Can Document Management Help My Industry?
Today’s businesses utilize more forms and documents than ever before. Unfortunately, when documents are misfiled or lost, they can cost companies a lot of time and money to retrieve. By having an effective document management system in place, businesses can reduce costly document loss instances while also keeping data safer and more readily accessible.
No matter what industry your business may be a part of, you could likely benefit from implementing a document management strategy. And if your idea of a document management system is a row of metal filing cabinets in a storage closet, it’s probably time to rethink things a bit.
By having a better understanding of what document management entails and how responsible document management can benefit your industry, you can keep your sensitive data more secure and make informed decisions regarding how your company’s documents are stored.
Benefits of Excellent Document Management
So, how can your business benefit from responsible document management? Specific advantages may vary slightly from one industry to the next. However, some industries that can stand to benefit the most from document management tend to include:
- Construction and manufacturing
Explore some general advantages of a great document management strategy below and consider how these could apply to your own business.
Save Time and Money
Did you know that it can easily cost your company up to $220 to reproduce a lost document? Now, consider a scenario where several important documents are lost or misfiled at once. It’s easy to see how quickly these costs can add up for your business, not just from a monetary standpoint but from a time standpoint as well. Recreating a lost document or form, for example, can be extremely time-consuming.
By having a solid document management system in place, you can cut down on time, money, and resources wasted when filing documents, locating misfiled forms, and recreating lost forms. As a result, your business can enjoy increased productivity as your employees’ time can be better spent on other tasks.
Free Up Physical Storage Space
If you’re still storing your business documents in physical filing cabinets rather than in a digital format, how much space are these documents currently taking up? Now, think about what you could do with that space freed up. Some businesses even find that when they eliminate the need for physical document storage, they can downsize their square footage needs and save even more money by renting out a smaller office space.
Regardless, converting documents to a digital management solution can free up clutter and help you make better use of the space you’re paying for.
Prevent Data Loss
If a fire, flood, or other natural disaster were to strike your place of business overnight, what would happen with your physical documents? Would you have backups of them saved anywhere? If your business is like many others and still storing documents physically, there’s a good chance that these forms would be forever lost.
Take some time to think about the impact this would have on your business. Many documents would probably not be able to be recreated — and your company’s reputation could even be tarnished once word gets out that you didn’t have backups of your most important documents stored in a remote location.
By having a digital document management system in place, you can keep backups of all your documents and forms saved securely and safely. This way, even in the event of a major disaster at your place of business, you’ll be able to recover.
Avoid Regulatory/Compliance Issues
Depending on your business’s industry, there may be strict regulations you need to comply with to avoid penalties, fines, and other legal issues. One common example of this is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which applies to all businesses within the healthcare industry.
HIPAA and other regulatory commissions have strict requirements regarding how to store data to maximize security and privacy. Oftentimes, physical storage of these documents simply doesn’t meet regulatory standards and may subject your business to legal troubles. By making the switch to a document management solution that meets your specific industry’s compliance regulations, you can enjoy peace of mind in knowing that you’re following these requirements.
What to Look For in Document Management Software
Regardless of your specific industry, there’s a very good chance that your business could benefit from implementing a document management solution. Still, with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
As you explore your options for document management software solutions, there are a few key things you may want to look for that can make for an easier transition and greater long-term success.
A User-Friendly Interface
Training employees on how to use a new document management solution can be time-consuming and costly, so selecting a user-friendly and intuitive program is important. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t still set aside time for company-wide training on a new document management program — but opting for an inherently easy-to-use solution can cut down on that learning curve and reduce the amount of time needed for proper training.
Enhanced Security Features
Data security should always be a top priority for storing your documents, so take time to explore your options and inquire as to the specific security features included with each. This will be especially important if you’re in an industry like healthcare that requires specific regulatory compliance. At the very least, for example, you may want to look for a document management solution that offers:
- Automatic data backups
- Server security
- Data encryption
- Access control
If you’re moving away from a paper/physical document management solution, the process of converting all your physical forms to digital files can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Fortunately, with the right document management software, you can expedite the process as much as possible. This, in turn, can save your business valuable time and resources when it comes to transitioning to a new document management solution.
As you explore document management solutions, you may also want to look for features that will make searching for and finding documents easier for employees in the future. Many programs, for example, come with the ability to add keywords and special tags to documents that are easy to search within the program itself. If you plan on using your company’s existing scanners to import documents to a digital format, you may also want to find a document management solution that is compatible with these scanners, so you don’t need to shell out extra money for new equipment.
With more employees working remotely than ever before, it’s also a good idea to look for a document management solution that can be accessed via smartphone or another mobile device. This will make it easier for your remote employees to access the forms and documents they need — even when they’re working outside of the office. At the same time, it’s important to ensure that any mobile access is kept safe and secure for added protection and peace of mind.
The Final Word on Document Management
A responsible document management system is your company’s first line of defense against expensive data loss that can seriously tarnish your reputation, regardless of what industry you may be in. Of course, the right document management software can save your business time, resources, and money.
There are plenty of document management solutions available; if you’re looking for one that checks off all the most important boxes on your “must-have” list, Square 9’s automation software is one of many options that may be worth a look due to its extensive features and compelling reviews from real business owners.
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