As more businesses grow, so too does the amount of data and documents they deal with. Without an electronic, structured system in place, this can create an abundance of issues and frustrations for all team members.
Managing documents manually means:
- hardcopy, printed documents need to be physically stored and managed
- printed documents can be easily misplaced, filed in the wrong folder or lost
- multiple versions of the same document can exist across the business’s hardcopy paperwork and digital files
- finding a particular document in filing cabinets can be a time-consuming affair.
These inefficient functions can lead to dissatisfied customers, disgruntled employees, and lost profits.
Electronic document management
A document management system (DMS) is software that electronically files, records, tracks and stores the documents in the business. This software can manage digital documents, captured images and uploads, and record different file versions for the business to refer back to if needed. It also means staff members can easily identify the file they need using metadata.
Choosing the right DMS solution can be tricky; however, it will become clearer once you determine exactly what areas of your business need it the most. Although it might be tempting to choose a solution that offers a broad range of services, if your business doesn’t necessarily need all of them, then the extra features are impractical and just cost you money.
Here are four aspects of your business to consider when determining which DMS solution is right for you:
- Current document management. What systems are in place currently? Are documents all hardcopies, digital or a mix of both? How do particular documents move through your business and what processes are they linked to? While a DMS solution stores and manages digital documents and scanned versions of hardcopy documents, keeping files together and easily accessible, there’s more to DMS than file management. A good DMS utilises digitisation to incorporate efficiencies to existing processes through automation, workflows and notifications. It also reduces the need to have a large space to physically store this information, and reduces the cost of printing.
- Current employee morale. How are your employees feeling about the current situation? Your employees might be getting frustrated with your current situation as they have to find, print, store and manage documents every day. There may be some areas that are causing the most frustration, such as creating a new document only to find out that exact document was already in the system. Once you know what’s most frustrating for the team, you can decide which challenges are the important to overcome. A DMS solution can boost employee morale by easily identifying the file they need or managing where it is stored, which also improves productivity as staff now have time for other tasks.
- Devices and accessibility. Is there a range of different devices and software being used throughout the business? It’s important to consider this when choosing a DMS solution so you can ensure that the solution you choose will be compatible across the spectrum of company software and accessible on all devices.
- Information security. What does your business have in place to protect both physical and digital documents? Cybersecurity is an important factor for all businesses as cybercriminals become more advanced and creative in infiltrating systems. A cyberbreach can cost businesses in terms of brand perception, customer loyalty, and the cost of recovering from the attack, which can eat into profits, so a secure solution is essential. Furthermore, if all your business documents are hardcopies, located in filing cabinets, records can easily be lost or destroyed, leaving the business with nothing to show.
Improving your document management processes will benefit staff and improve productivity, and will also provide visibility on the progress of projects, budgets, invoices and many other aspects of the company. To find out more about how a DMS solution can help your business contact Upstream today.