How online document management is changing the common workplace
Are you still trying to run your business using solely outdated paper and filing cabinet system? There is an ongoing debate of whether technological features should orshouldn't be a part of working procedure.
This article argues that online document management is one of those necessary technological innovations, every workplace should have.
From robots and automation of practically everything that can be automated at one end, to still using typewriters and handwritten documents at the other.
Many extremes can be found on both parts. And there is no completely right answer when it comes to deciding for one of them.
It is true that automated working process is usually faster, constant and more efficient. But it is also true that some tasks just couldn't be entrusted to anyone else but humans.
When it comes to decisionmaking in complex situations or adding a unique artistic touch to the final product, nobody could do it better than a trained individual.
But that doesn't mean we should abandon technology in whole. There are some technological innovations that are always going to make your job easier.
Computers are pretty much unanimously such innovation. But so should be online document management, which enables you to digitally manage documents online.
As will be shown below, online document management can and will help you save money and time as well as keep important data secure.
What is online document management?
Document management simply means storing, managing and tracking different documents. Traditionally, documents were being managed by hand and using cabinets and closets, which occupy a considerable amount of space.
Online document management, on the other hand,is using the computer system and software in order to organize, control and store electronic documents or scanned pictures of physical documents.
Some of the most important features of document managing are:
· Stamps and Annotation
· Audit trail allows the reconstruction of exactly who and when did something to a particular document
· Possibility of activating a previous version in case of an error
· All version changes are strictly documented
· Possibility of simultaneous editing of a document without overwriting changes of another person
· Many more
Online document management systems come in different sizes, from smallto large scale configurations that can serve to the whole enterprise or a global audience.
What is particularly alluring when it comes to systems which enable you to digitally manage documents is that they provide a means to incorporate physical document filing practices digitally:
· Check-in /check-out and locking
· Audit trails
· Version control
· Security and access control
· Storage location
Why should you use online document management?
In a recent report, IDC observed that challenges related to document management deprive businesses of more than 20% of their overall productivity. A number that annually amounts to almost $20 thousand dollars per employee.
This figure alone should be enough for businesses to start thinking about moving away from paper-based processes and in favor of digitized document workflow.
But here are some additional numbers for you. On average, 7 hours per week are being spent consolidating, collecting and deciphering feedback on documents.
Almost one-half of employees found out they have sent the wrong file and more than four-fifths of them started working on the wrong version of a file.
This productivity loss is mostly happening due to employees not being equipped with proper options to handle their documents and subsequently their workflow in an efficient way.
Advantages of online document management?
Some might think that if a document opens in a PDF format, then it is perfectly digitized and no further steps should be taken.
On the contrary, best-digitized documents should and do come with a wide collection of functions.
By using artificial intelligence and machine learning, organizations like legal firms, hotels, universities,andbusinessescan benefit from online document management systems.
Such systems are specifically beneficial if they predict words and even clauses that should be used in each individual document.
Systems that allow you to digitally manage documents are also able to facilitate business processes as they track collaboration of multiple people.From employees of their own organization to business partners, customers,and suppliers.
Organizations workflow can be counterproductive if a number of people have to review and edit the same document as many different versions and overwriting can occur.
Not to mention the fact that cycles of sharing the same document result in a severe time loss.
Cloud-based and collaborative documents,on the other hand, enable you to review and make edits in real-time and consequently allow higher output in other business areas.
Some other and not at all less important benefits of an online document management:
Improved accuracy – grammatical errors and loss of important document is practically impossible.
Reduced storage costs – by getting rid of piles of paper file, you will be able to stop renting storage facilities or reuse office space for some other purpose.
Lower supply costs – no need to buy an excessive amount of office equipment, especially paper and ink.
Save time – multiple employees are able to handle same document at the same time.
Competitive advantage – in today's highly competitive market, every small detail counts. Moreover, better customer service and boosted productivity are much more than just a small detail.
Go green – not only is sustainable development fashionable at this time, it can also help you with attracting customers and partners.
Increase security – a good online document management system takes its security measures seriously. Access to sensitive documents can thus be even more restricted and secured as before.
What online document management system to choose?
As has been established by this article, document management system is a necessary requirement in order to boost your business productivity.
There are numerous systems that allow you to manage documents online. But which one to choose?
The answer depends on several factors. Most notably, whether such system offers features that correspond to your workflow needs.
Security is another important factor that should always be taken into account when deciding forthe most appropriate document management system.
Last but not least, price of such tool can often be quite substantial. That doesn't mean you should go for the cheapest option possible, but make sure you carefully asses characteristics of the chosen system.