Almost everyone can relate to the frustration of losing files. Humor around file management fills business cubicle walls. One cartoon says, “Ancient Egyptians wrote history on their walls because they feared it would be lost forever if they put it in files.”
Well-designed document management systems are getting high-fives from businesses of all sizes.
Moving from paper to digital files offers impressive benefits including: opening floor space, lowering paper expenses, saving employee time accessing files, improving customer service, easier updating and increasing security from lost, stolen, or destroyed papers.
Change always requires adjustments and these tips can help smooth the path to reaping the many benefits of putting your document management system to work.
- Employee/staff buy-in is critical. Give them a heads-up early in the process and keep the communication lines open for answering questions and concerns. Giving employees background on new system implementation will help eliminate fears that can slow down the learning process.
- Train end users for success. Having an efficient platform will fall short without training. Many document management systems come with advanced features. Workflow automation for example, allows delivery of documents such as invoices, to go to several users simultaneously before being sent out. Getting familiar with ‘how’ it makes employee life easier is a sure incentive that will help them want to use the system to its full advantage.
- Digitize paper documents. Scanning, digitizing and uploading to your document management system takes time. In the end, it becomes an opportunity to eliminate a lot of useless paper documents and organize the ones worth scanning into your new system—making them easier to find and use. Many organizations successfully outsource the scanning of old documents to a reputable scanning service
- Customize to your needs. Take every opportunity to use the robust customization capabilities of your system for:
• Creating customized windows and records.
• Generating custom fields and reports.
• Adding custom document attributes.
• Customizing workflow.
• Creating custom dashboard reports.
- Use customer support. A good vendor/partner should have an expert local support team available for assistance when the need arises. Using their expertise can cut downtime and employee frustration—especially in the early days as employees learn the system.
- Keep track of employees. After implementation of the system, check-in with employees to make sure no one has fallen behind. The bigger the organization, the likelier it is for someone to fall through the ‘learning curve’ crack. Making a smooth transition to full use of your document management system will help bring a quicker return on investment because paper reduction goes down, employees spend less time in search mode—and documents, invoices and customer inquiries are handled more efficiently. Adding to the value of your document management system is the fast-growing trend to work remotely from home, on business trips, construction sites and other out-of-the-office locations. Mobile technology’s huge growth will just continue this trend. Thriving in this highly charged digital world requires that businesses put in place a document management system. It’s smart planning for now and into the future.