Is Your Filing Up-to-Date or Out-of-Date?
1st Nov 2019 | Emily Fletcher
With one tap on a mobile phone, we are able to access everything we want and need. We can shop, do our banking, connect with friends instantly, book events and add them to our electronic calendar. We have apps for everything, and however obscure a question is, the answer is only a couple of clicks away.
We have instant access to information 24/7. Then we go to work, and it feels like we are stepping back in time.
Many small and medium-sized businesses are still using manual systems for their document creation and storage. Clunky, old filing cabinets adorn offices up and down the country along with shelves full of files and paperwork. While some people find comfort in retaining traditional paper-based methods of working, it is hopelessly inefficient given that technology has made it possible to access, create, edit and store everything digitally. Some of the issues associated with having a paper-based system are:
- The physical space required
- It is difficult to make and track changes
- Often there are multiple copies stored in different locations
- Lack of security
- Only accessible during office hours, in the actual workplace
In essence, it wastes time and costs money.
In 2019, many companies offer flexible working, job-sharing or the ability to work from home. For employees who are ‘out on the road’, accessing the correct documentation is difficult when that system is paper-based. Just thinking about the array of documents that businesses generate is overwhelming (reports, contracts, procedures, protocols, training manuals, memos, correspondence and more) and employees waste much of their time searching for, re-creating, editing and re-filing these documents. A ton of time is also spent searching through thousands of emails for attachments, which accounts for hours of wasted productivity per day. Paper-based documentation challenges reduce staff productivity by 21%1.
The answer to this problem is to install an integrated document management system, where every single document is digitally stored. This system enables 24/7 access from anywhere, thus creating instant, easy retrieval. Users can be assigned login’s with differing permission levels, thus enhancing security. Other very tangible benefits include:
- Reduction of storage space and therefore the creation of a more structured working environment
- Reduction/elimination of costs associated with printing, photocopying, paper, filing, storage
- Easy review, editing and production of documents
- Version control
- An audit trail (essential for compliance with standards such as ISO 9001 / Investors in People)
- Security from a ‘back-up’ point of view. Nothing can be lost.
Just as we have our smart phones for all our personal wants and needs, a documentation management system is crucial for those companies wishing to minimise inefficiency, increase productivity and create access to information anytime, anywhere.
In 2017, the global document management system market was valued at $3.44 billion2. By 2023, this is estimated to be more than double at $7.07 billion.
Times are changing. Just as no busines would consider functioning without a website or email anymore, the same will be valid for the digitising of documents. It is here to stay, and it will become the norm. Are you ready to go digital?
1 Source: Financesonline
2 Source: Businesswire
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