By: Troy Davis, Regional Sales Manager, LMI Solutions

The words Document Management System or Workflow, have become fairly common language in the industry.  Most dealers have either heard of or dabbled in providing a management system that addresses the needs of your customers.  As technology has grown and expanded, so too have the needs of businesses to either introduce or assist with the implementation of such cloud-based storage systems.

Still today, with such technologies at the forefront, paper documents remain problematic. Eighty percent of business information is still paper based, according to our partner, Intellinetics.  In addition, 39% percent of business processes still require paper documents.  The most prevalent issue with paper documents is space; or rather, the amount of space needed to keep them stored.  Along that line, there is the issue of data security, perishability, and of course, the underlying constant—employee time spent filing away or searching for, paper documents.  If 75% of paper documents are lost, and three percent are misfiled, the 18 minutes an employee spends searching for said documents, is wasted time and with it, wasted productivity.  With statistics like this, it is evident that managing paper documents and digital information prove challenging for most organizations.

A document management system (DMS) is a system used to track, manage, store documents and reduce paper.  Most are capable of keeping a record of the various versions created and modified by different users, known as history tracking.   Many organizations require multiple departments to access the same information. In a cloud-based document management system, such departmental access becomes streamlined.

So then, the challenge lay in selecting the appropriate solution or software for your organization.  Many decisions will relate to your current exposure, and the needs of your customers, as well as the amount of resources (financial and employee) you have to allocated to learning and executing a new system.

Document Management systems bundled within hardware and supply contracts can be the solution for reseller and dealer organizations. However, the concern with this approach becomes the length of the sales cycle.  Should it be included at the time of the initial contract negotiation, or add after the fact to increase revenue opportunity?  What about the sales team?  Do they need to be trained to become subject matter experts, or bring in outside experts?  These challenging decisions are considerations that each dealer needs to make in order to determine his best strategy.

The markets in need of Workflow and Document Management are vast.  From financial services to the health field, government, education and beyond—much of what these industries do is paper intensive, and yet a solid workflow solution has not been adopted industry wide.  The Drug Information Association recently built a compliant electronic records database utilizing Microsoft technology.  If Big Pharma has recognized the need for Workflow and Document Management, other regulated industries are sure to follow suit.  We should have our eyes on the horizon, anticipating this oncoming need, while also keeping the focus on the current need for workflow solution.

While we recognize that there is an inherent need for such solutions, the aforementioned statistics point to reluctance in adopting this type of technology.  If Document and Workflow Management can reduce costs, eliminate wasted time and space, as well as streamline workflow processes, why then are there so many people still utilizing paper filing systems? The pain points of document management implementation can be as lengthy as the benefits.  From cost and revenue/ margin concerns to the need for technical expertise, a dealer can face multiple objections.

As Doug discussed in last month’s article, there is a prevalent need for dealers to expand beyond a transactional sales structure.  However, implementation of new services can prove challenging. We have heard such pain points from our own dealers.   There are always concerns over lack of engagement with the sales reps or a lengthy sales cycle, but there are also concerns surrounding the length of time to implement such a program and hesitancy surrounding the amount of technical aptitude required for new programs.

We are able to mitigate such concerns with the partnership we have with Intellinetics.  This allows dealers to focus on developing and cultivating their sales relationships, without having the burden of onboarding a new service.  Integration is as simple as extending a reps talk track to include new messaging.

To borrow Doug’s map analogy from the previous article, Document and Workflow management is the perfect “reroute” to your transactional sales structure. A managed service solution, such as Document Management, provides value to both your dealer base, as well as the end user.  This first turn off the highway, points you in the direction of sticky services, without having to carry the financial load of an entire infrastructure rebuild.  This new route becomes the first plot point on your road map to a new profit destination.


Be on the lookout next month for the final installment of our three-part series – The Risks and Rewards of Managed Business Services.


Troy Davis is a Regional Sales Manager with LMI Solutions and has more than 16 years of sales and sales leadership experience in the document imaging industry. Having worked for several progressive dealerships, Troy has been involved in building and sharing best practices for Managed Print Services and bundling Document Management Solutions into the overall solution.