If you walk around your office today and see someone searching through a stack of paper documents, that person isn’t doing their real job. No organization would hire people just to shuffle paper — they hire people to tackle important accounting, engineering and sales tasks, to name just a few examples.
One of the main advantages of digital document management is that it helps all of your employees focus on what they’re really here to accomplish. A good document management system frees employees from the time-consuming and cumbersome tasks of paper and document handling. By eliminating these obligations, you improve productivity and process efficiency, and unleash your employees’ true energy and creativity.
If your organization doesn’t have digital document management in place, much of your important business information tends to end up in file cabinets, email folders and local hard drives, which seriously limit your access to the documents. This lack of access produces bottlenecks in your organization’s workflow.
For example, let’s say that you’ve been asked to approve a vendor’s invoice before the accounting department sends out the payment. Looking at the invoice, you realize you need to first check it against the purchase requisition and most recent price list, so you set out to find those documents. After looking through your email and local files, you might start asking other people for those documents, which ends up taking a long time. In the end, you put the invoice back in your inbox, and the approval (along with the vendor’s payment) waits until another day.
Clearly, poor access to the documents you need creates inefficiencies and frustration for an organization. Unfortunately, these inefficient workflows are quite common. That’s why a digital document management or enterprise content management system is the foundation for efficient workflow management and process improvement.
Here are some of the advantages of replacing your paper-based processes with digital document management:
- Powerful search functionality: Indexed documents and full-text search help you find documents in seconds, improving productivity.
- Frees up storage space: By going digital, the space you currently use to store documents and file cabinets could be repurposed for more constructive use.
- Cost savings: Stop paying for paper, printing, postage, shipping, copying equipment and maintenance.
- Easy access: Digital document management improves access to important information, even from your mobile devices. Version control allows several people to work on the same document and ensures you always have the most recent file.
- Data security: No documents get lost in the shuffle, and security measures prevent unauthorized access to sensitive files. In the event of a security breach or natural disaster, your digital backup helps ensure business continuity.
- Ability to set multiple permissions levels: This functionality helps to streamline workflow management and ensure compliance.
- Automatic audit trail: You’ll always know who accessed a document last and what changes were made.
Once you have digital document management as your foundation, you’ll be able to streamline many routine tasks through digital workflow management. When organized and relevant information flows easily to and from the appropriate employees, it’s relatively easy to automate invoice approvals, for example. And that allows everyone in the organization to get back to their real jobs — including you.
Learn more about overhauling your document management processes by downloading our FREE whitepaper, “7.5 Signs Your Document Management Needs An Overhaul.”