All documents, whether electronic or paper, are essential for the running and functioning of any enterprise. Business information is sensitive and subject to privacy and confidentiality. These aspects make document management an incredibly challenging task. With the rise in cybersecurity threats, electronic document management has become ever more paramount.
So how then can businesses dodge these issues and yet remain productive?
Quadient UK is a company that provides a host of solutions within the document digitisation gamut, such as Document and Data Capture, Records Management, Automation, Analytics and Intelligence and Electronic Document Management.
Let’s dive into the details.
Why are electronic document management systems crucial, and how can they help the business?
The pandemic has seen quite a lot of companies taking their business operations online. Apart from launching a website and interactive tools, these companies had to endure another challenge – converting paper documents into electronic or digital format. Businesses that opt for electronic document management systems need a foundation that helps streamline workflows and critical processes. Apart from enhancing efficiency, electronic document management systems can help in the following ways.
A reduction in storage space
The costs of commercial property are increasing, and so are the expenses of storing files and folders. An electronic software-based document management system helps save considerable space taken up by cabinets and boxes. The software frees up precious space which can be used for other purposes, say aesthetics. There are sensitive and confidential documents that are best secured in paper format or as hard copies. These are kept at less expensive locations such as a warehouse or a vault.
An enhancement in security
Securing valuable documents is critical for business operations of all sizes. Protecting sensitive data is vital to safeguard company interests. A software-based document management system offers you enhanced security through better control over sensitive documents. Also, access is controllable at the folder level as per individuals and groups. A DMS leaves behind an audit trail of people who have viewed and accessed a document. The electronic system enables you to know about its modification. Plus, the records managed in this manner are highly traceable. One can install tags and notifications for automated alerts.
Robust and improved compliance
Regulatory and compliance procedures are tedious and complex for some documents. Non-conformance can make you liable for fines or revoked licenses. In some cases, it can even lead to criminal liability. Note that Federal and state regulatory bodies such as the Sarbanes Oxley and HIPAA ordinances have strict security and privacy guidelines. With these compliances in place, document management systems provide organisation and reduce the possibility of non-compliance. Records retention can be automated, and new documents then can be easily classified and stored.
Searching, locating and retrieving documents is time-consuming, especially when stored in physical format. The typical office employee spends about 30 to 40 per cent of the day retrieving these printed documents. Organisations, on average, spend about £20 in document filing labour, £120 in searching a misfiled one and £220 for reproducing one that is lost. With that said, it is evident that document management costs are bank-breaking. These expenses are a burden on the overall budget, which hampers productivity and business growth.
A document management system is time-saving. Depending on the solution, the system helps retrieve files through keywords or phrases. Also, integration with business applications streamlines access to vital information. More so, with a DMS, documents are accessible remotely, provided there is a stable internet connection. And this has proven beneficial during the pandemic.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Creating a backup for your content requires you to know what content you have. Traditionally, document management systems entailed saving documents on local computers. The backup system comprises non-controlled file shares, wherein the content is not properly backed up. One often finds out when it is too late or when the content is misplaced. Regulations mandate that one produces the original and legible copies of those records and have a robust backup solution.
The digital archiving of paper documents also prevents them from fire and flood, among other disasters. A DMS or document management system ensures that records are traceable using a range of criteria. These tracking capabilities help reduce the chances of documents getting lost or misfiled upon viewing and accessing.
Collaboration and Sharing
Electronic document management systems help with collaboration and sharing; this is both internally and externally. The partnership takes place using web-based environments – intranets – and workflows. The digitisation also helps assess the standing of the document, whether it is at the authoring, review or approval phases. Note that collaboration and sharing can even happen remotely. Records captured from different sources are accessible through multiple locations.
Another aspect is electronic imaging. This solution enables sharing of documents over networks such as email or the Internet. Electronic document management systems also offer enhanced visibility into processes and workflow monitoring.
Consistency in Content
It is not easy to attain consistency for contents using traditional methods. It involves nitty-gritty, such as formatting, naming and controlling. Another challenge is to get all the members to use the latest or the same templates. Yet another is to ensure that all new edits and revisions are from the ‘last approved’ version in a file-share environment. An electronic document management system renders template management and distribution capabilities, along with document revision management. The system also helps automate the PDF publishing process to ensure adherence to ICH requirements.
Improvement in timeliness
Electronic document management systems offer tools that automatically push records through their life cycles. These tools are profound and help tackle bottlenecks and ensure timely generation and filing. This timeliness helps with improved inspection and submission readiness. So procrastination, delays and logistics are all taken care of by the electronic systems.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, having a precise electronic document management system is paramount. Electronic documentation management involves several arenas, including managing forms, compliance, document archival and retrieval, e-delivery, mail management and others. Companies such as Quadient provide a host of these services that can be leveraged for added efficiency, security and productivity.