If your business is like any other business out there, you are probably inundated with hundreds of text files, images; video and audio files a day. Where do you store and keep track of all of these important files? If you are like most companies, you do not have a specific strategy for storing business-critical documents. Many companies allow their employees to store their files as they like, making it difficult to find files should an employee be absent.
In order to effectively run a business, there needs to be a proper document management strategy in place. The ability to organize and locate important files and documents as they are needed is a huge priority in today’s business world. With new technologies popping up almost daily, companies no longer have an excuse for poor document management. With the right document management system, companies can improve document management quality control and store their important documents and files safely and access them right when they need them.
The following tips will help your company develop an efficient and effective document management strategy:
1. Select the right software for your business.
Evaluate your document management needs before you buy the software. Too many businesses purchase software without researching whether or not that particular solution will meet their unique needs and end up trying to cram their needs into the software’s existing features. This only creates more work and more frustration for software users.
Instead, select document management software that is designed to meet your specific needs. Make sure that the software is designed to work with the documents your company handles on a daily basis. Review the security and flexibility features of the software to ensure that they align with your company’s expectations. Make sure that the solution is designed to grow along with your company and can handle any challenges you foresee in the future. By making a mental list of “must have” features, you can guarantee that you will select the right software for your company’s document management needs.
2. Make your documents searchable.
One of the most important factors in an efficient document management system is the ability to search documents. Whether you are storing digital files, creating a digital database of your paper documents or both, you need to be able to find as much information as possible through the system’s search functions. Make sure to tag every document in your system with the following information:
- File name
- Description of the document’s contents
- Meta data
The more information you enter for each document, the better. Not only will you find your files and documents quickly, but you will also save yourself (and your employees) a lot of time and frustration.
3. Enable security features that will protect your privacy.
Many businesses have at least a few documents that can only be viewed by certain employees within the organization. Make sure that your software contains the proper security features and safeguards to keep your company, personal and client information private.
Many document management solutions require every user to enter a password, while others password-protect individual documents or folders. Consider the level of security that your company needs and make sure to enable the security features.
4. Consider company workflows.
The biggest benefit of document management software is its ability to streamline and control your company’s workflows. Automating document scanning, editing, organizing, conversion, submission, review, approval and sharing will save your company a significant amount of time and increase productivity and profitability. Consider the way your company manages documents and choose software that fits your current procedures. Many systems allow you to customize workflows, offering you room to make procedure changes in the future.
Document management software can increase your overall productivity and profitability. Make sure that you develop document management strategies specific to your company and implement software that supports those strategies. Download our whitepaper, “Armed and Paperless – Ten Key Considerations When Selecting a Document Management Solution” to learn more about going paperless.