Top Five Reasons You Need a Document Management Solution (Plus Bonus Reason)
Sometimes efficiencies land in our lives with a bang. I think of cell phones that way. Instantly, we could take our communications anywhere. (Remember those big antennas?) Other times they enter slowly and take hold over time. I tend to think of document management technologies that way. Document management software traces its origins back to the 1980s (predating the cell phone!), but many businesses stubbornly hold on to their paper files.
Watch the client success video: DocLink Document Management and Sage 100, featuring Anita Whalen with SWEPCO
The reasons for the slow adoption rates are many—cost and complexity were among them. But those reasons are now gone. Today, document management software is affordable, simple to use, and absolutely as transformative as the cell phone.
Our team came up with dozens of reasons why document management should be a part of every company’s technology platform. Here, we’ve distilled those reasons down to the top five.
Businesses handle a lot of sensitive documents. One obvious example is payroll and human resource-related records, but there are dozens more. These are not documents that should live in someone’s inbox or the file cabinet down the hall. In fact, we’d make the case that they shouldn’t exist in paper form at all.
Document management software will allow you to eliminate the need for most paper forms, replacing them with something like Smart Forms. In those rare instances where paper is unavoidable, the pages can be scanned and indexed into the software, followed by a trip through the office shredder.
Enhanced Collaboration and Data Sharing
Whichever side of the work-from-home divide your company is on, it can be challenging to give employees secure access to the documents they need and allow them to share them easily among colleagues.
Document management software holds your business forms, documents, and reports in a central receptacle that can be accessed from anywhere. And with version control and change tracking capabilities, employees can check out documents, make their revisions, and check back in a new version.
Businesses work hard to develop workflows that keep processes, such as procurement, within the lane lines. Conversely, employees work equally hard to bypass those lines.
Document management software allows you to establish flexible workflows to (politely but firmly) keep business processes on track and in compliance with your rules. For example, employees can initiate a requisition request which is automatically routed to the appropriate parties for approval based on factors such as who is making the request and the dollar amount.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Even if you aren’t in a highly regulated industry, you still need to retain certain documents for a prescribed time period. Companies seem to be pretty good at the retention part—we’ve seen file rooms packed with ten-year-old general journal printouts.
The key is to retain the correct documents for the right amount of time and ensure that if you ever need them, they’re easy to find. That’s what document management software is built for.
Backup and Recovery
You’ve no doubt read the grim statistics about how many companies fail after a significant data loss. In case you need a reminder: 94% of companies suffering from a catastrophic data loss do not survive – 43% never reopen, and 51% close within two years.
Document management software should be considered essential in every company’s backup and recovery plan. It’s just that simple. The very future of your business might lie in your ability to access its documents in the event of a fire or other catastrophe.
In the title of this article, we promised a bonus reason your organization should consider document management software.
While it’s every bit as important as the five above, it doesn’t seem to have the same sizzle, but here it is. Electronic document management saves paper—and the space used to store that paper. Paper is expensive to buy, time-intensive to file and retrieve, and largely unnecessary for most business operations. Plus, eliminating paper is key to “greening” your business, which is increasingly important to today’s eco-conscious customers.