Electronic document management is a system or process used to manage, track and store electronic documents. But why is it important? According to the Associate for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), “organizations expect the volume of information coming into their organizations to grow from X to 4.5X over the next two years” (AIIM 2020). With the majority of that information coming in the form of paper documents, it’s important to have a system to help your business securely find, manage, and distribute those documents.
One of the reasons that electronic document management is important, and is the main reason many companies use a document management system, is for document storage. If your organization’s documents are just stored in random file cabinets or Google Drive folders, it can wreak havoc on your business processes and result in the loss of time, money and resources. It makes it easy for information to become missing, outdated or unsecured. Using a document management system can also protect your documents from disasters, such as fires and floods, and tees you up for a simple disaster recovery plan and backup plan.
An additional benefit to digital storage is freeing up precious office space in a time where property prices are increasing. If your business requires that hard copies of certain documents be kept, they can be stored at more affordable storage locations, like an offsite storage facility. Along with this, your document retention schedules can be automated, ensuring you’re not holding onto documents and clutter that you wouldn’t have to otherwise, making documents properly classified and stored.
A typical office worker spends 30% to 40% of their day searching for documents. With a document management system, you don’t have to spend hours searching through boxes or filing cabinets for documents, you can search one keyword and pull up your documents in a matter of seconds. This is extremely important in the days of remote working, since documents can typically be found on any device, anytime, anywhere.
Another reason that document management is important is for enhanced security and improved regulatory compliance. The best way to stay compliant is through clear and organized documentation, where you can easily and quickly show your auditor what they require. Nobody wants to do last minute damage control by trying to find certain documents and showing proof of revisions since document management systems come with built-in version control. This includes logs of system activity, document edits, login attempts and user permission changes.
There are clear auditing trails when using a document management system. Say you use Google Drive for your business documents, they have to be manually edited, moved and sometimes even duplicated to move along your processes. With a document management system, you can easily pull up a document, review or approve it, and even track what changes have been made. It ensures that employees are working with the same set of correct information.
A document management system shouldn’t just be for one part of your business. Almost every department relies on documentation to move projects forward, which means that every department should have a document management system in place. In doing so, everyone in your organization, regardless of their department, knows exactly where to find a document and any actions that may need to be taken on it. When it comes to collaboration outside of your organization, a document management system allows you to securely share documents and also limiting time or access to what documents and when, even furthering the transparency into your documentation.
Lastly, document management systems are important because they significantly increase productivity. The more quickly your employees can retrieve the documents they need, the more efficiently and effectively they can do their job, boosting their morale and increasing client or customer satisfaction. Many document management systems even have built-in workflows that can automatically notify the correct user in your organization of a task required depending on the document that was uploaded into the system.
Recordsforce has been providing document scanning and document management services for over 20 years. Their document management system, Recordsforce Cloud, is a web-based system that combines cloud document storage, document retention, workflow automation system, e-form creator and collaboration portal all in one. If it sounds like your company could benefit from implementing a new or better document management system, contact us today at (603) 766-8000 or schedule a meeting with us!