As businesses adopt digital solutions right and left to maximize their productivity and cut costs, many find that going a paperless route can help them achieve efficiencies across the board. But moving to a paperless system can often seem like a big hurdle to jump, especially when you’re comfortable with your paper-based processes.
The truth is any business that wants to achieve true efficiency in today’s digital work environment must go paperless at some point. There is no way to properly scale or maximize the productivity of your staff using legacy paper systems. This is where document management systems are helping businesses discover massive efficiencies. Even companies that have moved away from paper and work primarily with electronic documents benefit from a document management system for a variety of reasons.
Document management systems are digital ways to process, store, and retrieve your files so you can stay compliant, productive, and secure. Below are the three major ways you can discover new efficiencies in your business — whether you’re still on paper or have transitioned to electronic files — using a document management system.
Speed Up Workflows Through Automation
Running paperwork physically among staff is not just time-consuming and inefficient; it can introduce moments for error and document loss. A document management system automates many aspects of document-related workflows such as document creation, storage, filing, and distribution so you can keep projects moving.
You’ll reduce time searching for files with a document management system. Even if you have moved away from paper-based processes and use email, searching for and retrieving documents in electronic archives can waste a lot of time. With document management software, employees can easily locate files through an intuitive search function that instantly finds files based on names, project titles, account numbers, or other associated data.
And when audit time comes, you’ll breeze through the workflows needed to gather documents because a document management system tracks your files, makes them easily retrievable, and helps you pull them together in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks.
Improved Cost Efficiency
When your employees are working as productively as they can, your business as a whole is as efficient as it can be. Document management systems empower your employees to redirect the time they would spend filing through folders to more high-value, strategic work — maximizing your dollars.
In particular, the review and approval process streamlines your cost efficiency with a document management system because your employees cut the time it takes to exchange files. You no longer risk losing track of documents, damaging files, or wasting time figuring out who changed what. The software system tracks all changes, so version control is easy, and your employees can keep track of document statuses to stay organized. With better performance levels from workers who aren’t spending time searching for documents in their inboxes, your business will see more ROI out of every hour.
Better Security and Collaboration
A document management system relieves you of the burden of having to ensure the security of your paper-based or email files. With built-in security controls, you can rest easy knowing your data is safe — even when employees around the world are accessing them.
And when you reduce your security risk, you increase your efficiency. Businesses waste a significant amount of time and money backtracking to fix mistakes and find files in a system without automation (Not to mention how damaging an actual breach can be where malicious actors steal information). With a document management system, even if a file is compromised, it’s easier and quicker to isolate the problem and address it at the moment to reduce exposure or harm.
In a remote and hybrid-remote work environment, this security factor is particularly important, and it also underscores the efficiency you can see from better collaboration. A document management system helps keep employees connected and on the same page — driving efficiencies across all projects.
Many document management systems also enable you to safely invite and collaborate with third parties. You can have a centralized hub for your files that need to flow between internal employees and external parties such as contractors or vendors.