Enterprise Content Management systems excel at storing, managing, and preserving information. However, bundling and publishing content has always been a weakness of these solutions. The most common examples of this involve case-based processes, which require users to collect information – for example as part of an insurance claim, customer services request or perhaps criminal proceedings – and provide a case file of related documents for consumption by other internal teams or third parties.
Publishing case files can be a slow and error prone manual process. It requires finding, opening and viewing each document in the case, to then collate, assemble and print. This issue is compounded in most ECM systems by the fact that documents can be stored in multiple formats, such as MS Office documents, images and print ready files, all of which need to be combined into a final bundle, often in the same document format, often as PDF. Not only that, but the documents could be spread around multiple ECM systems making this process even more challenging.
Some ECM and case management systems provide a more rudimentary capability that allows users to aggregate results and publish the documents as a simple ZIP file, but this is often difficult to consume and lacks any of the bundle enhancing features such as front cover page, table of contents, watermarks and page numbering, all of which make for the most effective and usable end product.
Many customers resort to developing their own in-house ECM publishing point solutions to address these weaknesses. However, this solution incurs significant initial development costs as well as the burden of ongoing maintenance, often exacerbated by ECM system upgrades and various incompatibilities encountered.
In the end, satisfying these common business requirements for publishing content from case based processes means lower case-worker productivity, a less usable end product resulting in poor communication between departments and other agencies, and significant IT investment in the absence of a purpose-built enterprise solution.
At CrawfordTech we have been working to solve these challenges for our customers for over ten years. Our approach has been to automate the bundling and publishing tasks by integrating these features closely with the ECM system. End-users can select documents to publish using standard templates and deliver them across a broad set of supported channels such as storing back into the ECM system, FAX, email, print, file systems or even to a Box folder for secure delivery. We make these capabilities a matter of configuration rather than a complex custom development and integration of disparate tools.
If you would like to find out more about the challenges of content bundling and publishing for case based systems download our white paper, or take a look at this customer success story that describes how a large hospital gained efficiencies, saved money and improved customer service with CrawfordTech’s Riptide.