The traditional benefits of content management are well known – from managing content sprawl to minimizing risk through better information governance. But how many organizations actually have a handle on how content touches their operational processes? At this year’s AIIM conference, I’ll be outlining a new approach to content services that will help drive operational excellence and better business outcomes.
Operational excellence has become a watchword in many industries, especially manufacturing, energy, and healthcare. In most cases, organizations have looked to achieve this through process and enterprise application optimization. Typically, organizations have established the key systems for their operations – Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for example – and often treated the information that fuels them as an afterthought.
To realize the full value of operational excellence, you must focus on scalable information management. You require a centralized, enterprise information infrastructure that brings content to the user in context of their activity or process.
Content in context, wherever you are
A colleague of mine working in the energy sector tells me that an engineer may need to access as many as 28 different systems just to complete one task. For example, a maintenance engineer carrying out a work order must first access the EAM system, then look at maintenance reports, find the shutdown and startup procedures, check Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and compliance reports, review operational processes, and so on.
And, of course, each of these systems will have different data formats, different taxonomies, and different search tools. Then, the documents in any of those systems will have multiple change notes and revisions. It’s virtually impossible for the engineer to understand the true state of the asset they’re working on. This can introduce unnecessary and costly risks (errors, delays, reworks) for the entire operations and maintenance process.
By viewing content as a centrally managed enterprise asset that’s independent of the applications and processes it services, you can begin to eliminate the information siloes and create a ‘single source of the truth’ so employees always know they are working with the most recent, accurate and relevant information.
But that’s only half the story. Employees may be spending a lot of their time simply searching for the information they need to complete their daily tasks. Imagine the improvements in productivity if the right information is automatically presented to them at the point they need it and in the format they need to complete their task.