This article first appeared in the Autumn 2016 issue of The Record.
Every operational process within any business is supported by at least one, but usually multiple, documents. To eliminate the high costs and human resources needed to manage these documents, companies in various industries are adopting automated document management (DM) software.
“Automating DM processes enables organisations to do more with fewer people at a lower cost, and also makes it easier for suppliers, subcontractors and customers to work with them,” says An Vander Aa, CEO of document process software developer Ex Arte.
Unlike many of its DM competitors who originated in the copier world, Ex Arte developed its DM software with the help of enterprise resource planning (ERP) experts almost a decade ago so it can fully optimise, rather than simply digitise, DM processes.
“Digitising documents does not make enterprises competitive, the real benefits come from boosting operational efficiency,” comments Vander Aa. “We identify which documents impact our customers’ different business flows and then use our DM solution to improve these processes. Our goal is to get the right document to the right person at the right time.”
Built on Microsoft .NET and SQL Server, Ex Arte is integrated with Office 365, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM, enabling it to support document-related tasks across an organisation. “When a customer order is entered into the ERP system supported by Dynamics AX, for example, Ex Arte will replicate the document in Dynamics CRM for the account manager,” says Vander Aa. “Some companies benefiting from this include Netherlands-based Tradin Organic Agriculture and Belgian construction company Vandenbussche.”
As paper documents and manual procedures continue to be replaced by digital documents and automated processes, Vander Aa expects DM to become an essential part of any digital transformation strategy.
“Executives only think about DM as a solution for automating a single business flow, such as managing incoming supplier documents and outgoing payments,” she comments. “In fact, it can be used to manage the multiple types of documents that support critical operations in different departments across their enterprises.”
Vander Aa predicts that the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform – which combines Microsoft’s CRM and ERP cloud products into a single cloud bundle – will improve how Ex Arte automates DM when it launches this autumn.
“Ex Arte already supports the Microsoft Dynamics suite and integrates with Office 365 and SharePoint, so Dynamics 365 is music to our ears,” she remarks. “It will be easy for us to transition our customers from the existing Dynamics applications to Dynamics 365 in the cloud.”
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