Every business, no matter their size, relies on some form of a document management system to store and keep track of the innumerable documents that are generated every day. Document management has come a long way from paper filing systems to electronic document management to the latest content management that utilizes modern storage technologies to manage information stored in different media types, like texts, videos, even voice recordings.
An effective document management system is crucial to the smooth functioning of any business operation. Especially in today’s complex and collaborative work areas, the speed and scale of document generation and sharing is unprecedented. Therefore, an organization’s document management systems also need to evolve at the same pace. In this article, we deep-dive into some of the most common and persistent problems a business faces when it comes to document management and how they can be tackled.
1. Obstacle: Time consuming
This is one of the most readily felt document management challenges. Aging document management systems that use paperwork are still sadly quite common across businesses. Such systems require the physical transfer of documents from one employee to the next, which eats up a lot of time and energy- the time and energy that could have been utilized on more productive tasks.
Solution: Consider digitizing your paper records into electronic documents. These can be easily shared at the click of a button, saving you time and effort.
2. Obstacle: Losing important documents
When you manually file paper documents, there is always a chance of human error creeping into the process that can lead to a document being filed under the wrong name or being lost altogether. This can lead to further waste of time, money and labour as you go about locating the document or re-creating it entirely.
Solution: With an electronic document management system, you can easily locate all your files. Even in the worst-case scenario of someone deleting the document, there are several ways to retrieve such deleted files.
3. Obstacle: Security
A lot of business documents contain sensitive information that needs to be held securely. However, manual processes have virtually no security cover. It is very easy to break into such systems and retrieve proprietary information that can, in some cases, prove detrimental to a business’ functioning.
Solution: Again, an electronic document management system can easily and swiftly subvert this challenge. Electronic documents can be protected in myriad ways so that any person wanting access to them would need to provide proof of permission. Only permitted individuals will be allowed access. Hence, you can control how searchable and accessible you want your document to be.
4. Obstacle: Editing challenges
Paperwork is not amenable to multiple edits as each time an edit is made, a reprint is needed to record the final version of a document. This is a waste of business time and resources on top of being harmful to the environment.
Solution: Electronically, all your necessary documents can be easily retrieved and edited when required. You can also set permission constraints on certain documents and allow only chosen individuals access to edit these documents. This is a far more efficient way to edit and store your documents. Your employees will waste less time manually editing and printing paper documents, thus utilizing that saved time on more productive aspects of their job.
5. Obstacle: Problem of multiple document versions
This can be seen as a continuation of the editing problem mentioned above. With paper and the inevitable editing taking place in your team, you can sometimes be confused as to whether the document in your hand is the final/latest version or not. It can be very frustrating to learn that the document you were working on for the longest time is an old version.
Solution: This challenge can be easily overcome by using technology-oriented document management systems. These systems carry features that can keep track of all the changes made on a document, and if you have the proper access permission, then they will also tell you who made what changes and when. This way, you are always sure that you are working on the latest document and everyone on the team is on the same page. This ensures complete security and integrity of your documents.
It can also save older, discarded versions of the document, so you can review them later if you want to. Sometimes, some things do not make it to the final cut, but nevertheless, can be retrieved if and when needed. High-tech document management systems promise precisely that. You can read through older versions later to see if you missed anything.
6. Obstacle: Accessibility challenges
With paper-reliant document management systems, you have to deal with accessibility issues. If, for instance, a team member is out of town, or on sick leave, and their sign-off is needed on a particular document to proceed further, then paper-focused document management system poses a big problem. How do you get the paper to the required person? This lack of accessibility can hamper the entire functioning of a team and lead to a considerable loss of productivity.
Solution: With an electronic document management system, you can get your documents signed-off or updated no matter where the person is. They could be in the air or on top of a mountain, if there is internet connectivity, they will have access to the documents and will be able to work on it unhindered.
Take a look at the 5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Document Management System!