While there have been numerous debates on different areas of technology, one of the few areas where there is universal agreement is the need for a digital document storage solution. The biggest problem with the transition is how difficult and costly it can be when it is not done right. Of course, you have to be careful when you implement your digital document storage solution, it isn’t something that you should rush.
The best way to manage this particular transition is to do it slowly and steadily to ensure it is done right. The right digital document storage solution will let you create a schedule that works for you. The following steps will help you figure out the best path forward.
Scheduling Your Transition
The best thing about an exceptional digital document storage solution is that it lets you work at your own pace. For most businesses, there simply isn’t time to dedicate resources to this full time. That means working on the transition when things are slow elsewhere. That does not mean that you shouldn’t have a schedule to follow. Determine the date when you would like to have the complete transition done, then create milestone to ensure that the project is constantly in motion, even if it is slow.
Create an Area to Store All of Your Documents
The first step is to set up the area where you will store your documents. The right solution will help you get your area set up and properly divided. You can establish different areas for different departments, based on different types of documents, or based on audit requirements. This part is up to you and your needs, but it needs to be created early so that you can start managing your documents as you begin the process.
Create an Exhaustive List
This step alone can take several weeks (or even months to complete). You will need at least one person dedicated to work on this part of the project. For larger businesses, you may need to assign a person to manage the list for each department. You should still have a single point of contact who keeps a master copy of the list.
This is also the perfect time to determine if there is any documentation that is missing that needs to be written. These documents should be tracked in the same list, but they should be so that you know that they need to be written. Identifying your documentation gaps is one of the biggest benefits of transitioning to a digital document storage solution.
Collect and Scan the Documentation
You can start collecting the documents (both digital and hard copy versions) as you create the list. However, if they are not readily available, you don’t need to spend time on locating while creating the list. Once you know what documents you have, you can start compiling them and scanning them into your solution.
The thing to keep in mind is that you need to be getting all of the different versions of the document that you can find. You do not have to know which versions of the document they are, but if you can tell, try to keep them in order.
For electronic versions, make sure they are saved in the proper format. Write a procedure to manage them going forward.
Make sure to save the files based on the name and iteration so that you have the necessary evolution of the document. The most recent version should always be easy to identify and update as needed. You should also have an established procedure for updating your documentation.