Guest Column | July 21, 2010

Guest Column: An ECM Solution Is A Wise Decision: Seven Ways To Justify The Investment

Brian Lincoln Xerox Docushare

By Brian Lincoln, senior product line manager, Xerox DocuShare

Companies are still hesitant to make IT purchases during today's unpredictable economy. Budgets are tighter than ever, forcing IT leaders to justify every penny they spend. It makes calculating expected return on investment (ROI) before making a purchase very important. When it comes to enterprise content management (ECM), this justification can seem like an elusive goal. However, measuring the ROI of ECM isn't as difficult as some may think. Here are seven critical areas to measure and track:

Searching for information is very time consuming. If an employee can quickly find information using an ECM system, the freed-up time can be refocused on other business priorities. Leveraging multifunction printers (MFPs) with an ECM system turns the devices into a cornerstone of business processes. MFPs can automate office activities, such as invoice handling, by scanning documents directly into an ECM workflow that routes the document to specific departments or colleagues. The process saves on employee time and postage fees.

Storing documents in digital form can also eliminate filing cabinets, reducing office spacerequirements and storage fees. For example, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission maintained 50 four-drawer lateral cabinets to store paper documents, but after installing an ECM system, now only keeps one. Additionally, four full-time staffers who built paper files were redeployed to new positions.

Time spent, transportation costs and gas emissions affiliated with shipping hard-copy documents from multiple locations or to offsite storage can be greatly reduced with ECM. Offsite document storage facilities also require additional energy to light, heat, cool and maintain.

When Niagara Catholic School Board District in Ontario adopted ECM, it reduced the need for daily mail deliveries between school locations, eliminating the need for one courier driver. Among other benefits in going paperless, the district saves $38,000 annually by publishing a newsletter online rather than in hard copy.