Digital Transformation

5 Enterprise Content Management Use Cases to Consider

Read these content management use cases to understand why an ECM is important for a modern business and why it's in demand.

Blog Post

6 minutes

Oct 20, 2021

We’ve put together five content management use cases for you to think about when considering whether to invest in an enterprise content management (ECM) solution.

Why Enterprise Content Management?

Why do organizations today need an ECM system for their operations?

Enterprise content management helps companies digitize, control, and automate workflows for structured and unstructured information like invoices, resumes, tax documents, emails, and more.

As you may imagine or already know, being able to manage this information effectively and efficiently through a solution that is centralized is important to a modern organization focused on improving its digital capabilities.

With the volume of data present in even small businesses today, the necessity to manage it properly grows and the need for workflows that are streamlined through solutions like ECMs becomes more apparent every year.

Related Post: Why Enterprise Content Management Is Essential for Your Business

Use Case #1: Avance (non-profit)

Avance is based in San Antonio and operates around 30 childhood education centers in San Antonio and other cities.

These education centers need to order a large amount of supplies (whether it’s formula, diapers, or furniture) and, as a result, there are a lot of orders that need to be kept track of.

Before implementing an ECM, the organization relied exclusively on paper-based processes, which by their own admission made the approval and acquisition process slow and inefficient.

These paper-based processes, mostly concerning paper purchase order forms, would have to be sent via interoffice mail or through FedEx—both incredibly time-consuming practices.

After digitizing these processes with a content management system, an automation script was used to tally and report on all outstanding purchases, allowing the organization to have an accurate, up-to-date picture of pending orders and remaining grant funds.

They also saved on a substantial amount of physical space after removing a multitude of newly redundant filing cabinets, benefitting their workplaces and the employees that use them.

Use Case #2: Advantage Credit (finance)

Advantage Credit offers credit reporting services to mortgage lenders, brokers, and banks.

Prior to digitization, like Avance, the company had been heavily reliant on paper-based processes.

Because of this, the organization had enormous difficulties with employee retention as it was not able to offer any flexibility to workers as regards remote work.

The result of this was a problematic level of employee turnover, which became worse after more than a decade in the industry, with many maturing workers desiring flexibility.

In an effort to address these workforce concerns, a digital transformation strategy was sought, and the introduction of an enterprise content management system was a central aspect of it.

Advantage needed a document management solution that was secure and capable of digitizing paper documents for retrieval, sharing, and collaboration.

After the implementation of the ECM system, the company was able to achieve all of these goals, and as a result was able to offer remote work opportunities to employees.

Advantage Credit was able to shift 90% of its workforce to remote work, reducing office rent costs by 65%, improving productivity by 50%, and most importantly improving employee retention by 100%.

Use Case #3: Ewart-Ohlson (manufacturing)

Ewart-Ohlson Machine Company works with computer numerical control (CNC) machines, producing parts for the aerospace, energy, steel, and automotive industries.

The company was founded in 1942 and had for many years been following AS9100 compliance regulations for their data and information.

Because all documents prior to digitization were manually procured, they had to stored and secured in a physical location—typically a filing cabinet on-site.

When staff needed to reference a document, for example for quality control purposes or a customer request, the search for documents was labor-intensive and slow.

With as many as 300 pages of documents needing to be filed each week, it’s easy to see why this had grown to become an issue that needed dealing with sooner rather than later.

After implementing a content management system, Ewart-Ohlson was not only now able to provide far more effective access to necessary documentation for staff, but for customers, too. In short, what was a 30-minute job now takes less than one.

In addition to this, the ECM was able to adhere to the necessary regulations, so information could be handled, accessed, and shared while remaining in compliance.

Use Case #4: Town of Oakfield (government)

Oakfield is a town in New York state and is governed by the office of the Town of Oakfield.

Before embarking on a digital transformation plan, the Town of Oakfield relied on storing all official documents in its offices manually.

Maintaining exclusively paper records meant the office had to continually add physical space to store them, and they were quoted a price of $300,000 to add a records retention room for this purpose.

Knowing that this was a situation that would only require more expense and expansion in future, the Town of Oakfield decided on a course of digitization as an alternative.

After adopting an enterprise content management solution, the town local government was able to store more than 40,000 of its existing documents in cloud storage.

Around 300 new documents are scanned into the system each month, and now thanks to its cloud storage system, the Town of Oakfield government office is able to securely file and access sensitive and non-sensitive data with ease.

Use Case #5: Watertech of America

Watertech of America provides water treatment programs in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and northern Illinois.

Watertech places a large emphasis on what it refers to as “practical environmentalism”, which looks to marry sustainability with efficiency for its customers.

Unfortunately, Watertech’s documentation systems were not sustainable, and before long their small office was housing around 40 filing cabinets full of paper documents.

This was causing a large degree of inefficiencies in the operational processes of the company, and so they sought a content management system to alleviate this pain point.

After Impact Networking performed a discovery audit and made the appropriate recommendations to get Watertech’s document management strategy in place, an ECM was implemented and the company’s documenting processes were digitized.

This allowed the organization to move away from using solely paper-based processes and instead shift to a more efficient and secure digital repository to capture and store data and information.

Without a doubt, I think implementation of DocuWare with Impact has been one of the best things in my 12 years at the company that we’ve done.

Jon Tiegs, Vice President, Watertech of America.

Bottom Line

There are several use cases that can inform a company’s decision to implement a strategy for enterprise content management adoption.

The primary and most obvious use is the reduction of paper-based, manual, time-consuming tasks that routinely cost businesses time and money.

Not only can ECM improve efficiencies in operational processes through digitizing them, but automation workflows can be added to go even further and data compliance standards can be easily achieved with modern solutions.

Furthermore, use cases outside of lessening reliance on manual processes, like the increased flexibility of how data can be handled, means that organizations implementing ECM systems can enjoy a workflow process structure which is streamlined and efficient.

We hope that these content management use cases have given you an understanding of why businesses implement ECMs, and encourage you to visit our partner, DocuWare, for more use cases of content management.

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Digital TransformationStreamline ProcessesManaged Process OptimizationDocument Management

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Additional Resources

what is enterprise content management

What is Enterprise Content Management (ECM) | Buzzwords

What is ECM? Learn what Enterprise Content Management is all about in this easy to follow video on ECM from Impact Networking.

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