A documentation management system is one of the emerging means of achieving a sound information management strategy in 2017, particularly for businesses in services, insurance, government, and generally client-centered industries.

However, the most significant role that a documentation management system plays within the marketplace is one often forgotten—the factor it has in streamlining and directly impacting customers’ experiences at the end of businesses’ operational processes, and this experience can be called the “B2B2C” experience.

While most businesses are viewed as either serving in a B2C (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business) capacity, an increasingly important business world emerges when these two are combined, as the interrelatedness becomes startlingly apparent in closer analysis.

How B2B and B2B Mix to Form B2B2C

In any business arrangement where a business to business company sells or consults to a business that services customers, there is potential for the initial B2B company to impact the customers within the business to whom they are selling or offering services.

As one can imagine, the technological implications for impacting this relationship and dynamic are infinite, but they are especially applicable to the documentation management system, and here’s why.

How the Documentation Management System Works in this Relationship

Let’s take the following scenario: Say that an accountant works for a firm in which he or she helps small to mid-sized businesses contract tax services and basic accounts receivable and accounts payable services for an auto shop.

The accountant is selling his or her services (within the accounting firm) to another business (the auto shop), making this a business to business (B2B) transaction.

The documentation management system can play a pivotal role in the experience of the customer who is paying for the auto shop’s services, even if the accountant and the auto shop’s customer never interact with one another.

If the customer has a billing-related question about a previous transaction with the auto shop, the clerk in the auto shop is probably going to have to call the accounting firm in which the CPA works to find the answer.

If the CPA picks up the phone, realizing that the auto shop is calling to request information, what happens from there is a divergent path.

B2B2C Scenario 1: No Documentation Management System Involved

The accountant can fumble over the request given over the phone, and search for the item the customer is asking for. Time continues ticking as he or she forays through the endless maze of filing cabinets and outdated storage mediums.

Seconds turn in to minutes. Minutes turn in to bigger portions of an hour, and the customer becomes impatient.

Although it’s not the auto shop’s fault, this experience reflects poorly upon them as they are the most immediate touch point for the customer.

The person at the auto shop answering the phone becomes increasingly frustrated with the accountant, and may even report the incident to his boss at the auto shop, who may or may not be inclined to find another accounting firm to manage their AR and AP services.

Or, even worse, the customer tells the person at the front desk handling the phone to “forget about it,” and leaves the shop in a state of frustration, deciding for his or herself that they will resolve to take their business to another auto shop.

Think we’re just stringing this scenario together to make an abstract point in a blog post that has no bearing on the real world? Think again. Forbes has documented the issues of this dynamic, primarily as it pertains to accountants.

Scenario 2: The Accountant Has a Documentation Management System in Place

With a documentation management system in place, the above scenario can pan out very differently, and for all 3 parties involved—the accountant, the customer, and the auto shop directly tending to the customer.

Let’s take the same customer, accountant, and phone intermediary from scenario 1 and apply it to the same situation, simply adding a documentation management system to the equation as it was the dependent variable in the scenario outlined above.

The same customer asks the same desk attendant at the auto shop for the billing-related information outlined in scenario 1. The auto shop’s desk attendant picks up the phone, and calls the accountant who is using the documentation management system (yes, accountants rely on these systems quite frequently).

Instead of fumbling over filing cabinets and paper-based documents to retrieve the item that the customer has asked the front desk clerk to retrieve, the accountant finds the document within 10 seconds, sends it to the auto shop via a secure website portal if need be (sending sensitive items via email can cost your business thousands in data breach costs and consumer lawsuits). The desk clerk then has the information to answer the billing-related question first posed by the customer initially.

And we don’t have to discuss this scenario as a hypothetical situation, because we needn’t look further than one auto shop’s experience with eFileCabinet to see the benefits a documentation management system can produce for the companies that are using it.

Westside Auto Pros, for instance, relies on eFileCabinet to scale back on the paper in their shop and become far more efficient, letting them build a bigger book of business and produce better results for their customers, which has an enduring impact on the long-term financial viability of the company.

Although we’ve only skimmed the tip of the iceberg on how the business to business world can positively impact the consumer experience with the right technology, the above information highlights how any document-related process in a business that influences the customer can be improved through a documentation management system.

There will be numerous summer business problems to face in 2017, and getting ahead of the curve with the right technology as quickly as possible will help businesses contend with these issues with poise, confidence, and self-assured-ness.

If you’re interested in seeing what eFileCabinet can do for your business, fill out the lead form bar on the side of this page or call in to speak with one of our customer success managers.