Less is MORE

I have a challenge for the readers of this blog.  Are you ready?   Take deep breath.   I want to challenge you to, DO MORE WITH LESS.   I think we are often taught to want more, that we “need more”.   I am challenging you to someone that can do MORE with Less.  I am sure you are wondering how this relates to content management, the topic I was asked to write about.   Well I think I can bring you to that reality, so continue reading.   Today we face an economic reality that is forcing us to do more with less.   It makes you think long and hard about what is important and what is needed.  This concept can be taken all the way to the documents that we deal with for our business processes.  Often we create business process around what we have “always” done.   I think it is time to stop and relook at your business.   How can capturing data as it is created and making it electronic increase productivity as well as reduce costs overall?   Many studies share the ROI of this fact.   Do more with Less.  Stop making more paper, and make Less.  Stop doing more work and do less.   If this is something you are ready to talk about, I know that our team of consultants are the right people to help you conquer that task.  It is a daunting one, but it must be done and you want the right people to lead you through the challenge.   We have done this for many years and have proven to be true professionals and experts at the task.

Please take a minute to read a Case Study done for the City of Kennewick .

“We’ve comfortably taken the leap to a paperless environment. Departments are much more self-sufficient in finding content. I no longer spend countless hours making copies & distributing them.”

– Valerie Loffler, City Clerk, City of Kennewick

Geetha French
Inside Sales
ImageSource Inc.  

The Power of Partnerships

Working with other companies and their staff to deliver a product and service to a customer can be an enlightening experience.  I have recently been working with 4 of the top leading scanner manufacturer partners to assist a healthcare customer with their distributed capture initiative-with the evaluation and the purchase of 160 desktop scanners for capturing patient intake information.

The customer evaluated the 4 manufacturers’ desktop scanners. A number of factors influenced the healthcare customer on their decision to work with ImageSource and to purchase the following scanner evaluated:

  • The ease of use of the scanner equipment and software
  • Availability of the manufacturer’s sales person and sales engineer to be on-site to install the scanner, the numerous conference calls to answer questions that unfolded due to the testing of the scanner and every question was treated with utmost importance.
  • The attention to detail by both ImageSource and manufacturer to modify the demonstration of  the scanner and that the scanner software solved a number of their various documentation challenges (for example – the patient intake documentation varies is size, thickness and also includes plastic cards)
  • The high level of thorough communication between ImageSource and manufacturer (In the customer’s eyes it seemed they were working with one company, not two!)

The greatest learning experience and also the most important factor that made this a stress-free process was the level of trust that was initiated, grown and experienced by all parties involved;

  • From the customer perspective: Working with two teams from different companies- it did not matter who they called (whether it be ImageSource or the manufacturer), they received the same high level of service from both companies. Both companies kept each other informed of the conversations etc. they had with the healthcare customer, therefore alleviating any miscommunications or misunderstandings.
  • From the Reseller vendor (ImageSource) perspective: The high level of communication and interaction with the manufacturer’s sales team created a streamlined cohesive focus to ensure the customer received what they REALLY required from a scanner.
  • From the Manufacturer perspective: Being able to rely on a vendor partner that has the knowledge, expertise in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and initiative to go the extra step – to focus on how to solve the customer’s challenges, not just sell a scanner. It gave us the manufacturer room to really excel in presenting how the scanner and software was the solution to the customer’s challenges.

It is refreshing to experience this unique partnership among the customer, vendor and manufacturer. And I know from all involved, that it set the stage for a high level of expectation in the future opportunities to do business together. This experience reminds me of this quote I saw recently:

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Selling is an Act of Respect!

“First I believe that selling anything to anybody, if it’s done with integrity, is actually an act of respect. It acknowledges that the person you’re trying to win over is freethinking and autonomous”

– Bruce Philp, The Orange Code

When I read this statement by Bruce Philp, I smiled. For over 16 years I have been selling as a profession – this statement above sums up nicely how integrity and respect is possible in a sale. The key component from the selling standpoint is you MUST have respect for your customer (or potential customer) and be willing to see them as “freethinking”. Especially when you are questioned and challenged. By having an uncompromising focus on the customer through the whole process – listening and understanding their perspective is imperative in a Enterprise Content Management Project.

Every day we are challenged as professionals to listen and understand someone else’s perspective, as well as add our opinion and expertise to the mix. Seeing customers and colleagues as partners (with their own level of expertise) is a key component to success, especially if it is practiced from both perspectives.

Looking at how we as a company communicate to our customers and talk about our customer partnerships does display many of these elements;

  •  “ImageSource works relentlessly with our Customer Partners to build a relationship of ongoing success and trust. The collaborative approach…”
  • “What has followed has been an extremely successful business venture that has its spirit deeply rooted in a love for entrepreneurship and innovation”
  • “We take pride in our ability to overcome business challenges with integrity and sincerity. Our success is testament…”
  • “… This standard results in strong and collaborative customer relationships that are ongoing.”

Do we walk our talk? Some days better than others.

Do our customers walk their talk? Some days better than others…

In the long run the best measurement of success of a sale is long-term customer partnerships and successful ECM projects…from both perspectives!

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource Inc.
Phone 360.943.9273
iPhone 360.481.5946
www.imagesourceinc.com

 

Centralized, de-centralized or outsourced capture – some surprising results!

In-Process Capture… Centralized Production Scanning… De-Centralized Distributed Capture… the discussions on which strategy is best for a company when addressing their document capture needs can have interesting outcomes.

There seems to be no “right” answer, the technology choices for capture are continuously growing and changing and a company’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) needs can be very specific.   A recent research study by AIIM produced some surprising results when they reviewed the issues and potential benefits of different approaches to document capture.  Document capture encompasses document scanning, image correction, recognition of text, barcodes, form fields etc. and output to an appropriate format for subsequent processing or archive storage. One surprising and interesting outcome that AIIM states in their introduction of the report;

“The report concludes that there is a move back to centralized scanning operations, along with a greater investment in capture and recognition software to automate date capture and indexing processes.”

At ImageSource, we have also seen an increase in companies utilizing the newer model of “distributed scanning” – at the local level to office staff processing the capture documents. The value of capturing something at point of origination and placed into an imaging business process earlier does save time and money.

Allow your business needs to dictate they type of capture solution that makes business sense for your organization.  This may include multiple avenues. Many of our customers utilize both centralized and de-centralized capture – depending on their specific business needs.   We have also seen companies move towards an increase in distributed/ de-centralized capture for their 3 – 5 year strategic ECM plan.

So how do you work out what is the best approach for your needs? And it can vary from department to department within the company!  This is one of the greatest challenges the C-Level and IT staff come across when developing an ECM strategic technology plan. As an independent ECM  Integrator, ImageSource is uniquely qualified to help discover the ideal mix of Capture technology to conquer business challenges.  We help chart a strategic course, whether the business requires in-process capture, production scanning, distributed capture or mailroom solutions.

One other surprising result of the AIIM study was the statistics that shows a very strong return on investment (ROI) and compelling case for scanning and capture investments.  Capture is an enabling process that is a combination of improved user access to information and reduced costs.  The study showed that ROI for capture was reported within 12 months to 18 months! That is a significant and impressive return!  Yet the study shows that justifying ROI is still a huge impediment to adoption -one that many of our customers face when presenting the case to change “how things have been done”.

The greatest benefit of research is that it stimulates all the interested parties into discussion and planning mode.  So what ECM strategies will your company implement – centralized, de-centralized/distributed capture or outsource it!

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource Inc.
Phone 360.943.9273
iPhone 360.481.5946
www.imagesourceinc.com

Excuses, Excuses…

There are many different excuses for not considering a document management system.  Some of the more common ones all revolve around change:

  • “change is expensive”
  • “we have to prioritize our expenditures and that document management isn’t near the top”
  • “we don’t want to change the way we do things – if we need to find something, we can.”

As we all know, humans are generally afraid of change.  We also know that the only thing constant is change itself – so the successful adapt and change.  Leaders in any industry have all adopted some sort of document management system.  It seems like no matter how simple or complicated your business process is, all have greatly benefited from a document management system.  The hard truth becomes that in order for one to plan for the future, one needs to be proactive.  When document management has been integrated with content management and workflow, the result is Enterprise Content Management.  In a nutshell, this encompasses all of the issues related to use and preservation of data within an organization in all of it’s forms.  The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) International defines Enterprise Content Management (ECM) as;

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization’s unstructured information, wherever that information exists.”

While one uses the above ‘reasons’ in resisting implementing a document management system or putting it on hold, one should also consider the numerous benefits of such a system.  It is essential to identify the major points of pain in a company.  Benefits of ECM include:  cost reduction, security, disaster recovery, compliance and risk mitigation, and efficiency improvement.  When choosing the best specific system for one’s company, the following criteria should be considered:  ease of use; ease of integration with other enterprise systems; and ease of implementation.

Once the numerous aforementioned benefits are considered and analyzed, the decision should be clear to move towards the implementation of an ECM system and in doing so, filing the excuses away forever.

Ian Hundtofte

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

Relationships – The Ultimate “Value-Add”

One objection we hear almost every day as a Sales representative from a Value Added Reseller (VAR) is “I can get that scanner cheaper online!”  While that may be true in some cases, it may not always be in the customer’s best interest.  That’s when we discuss the benefits of purchasing from a VAR.

VAR’s focus on front end capture solutions as well as the hardware. When choosing what type of scanner to purchase, it is very important to take into consideration what front end capture and back end software you will be utilizing.  You want to ensure the scanner will compliment everything you currently have in place for your document imaging solution.

When purchasing from a VAR (such as ImageSource ), you also receive depth and breadth of experience and knowledge,   not just the product itself, but the many applications and usage.  We strive to provide assistance in picking on the best piece of equipment for you and provide the buyer the opportunity to consider and compare all the options, taking into consideration future imaging growth and software applications.  And, if we don’t know the answer to the customer’s question, we know where to get it.

If you choose to buy the scanner from an on-line retailer with little or no human contact or experience, you are gambling that there will be no challenges.  Often during installation and troubleshooting – many on-line resellers may not take the time to assist you with resources and information that is needed for a successful installation. More than likely, a value-added reseller has come across this challenge before with other customers and can easily offer a solution or point you in the right direction. This is their expertise!

It is true you get what you pay for – online resellers do have a customer service telephone number but the question to ask is, “Do they have the real life experience of working with that scanner?”  ImageSource (a VAR and an Integrator) offers more than just good pricing at point of sale of the scanner…we offer information,  education and experience

Experience comes with a price, albeit small.

“The difficult we do immediately….the impossible just takes a little longer.”

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com