Document management is the process of using a computer system to store, track, and manage documents. While this is becoming an increasingly popular practice, the reality is most businesses are still utilizing paper documents which can hinder the ability to effectively operate, respond to internal and external demands, and be competitive overall.
Document management systems can provide many advantages and provide the opportunity for a business to improve operations. Below are reasons why such a system should be considered.
1. Increased efficiency
Document management systems lead to increased efficiency within a business. With this arrangement, employees can easily access and share documents within a central system. By having a document management system, employees can access, view, edit, and share documents, allowing for quicker and more efficient processes within the workplace. Being able to collaborate with other employees through an online storage system leads to increased productivity which will benefit the business overall and allow it to be competitive.
The system is cloud-based, meaning it can be accessed via the internet, users can access files anywhere, anytime which will definitely facilitate more collaboration and lead to projects being completed quicker and more efficiently. No more will employees need to search in multiple places for a single document. Document management systems provide an electronic, central repository where everything needed is at the user’s fingertips.
2. Increased security
The security and confidentiality of all documents is important to all businesses and with identify theft and data breaches on the rise, it is crucial that all of your information is protected. Most document management systems have several layers of security that a user needs to go through before accessing the documents enclosed.
As a result, businesses can rest assured that sensitive documents will not fall into the wrong hands. Not only do these documents need to be protected from malicious intent, they need to be protected by physical threats as well. When hard copy documents are retained, a business runs the risk of them being ruined or destroyed by such disasters as fires or floods. Because all documents are stored electronically, they will be impervious to any physical threat.
3. Version control
When all employees use the same files or a project team needs to ensure everyone is accessing the same material, version control is vital. Document management systems can identify the latest version to guarantee that all employees are using the same document. This type of system usually includes a search feature that allows users to locate a needed document based on keywords, allowing for easy access and increased productivity.
This also allows employees to avoid searching through filing cabinets and locating a document that may be outdated. Every file is stamped with a time and date to guarantee employees are using the latest version of a file.
Gone are the days where businesses need to dedicate space to filing cabinets, maintain documents, and ensure they are accessible to everyone. By switching to a document management system, businesses can reduce costs spent on paper, ink, and storage systems as employees will only need to print hard copies when absolutely necessary.
This system is also beneficial when documents need to be archived. As the amount of hard copy files that need to be saved grows, businesses often run out of space and are forced to pay for off-site storage that may not be the safest and secure option. Instead of physically saving and storing these files, they can be scanned and added to a centralized database for safekeeping in the event they need to be accessed later on.