You’ve probably been through this at least once: a company spends a lot of energy telling you about all the benefits its services offer, and you convert to a customer.
Then you come across a technical error, or you have a question, or you need access to some important info.
But when you contact them, they make you wait, they run through a script, they make you wait some more, they refer you to a bunch of different places and they come back with just enough of an answer to calm you down until the problem inevitably rears its head again.
Most companies excel at putting Band-Aids on the problem, covering it up. The companies that actually do any healing have one thing in common: their back offices are running smoothly. You can never be secure internally, let alone in your relationships with your customers, if your back office workflow isn’t consistent and systematic. One way to ensure that kind of workflow is by integrating a SaaS Document Management System across various departments.
I. Human Resources
- To keep up with the unending/renewing stream of workforce contracts and labor legislation, HR managers use DMS to digitally capture documents and associate them with the right employees through document imaging and archiving.
- DMS automatically enforces the organization’s security protocol when users log in to retrieve or edit records.
- For the sake of compliance, all information linked to an employee (including emails and their attachments) is set aside for access during audits or legal proceedings.
II. Accounts Payable
- The workflow software module in any DMS helps to maintain a fluid cycle from the receipt of an invoice, through the approval and payment process, to archiving.
- Purchase Orders, Goods Received/Dispatch Notes, Proofs of Delivery, and other invoice documents can easily get lost when generated at multiple locations. DMS helps to capture and bring them together to one place for universal access.
- Information streams that are always regenerating, such as emails, computer-generated reports, and scanned paper documents are archived and easily indexed, saving both physical and digital space.
III. Invoice Processing
- DMS automatically captures all transaction documentation, regardless of where they’re generated, and makes them available immediately to all necessary parties involved, regardless of where they’re located.
- Approving invoices usually takes longer than it should, which leads to the kind of strained customer relationship you read about in the first paragraph. DMS keeps invoices visible and under control throughout the approval process, improving the efficiency of your supply chain.
- All necessary staff members are kept in the loop as to the status of a payment or whether an invoice is late with notifications and reports for every step into the process. Clear communication minimizes the potential for payment claims and discrepancies.
It’s easy to let “human resources”, “accounts payable”, and “invoice processing” become synonymous with tedious, unnecessarily difficult grunt work that prevents us from doing the work that matters to us. But when we send our staff to go about the work with that mentality, it devalues the structural necessity of the back office.
The back office is essentially what keeps your company from caving in on itself. That’s pretty much a platitude, so it’s surprising how so many organizations still manage to completely undermine their back office operations, instead pouring most of their resources into what makes them look good to their customers and prospects (sometimes just the latter).
Whatever system you choose to make your back office more efficient (DMS or otherwise), always keep your customer relationships in mind. If everything behind the scenes is working as it should, everything at the forefront will be even better for your customers.