Understanding the Role of Document Management and Control in Your Business
Today’s businesses need to be on top of their game with products or services that differentiate themselves from the competition to be successful. Assuming that the customers want what it is that the business has to offer, the next important characteristic of a successful business stems from its ability to be organized. Disorganized companies often find themselves clumsy in their ability to service their customers, and as a result, see a higher rate of customer disappoint. Organizations that are well organized, however, tend to see higher rates of customer satisfaction and are more efficient and effective overall. This means more revenue and better margins for the bottom line.
If a customer senses that your organization is disorganized, or takes too long to solve a customer problem, they will begin to develop a bad taste in their mouth. If this turns out to be a repeat occurrence, the customer may eventually attrite and go elsewhere, taking their dollars (and your revenue) with them. One of the main reasons for these situations is because the firm isn’t well organized behind the scenes.
This is where document management and control comes into play. Organizations that implement a tried and true professional DMS website like FileCenter, will be steps ahead of their competitors that try to manage everything through paper records and file cabinets. Today’s modern document management systems can track, manage, and store documents online via a website. Most online DMS systems are capable of keeping a record of the various versions created and modified by different users as well, which helps with change management and makes it far easier to get questions answered when trying to figure out why or when an update was made. And in today’s market, the ability to go paperless (which a DMS enables) is an expectation more than just an organizational desire.
Document management is an evolutionary capability
When most businesses started out, especially those that got into the business before the internet era, transactions were conducted on paper or through cash register systems that didn’t store data, and simply spit the content out onto paper at the end of the day. As businesses got their start this way, they were far more likely to continue doing things the same way all the time, because that was how they had always done it.
However, with the advent of technology, the increasing prevalence of business audits and the building demands of today’s customers, most organizations are looking for more effective methods of record keeping. In some cases, organizations adopted Microsoft products such as Word and Excel and started saving documents in folders on their network. In many cases, though, it became difficult for others to access these files, and a lack of consistency in file saving conventions made it hard to find the file, let alone access it.
The challenge with outdated and ineffective document control methods are far ¬reaching and quite extensive. These constraints extend across all aspects of an organization as well and can have derogatory effects on decision-making, production, and customer success. Common challenges of an inefficient document management and control process include:
- Organizations may find that they can’t meet the rigorous requirements of internal or external compliance regulations
- Tracking changes to documents, especially those that are business-critical, can be difficult or impossible to track
- Tribal knowledge has no way of becoming accessible across the organization and often gets lost when someone leaves an organization as it is documented somewhere that no one else knows exists
- Administrative staff will lose efficiency distributing documents, correcting mistakes, seeking approval for changes, managing version control, or improving critical documents
- Internal audits that could enhance production and functions that may not be conducted, or if performed, are a waste of time and resources
- Lack of accessibility to a single source of the truth can create business management
Document management, when done right, can help companies succeed
Document management systems can help you implement vital controls and organized record keeping for your business. Further, these tools can help organizations get back on track. These systems are designed to help companies track, modify, store, and distribute documents of any kind, and provide a number of benefits, inclusive of:
- Controlled costs through automating creation, distribution, and approval of tasks
- Ability to alter or replace documents in batches which reduces the amount of time spent on managing and editing
- Less time and resources needed to create, administer, and alter documents which means that administrative and customer-support staff can focus on higher-priority tasks
- Reduction in the likelihood of errors as the new central repository ensures only authorized personnel can make changes (and records are kept of who makes changes, what is changed, and when the changes are made)
- Automated paper trails are created which provides ease and speed in the internal audit process
The right change is easy to embrace
Though in some cases, it can be difficult to make a change as large as the implementation of a document management system, the greater difficult often occurs when the change is not made. With the implementation of a DMS, your organization will automatically see an improvement in resource management, financial control, and customer support. Read this article on CIO and learn how to improve your resource management.
Your staff will be better able to access the critical documents of your organization. In the past, time spent searching through file drawers in the hope that the right file would be located and the right document would be found within, would take a considerably long time. Those minutes, if not hours spent searching can mean a slower response to a customer, an inability to address a question during a financial audit. Either of these scenarios is bad for business as an irritated customer that needed to wait too long for an answer may give up on you. An auditor may not have time to wait for a financial answer, which can have serious ramifications on your business operations.
Businesses that have adopted file document management systems and have incorporated the relevant controls rarely regret their decision. In fact, the regrets that are experienced are often tied to not having made the decision sooner.
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash.
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