Are there a lot of up-front costs to implementation?
Yes, there are up-front costs, but the term “a lot” does not do the long-term benefits of document management software justice. The benefits of DMS are best understood through an investment lens—one which requires up-front expenses for long-term reward.
However, DMS eliminates the gamble associated with investing due to the surefire route to ROI it guarantees, so long as it is implemented properly and utilized fully. An organization (or individual) cannot reasonably plan to profit without allocating capital to the right resources—a paperless work environment being a clear contender for the spot of ‘the right resource’ when it comes to cutting OPEX expenses to free up cash flow.
Therefore, the up-front costs of buying and using document management software are poor guidelines for whether a small to mid-sized organization (or a department within a larger organization) should buy in to using the software, particularly when the initial cost is not considered in tandem with the relatively immediate and long-term benefits of using the service.
The up-front cost of the product’s implementation can be summed by adding the price of the solution with the price of the organization’s implementation, which, although harder to quantify, hinges on both the preparedness of the organization implementing the software and the vendor’s ability to provide guidance and assist with implementation—things over which administrators have a high degree of control.
Document management software administrators who want to know the operating costs associated with implementation should know how many documents need to be scanned and uploaded, how preexisting workflow processes will be replicated in the system, and how many employees need training for the service (same as # of user licenses). This includes an estimate for how long these tasks will take and other considerations like uploading processes, which are drastically simplified by technology like Zonal OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
An efficient, small to mid-sized organization with a document management software vendor savvy enough to provide the correct assistance can have DMS fully integrated into a buyer’s organizational process—and have employees of this organization understand its functions, generating a return on investment—within 1 month (if allocating roughly an hour to the implementation process each day).
Many top-notch DMS vendors have installation guidelines and customer support teams with essential certifications as part of the built-in cost for the product implementation, which, bear in mind, always equates to much less than the cost of continuing paper-dependent operations. As outlined earlier, these costs can amount to as much as $864,000 per year—resulting in an enormously improved bottom line.