Maybe you were ahead of the game and had already invested in the digital technology and tools like a document management system that would help your business operate effortlessly from anywhere, or maybe your business is like the majority of organizations that had to learn quickly how to operate a remote workforce. A survey conducted by Upwork of “1,500 hiring managers found that due to COVID-19, 61.9% of the companies were planning more remote work now and in the following years to come.” The work from home setup may have only been a temporary setup, but for hundreds of companies, working from home is here to stay. 

As you may already know, managing paper documents manually while working remotely ranges from frustrating to even impossible. Not to mention the loss of time and money from the hours of scanning and emailing of documents that may be occurring. A document management system (DMS), also known as an electronic content management system (ECM) is a system or software that helps you to store, manage and track electronic documents and data for you. Many document management systems, like Recordsforce Cloud, combine storage and retention with other capabilities, like workflow integration and electronic forms (E-Forms). In simple terms, they eliminate the need to hold onto any paper documents. 

So why should you be using a document management system if you have a hybrid or remote workforce? It allows you to keep your document strategy strong and precise, even when work environments change. Here’s how:

1. Easy & Simple Outside Collaboration
A document management system enables you to collaborate from anywhere inside of your organization and even out of it. Most companies either struggle with or completely ignore the security risks involved with collaboration. A document management system provides secure access to sensitive documents for outside users. They also provide a consistent and controlled way to monitor these interactions. Each Portal has its own rules and is customized to fit any need. They can be used to share documents including PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, scanned images, and more.

Collaboration Portals can be used to communicate with auditors, parents, students, clients or even prospective employees.

  • Companies can send portals to provide information quickly and securely to auditors. This can greatly reduce the time and effort of getting information to the auditors on time.
  • Schools can use portals to send out new student packets and field trip notices that can be filled out and signed online. They can send out sports sign up notices and medical clearance forms. Parents can view the documents, upload their own electronic documents and fill out all the forms at their convenience.
  • Companies can use the portals to communicate with outside vendors in their AP process. Mismatched purchase orders can be fixed, incorrect invoices can be worked out and more all without any phone calls made or emails lost.
  • Portals can be sent to clients to interact on a project. Documents can be shared and the client can submit their approval right in the system. Complete with signatures if needed.

2. Ensures a Standardized Process
If you don’t have a system in place on how your organization’s documents should be handled, from storage to retention, you significantly increase your risk of losing important documents or even risk failing an audit. With a document management system, every member of your staff will know exactly how to upload documents, where to find them and how to properly store or remove them. There’s no more wasted time scouring through emails or digging through an online drive. 

3. Amendments Or Changes Are Clear & Trackable
Ever needed to amend or change a document and start from scratch? How painful is that process with a remote workforce? They have to make the change, print it, sign off on it, scan it and then email it. That seems like a lot of unnecessary steps and time wasted. With a document management system, you can amend documents or make changes right within the system. These changes are also fully trackable, so you will always know who has access to your documents and what changes were made to them. 

4. High Level of Security
Sharing your documents and information with a third-party can raise anxiety and concern. However, using a document management system can be even more secure than working on paper. For instance, at Recordsforce, we are SSAE-18 SOC II Type II certified, which includes a complete review of a data center’s controls, processes and design, operational controls and policies, and the management’s description of system or service to a professional standard conducted by a third-party auditor. Document management systems can help you be more HIPAA compliant, giving you more strict control over your documents and who has access to them. More specifically, hierarchies can be set within the system to allow certain roles to be able to access/edit/share documents. This can be on a range of devices including mobile. 

5. Easily Search and Find Data You Need
Remote workers can’t bring home piles of paperwork, but they still need access to the information required to do their job. You use Google Drive to store your documents, you say? Can you find the document you need by typing in a key piece of data off of that form, like an invoice number, in the search bar? Not likely. Document management systems typically have built-in OCR and other data extraction capabilities that can help you find the documents and data you need instantly. 

6. Help You Stay Paperless With E-Forms
Paper-based forms are time consuming and difficult to track and manage. Instead of continuing to create paper documents for your company, you can utilize the E-Forms capability that comes with many document management systems. E-Forms allow for easy internal and external capture of data and can automatically be sent to the right person in your organization once completed. Using them adds considerable speed and accountability to your business processes by eliminating the need for your paper documents to be printed, written on, scanned and then redirected in your system. 

7. Automate Business Processes With Workflow
Improve the review and approval process, all while increasing productivity with the workflow capabilities within a document management system. A digital workflow can automate certain tasks by completing repetitive jobs. In Human Resources, With a document management system, you will need less employees tracking and managing documents because the system does that for you. For Accounts Payable, you can automate your review and approval process while sharing revisions easily with customers. Even for a legal team, you can submit, review, edit, sign and manage contract retention all in one place.  Largely eliminates the risk of human error with work triggers that automatically send notifications via email or text to let users know of new work assigned to them. Each notification can be completely customized to provide the proper information an individual user needs to complete their work.

Worried about the onboarding and integration process? Carefully research the document management provider you’re considering. Not every piece of technology and software is the same. For instance, Recordsforce Cloud is a web-based system, meaning you only need access to the internet and you have access to all of your documentation. It is a no-code, no installation required system. Want to learn more?