Sound familiar? An important document gets misplaced, and you spend hours looking for it, with no luck. You go to the file room or offsite storage area and are met with rooms full of supposedly labeled cardboard boxes or rows of filing cabinets, you spend precious time looking through drawers for the file, and all the while there’s a good chance that the last person to have the document may never have put it back in its proper place. You eventually give up and move on, or try to re-create it. And then what happens… you find it after you stop looking. In some cases, this is not a huge deal, but what if this one document is critical to your business. What if it is the one document your team needs to get started on a time sensitive project or that could save your company a huge amount of money in a lawsuit? Things like this are where a document management system can be a huge benefit.
A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers on the time and money spent on paper in a typical organization revealed:
- It costs $20 in labor to file a document, $120 to find a misfiled document, and $220 to reproduce a lost document.
- 90% of all the paper that gets handled on a daily basis is merely shuffled from person to person or place to place.
- The average document gets copied 19 times.
- Approximately 7% of all documents get lost: 3% of the remainder get misfiled.
- Professionals spend 5-15% of their time actually reading information, and up to 50% of their time looking for the document(s) to read.
- The number of physical paper documents is growing at a rate of 22%. With over 4 trillion paper documents in the U.S. alone, that equates to 880,000,000,000
So what exactly is a document management system? When you Google document management, you will find “document management encompasses the processes and procedures your organization uses as it pertains to capturing, storing, securing and retrieving information on a daily basis.” It uses a computer system and software to organize, store, manage, and track electronic documents and scanned images of paper-based information. The electronic storage option increases productivity by allowing your team to use keywords to search for files without ever having to leave their desks.
Document management software simplifies the process and makes it easy for businesses to combine paper - like checks, invoices, purchase orders, and employee onboarding documents that can be scanned in - with digital files that can be imported into a single place. A variety of file formats can be supported such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF files, and so on.
Other than saving trees and saving money, there are lots of advantages to a document management software solution. Some of the more beneficial include:
- Reduced Storage Space - It’s a well-known fact… office space costs continue to rise and consequently, the cost to store paper documents goes up as well. A software-based document management solution is a valuable asset to any company as it will free up space by reducing the need for file cabinets, boxes and storage bins. The hard copy documents that must be kept can often be stored in less expensive locations like an offsite warehouse.
- Better Collaboration - Document management systems serve as a central repository for all your important documents that can subsequently be accessed, viewed, changed and shared within your organization. Users have the ability to access files and documents anywhere, anytime, regardless of device used, which is particularly handy when collaborating on projects with team members who are on the go or located remotely.
- Increased Productivity - With integrations to your other business software, like ERP or HRMS, a document management solution can eliminate duplicate data input and allow for a seamless flow of information between disparate platforms. Many of these systems often support email integration, allowing you to directly send files and documents to customers, vendors and coworkers. Faster and more efficient document retrieval can boost staff morale and increase client satisfaction as well.
- Enhanced Security - When documents are not managed properly, the possibility of important information being exposed to the wrong people is a big problem. We have all read about security breaches and the effects this can have on a company; sensitive information in the wrong hands can bring irreversible damage to a business. Using a document management system lets you control access to confidential business information based on security policies and role-based access where only authorized users are allowed to view certain files or documents. Audit trails detailing who has viewed a document, modified it, and when it was accessed provide an added layer of security.
The benefits to a good document storage solution, like Doclink, are huge. And the ROI is also. Give CS3 Technology a call if you would like to explore a better way of managing the paper in your organization.