Gain Control of Your Files with Document Management
There are many great things about utilizing digital documents in business. For starters, they are much easier to access than paper documents. Rather than keeping them in file folders stuffed into old-fashioned filing cabinets, when in the electronic form your documents can be stored on a shared drive where others can go in and find, edit, and print out as needed. Paper documents are also easier to misplace or lose forever, whereas when you have the original saved in digital form you can simply print out another copy should you need to.
While it has its benefits, storing your documents digitally can still be messy and inefficient. File naming conventions are often inconsistent within a company, and sometimes access to certain documents can be impossible if the document is being used by someone else. And if the new guy sees it and doesn’t realize its potential importance, it may be accidentally deleted completely. That can mean a lot of extra work, and depending on the document in question, lawsuits. Not to mention, if the digital file is kept in a location any of your staff can access, the information within it is susceptible to being seen by unauthorized employees. Your employees need to share documents for work, and if they are kept in paper form or haphazardly stored on a shared drive this process can be anything but smooth.
One thing that can help with all of these pain points is a top-notch document management solution that will allow your company to stay better organized and collaborate more effectively.
The Problem with Paper Documents
Working with documents in paper format is hardly the most efficient way for a business to operate. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the average office worker maintains 20,000 pieces of paper annually, with nearly 75% of their time working with paper-based information spent searching for and filing documents. Datapro/Gartner Group maintains that the average employee spends 400 hours each year searching for paper documents. In business, where time is money, that’s simply not a practical approach. Or a cost-effective one.
While it is nice to work with paper in certain instances, relying primarily on paper documentation can be problematic. For many businesses, there is not a consistent system in how to properly name, catalog, or store documents so that they can be found and referenced quickly. Even if there is a standard, organized filing system, when the original document is removed to be worked with it can become lost and impossible to retrieve, which creates a different problem for your company. Even more frightening than that, with paper documents sitting on desks—or even when stored in filing cabinets—there is a bigger risk of confidential information getting into the wrong hands, or important documents being destroyed by an event such as a fire, flood, or natural disaster. Thankfully, there is a better way: document management.
Manage Your Documents Digitally for Maximum Efficiency
A document management solution is a way of capturing, storing and retrieving documents in digital form through sophisticated software. While most businesses already work with documents in digital format and store them on their network, all-too-often their ‘system’ isn’t nearly as organized and efficient as it should be. That’s where document management can help.
With document management software in place, documents could come into the office as electronic files as well as in paper form and may cross departments or locations. Regardless, they can all still be quickly converted to digital format, indexed—tagged with searchable terms or phrases for faster search and retrieval—and stored.
When you’re storing digital documents without the help of a document management solution and the time comes to review related documents together, they may be scattered and difficult to access. For example, let’s say you’re looking for documents relating to a certain client. If these files aren’t stored in the same folder of a drive it can be extremely time-consuming, or even impossible, to locate everything you need. However, with document management, these documents can be connected by indexing them with the client’s name, so you can simply search for them by this keyword.
How It Will Benefit Your Business
When your documents are stored digitally rather than in paper form, there is much better organization of and access to your content. Collaboration is key in business, but it can be challenging, especially in times like these when employees are often working from different locations. Document management allows your team to access, share, and work with the same documents regardless of where they are, without compromising the data within them. Whether it’s between employees, departments, or branches, collaborating on a document has never been easier. Document management enables version control for your files, so it is easy to tell which is the latest version, and it is still possible to reference an older version, should the need arise. An audit trail will keep track of all versions throughout the history of a document, including edits made and by whom.
There is greater data security provided by document management versus just keeping things on the drive. Within your document management software, different levels of access to your documents can be granted on a “need-to-access” basis, preventing a free-for-all in which anyone can open a file. Store your documents without worrying who might see what’s in them, or even worse, print that data for malicious purposes. Document management also makes archiving and disposing of files more efficient, which is particularly beneficial for businesses facing regulatory compliance.
If your business is getting frustrated by the inefficiencies that come along with working with paper documents in an outdated filing system or could use a better way of managing your digital documents, it is time to look into document management. To learn more about our document management solution and how it will bring efficiency to your workflows, contact DTS today. We’ve been helping Minnesota businesses solve their technology challenges since 2004 and are here to serve you.