Have you ever been looking for a document or an email that proves your customer actually accepted a two-week delay? Or for the most recent version of a contract? You are not alone. See why by viewing the video or scroll down to read more.
In all businesses you create documents all the time and all over the place.
You create a proposal for a customer in Word, based on a calculation made in Excel, and send both by email. You get the OK in your inbox, create the contract using Word and send it as PDF by email. Later you receive the signed contract by fax.
In no time at all you have created a handful of important business documents you need for future reference.
At the same time your colleagues in Sales, Finance, Logistics, and HR are doing the same thing.
Securing a single up-to-date copy of all business documents produced by anyone in the company is a challenge and a major headache for most organizations.
Lots of people, tools, formats, and multiple locations only make it more complicated.
Printing a copy of all important documents and manually filing them in the customer ring binder or filing cabinets, is quite common. Doing so is both cumbersome and expensive. Especially when paper documents are circulated in the organization and some colleagues even make their own personal copies.
You're wasting valuable time and spending money on paper, toner, file cabinets, ring binders, and shelving systems. Add to this the fact that paper archives take up expensive floor space.
Business documents stashed away in ring binders, filing cabinets, and on personal computers are virtually unavailable to your colleagues. Especially those working on the next floor, down the road, on the go, from home, or across the globe. Even unavailable to yourself when you are on the road, or working from home.
Your colleagues in Finance, Sales, Logistics, HR, and R&D all share the same pain.
Geography is one challenge. Time is another. Try to get hold of an employment contract once the HR staff has left the office. Too bad if you are late preparing for a termination.
File shares are great but they have their limitations. Most organizations find it challenging to make sure that every single document, and every single revision, goes on the file share. And in the right place.
Even if you manage to do so you're still not in the clear. Locating the right document and making sure that it is the most up-to-date version is all up to you. The file share itself is of little help. Not very easy after all. Nor reliable. Especially when you need to manage vital documents for five, ten, or even more years.
No matter how important your emails are to you they are invisible if they stay in your personal mailbox. Invisible to your colleagues who are also working with customers. Challenging if you are away for lunch, on vacation, or have left the company.
Let's just hope that no one will ever need the email that proves that your customer actually accepted the two-weeks delay. And the slightly different color. That email might make the difference when trying to avoid a €10,000 credit note.
When all documents concerning a customer are scattered over multiple IT systems, physical archives, ring binders, file servers, personal computers, and mailboxes you'll have a hard time getting the full picture.
The same challenge applies to suppliers, employees, products, orders, projects, you name it.
Facing the customer or supplier without the full picture, leads to less qualified decisions. Sometimes that's just not good enough.
You'll want your vital contracts secured for obvious business reasons. But also sensitive personnel records for both ethical and legal reasons.
Filing cabinets and ring binders simply aren't the best security measures to protect business sensitive information from prying eyes. Neither is long term storage in mailboxes or on laptops. You will never know who actually did access - or even remove - any given document.
Add to this the risk of disaster. Imagine what a fire or a flooding would do to your vital business documents. You have nowhere near the same level of backup, as you hopefully do for your business systems.
Most business documents, at least the complex ones, are created by teams. You draft a contract, a colleague adds to it, another one reviews it before you draw up the final version. The one your manager makes a last-minute change to, before it's mailed to the customer.
Of course you can get by using emails and file shares. It just complicates things if it is relevant that the records show, that the final version was not made by you.
Possible. But not easy.
As long as you're relying on cumbersome paper documents, rouge file shares, and individual mailboxes you're crippling scalability and agility in your organization. Optimizing procedures, dividing or merging business units, distributing workloads, working from different offices or from home is hard when valuable information cannot be accessed and shared. It's hard to tell if the future brings growth or decline, centralization or decentralization, mergers or acquisitions. But one thing is for sure - it will bring change.
Streamline how you manage your business documents with our standard-setting software solution, Next®.
That's how many customer emails Midt Factoring could have laying around in personal mailboxes. Instead they are in the Next® archive, and available to everyone working with customers. Money in the bank today. Much more ready for tomorrow.