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Real World Information Management Use Case: Sharing Information and Documents with Customers

This article is one of a four-part series presenting real world use cases of information management solutions like M-Files. Check out the other three here:

Thanks in no small part to the fast-paced digital world that we’re now living in, companies of all types NEED to be able to share information quickly and efficiently with their customers. It’s no longer a recommendation, but a requirement.

If you and your team are in the middle of an important project for a client that is due next week, obviously that client is going to want to be kept in-the-loop as progress marches on. If you have a question, they need to know about it so that you can look for the answer and keep moving. If there’s some element that needs to be signed off on before you can continue, that has to happen right away to avoid delay. This true sense of communication and collaboration is the backbone of a quality customer experience AND a healthy relationship, too.

But for far too many organizations, a lot of this is easier said than done. Collaborating on a project feels like an uphill battle when your employees are using a cloud-based storage solution like Box and your clients are using an alternative like Google Drive. So what should be an effortless process of sending someone a link now becomes time spent trying to figure out how to make crucial files available in one platform, then another, then back again — all while those deadlines are still looming.

The good news is that the right information management system like M-Files makes all of this easier to do than you could have ever thought possible. M-Files is a communication and collaboration solution designed specifically to help you address issues like those outlined above — all so that you can focus less on the technology and more on what the technology can do for you.

Share Easily, Share Securely

Maybe the biggest benefit that M-Files brings to the table to that end involves giving you a chance to share information with clients in the most secure manner possible. Even those clients who themselves are not M-Files users can still access the system and participate in co-authoring.

Indeed, many customers also love the fact that you can connect M-Files to a portal for client information where they can get whatever they need in real-time. With API connections, M-Files customers can funnel documents, files, and information into their own client portal, making it available to their customers in real-time.

Plus, with metadata, you can assign rights based on roles and particular users to help make sure you’re not accidentally sharing content that isn’t meant for a particular recipient. In other words, you can easily make sure that the only people who have access to a file are those who absolutely need it to do their jobs. This is a great way to make sure that sensitive, client-specific information never falls into the wrong hands.

The Straightforward Process You Deserve

Likewise, M-Files creates a situation where you’re no longer dealing with email attachments that themselves are victims of versioning issues and duplication problems. All you have to do is send a link to the master version of a document in M-Files to your client and the system itself will take care of the rest.

But really, one of the main strengths of M-Files involves how the system is purpose-built to allow you to keep track of tasks with workflows in a way that makes the most sense to you. You can organize documents and other types of content by project, project phase, customer, owner, or any other attribute — at which point you can then route that content via workflows to make sure that all employees and external stakeholders adhere to the processes, deadlines, and regulations that are put in place. But the best part of all is that M-Files also captures ALL changes to the version history of a document and creates a full audit trail of the information in question — thus dramatically improving accountability across the board.

In the end, sharing information and documents with clients and customers has never been easier thanks in large part to M-Files’ built-in tools to collaborate. Do you need multiple people to be able to edit the same file at the same time, all without running the risk of creating two conflicting versions or duplicate files? You absolutely can because that’s what M-Files was built to do in the first place.

With M-Files, co-authoring has never been easier because there is just one shared version of a file for everyone to work with. All approvers and commenters and easily annotate and redline documents, all from any device they’re working from with an active Internet connection. This means that feedback flows freely, and documents are completed faster than ever. An automated approval process can even make sure that the final content is ready to use right away.

The M-Files Approach: Building Better Relationships with Clients

All of this blends together to create something of a perfect storm in the best possible way. Not only is it easy to keep your clients in-the-loop about what is going on with their projects, but they’ll love how hands-on they’re able to be and they’ll enjoy the fact that you clearly value their input.

Not only will this help improve the quality of the finished product, but it will also help make meaningful improvements to the important relationships you’re forging with these clients. That is an exciting position for any business leader to be in, regardless of industry.

M-Files was named the most visionary content services platform by Gartner. See what Gartner had to say: