The four pillars of Managed Document Solutions

| 25 July 2014

This article was written by Sean Bacher and originally appeared on ITWeb.

Companies of all sizes all over the world need to rethink many of their business processes if they want to stay competitive and compliant in today’s digital world.

The best place to get started is internally, and that is by digitising current document processes.

document-managementAdvancing to a managed document solution – MDS – will not only improve a company’s performance when dealing with its customers, but will also save endless man-hours and money.

The problem, though, is that many don’t understand what MDS is, and don’t want to mess with current, albeit cumbersome, processes.

A prime example of where MDS is superior over a paper-based system, is when a number of employees in different departments are collaborating on the same document. Firstly, there will be numerous documents floating around the office, each one in a different stage of the approval process, meaning one employee could be working on an out-of-date document. This leaves employees running back and forth, doing the same things over and over again, wasting endless man-hours.

Secondly, there is the issue of auditing. Who made what change, and did they have the authority to do so? This is a huge factor, as a concise and accountable audit trail is advantageous to the business to maintain integrity and quality of information being presented to your clients. Compliancy plays a massive role in this auditing process and potential, as this too will have a huge impact to time saving and cost savings.

What is MDS?

Nashua’s MDS is not an out-of-the-box solution, nor is it a set of devices, solutions, and applications that can be bought by a customer. Instead, the process revolves around the four pillars of input, management, output, and storage.

In each of these pillars, teams analyse a company’s current document processes, and then look for ways to make them more efficient, ultimately saving the customer time and money.

The first pillar deals with structured and unstructured data (input). This is where Nashua will monitor where a company gets its data from. This could be from e-mail, telephone calls, faxes, statements, invoices, and other physical documents. It will then recommend a data capturing solution, where all data is logged, easily accessed, and ready to be actioned.

This leads onto the second pillar, which deals with business process management (workflow). Nashua will find ways to help get the correct documents to the correct employee, and thereby also improve performance, accountability, and service.

The third pillar is output. This is possibly one of the most important processes; what happens to this information or document as is passes through its life cycle.

  1. Does this document require retention scheduling, i.e. records management?
  2. As a business, how do we handle the Protection of Personal Information Bill?
  3. Do we comply if our business is audited?
  4. What are the costs to our business if we don’t?

Certain rules will be applied to a document, determining whether it should be stored, filed or printed.

The final pillar is storage. In this process, relative storage devices and policies will be advised on, and more importantly, with regards to maintaining records for defined periods of time according to the South African law, and the seventeen Acts that impact on business (refer to Nashua Document Retention Guide for more information).

Clients have a choice between private/public or hybrid cloud service offerings.

These four processes are just the beginning of a Nashua MDS. Companies shouldn’t be asking themselves if they should digitise their document process, but rather when and how quickly can Nashua help.