When you handle all your documents manually, you have a big task at hand. You must be extremely organized, thorough, and you must make sure your entire staff is too. Whether you are distributing office memos, collecting important signatures, entering key figures into spreadsheets, or filing pertinent data, every step must be treated with extreme care to make sure no detail is missed.
Doing everything by hand may be how your company is used to doing things, but it also puts you at risk for a lot of human error. Here is a closer look at the most common errors made by companies that are not yet automated, as well as some insight into how a document management system can help eliminate these issues.
Working from an Outdated Document
Collaboration is a valuable tool for any company, and there are many times where several people will be contributing to the same document. By emailing the file back and forth or working through a company file share program, there is a high risk of someone working off the wrong version—or the wrong document completely. The important edits made by the previous contributor may not be accounted for, and they could very well be skipped in the final document.
With document management software, this is not a concern. Documents must be checked in and out of the system to make edits and can be routed to a preset group of people for review and approval.
Dealing with Inconsistent Filing Methods
When you rely on a manual filing process, you put a lot of trust in the people performing the filing. You trust that they follow the guidelines you have in place regarding how to name and number the files, and you trust that they do so with 100% accuracy. And if either of those stipulations are not followed, you are going to have a challenging time locating the document when you need it.
With a document management platform, the entire filing process is automated. The name and numbering conventions can be preset across different document types so that documents receive default titles and codes immediately upon creation. When it comes time to find your document, you can do it in a matter of seconds.
Mismanaging Document Collaboration
Working off the wrong document is not the only possible error when it comes to collaboration. If your company uses a file share, chances are you won’t even be able to tell what changes were made at first glance, nor will you know who made them.
However, with document management technology, you can see a detailed audit trail of every document in your company. You will know changes were made, who made them, and when they were made. Additionally, you can access past renditions of the document if necessary.
Wasting Time Looking for Documents
Even if the proper filing procedures are followed, it can still take you a long time to locate specific files when you need them. Maybe the document you need is in the stack of papers on your desk, or perhaps it is buried in a filing cabinet. Either way, you have more important things to do.
With a document control system, a comprehensive search feature is in place, allowing you to locate and retrieve any document in mere seconds based on a wide variety of available search criteria.
Failing to Update Employee Training Records
It is always important to keep detailed, up-to-date training records for every employee, but it’s imperative if your industry is regulated by the government. If you are not staying up on your current employees’ document training status, you could risk large fines due to noncompliance. But this isn’t always easy when the task is tedious, labor intensive, and prone to missed information.
You could however, integrate with a document control application and allow it to handle your training process. It automates the assigning of document/event training, and quizzes, reminding users along the way. Most importantly, the system stores an electronic record of who has completed what, so you can easily print out a detailed report whenever it is needed.
Printing Without Discretion
If your company is using an open printer that employees can freely use, there is a high risk of sensitive information getting in the wrong hands. It is too easy for someone to print your intellectual property and remove it from the building without you even realizing it—and when in the wrong hands, it can do serious damage to your business.
With a quality management system , you can control every document that is printed from anywhere in your company. You can see who printed a document, obtain a reason from them for the print, how many times they printed it, and include watermarks to guarantee your company IP remains secure.
Spending Your Own Time Tracking Down Approval Signatures
Signatures are an important part of your business, but they shouldn’t be a hassle. If you spend any time tracking down colleagues to get the signatures you need to proceed, then you are wasting valuable time that could be spent doing something else.
When you implement a web based document management system, this task is done for you. All documents can be routed as you dictate, and the necessary approval signatures will be obtained for you. The software will email the recipient and remind them their signature is required as many times as necessary, as the due date approaches.
Avoiding these document control pitfalls will certainly contribute to the successful operation of your business. With document control management, you can take back your time and save your resources. Our ENSUR document management software lets you rid your office of paper documents and inefficient spreadsheets so that you can quickly and accurately handle all your data needs. To learn more, contact us today.