No matter the size of your business or the industry in which it operates, there’s something that is ubiquitous among office environments: the difficulty of managing paper documents. Paper documents are cumbersome and inefficient to work with, are prone to being lost or misfiled, and can pose a security risk for sensitive information. Many organizations today turn to document management solutions to combat these paper problems, enabling them to save time, space, and money, while increasing privacy and security in the process.
While all document management solutions are not the same, there are best practices you can apply to each of them to help get the most out of the one you choose.
Know your documents, processes, and workflows — To ensure your document management solution is properly configured and meets your needs, it’s essential that you know your documents and how they are utilized within your processes and workflows. The average company has a wide variety of documents stored in different places, so it’s important to have a solid understanding of your files and forms. Be sure you are able to answer the following questions: What types of documents do you use in daily tasks? What data is found within them? Where are they currently stored? What manual processes can be automated? Which workflows can be enhanced?
Carefully classify your content — With a firm understanding of your documents and workflows, it’s time to determine how to classify your content. How should your documents be organized and what sort of permissions should be applied to them? Which employees and departments should have access to particular documents? Should they be classified by client, department, project, date, or another variable?
Have access to the right tools — In order to fully take advantage of a document management solution, you need the right equipment for the job. Regardless of your industry, there will be a large volume of paper documents that need to be digitized when you first make the conversion and even going forward. To accommodate this digitization, you’ll need a document imaging device that can handle this workload, be it a scanner or a multifunction printer fast enough to scan thousands of pages in a reasonable amount of time.
Get your employees on board — Many people fear change, and working with new systems and processes can be stressful for some. Ensure buy-in by your staff through communication and training for a smooth transition. Communicate to them not only why you are turning to document management, but also how doing so will make their jobs easier. Provide ample training so employees know how to use the new system to ensure a smooth migration.
The benefits of document management are many. Once you’ve decided it’s time for your organization to reap them, take these steps to help you get the most out of your new solution.