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Create Your Own Cash Cow

1 May, 2010 By: Laurel B. Sanders imageSource

Create Your Own Cash Cow

Electronic document management is the stepping stone to
significant savings for any dealership.  When it’s deployed intelligently and
integrated thoroughly with your information systems and business processes, EDM
can be a real “cash cow” for your business – streamlining expenses, accelerating
revenue collection, and increasing your profits.  As big and involved as
integration and automation may sound, it all starts with digital document
capture that lets you make better use of your resources – physical space,
technologies, documents, and people. 

Information drives business decisions, yet 2009 statistics
show 64-80% of workers say it’s easier to find information on the Internet than
within their own internal systems.1 Storage, staffing, and searching for
information are expensive. With the ongoing and rapid growth of digital
documents and a 22% annual increase in paper, EDM is an indispensable investment
that lets you manage information more cost-effectively.

Why you should care...

On its own, EDM does not create efficiency, yet without it
you can’t achieve it. Capturing, indexing, and storing documents in a single,
secure, central repository that’s integrated with your core business systems and
accessible via a web browser enables instant and appropriate file retrieval,
accelerates processing, eliminates redundancy, and streamlines errors. It ends
time-consuming searches through multiple systems, ideally providing a unified
and seamless platform to find and work with files using any browser-enabled
device, 24/7.

Implementing EDM in your business and experiencing the
benefits makes you a valuable resource for your customers as they, too, move
toward fully digital office environments. It also prepares you to capitalize on
the tremendous value of process automation, which is where the return on your
EDM investment (and theirs) will soar. Read on to understand the potential cost
savings for dealerships, both large and small. Discover tips to help you expand
your vision and capitalize on opportunities for your business and your

1. Eliminate document retrieval costs

Employees are a tremendous but costly asset; every manager
wants to employ as few as possible without compromising service.  When you
consider studies show it costs an average of $20 to file a document, $120 to
find a misfiled document, and 7.5 percent of all documents get lost, the value
of EDM becomes clear. Capturing documents electronically on receipt (contracts,
invoices, purchase orders, delivery slips, etc.), then indexing them so
authorized staff can find them quickly, saves time – typically 30% or more over
manual document handling. Thorough indexing ensures no files are lost or
misfiled. Instead of searching through paper and multiple software applications,
employees glean everything they need in one place. Searches consistently are
fruitful; matching documentation, answering inquiries, and making decisions
suddenly takes seconds, not minutes or hours. 

2. Reduce invoice processing costs

When invoices lack product details, supplier addresses are
entered incorrectly, or signed delivery slips are misplaced, billing is delayed
and cash flow is adversely affected. Chasing or correcting missing or faulty
data raises invoice processing costs. Whether information is captured via
scanners, e-forms, or bar codes, EDM helps ensure it’s correct and complete,
using tool tips, drop-down menus, and more to enforce consistency.

After documents are captured, verified, and indexed, their
contents are available simultaneously to everyone who is authorized to access
them, in-house and offsite. No file is ever missing or ‘temporarily unavailable’
when it’s needed. EDM lets you put the pedal to the metal so you can finish
tasks quickly.

3. Streamline customer service costs

Although personalized service is a valuable differentiator
in any dealership, many routine internal tasks and customer service inquiries
can be handled quickly and conveniently by enabling self-service access.
Integrating EDM with your website or customer portal lets you offer convenient
24/7 self service and make appropriate documentation available securely to
answer routine questions. Rather than wasting employee time (or yours) searching
for files to answer simple questions, answers are available via a few mouse
clicks. Immediate access to complete customer and other information lets your
staff use their talents for sales, services, and billing; things that increase

4. Faster revenue collection

Invoice processing is time consuming and expensive. EDM
ensures employees and customers enter information completely and consistently,
minimizing data entry errors and omissions. Clean data capture eliminates the
need for time-consuming follow-up calls, expediting the billing process.
Thoroughly integrating EDM with your inventory, billing, and payables software
also facilitates identifying and correcting discrepancies quickly. 

5. Lower storage-related costs

It bears repeating that even if you sell paper-related
supplies, storing your own documents on paper wastes time and money. From
physical space requirements through heating, cooling, humidification, sprinkler
systems, and the cost of paper and related supplies, it’s expensive. In
contrast, virtual storage lets you repurpose space for inventory, showrooms, and
employees while making documents more secure and appropriately accessible. EDM
typically streamlines paper-related savings from 50-90%, making cash available
for other needs. In the event of a pandemic, flood, or other catastrophe, it
offers you business continuity through centralized access to all of your
business information, which is impossible in a paper-based or mixed media office

6. Lower staffing costs

Trimming the human cost of doing business positions your
company for cost-effective growth. Since the manual chores of pulling and filing
paperwork, matching documentation for billing, and answering routine customer
inquiries are accomplished via desktop queries that take seconds or minutes
instead of hours, existing staff can handle more business than before. As
employees retire, they may not require replacement. You can grow your sales
volume using existing staff, which now have more time to spend on sales-related
tasks and the kind of personalized service that engenders long-term loyalty.

7. Quicker, less costly downtime in the event of a

In the event of a health, weather-related, or
structural/operational disaster, EDM is a life saver. Browser access to your
files keeps you on top of critical business needs and ensures your files remain
intact, even if your facilities are not (or if they become inaccessible). A
disaster recovery plan – which is a must to fully protect your information –
ensures that the information that runs your business is always accessible.

Laurel Sanders is the director of public relations and
communications for Optical Image Technology.  For information about the
company’s award-winning suite of DocFinity software, visit www.docfinity.com

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