This guide will go through an electronic document and records management system, its common characteristics, its benefits to businesses, and the best solutions.
How does you keep track of all the documents and paperwork that constantly pass through your business?
It’s not common for small businesses to use a less-structured approach to document management. Unfortunately, such a “play-it-by-ear” method of document administration may lead to several issues in your business.
According to the Benchmark Report for Intelligent Information Management in 2021:
Regarding finding particular office files, over 86% of employees have difficulties.
Around 46% of respondents state that finding office files is difficult and time-consuming.
84% of respondents said they would be required to recreate an existing document due to a lack of access to the original.
65% of respondents report being uncomfortable with being required to check, sign, and use office papers and documents.
Document Management Issues
To the tune of up to 21%, specific problems can cause a loss of production. Up to $4,000 for each employee per month may be lost due to improperly managed document management.
If you don’t have a clear and consistent electronic document management strategy, your company is likely bleeding money and losing out on a lot of revenue.
It is the reason why you need an electronic document management system.
What is an Electronic Document Management System?
Electronic document management is a software program that allows an organization’s documents and files to be saved, retrieved, managed, and used as needed.
However, there is much to make a proper electronic document and records management system than simply having an essential-data program.
Effective electronic document management should handle a wide range of activities, such as records management and content management, as well as digital imaging and file conversion.
Features of Electronic Document And Records Management System
Look at some of the critical functions in an electronic document management system.
Electronic document and records management systems are designed to keep track of everything from timesheets to PTO requests and direct deposit receipts, client agreements, bills, and tickets.
Tiered storage solutions are available from electronic document and records management system suppliers to businesses with various requirements. They may even provide start-ups with a free, limited product version for some services.
When buying storage, you don’t want to go overboard if you don’t need it right now. However, consider your future storage requirements while selecting an electronic document management solution.
Capturing digital information is simple enough: For storing incoming documents, the electronic document management system technologies duplicate them before filing. This technique may compress, optimize, or convert files as necessary.
(OCR) Optical Character Recognition and (OMR) Optical Mark Reading are required for capturing physical information. Handwritten or printed paperwork can be rapidly captured with near perfection using composite scanning technology, which combines mass-quantity scanning technologies.
Electronic document and records management systems store digital and physical papers, creating metadata for each. Individual files are now identified regarding their creation date, most recent modifications, and much more.
Structuring and Indexing Documents
After it has been captured, every electronic document and records management system will have an automatically-generated hierarchical structure.
It may be as simple as generating document file names in a sequence. Electronic document management systems can also automate or simplify generating navigable and user-friendly folder trees. It may make retrieving frequently or lately used papers and files that meet specific criteria simple.
Locating and Retrieving Documents
Regarding looking for files, it’s a question of going through the correct folder trees. In today’s increasingly digitized world, organizations require practical electronic document and record management systems that are easy to use.
Searching functions are becoming more advanced within electronic document management systems. Again, auto-generated file names, metadata, and so on all contribute to more accurate search results within the system. When looking for a specific phrase in an electronic document management system, functions of other techniques may be utilized to search the content of files.
Permission Granting and Gating
Individual files and those that fulfill any criteria can be assigned, allowing you to manage their rights swiftly. Allowances are made for teams to make changes to a document, while others may only view it and others won’t be able to access it at
Access control prevents those who don’t need access from touching your files and documents, ensuring they are protected.
Communication and Collaboration
Overall, the electronic document and records management system enables document owners and administrators to communicate, make remarks about particular sections of the document, and modify the document as required.
Information may also be censored or hidden for specific collaborators depending on their permissions and clearances, allowing them to focus only on relevant material to their goals.
Your electronic document management system must keep track of these modifications and store copies of each version of the document throughout its existence.
Versioning a document allows you to record when different changes are made. It can assist in reducing confusion or misunderstanding among the people involved with the document in question.
Security and Compliance
They reduce the likelihood of a document being stolen in the first place. Managers can effortlessly recuperate the file in its original condition if it is accidentally accessed and changed.
Many laws and rules demand that businesses maintain records from beginning to end to comply with them. As a result, versioning isn’t simply about providing proof of compliance; they’re also an essential component of it.
Benefits of using an Electronic Document And Record Management System:
Increased Productivity and Profit
The time it takes to track and update documents is dramatically reduced by implementing an electronic document management system. You’ll spend less time looking for essential papers and more time utilizing them for their intended purpose.
Increasing your profit margin is a simple way to improve your performance. Take this further and reinvest the money you save into your company. An electronic document management system enhances efficiency, promotes innovation, and improves customer service and support.
Better Adherence to Processes
Electronic document management system is an easy-to-use tool that allows your teams to adhere to standard document management procedures and best practices.
In other cases, this procedure is almost automatic. Put another way, following a process entails starting and allowing the system to perform its function.
In more hands-on examples, your electronic document and records management system software may guarantee that a user follows the path of least resistance when carrying out specific activities.
A few examples:
- Sending document updates via the electronic document management system rather than by email
- Create new invoices based on the specified template.
- Documents are transmitted and recorded by the proper chain of command.
Enhanced Knowledge Sharing
Using an electronic document management system, you may control the information flow throughout your business. In most cases, this implies that data and documentation may flow freely between teams, making it considerably easier to share expertise.
Most up-to-date version of any file is required due to the centralized structure of an electronic document management system.
It’s also worth noting that many contemporary electronic document and records management systems work well with third-party tools and programs. As it makes communication and collaboration a lot easier since team members can exchange information straight from their electronic document management system.
Improved Knowledge Preservation
If you’re using an excellent electronic document and records management system, it will be designed to ensure that you follow the required laws simply while utilizing the tool.
After an employee departs your firm, an electronic document management system may also aid you in maintaining organizational data. Internal knowledge bases are usually the repository for implicit and tacit knowledge, with explicit knowledge essential to document management procedures.
Your document management software will keep track of any papers your former coworkers may have left behind so that you can still find, access, and utilize them.
Guaranteed Quality Assurance
The staff can feel secure knowing they have complete control over the documents they work on while still following required security and compliance standards. You’ll also reassure your clients about the security and safety of their data, which will give them peace of mind while dealing with you.
Improving document management processes has a trickle-down effect on the customer experience regarding speed and responsiveness. You’ll be able to locate, discover, and utilize papers as required, so you’ll undoubtedly serve your clients faster and more efficiently.
Getting Your Employees to Buy Into an Electronic Document and Record Management System.
However, if you haven’t already done much to standardize your electronic document management system processes and switch them on, it may not be as simple as it appears. Instead, you’ll need to persuade your staff to accept the change to get the most out of it.
Here’s how to accomplish it.
Focus on the Benefits
It’s critical to show your teams and workers how adopting this practice will benefit them. If they don’t comprehend how an electronic document and records management system will let them be more productive, reduce frustration, and so on, you may expect some resistance when trying to get them to implement it.
Address any concerns from your staff, emphasizing how an electronic document and records management system may assist in solving the problem.
The better you can persuade your staff about the advantages of using an electronic document management system, the more straightforward it will be to move on to the subsequent phases of the procedure. Start by getting them on board with the new way of doing things. Begin preparing them to systematize your processes.
Develop and Systematize Processes Collaboratively
It’s critical to involve all of your personnel in developing your comprehensive document management systems.
Reason: The background and expertise each of them brings to the table are essential when determining how your company should approach document management in the first place.
Here, your staff may discover important information from your ground level and managerial team members, such as:
- What the team is presently doing in terms of organized document management
- What document management procedures must be put in place and resolved
- Which document management system software is appropriate for your business
However, the electronic document and records management system differ considerably from one company to the next.
Gradually unroll your strategy and onboard your employees
You must provide your team members the opportunity to put effort into learning and adapting the new systems into their whole operations.
It also implies providing scheduled training sessions, facilitating the co-creation of instructional materials, and allowing for simulated practice before implementing the process.
In addition, all employees should have unrestricted access to any company knowledge revolving around your document management procedures.
Your teams should always be able to discover the information they need to further understand your document management processes, from guides through instructions for the software and other equipment.
Reinforce and Improve Electronic Document Management Processes Over Time
You’ll need to keep your employees engaged on the electronic document management system procedures you’ve established and refined as time goes on once you’ve completed and optimized them.
So, it’s essential to acknowledge and show appreciation for your employees’ efforts and to celebrate any accomplishments earned through said efforts. It is done in a more organized or flexible manner.
It would help if you also revisited your established procedures as time went on and reinforced your systematized electronic document management processes.
Here, you can see what’s working, what needs to be improved, and what has to be completely rebuilt.
Your company will be able to operate at full speed and reach significant growth in the future if you choose a document management system and processes that work for everyone.