number of companies, as well as with the number of employees or executors involved in the processes, working together online, and conducting their work with a minimum of training. Well, it appears to be a very demanding aim to achieve.

OpenKM is a platform on which all the complexities mentioned above can be effectively solved. It offers enough flexibility for numerous customizations in the application code itself. Also, OpenKM is very suitable for developing external applications that will rely on the OpenKM database and efficiently expand functionality. The security of the system from unauthorized access to documents in OpenKM is at the highest industry standards. Protection is also provided against always possible internal threats to the security and integrity of information. OpenKM keeps efficient audit trails to track which user accessed which file and when.

OpenKM has a highly robust search function powered by OCR that allows you to search files and folders and the content in them, even captions on photos. In a few clicks, employees can get a list of documents that meet the search criteria, whereby some property can be more relevant than the full document at the same time. Searching for document text by default keyword is a handy feature.

We believe that when scanning many documents and importing them into OpenKM, the documents must be automatically given a title according to a specific formula, based on the value of the data contained in the document or its status. Automatic naming, automatic filtering of documents by some property, and segmentation, i.e., automatic grouping and performing automated operations on groups of documents, all in a customizable mode of a custom solution, are the basis for easy usability of the solution and adequate ROI.

Hardware professor M. Porter in the late 1970s explained in a pictorial way how companies compete with the quality of their value chains on the road to competitive advantage. Later, Svoika and Raiport, and many others similarly explained the reality of business. Companies essentially compete with value networks, i.e., with several networked companies of partners, subcontractors, and customers. Conceptually, today's industry is that. The competitiveness of such a business depends on the successfully implemented document repository and a system for approving different types of documents in collaborative work.

Employees and teams working remotely understand the importance of having all the necessary information available and effective communication and collaboration. Business participants working in OpenKM solution for approving different types of documents do not feel the difference whether they are sitting with colleagues in an office or a remote location. A well-designed and arranged work system, business processes, and accompanying tools solve several gaps encountered by companies that operate more complexly as a group of departments or companies, primarily if they also practice working from home.

Technical limitations are becoming less and less a limiting factor for successful work since we have such grown technology and tools today. Still, creativity and consistency with plans are becoming an increasing factor and condition for success. We encourage you to consider OpenKM as a mature option in these efforts.

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