Document management is the process of capturing, tracking, managing, and storage of electronic files to minimize paperwork.
Every business, small or big, needs a document management system to track the many documents they generate daily. Over time, document management has evolved from a paper filing system to digital cloud-based solutions.
Document Management System Features
Organizations should ensure that their document management systems emphasize the following key features.
Collaboration is important for the success of a business. Document management ensures that communication is enhanced between employees and business partners. It provides a platform where people can openly communicate through comments.
Closely-knit teams can work on the same documents simultaneously. This helps to build team spirit and saves time for them. This feature also allows administrators and users to view and edit documents as soon as they are sent.
Computers are fast, smart, and can store vast amounts of data. But where there is a computer, there are bound to be threats. Managing your documents digitally will provide your data with layers of protection.
Its access control features need to be strict. The encryption of passwords and secured logins add more security. Encryption is the best way to combat hacking. Managing permissions allows only the required users access, thus increasing data protection.
Users who access and make changes on files can be traced through audit trails for accountability purposes. We advise you to choose the type of system you will use wisely.
If a business is not organized properly, tasks can pile up, and finding information that should have been readily available will be hard. Basically, disorganization wastes valuable time. The more a company grows, the more there are documents and files to organize.
Categorizing, rating, and tagging your documents will allow you to find files more easily.
Adjusting and making changes to a PDF file can be made easier. Also, making notes is no longer an uphill task and typos can be corrected using online spell checkers.
An ideal system has features that can allow users to post and reply to comments.
A great system necessitates sharing any document or folder from one user to another. It makes it possible for users to mark files as high priority or favorites that are consulted frequently. This feature makes collaboration amongst users more effective.
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Document Management Issues and Solutions
The main purpose of document management is to guarantee the smooth running of your business. However, not all document management systems are faultless. Below are some issues that can arise and their solutions.
Loss of Documents
‘To err is to human’. This phrase comes into reality when a company tracks documents manually. Studies show that almost 7.5% of documents get lost and are never found. Employees can also mistakenly file documents under the wrong name. When this happens, you spend a lot of money, time, and labor to locate the files or create entirely new ones.
It is easy to locate your files when you are using an electronic documentation system. With it, you can always retrieve documents that were deleted by someone either deliberately or accidentally.
Most information contained in business documents is sensitive, and therefore more safety measures should be put in place. You can have encryption and passwords to restrict access to electronic documentation systems but not a manual system. It is very easy for someone to break into such systems and retrieve information that can be used against the company.
We advise you to manage your documents electronically because then you can limit anyone who has not shown proof of permission from accessing it. This way, you can control who accesses and searches your documents.
For manual documentation processes, when you want to share a document with another person, you must go physically. This process is time-consuming and uses a lot of unnecessary energy that could have otherwise been used to perform other tasks.
Consider turning your paper-based systems into electronic documents. This will save you time and effort by sending a document at the click of a button.
With a paper-based system, it is hard to tell if a document is the latest version or not. It’s frustrating to edit documents then find out that they weren’t the latest document versions.
Electronic management systems have features that can track all the modifications done to a document and when. It’s also able to save older documents that you can use as a reference.
In paper-based document management systems, if a key person in the process is unavailable, the whole team’s functioning will be thwarted.
For electronic systems, you can always access your documents as long as there is a stable internet connection.
For a successful business, we advise companies to digitize their paper-focused documentation system to a more electronic one. It does not have to be implemented at once; you can always start out small and transition into a more modern system.