Ready for the GDPR? These EDM solutions can help
How can electronic data management (EDM) be successfully utilized in day-to-day business? How do EDM solutions help to comply with the basic data protection regulation (GDPR-EU)? Olaf Stammer (Marketing Solutions Manager) and Frank Dembach (Director of National Sales, IT Solutions and Consulting) from TA Triumph-Adler, shed some light on these issues.
What is Frank Dembach’s and Olaf Stammer’s favorite topic of conversation? Electronic document management efficiency. These two experts at TA Triumph Adler have advised clients over a number of years. Their mantra: “Nowadays, it is vital to have information and documents readily available.” The principle: the efficiency in the process of creating, distributing, and document storage makes the company much more competitive. Olaf Stammer explains with the GDPRs entry into force (European General Data Protection Regulation), the interrogations about computer data are exponential, which is why an introduction to an electronic data management system could be more useful than ever- but we’ll come back to that later. Firstly, let’s look at this next question: how can EDM support teams with daily tasks?
Introduction to digital document management
Both experts say that companies have every reason to rejoice: if the subject of “digital management” brings significant costs, a boatload of work and several days of staff trainings to mind, one is mistaken! “Bad investments are still a huge problem and here, the companies concerns are put at ease,” says F. Dembach. “An Electronic Data Management System is nothing compared to a new car, and that is why the cost can be seen as a bit excessive,” he points out. There is an entry level product which operates very quickly. Also, if anyone wants to add additional features, then this can be done.
Effective management of document processes
“Organization is about simplifying your life. This applies to the business document jungle,” says Olaf Stammer. “An employee spends 142 hours per year sorting and searching for documents- an amount of time that is way too high!” In many companies, documents are still circulated in paper format, which explains the slowness of the process: a document could sit on a desk for a long time while no one knows who actually has it. “This is exactly where electronic data management systems come in handy,” says the expert. “It all comes down to taking a document and placing it into a virtual circulation folder, which can then be placed and processed simultaneously by several people. This saves a great deal of time.” This added value can be applied to any operational process: invoices, data delivery, applications, etc.
Data management in accordance with GDPR
How can a software solution help with making data processing and documents compliant with GDPR? “In terms of data protection, this solution helps to avoid any risks,” say the two TA experts. “EDM solutions make it easier to comply with GDPR rules and requirements.” How does it work? We can say that this is a dream combination, since with EDM the company’s contents are safe all at once and permanently accessible.” In this way, a company can easily manage and direct their information via the EDM, in accordance with its guidelines and procedures.
“Other important points: data access rights and the probative value of documents. An electronic document management system provides a rigid structure for storing any information and providing proof at any time. Furthermore, it allows you to fine-tune data access permissions,” says Olaf Stammer. “Therefore, everyone sees only what they have the right to see.” Frank Dembach adds: “Most companies use files where everything is stored without any structure and, more often than not, without rights management. This means that anyone can access customer data, supplier data, etc. However, these access rights can be restricted and controlled with an EDM system.” An EDM also makes it easier to monitor contract durations and systematically delete documents with an automatic alert when, for example, a deletion deadline has expired. “This is a major difference when sorting simple files, which does not allow you to handle these types of situations.”
Good to know: EDM systems are compatible with any line of business and can be used by any type of company. “In a broad sense, we are talking about information management, therefore managing data securely,” says Frank Dembach, “and whether you are a shipyard or an advertising agency- ultimately what matters is having a clear and visible flow of information. This is imperative, because it is the only way to work in accordance with the GDPR.”
Overview of Key Benefits
The EDM systems essential ancillary elements are comparable to different sections: “The most important,” says Frank Dembach, “is that you can find the information quickly. Nowadays, the quantity and complexity of information is constantly increasing, and that is why it is becoming even more important to work in a comprehensive way. It is equally crucial to be able to have access to documents that are needed, and therefore have access authorizations that are clearly defined. Finally, it is necessary to respect deadlines, especially when monitoring contracts.” These “sections” are usable for all business procedures. “From handling complaints to new employees CVs, everything can be processed and secured quickly, and in accordance with legal requirements,” Olaf Stammer summarizes. Could the two experts work without electronic data management? “It’s been a long time since we could. For example, as a sales manager, when I receive a request from a customer in Munich, the system allows me to respond instantly. On the contrary, if I had to write an internal email first and wait for a confirmation, I’d waste more time.”