The Mobile Workforce and Document Management
The role of document management and process automation in your mobile workforce
Today’s workforce seems to have taken on the “mobile” shape that has been predicted for years. More people than ever are able to work remotely, and in real time, thanks to technology catching up with the hype. As you read this, you are probably in front of multiple devices – a laptop or desktop (likely with more than one monitor), a smart phone and a tablet – maybe more. You can work fully or partially on all them, right? But how effective are you with them? What information can you submit, access or provide to your co-workers, customers and vendors? And do they improve your productivity?
Before we dive in, let’s set the tone for the importance of this issue. An AIIM study on the topic of the mobile workforce found that mobile access to content was vital to 75% of respondents in doing their jobs.
It starts with document capture. There are other needs as well (workflow automation) but we are going to focus on the data itself first. Capturing and storing data for business use is the key; and how you do it is going to help make your mobile employees and contractors a force to be reckoned with.
According to AIIM, depending on the type of remote workforce you have, this list of challenges and their importance may change a bit. However, everyone faces the same challenges and they are displayed in the chart below.
As you can see, the greatest pain points are around sharing documents and routing them for approval. As you connect and mobilize your mobile workforce, it is important to consider the end goals of your documents while take these questions into account.
- How is data being captured by remote workers? (Can they take a picture and submit with their smartphones?)
- What workflow processes do those documents need to enter? (Expenses, invoices, orders, contracts?)
- What data does the mobile workforce need to access? (Vendor, partner, employee, customer data?)
- How will internal staff access the data? (Does the same system support the internal and mobile workforce?)
- What levels of security and user access need to be provided for mobile vs. internal staff?
So how do you put all this together? When it comes to providing your internal and mobile workforce with access to all of the documents needed to do their jobs effectively, integration through the same system across the entire company is key. Multiple products that address a piece of the problem, but are disconnected, isn’t really a solution. Here is an example from an AIIM study that tells how what sounds like a good idea isn’t always so…
“Many organizations turn to solutions like SharePoint as a means to address this, but as shown in the AIIM IW SharePoint – clouding the issues-2 report, SharePoint is often working in isolation from the rest of the enterprise information systems (63%) resulting in poor or difficult information access and sharing. Add mobile to this equation, and the challenge for mobile workers to access information and interact with colleagues is increased significantly”.
You need a partner with a holistic enterprise wide document management system that scales to meet your needs while providing access to documents and their workflows for anyone in your organization. KwikTag can help.
You can also download our whitepaper on the subject of modernizing your workforce here.