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How a Document Management System Can Help Solve Enterprise Bottlenecks

Mario Zules

Written by Mario Zules on 13 September

A chaotic mountain of files and paperwork is a liability for any enterprise. You can’t get information when you need it, you lose important documents, and not to mention the amount of time you waste trying to locate or redo lost work. While wasted time might look like a fickle consequence, legal trouble over missing documents isn’t.

Document management software is, therefore, an inevitable need for any enterprise. Coming up with an efficient document management system is a long process that requires time and training. However, its rewards are satisfying. That said, most companies have the same document management problems for their business process.

Here we go through nine common enterprise bottlenecks and how a document management system can alleviate them.

1. Not being able to locate the documents you need right now

When you are against a wall with a looming deadline, every minute counts, and rummaging through piles of documents to find a specific file is the last thing you want to do. An electronic document management system saves you this headache by storing through process automation indexed digital files. The indexing helps you find the documents you need on short notice.

2. You’re not maximizing employee time and productivity

No one hires employees for them to search for documents- you surely must have better tasks for them. The time they will spend digging for documents could cost your enterprise thousands of dollars.

In addition to hurting staff’s productivity, manual document management systems may lead to job dissatisfaction. Staff becomes frustrated, and there is tension in the office. Employees are frustrated with document search and retrieval that they yell at their computers and in some cases, colleagues. This is a toxic work environment.

Digital document management solutions such as OpenKM will boost productivity for your staff by allowing them to focus on core tasks for which you hired them. OpenkM document management software can be used solitarily or integrated with other programs, making workflow management even easier for your employees.

3. Running out of storage space

Enterprises allocate huge budgets on physical storage space; from files, filing cabinets, and storage rooms. Often, regulations stop businesses from trashing old documents. Having a server space for document management is much less of a burden, both financially and in terms of area.

You can use electronic data entry to convert physical printed copies of documents to digital copies for storage in the server. Some document management systems keep documents offsite, negating the need for room for a server. For those documents that must be kept as paper, management software helps you consolidate and index them without wasting large amounts of office space for storage.

4. The security of your business is at risk

Mountains of paperwork pose the risk of losing track of valuable information. Physical documents could fall into the wrong hands, or disasters such as fires and floods could destroy everything. Document management systems shield you from these unseen security risks.

When documents are in electronic form, a disaster on-site won't pose a risk as most management systems have offsite backup capabilities. OpenKM also enables you to track who viewed what document on the server by enforcing different access levels for various staff.

5. Inefficient routing and tracking

Yes, walking is healthy, but not when routing and tracking documents critical to legal compliances. It is just inefficient. Imagine trying to track a document in a sprawling manufacturing company, which houses multiple buildings and people who work different shifts. This means walking from one building to the next, hoping to catch someone before their shift is over.

However, with digital document management systems, a document can be routed easily, for example, via email to all its correspondents, then stored via process automation and indexed on the server. No matter where your employees are, location and distance cease to be a bottleneck. It’s even more ideal for companies with employees across the world.

6. Lack of a mechanism for escalation

It’s a no-brainer that there will always be several people who need to review or approve a document, who will be out of the office when you need them. The initiator for a request might not even be aware of the absence of the other parties, sometimes for days. The reviewer might be out for a vacation or work trip. Without any means to escalate the issue, workflow management becomes slow and frustrating.

A document management system could easily solve this problem. After a period of inaction on the document, the issue could be escalated to the next available person. Meanwhile, the person who is out of the office can participate online. With digital documents, the approval process doesn’t need to stop because the approver is physically unavailable.

7. Ineffective revision control

Do you keep seeing an obsolete document that you disposed of a long time ago? It’s not a déjàvu case, but a case of ineffective revision control. It is a common occurrence for enterprises running a paper-based document management system. Such companies also struggle with piles of unapproved documents.

Choosing a digital document management system with revision control capability will help things. Such a system will automatically archive outdated documents through process automation, and lock unapproved documents or those under revision. Only authorized approved and complete records will be available to staff.

8. No consistency in file storage

The CEO’s files were initially in Google Drive, but ran out of space and moved some things into Dropbox. Karen still fancies filing cabinets, while Alex stored his files on his hard drive. With such an organizational mess, it’s common for companies to lose sight of file storage.

Maybe you didn’t have a defined plan for file management from the word go, didn’t train your staff well or merging companies resulted in confusion. You can quickly lose critical files this way, and it might be difficult to recover them.

Most document management software offers enterprises different plans, depending on their needs. They can upgrade these plans as the company grows. This way, a company always has consistency and centralization in file storage.

9. Working on the wrong version of a file

A survey done by Harris Interactive in 2013 reveals that 83% of staff in the UK and the US lose time everyday repeating work due to incorrect versioning. Without precise indexing, it is very easy to work on the wrong file version and only realize it when you are almost done.

Worse still, you could have already sent the wrong file version to your supervisor, client, partner, or colleague.

A company that has invested in a high-quality digital document management system worries less about such problems. A great system will show the last changes made on a document, making it easy to know if you are working on the right version. Similarly, you can read what was on the previous document as well as see the most recent changes.

Final word

In a world where digital documents are the future, implementing document management software such as OpenKM should be the next logical step for any enterprise looking for efficiency. OpenKM enables processes such as file conversions, file tracking, and indexing, safe trashing, controlled access, and secure storage. This quality solution will consequently result in better workplaces, with happier employees, higher revenue, and improved productivity.

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