Documents, whether electronic or paper, are an essential component of just about any enterprise. Managing business information, sometimes from several sources, can be a challenging task especially with the rise in cybersecurity threats.
So how can businesses navigate document management challenges and remain productive?
Depending on the nature of your company, an enterprise content management (ECM) solution with a robust document management system (DMS) that captures, stores, and retrieves both paper and electronic documents can offer multiple key benefits to your organization.
Benefits of Implementing an Electronic Document Management System
Tackling the task of converting large mountains of paper documents to digital may seem daunting. However, the businesses that choose to invest in an electronic document management system provide themselves with the foundation to help streamline workflows and scale business-critical processes. In addition to improving business productivity, here are the top benefits of implementing an electronic document management system for your business.
1. Reduced Storage Space
Commercial property costs are increasing and so is the expense to store paper documents. A software-based DMS that can reduce the need for file cabinets, boxes, and storage bins is a valuable asset to any enterprise, freeing up precious office space. Documents that have to be kept as hard copies can often be stored in less expensive locations, such as an offsite warehouse or vault.
2. Enhanced Security
Document security is critical for organizations of any size to keep sensitive data protected. DMS provides better control over sensitive documents and access to documents can be controlled at the folder level for different groups or individuals. Also, a DMS leaves an audit trail of who has viewed a document, when it was accessed, and how it may have been modified. Managed documents are highly traceable and can be tagged to allow for automated alerts.
3. Improved Regulatory Compliance
Compliance requirements for certain documents can be quite complex. Non-conformance can lead to fines, revoked licenses, and, in some cases, criminal liability. Federal and state regulatory regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley and HIPAA mandate strict security and privacy guidelines. Document management systems reduce the risk of non-compliance. Records retention schedules, for example, can be automated, and new documents can be more easily classified and stored.
4. Easier Document Retrieval
Searching for and retrieving documents can be very time-consuming - and we all know time is money. The typical office worker spends an estimated 30% to 40% of their day searching for printed documents while organizations on average spend $20 in labor to file a document, $120 in labor to find a misfiled document, and $220 in labor to reproduce a lost document. These unnecessary document management costs restrict an organization's budget, hamper productivity, and limit growth potential.
A document management system can be a powerful, time-saving tool. Depending on the solution implemented, a DMS can retrieve files by a word or phrase in a document. Easier integration with business applications facilitates access to critical information. DMS also gives the opportunity to access documents remotely. As long as there is an internet connection, documents can be accessed anywhere at any time.
5. Better Collaboration
The ability to quickly access content and collaborate is greatly simplified with an advanced document management system. Documents captured from different sources can be accessed from multiple locations. Electronic imaging makes sharing documents over a network via email or the Internet possible. DMS provides greater visibility to business processes and can allow for better workflow monitoring. Authorized access by external users can be allowed and monitored.
6. Better Backup and Disaster Recovery
Any document management solution should include a data backup and disaster recovery plan. With digital archiving as a backup, paper documents are protected from fire and flood, and other disasters. With a DMS, documents are highly traceable and can be tracked using a range of criteria. Document tracking capabilities reduce the likelihood for documents to be lost or misfiled after viewing.
7. Increased Productivity
Time is valuable, and time saved is a definite benefit of DMS that often translates directly into increased productivity. Faster and more efficient document retrieval can boost staff morale and increase client satisfaction. Also, document management solutions are scalable to meet the changing needs of any enterprise. A comprehensive electronic document management system offers businesses a few intangible advantages including:
- Improved client relations
- Peace of mind
Increase Productivity with a Custom Document Management Solution Tailored to Your Business
Transitioning to an electronic document management system helps businesses automate workflows and minimize content errors, freeing up valuable time to focus on more business-critical areas.
A custom DMS tailored to your business will help you simplify content management and streamline business processes. If your business wants to increase productivity to stay competitive, partner with a trusted managed service provider to implement a cost-effective ECM solution with a comprehensive DMS. A custom DMS tailored to your business will help you streamline business processes, ensuring your business stays competitive and profitable.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 19, 2015, and has been updated for accuracy and current best practices.