3 Biggest Risks of Poor Document Management Workflow

document management workflow process

Is your organization’s document management workflow giving you a headache? You’re not alone. Many businesses struggle to implement solid document processes. Documents underlie everything an organization does. As a result, poor document processes can lead to daily frustrations. 

More than just an annoyance, poor document management can result in costly mistakes. Consider all of the important documents housed in your business: financials, audit reports, classified documents, training materials, personnel and client files, contracts, presentations, strategic plans, SOPs, etc. 

Having inadequate document protocols puts all of those documents at risk. And that’s exactly what we’re covering in this article – how poor document management workflow puts your business at risk. 

Here are 3 of the most common problems that arise from weak document processes: 

    1. Security breaches
    2. Costly document errors 
    3. Productivity loss 

Before we jump in, let’s discuss some basics about document management.

WHAT IS DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT WORKFLOW?

Document management workflow is a system used by organizations to create, update, secure, organize, store, and share documents. 

Often, leaders make the mistake of thinking that document management can be resolved by a piece of software. Sure, technology is an important part of document management, but it’s not the only part.

Comprehensive document management workflow is a combination of processes, software, security protocols, and other tools used in the management of documents. 

Together, these tools allow documents to flow seamlessly and safely throughout their lifecycle.

WHAT STRONG DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT WORKFLOW CAN BRING TO YOUR ORGANIZATION

The benefits of efficient document management workflow cannot be overstated. As such an integral part of business, documents have the ability to make or break productivity and performance. 

Here are some of the benefits of revamping your document management workflow: 

  • Increase information accuracy 
  • Ensure all employees have updated information
  • Improve process efficiency 
  • Standardize documentation procedures 
  • Make documents easier to access 
  • Decrease security risks 
  • Ensure regulatory compliance 
  • Improve document visibility 
  • Centralize document storage 
  • Streamline information workflows 
  • Decrease physical and digital clutter 
  • and more!

WHY SO MANY BUSINESSES STRUGGLE WITH MANAGING THEIR DOCUMENTS

document management workflow

So –  if good document management has so many benefits, why isn’t it more common in the business world? 

After all, nearly everyone has experienced document management problems. Shuffling through filing cabinets, digging through shared drives, re-writing reports because you can’t locate the previous version, etc. We’ve all been there! 

So why is poor documentation so widespread? Here’s the short answer: document management is difficult to master! And document management changes are even more difficult to implement. 

Now, here’s the long answer: in order to effectively establish new document management workflows, leaders need a wide set of specialized skills. They have to know proven document management techniques. They have to be change management pros. They need to assess and map out current-state document processes. 

They have to identify document workflow bottlenecks and know how to fix them. They have to be able to pick out the right software for their business goals. They need to have the time to manage this monumental project. 

Rarely can such a project be tackled internally. For this reason, the best way to improve document management workflow is to partner with a document management consulting firm

A good consulting firm won’t just recommend a software for your IT team to implement. At RTG Solutions Group, we provide personalized, comprehensive consulting to make document management workflows a success. 

We will map out your current processes, recommend technology, establish new standard operating procedures (SOPs), create training modules for new SOPs, manage the project, and measure efficiencies. 

At RTG Solutions Groups, we won’t just create a tailored document management workflow solution for your organization. We will also guide you through the implementation of your new workflow to ensure a seamless transition into your new system. 

Now that we’ve outlined the wonders of efficient document management, let’s jump into the perils of poorly managed documents. 

There are many ways inefficient workflows hurt your business. Here, we’ve highlighted the 3 most common consequences of poor management.

1. SECURITY BREACHES

In the digital era, information security is more important than ever. In fact, Harvard Business Review reports that over 60% of Fortune 1000 companies experienced public data breaches in the last 10 years.

No matter the industry, information security is important. Every business has access to vital information. Financials, client information, personnel files, transaction records, contracts and other documents must be protected with up-to-date security measures. 

A data breach or security scandal can permanently tarnish your business’ reputation. It can also put your business at odds with industry regulations. 

When you have poor document management workflows, all of your sensitive data is at risk. You should be able to control who can access, edit, share, delete and store every single document in your business. Only an effective document management system can protect your business from a data breach

2. COSTLY DOCUMENT ERRORS

Weak document management can put your business at risk of significant financial loss. Don’t believe us? Just check out this list of 11 of the most expensive typos in history! 

Just like a security breach, a document error can do serious damage to your organization’s finances and reputation. Typos can result in misreported assets, misspelled client names, coding malfunctions, and more.

But it’s not just typos you have to worry about. Misplaced files, outdated document versions, lost documents, and incorrect product listings can turn out to be very costly errors. Document errors and lack of version control can even result in regulatory compliance violations. 

For this reason, it’s imperative to establish air-tight quality control protocols for all documents. With a cutting-edge document management workflow system, you can protect your firm from costly information errors. 

3. PRODUCTIVITY LOSSES

We’ve all experienced productivity losses from inadequate document management. When a business doesn’t have streamlined document workflows, employees lose valuable time every day due to process inefficiencies. 

Poor processes create redundancies, errors, bottlenecks, confusion, and frustration. All of these things impair business productivity, which hurts your bottom line. 

Moreover, document workflows tend to involve a lot of collaboration, and documents often connect different business departments. This means that productivity losses due to document management can reverberate throughout the company and slow down operations across the board. 

Revamping your document management workflow can free up valuable time for your employees to engage in profit-maximizing tasks. But be warned – implementing a new document management system can exacerbate inefficiencies if not done correctly! 

To ensure your documentation solution enhances productivity, there are several things to keep in mind. First, you want to select software that is compatible with your existing business programs and processes. 

Second, you must create an implementation plan that mitigates productivity losses during the transitional period. Third, you need to train all employees on the new processes to ensure the new process is adopted across the company. Finally, you want to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of your new document management workflow. 

For more information on how to execute a document management change, check out our article: 5 Steps to Improve Document Management in Your Organization

CONCLUSION

Efficient document management workflows can breathe new life into day-to-day business operations. Implementing a cutting-edge document management solution will help your business avoid security risks, costly document errors, and productivity losses.

However, document management change is not an easy feat! Working with an experienced document management consulting firm can help your business transition seamlessly into a new era of efficiency. 

Is your business experiencing document challenges? RTG Solutions Group can assess your firm’s needs and establish a customized, productivity-boosting document management workflow. Contact us today to speak with our experts!

“A vision cannot be realized without the ability to execute.”

Khris K. Bhattan
President, RTG Solutions Group
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