Looking for an item in a file cabinet and not finding it happens quite a bit. In fact, employees spend one-fifth of their day looking for hard copies, and in only 50% of the cases do they find the information in the expected place. Labor expended for file hunting is by far the biggest expense related to paper record systems. In some cases, employees never find the document in question at all, and the staff has to repeat the work to produce it again, adding to the drain on resources.
One witnesses similar slowdowns with digital files when they reside in a traditional PC-folder structure. As employees create new folders in ad hoc fashion, files become increasingly disorganized. Over time, digital content is saved on different servers and workstations, in different folders, under different names. Much like paper systems, employees go to look for the most current version of the file, but have to check multiple possible locations.
Given that such a large portion of an employee’s day consists of file handling, there is then ample opportunity to increase staff efficiency by utilizing an electronic document management system.
With the right electronic document management solution in place, businesses have far more capabilities than they would with just paper-based file or standard PC folder structure. Effective document management enables employees to:
- Retrieve the correct document out of myriad of items throughout the company within seconds.
- Access up-to-date file changes while working from home or on the road.
- Prevent overwritten changes, misfiled items, and confusion over file versions.
- Share information confidentially with other employees, partners, and customers.
- Recover automatic backups of digital content to protect against accidental data loss.
A document management system typically indexes each item with specific keywords, keeping all data content searchable company-wide. Employees can bring up the right document in seconds, without rifling through the wrong drawers or pecking through PC file locations. Digital document management significantly reduces the time for routine file search and retrieval while largely eliminating the interruptions in work caused by misplaced information.
Read more in the recently-released M-Files white paper, Easy Document Management: A Guide to Features, Benefits and Selection, about how companies with document management systems complete projects quicker and experience faster and more accurate responses to information requests.
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