Thursday, September 1, 2016

How a Cloud-based Document Management System Can Improve Your Business

There are many reasons why you may decide to transition to a paperless office. Perhaps you want to make your documents easier to find and share with clients and coworkers. You may not have the space for filing cabinets. The cost of paper, recycling and file archival can be expensive.


This article will discuss how you can improve your office security, create a central document repository, save money, follow business compliance regulations and integrate other business solutions to boost productivity and improve sales.


Ensure Improved Security

File cabinets not only take up valuable office space, but anyone can break into them and steal your information. Document Management System (DMS) allows you to add several levels of security to each file that you have in your system. This includes individual and role-based security. For instance, you can set the permission level for your upper management team to read, write, modify or delete documents while the middle management team only has read access. Users without assigned permissions cannot gain access to your files.

A good security system includes a tracking history so that you can monitor who accessed your documents and when. Version control can preserve the original document for later retrieval, if necessary.  Meet your firm’s business compliance requirements by securing folders that contain sensitive information regarding your employees, financial records, clients and more.

Central Document Repository

Depending on the size of your company and the amount of paperwork you produce, your document storage needs may require a large amount of space. This can make it difficult for you and your staff to find the documents you need, especially if your filing system is located in more than one room. If you use a document archival service, it may take several days to retrieve a file from storage.

Paperless office software can make document retrieval more convenient because it allows you to set up a central repository, where you and your employees can access your files from any location. Storing your files in an electronic database will also alleviate the need to use cabinets, freeing up more space for other purposes.



Economical Savings

Calculate the time it takes for an employee to walk to your records room to retrieve a file from the cabinet, copy the contents of that file, return the file back to its original place, deliver the copy to the intended recipient and return to her desk. Multiply their hourly wage by the number of trips they have to make to the records room.

If you use an archival and shredding service, add up the cost of that contract, plus the number of days it takes to retrieve or shred files on a daily or monthly basis. If you use in-house shredding equipment or implement your own archival system, calculate the overall cost to maintain that system. The time and expense of these procedures may shock you.

A DMS will help save you time and money because your employees can use the system to post, retrieve and distribute files almost instantly. These systems will also help you find misplaced documents or retrieve destroyed documents.

Integration and Improved Workflow

Document management software, such as Ademero, provides a simple web browser interface that allows you and your employees to retrieve your documents from your company’s intranet whether they are at home or traveling on business. They can use this interface to collaborate with other employees worldwide. Other features may include document routing for coding, the ability to send documents with workflows, perform document audits, create and capture forms and more.

The software integrates with other business applications to provide a seamless workflow. Many of the software programs can be customized to suit your business needs. Workflow engines can allow you to generate weekly sales reports, send order shipment notifications to customers, call your manager on his cell phone and more. Various DMS will help you with high-volume scanning, PDF electronic form creation, document indexing, etc.

Information can be pulled from other applications, such as Microsoft Office, to make the capturing and indexing process easy. You can also use other add-on software to convert documents into editable Excel spreadsheets or Word files.

How to Choose a Document Management System

Now that you know how cloud-based DMS can improve your business, you are definitely interested in choosing such a system for your business, right? In that case, let me give you some pointers on choosing the best document management system.

The first point is to choose a simple but effective DMS. As your employees will use the software on a daily basis, you need to get a straightforward solution which does not have a steep learning curve. Some DMS providers have various training and support system. You should try to choose a service which offers at least the basic support for getting started with the process. If you choose a highly complicated document management solution, chances are higher that your employees will find various excuses to avoid using the software.

Easy scalability is another important attribute of a solid, reliable document management system. Having a growth-oriented attitude, you should have a detailed plan about growing the scope of your business. That means you will need additional document management capability once your business expands the current operations. Therefore, your chosen DMS should be able to cope with the increased demands.

If you are still confused about choosing a specific DMS, you should look for free trial offers. Most reputed DMS providers offer a free trial to have a practical experience about their features before you take the final decision. Use the trial version for a few days and let some of your employees use the software too. Find out if the software is easy to use, features strong security features and meets all of your requirements.

Conclusion

We have provided the top reasons why you should convert your office into a paperless environment. Once you compare the costs of the traditional paper-based system to the cloud method, you will find that your business can save tens of thousands of dollars in productivity. Not only that, but you will make your operations efficient and seamless, achieving improved productivity and sales for your business.




Source: http://tweakyourbiz.com/
Image Credit: shutterstock.com



Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.
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