There are tons of best practices for implementing and using document management systems. You’ve read about all the benefits and likely seen dozens of tip sheets about how best to utilize an electronic system vs. a paper-based one. If at times the amount of information available seems overwhelming, stick to a few essentials.
Here are three important techniques that you can employ today that will have an immediate impact on your business:
Capture documents at the source
Capturing your content as close to the original source as possible increases efficiency by eliminating unnecessary steps and vastly improving data quality. The good news is that your document management software should be able to capture electronic records with minimal human interaction. The value of transitioning from paper to digital document management is that without the need to print a document you can scan it into the system. Virtual printers and electronic forms help you to automatically extract data from a document, drastically reducing the time many companies previously allocated to manual data entry.
Stay up-to-date on security and retention policies
While it may seem like the chore, no one wants to tackle, creating a completely risk-averse data security process might be the most important technique to employ. A good policy will ensure both the completeness and the accuracy of the records. It should also focus on record management responsibilities within the organization, giving employees in all departments the right level of access to the information, record management guidelines, complete training, and compliance with government/industry regulations. Recent legislations like the GDPR are forcing companies worldwide to tighten up their systems of record keeping and data privacy policies. Being slapped with a steep fine for improper record management is the last thing a company wants - so be vigilant and ensure that your electronic document management system is in full compliance of government body legislations or industry-specific compliance measures.
The best systems keep it simple
Wasn’t that the point of switching from manual to digital? Ease of use, ease of access, and ease of process. Electronic document management systems are designed to solve the problems associated with manual record keeping, but that doesn’t mean that every user should have access to every feature of the system. In fact, a proper system will allow administrators to show only the most useful elements to a specific user. This isn’t meant to keep users away from the bells and whistles or core efficiencies. Rather, by simplifying the interface, it makes it easier for your employees to accomplish their tasks without confusing or overwhelming them with details that aren’t relevant to their day-to-day responsibilities.
Data capture, security and simplified (even automated) electronic management are just three of the essential reasons companies are making the transition from paper processes to digital. In no particular order, these techniques when appropriately employed will reap significant returns for your business.