Document management has become an integral part of any business today. In industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, learning institutions, government entities or legal services, document management is paramount. These records and forms are the primary drivers of businesses, and must be properly managed.
In other circumstances, there exist compliance policies that demand certain documents to be retained for specific periods, or even perpetually. Despite the importance of this process, it has been challenging for many organizations, for an extended period.
Many organizations struggle to maintain their records adequately. However, with increased innovation in the past 10 years, new solutions have been developed to aid companies in managing their documents. Below are the pain points that organizations experience in their document management processes and the ultimate solutions.
In almost all organizations, many documents contain vital and confidential information. Access to this kind of information by unauthorized persons can lead to severe operational consequences for the company.
These may include ruining their reputation or even shutting down. For this reason, top notch security measures should be utilized to manage these documents. This effort is equally important for both digital documents and hardcopy paper files.
An ideal approach is to implement effective document management system, which provides high security for such information. Additionally, standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be in place to ensure accountability and that the right process is followed to create, review, edit, and store documents.
Lack of Training
Installing a Document Management System in your organization is crucial. Putting procedures in place is important as well. However, without training employees on the proper use of the Document Management System, all your efforts will be futile.
The primary users of these systems and procedures are employees. Therefore, they should be trained to ensure efficiency in the use of these tools. Most of the training should focus on the utilization of the system features.
For instance, they should understand how to use the system to perform fundamental functions such as document creation, review, editing, and storage, among others. This is a process that many organizations often overlook. However, the mistake can have very detrimental impacts on the employees’ individual productivity as well as the overall company’s performance.
Despite the importance of having a Document Management System in place, it’s equally important to ensure that processes are established to effectively manage the information.
Processes to develop, review, edit, and store documents significantly contribute to the quality output of the information. Solid processes help assure that everyone accesses and references the more current version of the document. Version control is an essential step in the document management process.
For this reason, organizations should develop quality management protocols. Many organizations have quality control departments or staff responsible to monitor the management of documents from the creation stage to disposal. Quality management protocols and staff ensure that procedures are followed and compliance requirements are met. Attention to quality helps avoid errors and potential financial risks.
Ever look for a document that either you created or someone sent you and can’t find it? Or you’re not sure if it’s the most current version? With the advancement of the digital age, most businesses now function with digital documents. How are you collaborating on documents? Does each workstream in the business have the same procedures to manage documents?
In scenarios when you can’t find a document, or the most current one, or collaborating on a document is cumbersome, it all reduces efficiency and is a significant contributor to wasted time. A document management system, with processes and procedures to create, edit, review, collaborate, and file digital, as well as hard copy versions, will increase productivity, reduce employee frustration, and save time for all involved.
Following the above components of security, employee training, and quality management will reduce wasted time.
Consistency in Storage
Most organizations vary in their preferred methods of storing documents, much to the chagrin and frustration of the IT team. Organizations continue to store information in a silo approach with onsite servers. Other work streams within the same organization might opt to save their files in Google drives. And others might utilize Cloud storage such as Dropbox or FileShare.
Consistency in document storage varies from organization to organization. However, when it varies internally across an organization, that’s where problems can really occur. Accessing and managing documents across multiple locations and when employees change roles doesn’t have to be cumbersome. A Document Management System will efficiently serve as the central repository for all electronic documents. It is an essential step towards ensuring that information is secure, quality is maintained, and everyone can access information quickly.
Integrating Software with Current Processes
Ensuring interface compatibility with Document Management Systems is a challenge that many organizations face. When selecting a Document Management System, the IT team should not just evaluate how the system will integrate with the organizations software, but how employees currently create, edit, collaborate, share, and save documents.
A company can spend a lot of time and resources training their employees on the use of the Document Management System yet overlook how well it will function in the current workflow. Existing habits of document creation and storage are hard to change. As a result, the adoption and utilization of the new process and system of managing documents could be impacted.
While the IT team considers the best Document Management System to integrate with current software, it should also consider functionality and impact of change on how people work. Implementing a Document Management System has multiple benefits for an organization. However, selecting a system that does not integrate with current software or assist in employee adoption of the new document processes could increase inefficiencies, productivity, and document quality.
In today’s work environment and use of technology, the need and capability to access information and documents at anytime, on any device, is not only helpful, it’s essential to productivity. For those who work remotely, traveling for a meeting, or even on vacation, employees need access to documents.
A centralized web-based Document Management System provides the accessibility so everyone across an organization can manage the workflow of documents effectively.
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In review, an effective Document Management System is a must-have for any company that is committed to information security, quality and efficiency. This tool streamlines processes, reduces time, and increases accessibility of information. It’s important that the right software system is selected, and the organization accounts for the impact of change on employees and workflow. Effective training on the new document processes and management of documents will greatly assist in employee adoption.
If you are currently experiencing any challenges with your current document management system in your organization, RTG Solutions Group is a business consulting firm that can better assess the challenges that your organization is facing and how to overcome them. Now, if your organization is new to document management systems, we can also help share what systems would be best, based on our needs analysis of your organization. For more information or to schedule a phone consultation, contact RTG Solutions group today!