Understanding when you might benefit from Electronic Document Management and ERP can be difficult, which system will take care of which process?! Choosing the systems to implement in your business is time consuming, risky and a big decision. At DocTech we integrate our Document Management software into a number of different ERP systems.
Electronic Document Management system (EDM)
An electronic document management system (EDM) is a way of digitising and storing paper documents and any process associated with them. Paper documents can be scanned then stored electronically, alongside those already being produced and distributed electronically. If the documents are already digital, there will NEVER be a need to print them out to give them an ERP attribution.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
The acronym ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. It is software that manages day-to-day business activities, such as accounting, project management and manufacturing. It can use different applications that talk to each other and share a single database.
Information within an ERP system can arrive from many sources, such as invoices, credit notes, debit notes, delivery notes, salary info etc. This information comes from documents, whether paper or digital. It must be exported, manually or via another app into the ERP. Without the existence of documents, the ERP wouldn’t work.
Some ERP systems can store some documents, but it is by no means the core functionality. They mainly manage the data within them, not the actual document itself. Nor can they manage approval workflows; where a document is sent to management to be signed off for example. There is normally little to no overview of the collective data held within the system. This makes it weak from a GDPR and efficiency point of view. It also results in a lack of reporting ability.
Electronic Document Management and ERP Working Together
Businesses process huge numbers of documents that contain relevant information, that isn’t fed into an ERP. Items such as technical manuals, excel reports, photos, videos, and audio files. These documents must be searchable at any time. A separate EDM system is still is so valuable, as ERP related documents are a small subset of the documents being managed by a business. But when it can sit ‘within’ you core application it becomes invaluable.
Documents within a business will have various origins including paper, email, ERP and CRM systems etc. If each document is left in its original place, employees need to search all those places in order to find them. If all documents are stored in an EDM, they will be presented to the user after a couple of seconds of searching. This is regardless of their origin or format. This is why a document management system and ERP system can work so well together.
If your business already has an ERP system, it’s more than likely you’ll be enjoying the huge benefits it brings. Enabling quick and simple visibility of how the business is performing. Add an EDM system into that and employees will gain more time and control over their work, having the info they need in an instant. This sits alongside the confidence of knowing your documents are secure and compliant. A good EDM system should complement your current ERP, and make both systems core to your every business process.