Beware DM Complacency. We Still Have A Lot To Do!

We like to think that DM has gained full acceptance – that it would be a rarity to see an organisation that hasn’t caught on to the idea yet and which still relies on manual approaches to key business tasks and ‘the paper chase.’

In many ways this is true … but you may still find this a bit shocking: according to Deutsche Bank und Gartner, no less than 95% of the 30 billion invoices processed across Europe in the year 2010 were done so in a way that involved manual data entry.

You may also be a bit taken aback to realise the impact on European business of that fact. The brutal truth is that manual processing can push the cost of processing that invoice by a factor of 20 over doing it electronically.

That equates to £80,000 for 20,000 invoices at £4 each (done manually) versus the much lower £4,000 if they were done electronically (so at 20p each). And 20,000 invoices isn’t really a lot if you are a multinational.

 

75% of the time idle

This is something that should concern everyone in business, as despite all the cheerful headlines about a recovering UK economy, most businesses are still not upping their spending – which means that money spent carelessly like this if there really is no need is not really on. (Recent analyses of the Eurozone suggest it’s still languishing in the doldrums, so this is doubly true for our biggest trading zone – the EU.)

The issue of cost, though, isn’t the only negative aspect of this continuing reliance on antiquated ways of dealing with invoices. Independent industry research has made clear that of the time an invoice is working its way through the system, 20% of that time is transport processing time, 5% actual processing – and an astonishing 75% of the time it’s, well, doing nothing.

Nothing, I mean, because too many company (and public sector organisations – even Third Sector, too) workflows that are so designed as to need lots of supervisor or managerial attention to get things done. Last year, EASY’s commissioned third party, in-depth research that looked at the use of DM in UK businesses. We found that Finance is blazing the trail here, with 52% of respondents in such teams confirming they were going paper-lite compared to just 20% of their colleagues in IT (and 26% in Operations/Manufacturing). One FD we interviewed, in fact: “Cost reductions and increased efficiencies for purchase ledger when distributing supplier invoices throughout the company.”

 

The rest of the business isn’t keeping up with us

That’s the side of things we tend to see, I think, in the DM market: thanks to the progress of the market, there are a lot of Finance teams that have really ‘got’ DM, giving us perhaps a bit of a false impression that the rest of the company has. But here’s the problem: Finance is great at using technologies like DM, EDI (electronic data interchange) and even email to distribute invoices, as well increased use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

But the rest of the business isn’t keeping up. The paper may get into to the company more quickly, it may get turned into electrons quickly (or even arrive in that state), but there’s a big lag here when it gets out of Finance, it seems.

Some organisations, of course, do like to guard their cash flow – and there is often, in SME contexts (but also for enterprises) policies to push payment out as far as possible to protect that. That’s understandable, especially in a time of tightened budgets.

But there will be consequences if you insist on parking invoices and keeping them idle for 75% of the time (I still can’t get over how high that figure is!)

Core suppliers and partners may not be as tolerant of delayed or inefficient payment cycles as you may be, for example. You won’t have real visibility of your actual, day by day cash position. You could be missing out on deals and discounts by being such a slowcoach. You may suffer if suppliers see that you pay them late, so why should they settle with you as a priority?

 

Slick processes

To return to my earlier optimism, then: yes, we have more DM out there and the market is still a very healthy one. There is great scope for selling more of our sector’s wares.

But unless we start working with customers – new and old, frankly – on the need to get the efficiency beyond the Finance office to the rest of the office, making the internal handling of the payment cycle a much slicker process and close out the situation where invoices can spend three quarters of their time in a company doing nothing

Then, my friends, we really haven’t achieved that much with DM!

*Howard Frear, Sales and Marketing Director, EASY Software UK. Howard has been at the forefront of major trends in the software industry for close to 18 years. Howard is a very successful and experienced sales and marketing professional and is the driving force behind EASY SOFTWARE UK’s go-to-market and business development strategy. Day to day Howard is charged with managing the direct sales force, directing key marketing activities and overseeing strategic partner liaison.

Recruitment South 2015: EASY’s Continued Success

Only efficient solutions for digital personnel files and applicant management ensure optimal management and processing of the resulting data and processes. Almost logical then that such solutions were the focus of this year’s Recruitment South event in Stuttgart.

 

Live Test with Demo Version

Equally logical then, that EASY SOFTWARE AG did not only fly a symbolic flag here, but more importantly was displaying its efficient solutions for staff management. Together with the team from CFT Consulting GmbH our experts were available for questions and information at the trade fair from 19th to 20th May. Interested visitors and potential clients had the ideal opportunity to learn about EASY’s many features and customizable user options during the two-day fair. With the help of a Demo Version it was simple to test and explore the solutions “live”.

 

Efficient staff management

Digital personnel files enable live employee discussions using predefined evaluation forms. This efficient management of human resources and the optimisation of processes within an HR department thrilled the interested parties.

 

Complex processes simplified

EASY also presented its digital applicant management solution alongside the digital personnel file. It provides a comprehensive overview of all machining operations vacancies, simplifying complex processes. Fair visitors got a complete impression of the solution, during one-to-one meetings and in live presentations by our specialists.

 

See you!

Summary: The Recruitment South 2015 fair was a successful event with many stimulating conversations and exchanges at a high professional level and with interesting insights for all those involved. EASY SOFTWARE’s exhibition team looks forward to the upcoming events and to seeing you at the EASY stand, including at:

  • Future Recruitment, 15-17/9, Cologne
  • Recruitment Fair Munich, 21/10, Munich
  • Recruitment Austria, 4/11, Vienna.

 

Looking for inter-operability? Interface found!

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In times of steadily growing amounts of data, extensive tools are always needed, above all in software, to automate work processes and conquer data overload. Good tools even allow a company – in the nature of business – to reduce complexity, enable collaboration and ensure inter-operability.

 

“Rating” Interfaces

The core question to be confronted is: what do applications need to work really well together and exchange data? Interfaces – indeed those that are reliable, deliver what is expected of them. The clear importance of interfaces: it emerges from the spot-check audit of a delivery note, that no invoice can be found in the archive; an auditor would look more closely as, where there is one mistake, there are very possibly more to be found. The result: the bookkeeping is paralysed for more days, as a comprehensive inspection of the business is carried out.

 

Revision Safety Reference

But how did we get here? Frequently, badly programmed interfaces are the cause of such problems. If when archiving an invoice a problem occurs, and no archived document is created, a good interface is lacking. There is only peace of mind when an auditable invoice is filed. A bad interface is not as accurate. It should be enough that you have initiated the archiving process – regardless of the success of the action.

 

Diversity is key

Precisely for this reason, solutions from EASY suit a great many interfaces and these have proved their worth so nothing goes wrong with them. You’ll find these on EASY’s website. Currently the list contains around 60 entries. For each interface you’ll find a short explanation and a contact for questions, as well as an indication of the source of supply, as with special features: EASY has only developed some of the listed interfaces. The others have been developed by Partners. This has increased the variety of reliable tools.

 

Practical Online Overview

If you still have questions, even whether there is an interface for your solutions, for example whether to link your ERP system quickly and easily to EASY INVOICE or EASY DOCUMENTS: here you’ll find the complete list that we are successively expanding. As EASY is always on the move. Incidentally: we’d be happy to advise you and find you your individual solution.

The Cloud and Why Microservices are so Important

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The Cloud is becoming ever more important, not only for end-users, but for companies too. Although, according to recent studies, enterprise applications in the vast data cloud make up only four percent of workloads, no expert seriously doubts that this will change soon.

 

Business Is More Precise

The reason for the slow spread in the business world is obvious: naturally, end-users can move to the Cloud quicker than a business, as for this step, a business has to implement the digital transformation of its IT strategy; move its IT landscape; evaluate and test compatible providers and services, and last but not least, fulfil compliance regulations.

 

Microservice Structures vs Classic Applications

For IT decisions the crunch question is often: business as usual? Whether to retire systems rationally and rely on modern applications and IT architectures? The last can frequently be worthwhile, as Cloud-based applications are superior to classic application architectures depending on user scenario and business size. In their development the Microservice approach is used from the outset. Cloud-based applications result from attention to aspects such as good scalability and greater availability.

 

Quicker, more stable and more agile

Demands that the IT developer previously dealt with as peripheral, become central to application designs. For example, the single part of an application that can be added or taken away, without this impairing how the App’s operates. It is possible to develop new Microservices and simply integrate them into the application. This means the failure of one part does not inevitably lead to the collapse of the entire system and the affected service can be brought online again without the whole application being shut down. Updates for each Microservice can be developed, tested and implemented separately, and enable a considerably faster time-to-market.

 

New Skills in Demand

For companies this means their IT experts must be confident in the administration of new architecture and for their type to work, to be able to adapt. This brings known costs and requires communicative support of the changes. In any case these costs can be minimised when a partner is chosen that has done its homework – such as EASY with EASY ECM from the Cloud.

Data overload: learn from America…how not to do it?

American companies are increasingly drowning in content – especially data overload that the Internet of Things (IoT) produces. This is the result of a short market study published by AIIM (the Association for Information and Image Management)

The good news for all of you who like to take a look across the pond once in a while: the study shows that most companies managing content and documents across the Atlantic now consider it a matter of survival. Many of them are working to regain control over their content.

 

One company – many systems

However, there is, shall we say, “need for reform”: more than every second company uses three or more systems for content, contract and/or document management. 22 percent reported having five or more different systems installed from different manufacturers

Does that make sense? One could argue, with some justification, that integrated solutions significantly minimise maintenance requirements and costs, reduce the number of interfaces, improve inter-operability and are good for reliability. Or, simply put forward the theory that historically grown solutions and landscapes can no longer keep pace with the content volume of the future.

 

Fear of outages is common

At least, that outage risk seems to stand up as an argument, it merely puts the finger in the wound: just one hour of downtime – estimated every third respondent company – would cause considerable damage. Bearing in mind that the more non-uniform an entire system is, the more difficult it is to eliminate the cause of an outage, so people are brooding on this. Then, an hour isn’t long…

After all: the penny seems to have dropped. More than half of respondents are looking to introduce a centralised and multi-functional suite from a single source. And twelve percent have already achieved this goal. That’s quite something.

 

And how is it in your company?

The question remains how is it in Germany? How many different systems do businesses here operate in parallel? Although there is currently a lack of figures for sound comparison: CIOs and business leaders could certainly do worse than to ask themselves this question just once. The answer could be simultaneously surprising and helpful.

How the ECM Suite supports EASY partners

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With its “One Function – One Solution” approach, the EASY ECM Suite reduces the complexity of the entire ECM. Its modules complement one another perfectly, run on consolidated server worlds and work reliably together across stable interfaces. The number of clients falls considerably when compared with previous systems. This has a positive effect on the price list, which will be far clearer and more concise in the future. Partners will especially benefit from a significantly simpler and faster release.

 

A faster rollout, simpler administration

Just one installation process for the entire ECM Suite – from data capturing to data transfer and workflow management to legally compliant archiving – until now this has felt like a pipe dream. But the ECM Suite is now making this ideal a conceivable reality and is making the rollout easier for consultants. In the future, EASY will be providing new versions bundled together in a single set-up process, just like the EASY ECM Suite itself.

 

Fewer dates – greater planning reliability

In addition, there is a further plus: In the future, there will only be one launch date for the entire ECM Suite – and this will be the same for every subsequent release. EASY partners will, therefore, be able to plan their operational processes better, and will be able to ideally coordinate their consultancy, sales and customer service provisions.

Ergo: The EASY ECM Suite is easier to install, easier to integrate, easier to maintain and easier to operate than any other solution. And yet it is as powerful and secure as you would expect from an EASY solution.

EASY in use worldwide – now also at Turkish Airlines Technical Services

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EASY solutions enjoy worldwide confidence. And confidence is a very particular issue, where the processes and associated documentation in airplane maintenance are concerned – as with our new client, Turkish Airlines Technical Services, THY Technics for short. Alongside maximum flight safety EASY’s software will make a major contribution to optimising maintenance costs.

The functionality and flexibility of EASY solutions, particularly, EASY ENTERPRISE.x, and EASY CAPTURE, in combination with the consulting expertise of EASY’s Turkish colleagues, including managing director Süreyya Ecevit and technical director, Yunus Emre Yildiz, have won over, in the literal sense of the word, THY Technics.

This is quoted in the positive interim results of our new client:
„Working with EASY Turkey was a great and enlightening experience. With their positive, can-do attitude, combined with their vast knowledge of the subject, and prompt and industry best approaches, EASY made the transition to an advanced, modern and secure set of solutions almost trivial. As Turkish Technic, we hope to extend this collaboration in the future, and will be quite happy to continue to work with EASY.“

In the first phase the available, maintenance-related documents were scanned and archived. Connecting and integrating this into maintenance software, allowed the retrieval of flight data. In the second phase the software recognises and indexes documents automatically.

Are you looking for suitable solutions for your company? Find it here.

ENTERPRISE, DOCUMENTS, CAPTURE & Co.: Classics of EASY Training

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Yes it exists , the classic and perennial favourite in the EASY training range. EASY ENTERPRISE, EASY DOCUMENTS or EASY CAPTURE PLUS are applications that have been proven through use by many thousands of users for many years. They will remain as the core of the coming EASY ECM suite. This of course has an impact on the educational programme: “A look into the future shows already that in the second half of 2015 the focus will be on the solutions the EASY ECM Suite offers”, says EASY trainer Hermann Werntgen. And with current and future solutions that can operate seamlessly at any location, every year EASY trains hundreds of administrators, consultants and EASY partners. At the end of the day, they need to implement and manage the solutions perfectly.

 

Optimal Knowledge Transfer

In the second quarter of 2015 there are about 40 courses in Mülheim on the programme. This is only logical, because of course the appropriate training methods are needed for the most successful EASY products. During a year EASY offers up to12 standard training courses for almost every issue. The courses are usually held in the respective Demo environment of the EASY solution. “We are deliberately not satisfied with discouraging any Power Point presentation”, explains Werntgen. “We pay very close attention to ensure we convey clear, customer-orientated content and also provide participants with accompanying documents to hand that facilitate their everyday life.”

 

Training Benefits at Work

So it is not surprising that developing a training course can take several months to complete. “Our trainers are trained in concepts as well as being able to teach. Some of them have practical experience as consultants. If time permits, they will also participate on project assignments in order to gain an accurate picture of the application’s use on-site. So we ensure that we provide practical and realistic knowledge” says Werntgen.

By the way: not infrequently training courses are already fully booked long before their deadline – a sure sign that the teaching concept of the EASY training works. If you want to test it yourself you can find the dates >here<.

 

Human Resources: successful start for EASY

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Hamburg kicked off EASY’s presence at various 2015 recruitment fairs. With more than 3,500 visitors, two fun-filled days at the fair, and many interesting discussions, the launch was successful.

Almost 260 exhibitors from all industries, among them software providers, recruitment services, healthcare representatives, consultants and trainers in all aspects of employee motivation ensured a lively atmosphere at the fair. For the first time Recruitment North took place in Hall 4 and, both exhibitors and visitors felt, gave a little more freedom of movement.

The central themes of the exhibition this year included, among others, employee motivation and retention. And EASY solutions enjoyed enormous interest. No wonder: digital personnel files are an important foundation of modern personnel management. With user-friendly handling, audit-proof, location-independent access to files as well as savings in storage and searches are reasons for introducing electronic personnel files to HR departments.

EASY RECORDS for HR offered interested visitors the opportunity to see for themselves how simply the processes related to personnel records can be mapped, to make procedures more transparent, safer and quicker.

After this successful start, EASY SOFTWARE’s exhibition team looks forward to the upcoming events and to seeing you at the EASY stand, including at:

  • Future Recruitment, 15-17/9, Cologne
  • Recruitment Fair Munich, 21/10, Munich
  • Recruitment Austria, 4/11, Vienna.

EASY Promotes Young High-school Talent

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EASY SOFTWARE AG is actively involved in the promotion of talent. In collaboration with the Ruhr West university (HRW) in Mülheim on the Ruhr, EASY is making a corporate scholarship for young talent available for the first time.

 

Commitment pays off

A scholarship of 300 Euros per month is available. You get high-performing students from all departments that get noticed not only because of their good grades, but also through their specific social or socio-political commitment.

 

A classic win-win situation

A win-win situation for all involved: through financial support, the students can concentrate on their studies and as such companies like EASY have the opportunity to get in touch with qualified young people early on. “We have deliberately chosen to promote talent AND commitment. A scholarship is also far more than a purely material donation. We at EASY SOFTWARE AG can introduce ourselves regularly as a potential, attractive regional employer; interested talent get the chance early onto convince us of their commitment and own performance”, said Clarissa Dubiel, heads of human resources at EASY.

 

Personal Bonus Contact

A ceremony on the occasion of the award gave scholarship students and supporters a welcome opportunity to deepen mutual exchanges and to make further agreements with each other.

Overall, the 25 scholarship students at the Ruhr West University can look forward to this kind of support this year. Taking part are nine companies, two foundations, two individuals and supporters of the HRW scholarships.