This Spring, Tidy Up With a Document Management System
It’s almost April. And that means – for most of the country, at least – that Spring is here. Flowers are blooming. Grass is growing. And there’s a decent chance you have some cleaning up to do.
Unfortunately, you’re on your own with your garage. And we don’t do lawns. But if you need to clean up your act around the office, we’re happy to help. Here are five ways that a document management system (like SAFE) can help you get organized, get efficient – and get more done.
1. Straighten up around the office.
How many sheets of paper are on your desk right now? How many filing cabinets can you see? If your office is like most, the answer to both questions is probably “a lot.” All that clutter is unsightly, inefficient and costly – rent for space occupied by folders, after all, isn’t free.
Deploying an enterprise-class document management system can change that. Whether you choose a full “backfile conversion” (scanning all existing records and storing PDFs within the document management system), “day-forward” scanning (maintaining a physical backfile, but generating no new paper records) or a hybrid approach, following modern best practices for electronic document management will always dramatically reduce the amount of paper in your office.
2. Tidy up for tax time.
One of the great things about modern document management systems is how easy they make it to archive supporting documentation, like receipts, then access what you need at tax time. Everything is organized, searchable and fully backed up – with nary a shoebox or manila folder in sight. You’ll save hours of time … and your accounting department will thank you.
3. De-clutter your inbox.
According to the Radicati Group, a Silicon Valley market research firm, the average business email user sent and received just over 100 emails per day in 2013 – and that number is projected to rise by 5 percent this year. That means inboxes are almost always full. And things – important things – get lost or forgotten in full inboxes.
Fortunately, the workflow and document sharing capabilities included in top document management systems can greatly reduce users’ dependency on email. They can’t eliminate document-related email, of course – workflow and availability notifications need to be sent somehow – but they can help cut back the number of messages needed to accomplish a task, and essentially remove the need for attachments. All documents are stored in one system, available to authorized users any time, anywhere, on any device. That means a cleaner inbox and fewer missed connections, in addition to better version control and increased security.
4. Clean out the copies.
Speaking of version control: How many duplicates of critical documents are stored in your company’s current electronic files? Do you know which is the newest? The oldest? Which is approved? Which aren’t?
Legacy electronic filing systems have no answer to the version control problem. Something as simple as a one-digit change in a file name creates an entirely new document – and endless confusion down the line. Proper document management systems, by contrast, archive old versions, while making only a single copy – the newest, most up-to-date one – immediately accessible. You’ll never grab the wrong version again.
5. Organize your apps.
These days, there’s an application or solution for everything. Theoretically, it’s possible to MacGyver together a document management “system” from a combination of shared drives, public cloud storage, messaging systems and scanning software. Problem is, by the time you scratch the surface of a best-in-class document management system’s functionality, you have a dozen or more user accounts, as many passwords, multiple handoff points and a total lack of built-in integration. In short, you have a nightmare.
Deploying a single, centralized solution – whether it’s installed on-premises or delivered as SaaS in a secure, private cloud – instantly improves organization and efficiency. One application suite. One login. One account, enterprise-wide. And no clutter.