Considering the transition from paper filing to online document management? The specifics are difficult to nail down without knowing the details of your particular township, but I’ve compiled a list of benefits and common concerns with an added bit of food for thought for each.
-Not being able to pick up and carry a physical (paper) copy.
-What about planning and design?
-How user friendly is it? What if employees are not fond of change?
-Cheap or even free distribution
-To Go Green!
-Improved Search Capabilities
Many of us who do not work in the fields of Finance or Accounting do not spend a great deal of time dealing with the intricate thought process of EXACTLY how much cost is being incurred from a particular endeavor. In this case, the endeavor is the production and maintenance of paper storage.
If you are in a business that currently uses a paper filing system, take a moment to ponder these costs with me:
-Cost of regular and letterhead printer paper
-Cost of file cabinets
-Cost of file folders
-Cost of labels
-Cost of ink and toner
-Cost of printers and printer maintenance
-Cost of labor put into organizing, printing and locating files
-Cost of reprinting, recreating or relocating lost or damaged files
-Cost of storage space
-Cost of transporting files
And those were just off the top of my head!
Not even factoring in things like security costs, paper shredders, added waste or anything!
Most online document management distributors offer their products at affordable fees which often include setup and training. Once the systems have been implemented the only additional cost is the license renewal.
Now that we’ve already trudged through some wonderful reminders of things that help you spend money on paper filing, I’m here to remind you of all of the labor that goes into those costs!
Paper filing requires maintenance. Even when it is not direct, it requires space to be stored. It requires security to be protected, it requires man hours to be looked through when documents need to be found.
Document Management however, requires little to no maintenance once implemented. The only routine maintenance required is the initial input of a new document, backup and yearly renewal. That’s it!
Distribution costs involving the security and relocation of paper files can costly and time consuming. Not to mention the hassle of requiring a file you realize you don’t have.
Since Online Document Management allows you to access files from any location with internet access distribution is as easy as logging on from a desired location, or simply saving a copy of a file at your current location and emailing it over.
And not just because I’m a Spartan fan!
The world is becoming more and more concerned about being environmentally friendly, and you should be to! We only have one planet, and the constant destruction of rainforests coupled with the constant emission of CO2 is not helping it last any longer.
Using less paper will not only help lower costs, it will help save the planet!
Improved Search Capabilities
How many times have we looked for “That one paper that said _______” or “That document that ‘so and so’ signed in December” or “The original contract with that one company”
As a business, organization, group, or even just as a human being, there are constantly important documents, bills and agreements that we need to keep track of. However, finding them is sometimes a bit of an issue, especially when we can’t remember exactly what they said.
Thankfully, Online Document Management services allow users to perform key field searches. Some document management services even make your documents full text searchable!
Ladies and gentlemen, nothing can equal the relief felt when you think you have lost something terribly important, only to find it has been safely restored.
Imagine for a second that your office flooded, or the sprinklers went off during a fire alarm, or a natural disaster occurred. Imagine losing all of the files stored in those many cabinets.
Online Document Management systems are constantly backed up on multiple servers, storing all versions of a document from start to finish. Easily recoverable after any panic attack.
Many online document management services use similar encryptions to those used for online banking, with the option of additional encryption if you as the client wish to have them.
They also offer quite a bit of internal security by allowing the administrator to chose different privileges for different members. For example, they can choose who has the ability to access which documents and folders, as well as who is allowed to make changes.
Not being able to pick up and carry a physical (paper) copy
-You can easily print copies from the online document management systems with just a few clicks
-Internet access is now everywhere, both home and work computers, tablets, phones
What about planning and design?
-Initial planning can be very basic and vague to start with additional organization later
-Quite a bit of tweaking can be done along the way, with little or no hassle
-Many programs allow you to customize fields on your own, rather than going through professional tech support
How user friendly is it? What if employees are not fond of change?
-Online document management systems are VERY easy to use, picture the levels of a filing cabinet attributed to computer buttons that can draw up documents. They are essentially the same. Online document management is simply cheaper, more portable, easy to use, environmentally friendly, secure, and easier to search.
Why can’t we just use Google Docs?
-While Google Docs is wonderful for personal use, it lacks a lot of features key to a secure document management software, such as:
- Varying levels of user access
- Certain user rights (such as the rights to documents you upload)
- Version control
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