With the advent of document management systems (DMS), the world has gone paperless. Going paperless is a massive step forward in information management and security. However, not all people have adopted such document systems yet, and their businesses are facing significant challenges because they cannot tap into documents on a virtual scale.
Effective document management (DM) comes with many benefits—as well as solutions to problems your business might be facing. Here are 10 such problems that effective DM can solve:
1. Document version issues
For a long time, the world used paper. Despite new, paperless options, paper has its place in even the biggest corporations of the world. However, this has made the use of email attachments and document sharing a big problem. Most DM systems come with in-built version control systems such that physical paper is converted into virtual copies, making document conversion an easy task. Some examples of document version control you might come across on your DMS include:
- M-Files: This Microsoft Company feature provides the document in its latest version. The blog section of M-Files has enough information about this.
- Master Control: This quality management system reports on the changes and the latest versions of any image or document.
- FileHold: This system tells where a document is located and the version worked on by the DMS.
Effective document management solves document version problems with the help of version control software. Information can now be shared by email in any required version.
2. Collaboration issues solved
Today, most companies—even ones with the best in-house teams—have had to outsource work to outside companies, which means they have to integrate their systems. Personally I prefer the list of outsource networks defined by The Time Doctor. The operations of these companies become more sophisticated as information is shared, but document management allows for smooth collaboration. Document management systems not only serve as storage systems but also project management systems. Such practice allows for collaboration in work environments and workflows. Effective document management allows for easy access to information between both organizations. Microsoft SharePoint is another cloud based application that is being used word wide for medium & large enterprises. One of the prime thing about it is SharePoint Migration which is more often considered as a complex task which needs core expertise when you decide to switch your hosting provider.
3. Time wastage
The use of paper in business operations consumes a lot of time. A filing system designed with referencing and labelling of files allows easier retrieval. Software such as FileCenter DMS will enable the creation, storage, access and editing of information. Paper is converted into virtual documents through scanning. Some DM systems extract information from files, organize the data and make information access easy as well as editable at any time.
A sound document management system enables you to reduce half a day of storage time to a few minutes in a day. Cumulatively, document management systems reduce the time spent in managing information in a business. This makes document management enjoyable—unlike managing information on paper, which can take forever to locate, edit and submit on demand. Time saved on information access can be used in carrying out other business operations.
4. Email over-use
As much as email has allowed us to share information faster, email management is not necessarily every worker’s strength. Moreover, using email leaves you open to security breaches and storage issues. Effective document management prevents you from the repeated use of email to share documents, prevents you from security issues and reduces the storage burden, giving you control over regulated information. Choosing the suitable DMS with email services such as Office 365 along with your DMS is also an important factor. E.g. People using SharePoint mostly are interested for migrate on premise sharepoint to office 365 due to premium features of Office 365.
5. Information breach
The most significant resource besides money and time in any organization is information. You cannot give everyone in your company access to all the information regarding your organization. There is always a weak link somewhere, and someone else looking for ways to use your proprietary information. Effective document management enables you to secure data and control access to information.
With an appropriate method to manage documents and information, you can install information security protocols, create access profiles and add administrative controls to your system. If your company has faced information breaches, document management gives you control over who accesses information outside or within your organization. Moreover, you can track information access and even implement timestamps on any changes made to the documents.
6. Information loss
Even the most prominent organizations in the world have faced information losses and bounced back. Have you ever imagined banks losing all the information they had about every customer, balance, withdrawal, deposit, loan and savings? Gizmodo has come up with a data of losing customers data by banks. It would be catastrophic. Losing information because of a breach or power loss could be fatal to your business’s information. Effective document management gives you access to the most reliable information backup systems.
The first step in effective document management is to ensure any losses are solved in the quickest way possible. It is important to note that you cannot, however, back up information effectively if you do not know how much you have or whether it is all truly important and necessary to back up. Knowing what you have allows you to save all that is important in the backup. Backup means that you avoid the embarrassment of losing originals, which you have to produce occasionally for critical business transactions. Effective document management helps you have all the information in one place so that you can easily have it on back up at any time and retrieve it as the need arises.
7. Archiving costs
To date, some organizations boast extensive information storage facilities. A common characteristic of such facilities is heavy labour, storage structure installation like shelves and high maintenance costs. It is clear that electronic storage means are cheap in all ways. Automated document retention features make information archiving easy.
Paper storage requires large spaces to store information. You will need to lease or buy space and employ security personnel, hence the high cost. If you are trying to cut costs, then the best choice is to go for document management systems. Much of the money you use on paper storage facilities can be saved after installing better document storage facilities.
8. Document location issues
Often, people find it quite challenging to find filed information. Not necessarily because the filing was done poorly, but a mere referencing error could lead to drawing everything from the shelves to get quite sensitive information. Effective document management means that you will be able to find information any time you need it—wherever you are. The content and metadata in the documents can help give suitable labels to records in the system, making access easier.
If you integrate DMS with business intelligence and advanced data search tools, the system can automatically create a trend of regularly searched information. Critical business decisions hugely rely on already available information in the organization. Securing easy access to that information allows you to make fast and more informed choices for your enterprise. Information location is also made easy through the use of keywords, tags and informational classification. Information can be classified as technical information, business transaction information and decision support information.
9. Regulatory compliance issues
Effective document management has to comply with government and industry rules and regulations. An example of a regulation most organizations need to adhere to is ALCOA; that is, Accurate, Legible, Original, Contemporaneous and Attributable, retrievable and secure. When using paper, complying with ALCOA was quite challenging; however, paperless document management makes it easy to meet the requirement. Effective document management means that you can secure, backup and audit trails in the information system. You can only achieve this when you choose a suitable document management system. Many document management systems can make your data systems regulatory compliant, such as Docsvault, OpenKM and InfoStrength.
10. Content consistency issues
Man is not always consistent; even the best of minds fall short at times. Labelling information can be done quite inconsistently without noticing. Effective document management allows you to format, label and control documents properly. With a good document management system, a company can always get documents in its latest approved versions. Proper document management also allows for distribution and revisions management. Document management enables PDF publishing, which is a requirement of the ICH. Excellent document management allows you to show consistency in handling content for your business.
The list of problems that effective document management can handle continues to grow. Effective document management makes work easy for you, makes storage cheaper and allows for more secure ways of accessing information. Proper document management, moreover, reduces email use and increases information access and retrieval. In summary, adequate document management allows you to receive, organize, store and retrieve documents as you continue to receive workflow, making work easy and improving business performance.