In the vast majority of offices, it is the case that the amount of information there is to manage is immense. This might be in the form of emails, documents saved on an internal system, logged phone calls, hard copies of letters, information raised in meetings… the list goes on. So how on Earth are we expected to stay on top of everything and keep it organised? That is where document management comes in.
Document management software is surprisingly underutilised despite its efficacy at improving office efficiency. Not only does it help save time, it also helps keep everything organised, easy to access and secure. It works by collating all of your documents into one central storage space, with hard copies scanned into the system to put them in the same place and create a version which won’t get lost or crumpled and will be permanently recorded.
The software itself is used as a central system which is designed to handle most of the most common types of document, including PDFs, Word documents and spreadsheets, along with other more unusual files. This makes it easier to store all of the documents in a place from which they can be immediately opened by anyone wishing to access them, and means that people don’t waste time converting files or downloading lots of new programs every time they encounter a new file type.
The real advantage of this system means that everyone has access to all of the documents they could potentially need at the same time. This includes the paper copies which would otherwise need to be photocopied, which wastes paper resources, or one hard copy would be passed around which runs the risk of an important document going missing. Furthermore, it makes it far easier to engage in a dialogue with a client if you have instant access to all of your correspondence in one place in front of you, and it allows you to keep track of your workload better.
It is incredibly easy to get bogged down in an endless deluge of emails and documents when you work in an office, and document management is a simple and elegant solution to the problem of the vast amount of information. The fact it is all stored in one place gives you the peace of mind that the data and documents will remain secure as they can all be protected by the same high quality software without running the risk of rogue documents stored elsewhere going missing, being hacked or becoming infected with viruses.
Chris Butler is a business productivity consultant who advises small to medium sized enterprises on the best methods to improve efficiency and productivity