Monday, August 26, 2013

Performance Enhancing iDea (P.E.D.)

By Brian Kopack

Performance enhancing drugs  are everywhere – maybe literally but definitely in the current public consciousness.  Lance.  Jamican and American sprinters.  Baseball players.  The intersection of sports, science (chemistry) and ethics makes for compelling debate.   At its core, the discussion boils down to humans will always want to be bigger, faster and stronger and do almost anything to make that happen.  When huge bucks are at stake, the risk reward analysis gets skewed.

Businesses are just like athletes – always looking for an edge.  They are forever looking to sell more, lower costs and to create lasting value.

In the business world today – electronic content management is a PED – which is great because it is what we are great at…and it is legal.

Businesses have a choice when deciding how to manage information – the old-world way of working around a problem, or the brave, new-world way of embracing technology to create value.

Capture      Maintain      Access      Route

As a business, if you can decide what information is important to you and how best to use that information, you are ahead of game.  If, through your process you can make the information create value in terms of faster decision making, elimination of redundant tasks, unleashing the power of your collaborative workforce, you become bionic.

Focus        Efficiency       Value

An electronic content management system can revolutionize how you see your business - allowing you to concentrate on working on your business instead of in your business.  Having your information readily available, in a format that is understandable and relevant allows for better decision making.  Better decision making equals power.  Mission accomplished.

Would embracing electronic content management as a PED improve your business? ABSOLUTELY

Would it be helpful if you knew an expert who could help you through the process?  POSITIVELY

Now you do.

               Nice to meet you.

                             Let's talk.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The 5 Reasons Nice to Have Officially Became Need to Have

By John Trimble

Companies and organizations for years have often looked at implementing document imaging (and by this I mean real document imaging, not phony copier company steal speak jargon) as a “nice to have”. This has changed. The interest in automating paper processes and investing in technology has been there for decades now but the actual tipping point has arrived. Why?

1)    Companies used the 2008 Mad Max financial apocalypse to thin their herd of employees both out of necessity as sales and profits plummeted but also as a way to clean house without the standard corporate HR gauntlet and hand wringing.

2)    While some really good people did get let go, corporations seized on this to try to keep top talent by employing pure Darwinian Natural Selection, making the rest “available to the Industry.”  All hands were on deck in crisis mode and the surviving employees had to start wearing multiple hats and doing what previously was the work and responsibilities of several positions.

3)    Fast forward; things in 2012 and now in 2013 start to improve – slowly but undeniably. Orders, activity, projects all pick up pace. The office worker, now likely a knowledge worker, is obviously not able to maintain and starts losing steam – energy – effectiveness. Frustration mounts and the relief of surviving the lay-offs is replaced by a rapidly escalating sense of burn out and reduced job satisfaction. Companies actually take note because this is occurring to their best workers – the ones they struggled to keep – and they cannot afford this level of quality employee “flight risk.” Two choices become obvious.

4)    Option one is to go old world and start to re-hire and solve the problem with throwing bodies back into the same old roles and functions. While some rehiring is occurring, companies are resisting this for two important reasons:  they are worried that the recovery could still doom loop back on to them and they will have to go thru the painful and expensive Hunger Games culling all over again. Second, they are now used to and relying on the reduced payroll and employee burden costs like healthcare that allowed them to weather the downturn in the first place and are quite reluctant to give that up.

5)    Option two: Automate – automate – automate. In today’s information exchange world that means simply allowing knowledge workers to do more actual work faster with document management, workflow, business process improvement and re-engineering. Content management…linking the scanned images of paper documents, any documents, to the ERP or host information systems, digital signatures, documents on mobile devices…. Speeding up everything.

Employee stress is reduced because instead of just telling them “we need to pull together and find a way to get this done” or some such team spirit jargon companies are now actually giving them the tools to do that very thing.

Nice to have officially became Need to Have.

At IOS we have seen and helped accomplish this for more companies than you can shake a stick at.  Ask us who and how.
Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Story Behind The Stories

By Angela Childs

I was recently asked to do a client testimonial for Cantaloupe, the company that does our corporate videos.  Mentally preparing I’ve gotten into my "way-back machine" to try and remember what prompted us to start doing videos in the first place.

It all started when the company that did the design for our website, TBH Creative, gave me some other sites to look at for examples of some new thing we were thinking about trying with our site.  I don’t even remember what we were considering because I got completely sidetracked.

While looking at one of the sites, I noticed a section on the home page dedicated to the company’s videos.  Company videos are not something I’d ever been really impressed by or something I’d want to have IOS do.  Typically they’re super boring, way too long and/or so awkward that you feel sorry for the camera-stunned employee who has forgotten how to speak conversationally and move like a human.

I don’t know what made me watch.  It was either intriguing titles or that there were things I was supposed to be doing that invited procrastination; probably the latter.  Regardless, I watched the first video and my entire opinion about corporate videos changed instantly and, sadly, that thing TBH wanted me to consider fell off my to-do list.

Why?  The video was real.  I felt like I was truly getting a sense of the company and hearing their message.  Is their product or service something I need?  The videos would help me find out but I knew after the first video that I wanted to know more and I was starting to really like them.

The video, their marketing effort, reached a potential customer who heard their message, had a positive feeling towards them, and wanted to know more about a possible fit.   That’s the whole point so mission accomplished.

IOS is a B2B company, but it’s people who buy.  It’s people that we develop a relationship with.  Telling our stories in a very authentic way allows us to show who we are and what it is that has kept us relevant and successful in a business that has transitioned from movable shelving to truly innovative, high-tech solutions in content management and business process automation.

We’ve purposefully maintained a focus purely on content management and made a commitment to our employees and our current and future customers that whatever the best practices in content management become as technology advances we’ll be the experts.

Our videos give us a way to make a connection and, if we do it right, convey that commitment, our expertise, and the side of us that makes us fun to work with.  (Or…as fun as content management gets…)

We work with Cantaloupe because they are exceptional at what they do.  If we’re going to do something, we want to be good at it and working with an expert makes us good at it.  This is where we practice what we preach.  We want to focus on what we’re good at and avoid distraction and we want to the same thing for you.   When you’re ready to look like an expert with content management, we’re ready to make it happen.