What Is Document Management and Why Does Your Company Need It?

Workflow software

Documents are a fact of life for all businesses, but they don’t all have to be on paper.

Every business requires documentation, whether the primary business activity is law, catering, or styling hair. Some businesses, of course, have more documents than others, but every company has to deal with basic documents like tax forms, client agreements, and human resources forms for employees.

The paperless office has been promised the American business for decades, but only recently has the possibility become reality. And while it’s likely that no business will be able to dispense with paper entirely, more tools than ever are available today to allow companies of every size to minimize paper usage. Document management is the primary set of tools that allows them to do this.

More Than Just Storing and Locating Documents

Document management used to depend upon trained, conscientious clerical workers who knew where to find designated paper documents. Digital document management can reduce the number of filing cabinets and allow any authorized user to access electronic documents at any time. But electronic filing and archival of documents are only the beginning of a great document management program.

The right approach to document management lets you revolutionize your organization’s internal document workflow. The right workflow software helps you ensure that each document reaches the right recipient(s) at every stage of document creation, approval, filing, and archival.

Benefits You Can Expect with Excellent Document Management

For one thing, outstanding document management allows your company to save on space. When you use less paper and ink, you buy less paper and ink, saving significantly on office supplies.

Efficiency, access, and security are other important benefits the right document management system can confer. Papers no longer have to be hand-delivered, authorized people can gain immediate access from their workstation or mobile devices, and security measures can be implemented that just aren’t practical when you have a room full of paper documents.

The True Costs of Managing Paper

Online forms

The costs of managing paper go well beyond supplies and storage.

The costs of paper and ink are only the beginning of the total costs of managing paper. Storage costs are important, of course, and the time involved in locating and retrieving documents can be significant. Suppose your filing clerk is on vacation and someone needs to locate a contract from a year prior. Even with the best-managed and labeled filing system, someone is going to spend significant time locating the exact document they need.

There are also “soft” costs associated with managing paper documents, like the costs of lower efficiency, and the greater difficulty in answering client questions in a timely manner. Electronic document management also allows quick, cost-effective indexing and lets multiple authorized users gain access to the same document while minimizing the risk of it being misfiled by someone. In other words, everything is simpler, more precise, more compact, and more efficient.

The Right Workflow Software Lets You Tailor a Custom Solution

Stand-alone document management systems exist, but the right workflow software can skillfully manage documents and much more. With workflow software like PerfectForms, you can not only create a custom document management system, complete with security layers and user authorization, you can create custom workflows to accomplish countless other tasks, like managing IT help requests or making your facility manager’s job easier and more efficient.

With PerfectForms, you create Electronic Survey Forms and workflows by dragging and dropping elements into place, with no programming required. Testing and modifying forms and workflows is easy, and most importantly, the very people who will use the document management system most can influence the design of the system, so their needs are met and workflows are efficient.

Many clients first use PerfectForms to turn a paper form into an electronic form, then quickly discover that there are countless other ways PerfectForms can be put to use. Workflows for everything from document management to employee ID distribution can be managed in the way that makes perfect sense for your company. Find out for yourself. You may try PerfectForms for free by signing up for a free trial. Document management isn’t just for big enterprises, and it doesn’t have to result in major disruption to your operations. Let PerfectForms show you how document management is done.

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