57 percent of companies reported that disorganization cost them a total of 6 working hours per week. Disorganization can be costly and can lead to decreased productivity as well.
If you want to improve efficiency in your business, then it’s a good idea to improve document management. Creating a document management system can allow you to keep your business organized and productive.
Here’s what you need to know about how to create document management systems.
What Is a Document Management System?
A document management system is a strategy for keeping electronic and paper documents organized in a sensible and smart way.
These days, a document management system will likely include electronic storage. It could include the use of the cloud to manage documents in a flexible and streamlined way. It may also include converting physical files into electronic documents.
A strong document management system will allow a business or organization to keep track of documents. These could include projects, sales information, quotes, invoices, agreements, contracts, and more. A healthcare organization may also use a document management system to track patient records and billing data as well.
There’s more than one way to set up the organization of important documents and information. Considering document management options and creating a clear method for managing documents can help a business or organization improve in more ways than one.
Managing business documents in a sensible way should be at the center of a business. This can help improve the flow of information and add efficiency to an organization.
Benefits of a Document Management System
Businesses decide to create and implement document management systems for a variety of reasons. Doing so comes with many different benefits including those listed below.
One of the key advantages of creating and using a document management system in your business is that it will help to increase organization. It will make it easier to find important documents as needed.
Many professionals spend a lot of time looking for files rather than actually working and this can affect productivity in a negative way. This lack of efficiency can be resolved by using a document management system. It will make discovering files as streamlined as possible.
Enable Better Collaboration
Another great thing about creating a document management system is that it helps to boost your team’s collaboration as well. With improved document sharing and discoverability, your team can collaborate with each other better than ever before.
In addition to this, you’ll be able to offer better access and document sharing with third parties as well. This will help to foster better communication and ensure that everyone involved has a great experience.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Regulatory compliance is an important thing to keep in mind as a business or organization. A healthcare organization, for example, will need to meet strict HIPAA requirements when managing patient records.
Fortunately, a document management system can help with compliance as well. With the right practices, documents will be stored away more securely and privacy will be upheld more easily.
Non-compliance can lead to big fines and could potentially get a license revoked. It’s important to pay attention and ensure compliance when managing documents.
Plan for Disasters
A business or organization should also plan for potential disasters when it comes to data security. Data losses due to disasters such as fire and flood damage or due to common cyber threats can be extremely costly and can sink a business.
A document management system should include regular backups as part of the plan. This will help with protecting business data. It can reduce the setbacks that can come as part of these disasters.
If storing documents in the cloud, you’ll always have access to files and can avoid losing them if the physical files are damaged.
A document management system can also save your business money as well. Because it can be costly to file documents or to reproduce lost documents, a strong document management plan can help to reduce your business costs. It can help ensure that you aren’t paying more on managing documents than you need to be.
In addition to this, the increased productivity of your business will also help boost profitability. It can make the switch to better document management well worth it.
How to Create a Document Management System
So how do you create a document management system that works for your organization? Here’s what you need to do.
1. Audit Current Practices
One of the first things that you should do when trying to write a document management system is to determine what your current process and workflows are.
Be sure to examine your processes closely. Determine how you are currently handling documents and their organization and management. Consider how your documents are received, how they are transmitted, what security they have in place, and how they are disposed of or deleted.
Also, consider how many documents your business deals with on a daily and weekly basis. Know how the communication in your company typically works.
Understanding all of this is important. It will allow you to start developing a document management plan that works for your company’s unique needs.
2. Define Your Needs
Once you’ve identified the current state of operations in your business and considered how you’re currently managing documents, you can move on. You can then start determining the needs you need to meet with your future document management system.
You’ll want to think carefully about what your issues currently are and determine what problems you’re aiming to resolve with your document management system. Get specific and understand exactly what your needs are and outline them carefully to be sure that you can look for a system that works.
You’ll also want to think about the specific system requirements of any software document management system that you’ll implement as well.
3. Understand Your Documents
You should also assess what types of documents your organization currently has and uses.
This could include many different types of documents. Depending on the type of business you have, it may include invoices, employee W-4 forms, pay stubs, agreements, contracts, and more.
Determine what your current list of documents is. Get a handle on what your business has to manage, including both paper and digital documents.
Look for opportunities to cut down on the types of documents you use in your business. Consider trimming the fat to make things more streamlined and to ensure that you’re running a tighter operation.
4. Create a System
Another key thing to do after following the steps above is to start outlining your strategy. You need to define exactly how you’re going to accomplish your goals and improve document management in your organization.
You’ll want to develop a plan that encompasses all of your goals. It should get specific about what your employees will do to follow the standards while ensuring compliance.
Outline all processes and workflows that will be used. Set standards for all document-related actions such as categorizing, processing, reviewing, storing, and deleting documents. Also, set a schedule for important actions such as making backups of data.
5. Implement Your Strategy
Once you’ve outlined your document management system, you’ll then need to ensure that you’re following the rules that you’ve set.
You’ll need to discuss the system with everyone involved. Provide training to ensure that your employees are all on the same page and know what to expect.
It’s a good idea to start with a pilot program and to only implement the document management system in a couple of departments at first. This can help you iron out the kinks and ensure everything is going smoothly before expanding its use.
When improving your document organization, be sure that you have the right supplies. You might want to check out TabShop to get custom-printed tab dividers.
6. Build Consistency
Once you’ve implemented a document management system, remember that your work won’t be over. You’ll need to keep on following your system to ensure that your business doesn’t become disorganized over time.
Be sure that you and your team develop good habits and work to make updates to the process as necessary. Keeping the strategy consistent and following it well will help ensure that your business document management system works.
As a result, your business will increase its efficiency and experience the other benefits listed above.
Using These Tips to Create Document Management Systems
If you want to create document management systems that help improve your business or organization, be sure that you take a smart approach. Follow the tips listed above if you want to create a great document management system that helps make your business more organized and efficient.
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