Imaging and document management needs in the services industry oft go unnoticed, but that doesn’t mean they are not of pressing importance. The services sector and industry, which is sometimes referred to as the “tertiary” sector by economists, covers all business activity that facilitates the production of goods and services, or provides a specific process as a product itself: Think of car washes, hair salons, utilities companies, transportation companies, airlines, HVAC companies, etc. Although we envision our economy as one dependent on GDP (gross domestic product), most Americans work in the services sector, Pew Research reports.

Business Process Management Trends in the Services Sector
Although the services sector has a diverse set of offerings, all services companies have a specific problem in common—one that pervades 2017 as deeply as it will the industry’s future years unless it is resolved quickly, and that problem is a lack of business process management.

Instead of ramping up IT expenses to reconfigure new processes into outdated technology, services companies can, and should, look to cloud-based software that subsumes the entire business function. Not only does cloud-based software make availability easier in the services industry, it reduces the costs of housing an IT team.

Employment Trends in Services and Their Impact on Data
Despite such a large number of Americans being employed in the services industry, many services company are subject to economic trends relating to seasonal employment.

From a human resources perspective, this makes handling employee documents a huge task. Not only are there onboarding issues to deal with, there are also numerous questions pertaining to file retention.

Many HR professionals working in services companies can rely on the automated retention aspects of a document management system to flush unneeded documentation out of the system as needed.

Harnessing Content Management Tools
In large part, the services sector is yet to harness content management tools to its benefit. From enterprise information management to document management on both micro and macro scales, there are a number of reasons for the services industry to use document management.

There are a number of reasons to harness content management tools to improve the services sector. For instance, the restaurant industry in mass is struggling to hire and train staff successfully, and most restaurant managers attribute this phenomenon to a lack of efficiency and time.

With a faster way to manage your information, you can free up time to train new employees, and perhaps even redefine a workflow that may also improve the outcomes of the restaurant experience.

Information Problems in the Services Industry: Information Isn’t Viewed as Capital
Whether we like it or not, information is capital on par with time and cold hard cash in rank of importance.

The digital revolution has redefined many divisions of the services industry, particularly in utilities management. In fact, the entire business model of the previously mentioned sector now hinges upon paperless information extraction.

Therefore, services industry document management needs had spiraled out of control—the demand for a simple automation of processes is so pressing that most services companies can’t find a solution quickly enough. So why the delay in adopting new systems to manage ever-changing business models?

Choosing an Adequate Document Management Vendor is a Challenge
The reality is that most document management vendors claim to do the same things, and it’s difficult to differentiate between them given this truism. Additionally, there’s such a limited understanding of how fair the price differences between each vendor and their various solutions truly are.

Additionally, the platforms, from cloud to on premises, are hard to quantify because most prospective users don’t even know the differences between a cloud solution and on premises solution.

eFileCabinet Makes Imaging Simple for Services Companies
Just take a look at what we did for Westside Auto Pros: Although this is an auto shop, there are significant overlaps between the transportation industry and auto shops—and the bulk of transactional document processes in the transportation industry, if the company is not already dependent on digital processes, are bound to paper. The piles of paperwork emerge quickly, and harnessing data for the betterment of the organization becomes more difficult than ever.

Imaging and document management needs in the services industry are prevalent. Though documentation can be tough, the real problem usually emerges in simplifying the imaging process. Removing the paper and putting it all in a computer or software system not only defies habit, it seems like it may take a lot of work. Thankfully, adjustable, field-level Zonal OCR makes paperless as simple as scanning.

But at the imaging level, putting everything on a Windows folder structure simply isn’t going to work. There’s no point in imaging all your documents to save on storage space if you don’t have data redundancy and backup that is SSAE 16 certified.

With an x drive, you can localize storage and access of certain files, but this is where the document management system really gains popularity—it eliminates arbitrary storage, classification, and retrieval for services companies.

Arbitrary Storage and Misplacement—the True Imaging Problem in Services Companies
When you name and store a document, are your teammates going to think of it the same way you do? Unless your Merriam-Webster or have a department or business in which you’ve cloned your own brain and implanted in to the heads of the other workers around you, the answer is a resounding no. And this is just one consequence of the problem, among many other common office problems.

Not only does it pertain to file naming, it applies to the lexical decision making process of storing the document. When everyone thinks differently of a document or file, they’re likely to edit, alter, and store it in a different place. The consequence is an imaging silo.

Automated routing in a solid document management system resolves this problem, applying documents and files against the same metadata schema.

In the services industry, it costs much more to acquire a customer than it does to retain one. Integrating information management strategies like document management systems into the services industry will make retaining customers an easier endeavor.

Check out our common office problems page to learn how you can improve customer service through document management. As the top-rated document management vendor, eFileCabinet has experience in helping an array of services companies go paperless, and we can guide you through the experience.