A time before document management system
Before copiers were truly developed, most businesses had to deal with stacks of paperwork on a day-to-day basis. And if you’ve been in business long enough, some of the typical paperwork you will go through is expense reports, purchase orders, acquisition forms, payroll, and much more. With so much paper coming in and out, it can get tedious and document-heavy. Not only that but once it leaves your department most documents get passed around to multiple times to acquire approval from other departments.
You can easily become overwhelmed with all the documents that get shuffled back and forth from one department to the other bouncing from desk to desk. The whole process would take much longer than it needed to be, especially if your paperwork didn’t get lost while in transit. It’s the little things like not getting to the right person, or having it misplaced or overlooked that ultimately end up slowing down your business. A slow operation transfers to slow growth which impacts your bottom line. This is where document management software comes in. Once a document management system has been put in place you will be able to automate the whole process, ensuring that your employees are accountable for their actions, while clearly defining your whole internal process.
What is document management software exactly?
In its most basic form, document management software creates a workflow that helps streamline processes. It is a system used to produce, track, edit, store, and manage documents associated with a business process. These documents will not go away because they are converted into a digital format that can be processed more efficiently. With this, your paper document now becomes the lowest common denominator to send out information to your coworkers and customers.
Depending on the software in place, you can share documents with two or three separate employees before it moves to the next stage in the workflow process. Also, you can add a level of security that only allows specific users to have access to this type of information if you are worried about sensitive information being sent out. Users will be able to review documents that are in their queue, start a new document, follow the path of a document they created, and more. Managers will be able to monitor the workflow and assist others if they run into any problems. A document management system doesn’t just help catch any missteps that might have been overlooked; it also helps automate complicated processes that have a high chance of getting lost in the shuffle. So instead of relying on a paper system that has a high chance of forgetting steps, your documents will arrive to the right person in the right way.
Document management big picture
Whatever document management system you choose to put in place, they can all be retrofitted to perform simple or complicated tasks. One of the big advantages of a document management system is that you can see an overview of the entire workflow. You get to see which employee has the most in their queue and distribute it evenly if needed to among other employees. Seeing the whole process will help you stay on top of projects so that they can be executed promptly without inundating your employees with a sea of work.