#6 A New Client, Where To Begin
Now that you’ve sold a client on going with ECM, the question becomes, “Where do we begin?” As with any other type of sale your focus needs to be upon the problem and its solution and not upon the tool. In ECM that means you focus upon how your client’s business is structured or needs to be structured. PS View is simply the tool to make that happen.
It is ALWAYS best to limit your focus to one area of your client’s business. Think of it like learning a language. You learn it one piece at a time. We suggest you choose the area of greatest concern to your client. Solve their biggest paper dilemma first and the rest will go quickly and smoothly.
Now, here is what will happen in all but the most efficiently run organizations. You will ask them to diagram the flow of their documentation for the area of concern, making all the changes they would like to implement to make it go smoother. What your client and you will quickly discover is how much they do because of obscure reasons. A system was once built and implemented. Over the years that system was altered over and over for any number of reasons, many of which no longer apply. Documents are duplicated, unnecessary forms are completed and useless redundancies are implemented just because, “That’s how it’s always been done.” Now is the opportunity to fix it all.
Here is where the work of building an efficient ECM is really done. Your client needs to take the time to think through their procedures and make the necessary changes to make them more efficient. The actual task of building the domains, classes and indexes within PS View will take minutes if the work of diagraming systems has been thought through and documented. Here is where your application’s specialist acts as the business consultant, asking probing questions and facilitating your client’s thought process. Once the most important area of customer concern has been tackled, your customer has a working knowledge of the process and can move swiftly through the rest of their company.
There are two more critical issues to be addressed. It is critically important that your client appoint a Project Manager. It is this person’s task to keep things one track and moving forward. Every company is doing more with less and it is easy for them to just continue to do things the way they have always been done. Once the original excitement of transitioning to an ECM is over it becomes very difficult to motive a company to move forward. Many companies purchase an ECM and never implement it. It becomes much like that exercise bicycle that sits in the corner of the bedroom with clothing draped over it. This can be avoided if the company can quickly accomplish implementation in one key area. This accomplishment along with their new understanding of ECM, is enough to keep the momentum flowing.
The second critical issue is to think forward, not backward. It is best for a company to set a start date when they transition to ECM and keep their paper old documents on file. Let’s say their old documents have a retention time of three years. If we begin in the beginning of 2014 by 2017 that department will be 100% electronic. Once an ECM is fully implemented a company can always go back in key areas and scan old documents if the benefit is worth the time and expense. A reason a copier company would want to scan in old documents, for example, would be to go back and scan all current leases. This will allow the sale’s staff to search all upcoming leases quickly without ever removing them from their file drawer risking misfiled or lost documentation.