Research has found that 39 percent of people interviewed believe they have a broken document management/sales process within their organization – and that opinion spans all industries. About 49% of those surveyed said they have trouble locating documents. Document management systems don’t just fix the problems associated with filing papers, retrieving important documents, and securing them. It takes these benefits further – streamlining processes, improving efficiency, and increasing productivity across the board.
Below are the three major ways document management systems can improve your business efficiency and deliver a significant return on investment over your traditional paper-based processes.
Eliminate Manual Processes
With document management, you take the majority of human-based work out of documentation-based processes. No longer do employees need to manually route documents for review, approval, or distribution – freeing up massive amounts of their time.
With documents electronically processed, filed, and stored, your employees are no longer responsible for keeping track of files and passing them through workflows. They no longer need to spend hours searching for documents to attend to customer needs. Your customer support associates will be able to more quickly answer information requests and help customers move through service channels. And sales associates can close more deals in shorter time frames with the right documents a click away.
Added bonus – no more human error: When you eliminate humans from the data entry equation and automate that process, you also remove the risk for human-based error. You’ll reduce the labor associated with clerical mistakes through automatic indexing, and you’ll minimize lost documents. Your overall workflows see improved accuracy and cease to become bogged down with complicated reconciliation or error-fixing. You’ll also eliminate the compliance issues associated with human error because the software provides version management to trace each party’s interaction with a file.
Introduce Electronic Workflow and Integrations
Document management introduces your files to an electronic system that can be accessed remotely – allowing employees to access documents from anywhere with an internet connection. With all documents digitized, your workflows see fewer hold-ups and bottlenecks as well as faster movement because employees don’t have to print copies, make changes, and then process documents through manual revisions.
With work unrestricted by physical access to paper files, employees can collaborate on documents in real-time. Integrating all documents like email attachments and scanned paper into the document management system makes it easier for employees to collaborate on projects, share information, and get work done more quickly. Processes that require sign-offs or approvals are no longer stagnated by the need to print files and manually send them through those workflows.
Multiple employees can work on a single document together – with the latest, most updated version of that file always available. Versioning ensures a record of all changes to documents as well, preventing information loss.
You can also integrate document management systems with other business systems, such as print management systems or enterprise resources planning (ERP) systems, to create better visibility and accessibility across your organization.
Added bonus – cloud-based benefits: You can opt for onboarding document management as either an on-premise system or a system in the cloud. With the latter, you get all the security benefits of the cloud while paying in a subscription model for predictable budgeting and cost-efficiency. You’ll also save money on physical office space, including filing cabinets, folders, closets, storage, rent, and more, as you enjoy the paperless life with document management.
Simplify Search, Retrieval, and Auditing Time
Nothing creates bottlenecks more in a workflow than the time spent for an employee to physically retrieve paper files. Even electronic files that live in siloes throughout departments and file folders on employee computers can present workflow stagnation. Searching for information is a big time-waster and is dramatically simplified with document management systems. Document management provides search capabilities that enable workers to type in a keyword associated with a file and retrieve that information instantly. The system categorizes documents to enable rapid search and stores them in a centralized location. Workers can find documents using just project titles, client names, account numbers, or other data.
Document management also provides full-text search, meaning employees simply need to remember one element of the data associated with a document to discover it. For example, if someone needs to retrieve a document for a client but can’t remember that client’s name, the employee can type in any other data, such as the city’s name. The system will direct the searcher to the file even if you have multiple clients in that city. Compared to manual search systems where the file remains unretrievable if the client’s name cannot be determined, this feature saves massive time.
One of the greatest benefits to any organization – especially ones in industries with intense legal and regulatory requirements – is the ability to create clear document trails for audits. With compliance requirements changing year by year, it’s difficult for businesses to keep up and ensure all documentation is stored correctly and available should they be audited. The right document management system will provide not just a secure repository; it will help you meet regulatory compliance requirements for laws spanning OSHA, FDA, ISO, and more.
Added bonus – security: A document management system allows you to control which documents are available to staff and the public. Internally, you can also set access rules so only the right people are accessing the right versions of the right documents. You’ll rest easy knowing your sensitive information – and that of your customers – is safe from falling into the wrong hands.
Additionally, you’ll never have to worry about data loss as your information is stored electronically. Should a natural disaster occur, such as a flood, your paper-free operations will continue with your documents secured.
DocXellent is the leading expert in document management systems, including document control and specification management software. We offer tools that streamline your business processes and improve efficiency and productivity across your entire organization. Get in touch with us today to discover new ways of working with document management.