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Bringing about real change in the way we work: customers gather to launch mstore user group

Bringing about real change in the way we work: customers gather to launch mstore user group

Selecting the right software package to successfully transition to a digitised workflow, and working together with a partner on the technical specification is just part of the story. How do you ensure that your organisation is ready for change?

The challenges of adoption were one of the topics for discussion when a cross section of mstore users gathered on a wet and tempestuous Friday in June. The stormy weather could have been a fitting analogy for the trials experienced by some in implementing a successful new workflow. But as the inclement skies receded and the summer heat returned in time for lunch on the terrace, the rewards for our labours were apparent. The operational benefits shared amongst those in the room – from saving 7 days a month in one team on processing documentation and saving 9 tons of paper a year across the business, to enabling growth and improving job satisfaction through greater efficiencies, inspired many to consider the wider potential application of mstore to address many commonly held operational challenges within diverse business types.

Much of the discussion was prompted by three excellent presentations from Kevin Mowles of Leeds Building Society, Matthew Wood of Iconica Business Services and Ian Edwards of Reed Boardall explaining the journey they had taken. The application of mstore across the three was diverse, and not all had faced the same challenges. Kevin described implementation of mstore as a “no brainer” with business growth and excess of mundane task crying out for operational efficiencies delivered by mstore. As part of the financial sector, the culture of LBS is also familiar with change.

What was very clear from the event is that the adoption of document management pays off handsomely.  Those who have embraced this change would never dream of going back to “how things used to be”.  However, the change for some can be daunting – not just for the project teams and business managers, but perhaps more so for the end users of the system.  Paper for some is familiar and comfortable, so making the change to on-screen working is dramatic.  For the team at Leeds Building Society, there was a massive appetite for change, with the eradication of mundane tasks at a time of massive growth perceived as a ‘no brainer’. We should all be mindful that the end users of a document management system are interested in the purpose behind the document – not in software.  And a system is more likely to be successful if the solution designed is kept simple.

So adoption can be a challenge.  None of this is specific to document management, however and certainly not mstore.  There are a number of proven techniques for overcoming fears on the part of the user community and those present at that the meeting had adopted several of these tactics.  One of the most common – and most effective – was early user engagement, which is something which Arena would strongly recommend in all cases.  It’s also a great idea to adopt a pilot project approach. This allows a focus on some specific “quick wins”, which in turn creates a buzz around the wider project – done well, this can have other business areas queuing up to be next!  It’s also a great way of reducing risk within the change process, so a win-win for users and business managers alike.

The importance of senior stakeholder buy in was also stressed by many mstore users, to lend weight, decisive direction and enable removal of barriers should they appear. Building an internal coalition or departmental champions can help make things happen. Overall, change management is essential and this needs to be considered from the outset.

Tackling challenges such as system adoption and recognising the benefits of a “community of users of a strategic product” that enables users to “participate in the life of the product” provided the impetus for creating a mstore user group, the key outcome of this event. Overall, it was felt that a user group will enable difficult business problems to be brought to a forum where other customers, as well as Arena, can apply knowledge and experience and inspiration on how to further utilise a system through sharing experiences with other mstore customers. The user group also provides the opportunity for customers to help steer the product roadmap, and potentially benefit from shared development costs, whilst Arena gains from listening to customers’ feedback, ensuring the roadmap is in line with customer’s future requirements, which in turn can be key to successful adoption.

All mstore customers are invited to join the mstore user group discussion on line today. Currently hosted on LinkedIn, you can also access speaker blogs, view slides and receive invitations to future events and activities. Search for ‘Arena Marketing’ and connect and an invitation to join will follow.

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The Arena Group comprises: Arena Group Holdings Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (with registered company number 03735943 and VAT number 734562528) and its subsidiary company: Arena Group Limited a company registered in England and Wales (with registered company number 02168309 and VAT number 458238033). The Registered office of all Arena Group companies is Armitage House, Thorpe Lower Lane, Robin Hood, Wakefield, WF3 3BQ. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for credit-related regulated activities.