SER Blog  Customer Stories & Use Cases

Beyond home office: Remote work & collaboration with ECM

Julia Pedak

“Now I can use my laptop to access the files online, I can work from home more often and don’t have to carry around heavy claims files. It’s become so much easier to reconcile work and family commitments, which is great,” says Sandra Schlutt-Hagen, a claims manager at insurance company Delvag. Whenever you hear the terms “remote work” or “mobile office,” employees like Sandra typically come to mind. In times when effective health precautions are paramount, giving staff the possibility to work remotely is more crucial than ever. But how can businesses ensure their employees can be just as productive away from the company premises as they would be in the office? Learn here how enterprise content management (ECM) can create the right environment for digital process and information management, enabling seamless business processes that reach far beyond the confines of a home office.

Telephone and video conferences and messenger apps are some of the many social collaboration tools that allow employees working remotely to stay in touch with their co-workers. However, employers should also make sure that their staff have full remote access to documents and data and can continue working on projects, ensuring business continuity at all times. A rising number of companies have decided to implement ECM so their teams can continue collaborating from wherever they are. One is the German charity Aktion Mensch, which is currently rolling out its ECM platform Doxis. “Our staff need access to Doxis from their mobile devices, too,” explains Ivonne Berger, DIAS & Doxis project manager at Aktion Mensch. “Some profound changes are happening within our organization right now. We’re trying to go mostly digital, and part of that means enabling all staff to work remotely.”

Aktion Mensch’s ECM platform provides staff full access to all business-critical information regardless of location. Grant applications from project partners, their e-mail correspondence, contracts and data relating to the application files – all of this is now available to employees working remotely. The platform connects all pieces of information in such a way that users can filter for ongoing funding projects, for instance, and find the right electronic files. Aktion Mensch representatives working remotely can hence respond quickly and accurately to inquiries from project partners and work on their applications without delay. The files in question contain large amounts of sensitive material, such as personal data, that need to be protected at all times. Clear rules govern which users can see, edit, and delete information, and any changes they make are logged by the system. In other words, the platform setup ensures that no security breaches can take place even when staff work remotely.

Using ECM to help people

Aktion Mensch has rolled out Doxis across the entire organization, encompassing incoming mail and workflow-supported case management all the way to audit-proof archiving. Learn here how Doxis has helped Aktion Mensch to process grant applications faster and provide even more help to people.

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Remote work in offices and on construction sites

Remote work is not just suitable for enabling office staff to work more flexibly from home and hence balance work and family commitments. It’s also highly relevant in business settings that require employees to collaborate from a number of sites. And these employees are not just suit-wearing managers, explains Oliver Saus, deputy head of IT and IT document management at the city of Cologne's municipal waterworks. “Our document management system needs to meet three major requirements: processing files on desktop computers, access to digital project files on construction sites, and support for meetings held remotely.” Engineers working at the construction sites use Doxis on their tablets to access construction and project files and upload digital images to the right filespace. Office workers attending meetings and on business trips use it from any location to pull up the documents they need. Wherever they are, employees can access current information, edit documents, and engage in business processes that are so much more efficient as a result.

Remote collaboration in production & purchasing

Another company that has chosen a mobile ECM solution is Eissmann Group Automotive, an international supplier to the automotive industry. Eissmann Group production workers use Doxis mobileCube to scan production-related work orders and send images to the archive. Specifically, they use iOS tablets to scan finished items such as airbag covers after they come off the production line and before they are dispatched to the customer. The ECM automatically uploads the images to an archive, enabling the manufacturer to demonstrate compliance with quality standards and provide evidence in case any liability issues arise.

For Eissmann Group Automotive, quality and compliance play a major role already at the purchasing stage. Eissmann Group’s purchasers and the company’s approximately 2,000 suppliers around the world use the Doxis iRoom as a collaboration tool. Suppliers upload their tool inventories and quality certificates for their products and services to the iRoom, while the company’s purchasers use it as a repository for supplier quality reviews. This creates transparency and accelerates and facilitates shared processes, even if the users are thousands of kilometers apart.

Besides enabling collaboration between business partners such as Eissmann Group Automotive, virtual workspaces like these are also suitable for project teams. This is where external project partners access and edit selected files, tasks and processes and are automatically notified whenever changes are made, so they always have insight into relevant business processes whatever location they are working from. Project teams can freely collaborate and exchange information. What’s more, project files are protected against security risks since ECM functions such as versioning and audit trails create a transparent log of all changes, while also providing proof that all processes implemented by the participating companies are fully compliant.

Doxis iRoom in practice

Eissmann Group Automotive uses Doxis iRoom to collaborate with its more than 2,000 suppliers around the world. Watch the video to see how the tool helps Eissmann Group to manage processes and quality management safely both within the company and beyond.

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Remote work & collaboration as an opportunity

Businesses that opt for a state-of-the-art ECM platform with integrated services for content, processes, and collaboration are capable of managing all business processes seamlessly across all sites, allowing their staff to work remotely from anywhere, and involving their business partners at any time. But what about companies that have not yet implemented an ECM platform and don’t have time to roll out a major project? They want quick solutions for simple, standard processes and to go digital without any major interruptions to their day-to-day business. For firms like this, an SaaS solution is ideal: after purchasing a subscription, they can access off-the-shelf modular ECM solutions in the cloud and get started straight away.

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