How the right ECM system empowers key business areas

Most business leaders envision an end-to-end process for their content and document management that centralises assets in a single place. 

However, as companies evolve, they soon find that content stored in this way quickly becomes fragmented, unused, and outdated. This is because their systems fail to provide accessibility and alignment for all levels of the organisation, according to M-Files.

M-Files A/NZ alliance and partner director Nicholas Delaveris said, “Organisations need solutions that streamline approval processes and team management, providing availability to relevant parties without loss of control. The right enterprise content management (ECM) system supports collaboration and co-authoring aspects of content management, including visibility for all parties associated with key assets.”

ECM can provide significant benefits in five key business areas:

1. Executives can make better company-wide decisions. 

CEOs, managing directors and other executives are leaders and visionaries who set strategic goals for their companies. They count on operations to function properly but they may be less involved in content development than other team members. However, in today’s fast-paced, proactive business environment, company leaders need the same ease of access to mission-critical documents without having to spend time browsing shared drives, asking employees for missing documents, or risking leveraging outdated materials. 

ECMs that organise documents based on content and context rather than folders give executives easy access to the documents they need. When all teams and leaders gain an intuitive single point of access to critical information, business leaders don’t need to worry about sifting through outdated content. Leaders can stay abreast of the latest updates and focus on innovation and improvements.

2. IT can count on flexible deployment and universal adoption. 

The right ECM system supposedly offers flexible deployment options to meet infrastructure needs and an intuitive interface that ensures company-wide acceptance. IT teams should rest easy knowing content is secured, even while they support the collaborative processes that require access from all levels of the organisation, including remote access. An ECM system that facilitates workflow relieves IT teams of direct content management responsibilities and leaves update-related tasks in the capable hands of the people who use those assets most.

3. Quality and compliance teams can achieve better documentation. 

Compliance spans industries, some with more stringent requirements than others. The right ECM system will support all compliance requirements and workflows, letting these teams disseminate and enforce policy and procedures without disrupting business processes. In other circumstances, documents with multiple contributors can become a compliance nightmare. 

The right ECM will track versioning clearly and concisely, making corrective actions easy and consistent. The system ensures team members and executives access only the most recently-updated materials. This means quality assurance and compliance team members encounter fewer compliance issues, which frees up time to develop improved or preventative methodologies. 

4. Finance can streamline and simplify payment processes. 

Most finance teams are stuck juggling multiple accounting and payroll formats and delays that affect vendors and employees, not to mention increase the risk of audits. ECM systems can help them maintain appropriate records and their histories without incident and provide easy access to all related parties, regardless of their department or seniority level. They should also be able to streamline slow, traditional processes as well. 

That means rising above the tedious manual processes of invoicing and increase team mobility, without risking record-keeping. No matter the requirements, finance should have a consistently up-to-date copy of every file, facilitating even unexpected audits or records pulled by company leaders.

5. Operations can move the company forward with smart management. 

Operational requirements change constantly, and updating processes and workflows manually become an enormous drag on the teams responsible for the day-to-day functions of a company. 

For operations teams, successful ECM systems streamline project management and relationships with suppliers, empowering them when planning and collaborating. By securing one version of every document, even the most active operations teams can be confident their documentation is up to speed and ready for review by any party, whether internal or external.


PetChem down 17 sen after explosion and fire at RAPID project

KUALA LUMPUR (April 12): Petronas Chemicals Bhd (PetChem) declined 17 sen or 1.9% in early trade today after an explosion and fire broke occurred at the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Pengerang this morning.

At 10.36am, the counter was trading at RM8.79 with some 1.08 million shares traded. The stock was Bursa Malaysia’s second largest decliner.

Two local workers were reportedly injured in the explosion that occurred at 1.25am this morning, which appeared to have been caused by a leaking gas tank.

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) said in a statement today that its Emergency & Fire Response Team was deployed and the fire was contained within 30 minutes.

“We will provide additional information in due course as investigation is still being carried out,” it said.

AmInvestment Bank maintained its ‘buy’ recommendation on the stock at an unchanged fair value of RM10.40 per share as management has expected minimal contributions from the RAPID plant this year.

“Likewise, our 2019 financial year forecasts have not incorporated any increase in PetChem’s output given that the group has guided that average plant utilization could remain flattish above 90%,” it said in a report today.

However, if the RAPID investigations defer production next year, the research house expects a six-month delay to cause PetChem’s 2020 earnings to decline slightly by 3%.

“Given Petronas’ strict adherence to health, safety and environment requirements, we expect an extensive investigation into the causes of this incident, which could delay the commencement of petrochemical production,” AmInvestment Bank said.


Is Your Bank Ready to Navigate the Open Banking Crossroads?

What Is Open Banking?

Touted as the ‘new face of digital transformation’, Open Banking derives its name from ‘Open Innovation’, which was coined by Henry Chesbrough who defined it as-

Open innovation is the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively.

– Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm

Increasing customer expectations have mandated innovation and the delivery of better digital customer experience. However, as digital ecosystems evolve into innovative operating models, like Tencent (WeChat) and Alibaba in China, they begin to collide. And, in such a scenario, if they are unable to share information between themselves, it can result in critical loss of innovation.

This is where Open Banking and open APIs become crucial. Without interoperability and open banking, banks will not be able to access valuable innovations, which can directly benefit them and their customers. By allowing the sharing of their transaction data with third parties, a customer will gain a holistic view of their finances, thereby simplifying their management and control.

Why Should You Care?

Open banking can have a number of potential benefits for banks, ranging from new revenue streams and improved customer experience to a sustainable service model for traditionally underserved markets. Moreover, a lot of advancements until now have come from firms outside the financial services realm, making it more important for banks to adapt to sustainability.

The ball has already been set rolling with well-known players like Mint, and the number of financial institutions engaging with API integration is steadily growing. So far, 67 firms have been using Open Banking and, according to the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE)the technology was used 3 million times in July, up from 2 million usages in June. Some examples include alternative underwriters such as Lending Club in the United States, Lenddo in the Philippines, M-Shwari in Africa, which uses data from social media to predict the financial stability of a consumer, and payments disruptors like Stripe and Braintree.

How Prepared Is Your Bank?

Open banking is the next big revolution and it is not around the corner anymore. In an environment that changes this rapidly, it is important that your bank focuses on agile processes, which are not service specific. Adding on applications to your business processes and systems can, at best, lead to what Henry Ford described as “faster horses”. You need flexibility and contextualization in your enterprise architecture to support diverse customer interactions and adaptability.

Contextualization will optimize customers’ experiences and journeys. Whereas adaptability will offer the technological cornerstones that are required to compete in the post-open banking era.



The Role of Document and Data Capture in Digital Transformation

Today many companies are faced with increased real estate costs, digital information overload, regulatory change, new compliance demands, and increasing competition in markets across all sectors. That’s why organisational leaders seldom need convincing to drive efficiencies and optimise business processes: digital transformation initiatives promise strong yields and remain a high priority.

In my mind, digital transformation is simply about targeting specific areas within an organisation to ensure that routine business processes and standard procedures are followed, which in turn contributes to efficiencies.

The Document Management Perspective

From a document management perspective, it means automating procedures and extracting data for business use and application. Take the example of a law firm, which may receive case matter in paper and digital formats. With the help of document capture and scanning technology, it is possible to capture all the necessary data from the received documents – e.g. case matter number, fee earner, and upload them into the firm’s case management system for further processing. It also provides the ability to store that data in another business system e.g. finance and accounting solution.

When undertaken across department’s different locations these processes can deliver substantial efficiencies. Taking the example again of a law firm, which is likely to have multiple offices nationwide, they could have a requirement that all mail is scanned in the head/central office, with new matters emailed to fee earners across the multiple offices and departments by 11 am. This would also help enhance a firm’s customer retention rates and reputation for customer service by providing exceptional responsiveness to customers.

Where to Start: Get Rid of Paper

A digital transformation”>digital transformation initiative doesn’t always need to be enterprise-wide from the start and can be rolled out in stages. For many small and medium-sized businesses, physical storage is not only expensive, it can also be problematic to actually sort through paper documents to find the information that has been requested. This is, in fact, a good place to start a digital transformation”>digital transformation project/exercise. In the first instance scanning the files and extracting the important metadata can be put on a backed-up file share. Once digitised, the business can determine exactly what data currently needs to be transferred into the various business systems/processes like document, case and matter management, finance and accounting. The cost savings as a result of decreased physical storage (which can be substantial) can be used to re-invest in technology.

Fundamentally, digital transformation”>digital transformation should be ‘business as usual’. It should also be easy to implement, non-intrusive and cost-effective. Focus on the areas that are likely to deliver the most impact to the business and roll out in order of priority. The program is often more successful when undertaken gradually in bite-size chunks.