In the push to achieve greater efficiencies, institutions of higher learning are looking at ways to standardize business practices and bring greater uniformity to departments across the campus. Increasingly, they’re relying on ECM tools to achieve this objective, an effort that typically starts with Accounts Payable (AP), says Linda Ding, education program strategist for Laserfiche.
“This makes sense for several reasons,” says Ding. “Everyone across campus purchases something, so AP is the logical place to begin this standardizing effort because this department touches all departments.”
AP already has well-subscribed processes in place for what needs to be done, Ding explains. Consequently, when a workflow is designed to support AP, it’s relatively straightforward for the IT and business managers to work together to outline these workflow processes. Furthermore, the AP workflow-design template can be reused for other business process automation without the institution having to build everything from the ground up, minimizing the impact on IT resources and shortening the rollout cycle.
“Building and implementing workflow automation could seem intimidating,” says Ding. “But it might not be so if you start with a well-defined business process such as AP. And Laserfiche workflow makes it easy; we have more than 55 pre-designed workflow activities, making the business-process workflow design as easy as drag, drop, and connect the dots.”
Laserfiche ECM offers valuable benefits for departments, such as standardizing processes for document storage, allowing for safe and secure storage of information, automating document-driven processes, defining workflow activities, and much more.
“The process of building AP automation is also a process of building standardized data elements, file-plan components, and workflow activities that can be reused throughout the campus, which is essential for an institution to achieve overall efficiency in the long run,” Ding says. “For these reasons, the success of the effort to launch campuswide ECM is much higher if it starts from AP and uses this department as a launching pad to help standardize processes throughout the university.”