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Enterprise Content Management ROI

Enterprise content management ROI is improved by leveraging an ECM investment as part of a broader digital transformation effort.  That’s one of the conclusions of the new Levvel Research report “Tackling AP Automation with a Holistic Document Management Approach.”  Subtitled “The Scaling Company’s Guide to Using Enterprise Content Management (ECM) for Digital Transformation,” the report focuses on the reality of AP automation in the middle market, the advantages of a holistic ECM platform, and the business case for ECM, all based on primary research.

Levvel Research defines the middle market as companies with $2 billion to $100 billion in annual revenue.  The research study looked at companies within this revenue range in North America.

Levvel found that scaling and middle-market organizations often start business improvement by implementing individual point solutions. This is partly motivated by specific pain points these companies encounter, such as high paper volume or limited security for sensitive company data, which can have more profound impacts on smaller operations. Often these organizations prioritize fixing the immediate problem with a point solution to ensure business stability over trying to push a full-scale automation initiative.

These organizations must also consider the importance of aligning a new software tool with their existing infrastructure, and their choices are often limited by the importance of tight integration with their line-of-business applications. Unfortunately, as they adopt multiple process tools as their time and budgets allow, they also delay the gains possible with a more extensive digital transformation.

One approach to achieve enterprise content management ROI is leveraging ECM to build on existing technology efforts. These tools can help streamline finance operations such as AP and invoice management. Additionally, ECM can be leveraged in other areas where secure document management is vital, such as contract management, HR, and sales order processing.  Levvel found that adopting a scalable, cloud-based ECM platform that integrates with existing applications often results in the greatest impact for the business, higher ROI from existing technology adoption, and a greater push towards the long-term benefits of digital transformation.

Enterprise Content Management ROI Drivers

In its report, Levvel focused on AP automation as the main gateway to a broader-scale digital-transformation initiative.  The researchers suggest that change makers within an organization look at the following three drivers when creating the business case for ECM adoption:

  • ECM drives ROI by expanding the value of a single technology implementation. Organizations seeking to maximize the ROI of an AP automation solution should aim for a best-in-class solution targeting a particular pain point, but that can also be applied beyond that space as resources grow. This enables an organization to increase the long-term value of a single technology investment and enables scalable digital transformation for companies determined to remain competitive.
  • ECM drives ROI by empowering departments and supporting processes across the organization. With a strong ECM platform, one solution can transform many functions. For example, advanced document management and workflow features can automate AP processes as well as HR onboarding, training, and form management. ECM can also support other departments, such as Accounts Receivable, Procurement, Expense Reporting, Sales, Customer Support, and the C-suite, as the platform is applicable to multiple business functions.
  • ECM drives ROI by comprehensively improving collaboration and efficiency and reducing costs. ECM helps reduce paper volume, manual data entry, and time-consuming manual workflows. It also facilitates more strategic allocation of back-office labor. By providing secure digital storage, ECM reduces the pressure on an organization’s IT department, which further contributes to better use of company resources and higher ROI. ECM also improves overall communication and streamlines back-office processes. ECM leads to savings from optimized labor costs, strategic staff reallocation, and a reduced need for outsourcing various back-office functions.

In addition to enterprise content management ROI, the complete research report includes a look at middle-market AP Automation trends, such as:

  • Invoice receipt method
  • Invoice data entry methods
  • Invoice approval time
  • AP pain points
  • Automation tool usage
  • Barriers to AP automation adoption
  • Net benefits of AP automation