Saving the environment with document management technology

It doesn’t matter what industry that you are operating in, documents are an important part of your business. The way in which documents are managed to have a significant impact on the efficiency of your operation and an effort to become a little less resilient on paper can have some great benefits for the environment. Document management systems can assist in both of these areas.

Whilst there are managed print options that can reduce paper and ink usage, the best results are seen by combining these with document management systems. If you have yet to realise just what these systems are capable of delivering for your business, and the environment, then read on.

What are document management systems?

As the name may suggest, document management systems are designed to make it easier for organisations to manage their documents. Managing documents includes the following functions:

  • The creation of documents
  • Their storage
  • An ability to index
  • A way of keeping them secure
  • Making them easily retrievable

There are many document management systems that utilise the cloud. However, there is a big difference between what these systems can offer and basic cloud storage. A decent documents management system allows you to store all of your information in one place, but it also allows them to be organised in such a way that they can be accessed in an instant. They allow your organisation’s information to easily flow between the parties that need it.

Is my business in need of a document management system?

If your business is creating documents, then the chances are that it will benefit from a management system. Businesses generate emails, training guides, brochures, reports, and endless other documents. Those that are hard copies still require to be digitised and once they are you need to be able to find them.

Without a system in place, the chances are that companies see their documents scattered across multiple platforms. It could that they use the likes of Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive. They may just move files and save them on their desktop or even leave attachments in emails. When it comes to retrieving a document, it is often the case that people have no idea where to start. Document management systems do away with this.

What are the main advantages of document management systems?

You may think that your business is ticking by quite nicely with its current setup and that may well be the case. However, as businesses grow there often comes a need to review systems. When it comes to document management systems, it is never too early to implement them in your business as they can scale and grow alongside you. Here are some of the top reasons for implementing sooner rather than later:

A digital spring clean

Many organisations have created a considerable digital mess without even realising it. The chances are that documents are scattered across different platforms and even various devices. The test comes when we need to locate a document and locate it quickly!

Implementing a document management system sees you clearing up the mess that has been created. After a clear out, the documents that have been retained are organised and easily retrievable.

The environmental impact

If your company is still reliant on hard copies of every document it produces, have you ever stopped to consider just how much paper you are getting through? It is not just the paper but the ink that is used too. You may have moved to managed print options to mitigate this, but document management systems take this a step further.

An efficient office

Businesses are always looking at ways to increase their efficiency. Being efficient saves both time and money which is vital to all organisations in all sectors. Using document management systems means that you and your staff can find the documents that they need just when they need them. Rather than wasting time searching various platforms and devices, they can locate exactly what they need in a matter of moments.

Safety and security

No matter what steps you take with paper documents, there is always an element of risk. If not of theft or loss, there is still the possibility of damage that can not be undone. Take a flooded office for instance. Document management systems see your documents being stored digitally with an array of security features to keep them secure and away from prying eyes.

Keeping down costs

When you are dealing with paper documents there are usually at least two types of cost involved: supplies and storage. You can keep control of your supply costs with managed print options, but it is through document management systems that you can reduce your storage costs. With everything stored digitally, you can do away with a complex, outdated, filing cabinet system.

The ability to scale

Your business was started with the intention of being successful! This means that it is going to experience growth. As your business grows so does the number of documents that it produces. Without the right setup, you can quickly find your document management becoming a nightmare. Using the best document management system from the start can save major headaches later as these systems can grow alongside your business.

Collaboration

If you need to share documents with your team, and if there is a need for members to collaborate, effective document management systems can assist. They allow your team members to create, edit and share with other team members. Tracked changes mean that everyone can see what has happened since they last logged in.

How to choose a document management system

When you start to explore document management systems, you’ll soon see that there are a variety of providers. When it comes to choosing which one to use, these are some of the factors that you’ll need to consider:

  • Is it a system that allows you to scale?
  • Does the system have a powerful search option?
  • Are you able to access your documents across devices?

Once you have the right system for you, you can be satisfied that you are improving your business operations but also take peace of mind that you are helping to save the environment.

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