Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Going Paperless at Work. - 6. Context Sensitive Access

Context-Sensitive Access

(#6 of a series.)

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In the last installment in this blog series we reviewed the increasing focus on business document security and how the control and security of digital documents is vastly superior to that of paper documents.  Today we'll discuss another important advantage of digital documents:  the ability to provide instant access to relevant business documents from within existing enterprise software applications.

When choosing a digital document management or workflow automation solution be sure to choose one that offers simple integration with existing enterprise software applications.  Traditionally, business management software interfaces provide access to structured information in databases, but 65% of business knowledge is unstructured and stored in business document.  

Being able to view transaction data on your display while talking with a customer on the phone is great, but if the customer requires more information from a related document, having to retrieve it from a file cabinet and get back to the customer is time consuming and inefficient.  Then, if you have to copy the document or scan it to email to send a copy to the customer and finally return it to its proper file folder, you've wasted even more time.  To provide responsive customer service you need instant access to the document.

Choose a solution that offers connectors that allow a function key to be pressed in order to retrieve a related document from a reference field at the cursor location on the screen.  The document (or documents) will pop up in a window enabling the knowledge worker to provide instant information while still on the call with the customer.  Also, if authorized, the operator can send a copy of the digital document to the customer with the click of the mouse, no paper handling involved.  The point here is that with the proper digital document management and access tools you can empower your knowledge workers to more responsively serve your customers, vendors, trading partners, and employees to gain access through the screens they are already using. 

Take Accounts Receivable, for example:   Say you're an accounts receivable clerk, and you're calling a list of overdue accounts listed on the display.  When you finally reach someone on the phone, they report that they never received the invoice.  You press a function key to display the invoice in a PDF format on your display and click to send a copy to the customer.  They receive it, confirm it and approve it for payment all while you're still on the phone.  Better still create a trigger to automatically forward a copy of past due invoices to your customers on a certain number of days past due.

Choosing digital document management solutions with context sensitive document access connectors extends the power of your existing enterprise solutions and raises the level of your overall customer service performance.  Don't overlook this critical and powerful option when going paperless at work.

Until next time,

John Queen