You may well have heard something or the other about document control – perhaps in relation to the ‘paperless office’ or even tips for better document security. As technology changes and improves, awareness does too, allowing far more businesses to look at new innovations that help make everyday life a bit easier. There are tools that automate just about everything these days, with each year opening up even more possibility for even more innovation for businesses. When it comes to document control, such tools are not only helping to simplify things – they are also helping to standardise and regulate procedures too. If you thought that document management was just another buzzword and not much more, you might be pleasantly surprised by these factoids…
Getting Beyond the Basics of Document Management
What do we mean by the basics, you may be wondering? Simply put, document management focuses on the storing, accessibility and organisation of electronic documents. Like a virtual filing cabinet, only one that can also act as version control, set permissions, and even provide added security. But beyond the basics, there are a few important things that not every supplier will tell you about the management of electronic documents…
- Document systems are far more affordable than you may have assumed. When one thinks of any sort of system, it seems logical that it would cost a bundle. As these systems become more popular in offices across the world however, prices are coming down due to a bigger demand and competitive advantage as every tech company launches their own versions. What this means, is that this is a good time to dip into your budget and consider investing in an automated system for documents. Depending on which pricing model you opt for, you could consider traditional licensing, open source or a comprehensive SaaS or software as a service solution.
- The system needs to be as user-friendly as possible to work effectively. Don’t be fooled by suppliers who fly through demos without clearly showing you how things work. At the end of the day, systems fail when they are either hard to use or take too long to implement. You do not want to fork out for a full software solution only to not end up actually putting it to use. As a general rule of thumb, if it cannot be demonstrated properly, it is not a good investment. The product should be designed in a way that is accessible for anyone – at the very least, training should be able to get everyone using it without any issues.
- Going paperless is not the only goal to consider. You want to cut down on wasted resources of course, and the green factor is definitely worth mentioning. But there is way more to these tools than just the ability to make the move from paper to virtual. Accessibility, collaboration, security, accountability, cost-savings and even time-savings are just some of the reasons to make the move to an automated document solution. Such systems can also help you with improvement strategies, or in obtaining ISO standardisation. Your processes and procedures will become far easier to manage as well if you have a clear strategy in place that focuses on the way that documents are managed.
Only you (and your budget of course) can determine whether or not document control is the right move to make, but when you have all the information you need, it becomes far easier to make that decision.