Some mid-sized businesses follow a disciplined document management strategy, but that’s hardly the norm.
In your typical workday, you probably process information in a variety of formats, including paper documents, electronic files and countless emails. If your company is like most businesses, that information winds up in isolated silos, such as email accounts, filing cabinets and shared network drives.
That’s fine — until you need to solve a problem.Any time you need information to answer questions and solve problems, you have to search through all of these silos individually to find what’s needed. These inefficient document management processes hinder your employees’ ability to respond quickly to suppliers, colleagues and customers, with real costs to your business.
To reclaim this lost time and dramatically improve efficiency, you need a vision for where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. The best way to start is by developing a strategy for tackling your document management problems. Ideally, you would begin by identifying your pain points and the areas of your business that have the greatest need, and then put together a plan of attack.
Some mid-sized businesses get overwhelmed when trying to plan out every aspect of their document management approach, leading to “analysis paralysis.” Meanwhile, inefficient processes continue to drain their resources. Fortunately, you don’t need a perfect master plan to get started today and make a real difference.
Here are four simple tips for improving your company’s existing document management processes.
- Focus on improving a single department, or even a single process: Choose one area to improve, and keep working on it until you’ve mastered it. Eliminate silos, simplify steps and automate your process. Then, apply the same approach to the next process.
- Make sure your solution is capable of handling all documents and electronic files your process requires: Your document management system should make it simple to input any document type. When you receive emails, for instance, it should be easy to quickly drag and drop them into the your system.
- Create a distributed capture environment: Make sure people are able to scan documents into the system from wherever they are; this is especially important if you have more than one office. Multiple scanners and mobile apps lower the barriers to immediately digitizing paper documents.
- Be aggressive: Once you master one process or improve one department, resist the temptation to stop there. Build on your success by moving on to the next process.
To learn more about document management solutions for your company, download our tip sheet, 7 Simple Document Management Tips For Mid-Sized Businesses.
Learn more about enterprise content management.