Digital Transformation & Mobile Document Management

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Is digital transformation and mobile document management enough?

In the shipping and logistics sector, data is of the utmost importance and requires a good document management system and big data governance. However, digital transformation across all major industries is changing the landscape which means maritime service companies need to adapt.

Ever hear the saying, “knowledge is power”? In the same breath, you could say that information is a global currency, a consumable commodity if you will. It’s the currency that powers connections and keeps driving businesses forward but not without effective document management technology.

The Importance Of Managing Data Effectively

With the world becoming increasingly digital, logistics and shipping companies are quickly accumulating large amounts of data which should be better managed. Perhaps it’s time to take a page in data management from Wall Street conglomerates such as Exxon, IBM, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

Information is at the forefront of the paperless revolution and those who can transform the information into meaningful data will make better decisions and help the business grow. Information and document management practices are vital to this evolution but businesses should look beyond simple governance and merely eliminating paper.

Document Management Without The Paper

Covid-19 has changed the way most businesses operate as the paperless office is now a common sight. The pandemic has forced companies to use remote staff and turn to digital solutions which means less paper.

Many shipping companies have moved toward a paperless internal environment especially involving the accounting and customer service departments. Implementing these systems have resulted in increased efficiency with faster communications providing critical data to make more informed business decisions.

According to a study released in 2014 by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), “68% of respondents saw the growth of paper stabilising, or reduced paper within their organisation”. While that’s a good start, more than “40% of respondents confirmed that they print and then scan information obtained digitally”.

Key Factors In Slow Adoption Of Paperless Document Management

Even as technology is helping drive us toward a paperless future, many companies are still stuck on paper, particularly shipping and logistics businesses. A big part of the problem comes from documents requiring signatures and companies not adapting their process automation and workflows accordingly.

A good example is in transportation and logistics where the paper form for proof of delivery (POD) or a bill of lading is still in use. The same applies in the healthcare sector where paper prescriptions are still being used as it’s crucial in maintaining records of the patient and medication.

Document management in this form is time-consuming, prone to human error and expensive. Instead of workers punching information into the business system via a computer or by scanning the documents, they could go paperless by entering the information straight at the point of origin. Get this right and data management in a business system will take a few seconds which saves time and loads of effort.

Document Management And Mobile Technology

Even though shipping and logistics companies have started the transition to digital, paper documents are still being used. However, more shipping companies across the world are starting to simplify their business processes using mobile technology. This is a great document management solution as you no longer need to scan every piece of paper.

Mobile capturing of documents can happen whenever and wherever they are created and this trend is only going to grow. By leveraging tablets and smartphones for document management, shipping and logistics businesses can capture vital information at the point of origin with accurate traceability.

Benefits Of Mobile Document Management

Businesses can capture important pieces of information from forms or documents and automatically digitise and submit the data. Customers and staff can safely upload shipping documents to any location from wherever they are. This helps facilitate real-time response and the immediate processing of documents with some major advantages including the following:

  • Increased responsiveness of shipping companies
  • Improved data accuracy
  • Reduced document processing costs
  • Streamlined shipping and transportation processes
  • Improved accessibility to information
  • More time for workers to handle critical business tasks
  • Better cash flow

What Is Enterprise Information Management?

Considering the huge amounts, and different types of data that flow into an enterprise, many companies struggle to mitigate business risk while maximising value. This is where Enterprise Information Management (EIM) comes into the equation as it recognises information as an asset and transforms how we view data. It effectively turns information into currency or knowledge enabling businesses to make better decisions.

EIM can help structure and govern information assets across a business to help improve efficiency, increase transparency and generate more business insights. By using the appropriate document management solution, you can remove the challenge of integrating physical documents into electronic systems.

Enterprise Information Management is the single best solution for managing structured and unstructured databases. It can identify, classify and manage data housed in email servers, enterprise resource planning and document management systems among others.

Managing Big Data In The Shipping Industry

Unstructured data is often the most common challenge for Big Data initiatives as more than 85% of the data in businesses is unstructured. This is due to information being located in different files and formats which are not easily processed and interpreted.

Mining large volumes of data to generate intelligent analytics depends highly on structured data. Successfully managing Big Data requires data mining, machine learning and advanced analytics to identify vital bits of information.

With the right technology and systems in place, shipping companies can quickly analyse data and turn it into actionable insights. As technology continues to rapidly advance, shipping and logistics companies need to be future-ready and that means implementing the right document management system.

Link Ship Chandler is an expert Maritime and Offshore Gas and Oil Rig Procurement Company supplying a wide range of provisions, equipment and parts to marine vessels. This includes safety gear, office supplies, medical supplies, food and beverages. For more information about shipping supplies, products or services, please contact the Link Ship Chandler team on the website.

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