As the modern office strives to be as paperless as possible, there’s a common assumption that “documents” are a thing of the past. In actuality, documents power 40 percent of business activities today, from presentations to reports to invoices. While the delivery method may have gone from handouts to email and document-sharing software, the need to communicate information hasn’t changed.
The shift to a paperless workplace has created a demand for document management systems that are easy to use. Instead of printing documents out and distributing them manually, a business is more likely to invest in scanners and document storage. With the right technology in place, a business can upload years of old documents to servers and save them for later access.
As a business grows, it can be easy to forget to upgrade processes to match the current environment. What was acceptable when a business had a team of three likely won’t work as effectively with a team of hundreds. Complicating matters is the fact that technology changes over time and if businesses aren’t paying attention, they can quickly become outdated.
To stay up to date, it’s important that businesses regularly reevaluate everything they do and determine where productivity can be improved. If fulfillment teams waste hours each year digging through filing cabinets for invoices or purchase orders, for instance, a business can see a serious cost savings by investing in a document management system that would allow documents to be searched and located in a matter of seconds.
Document management can easily be shoved aside as leadership teams focus on the challenges they’re currently facing. They assume documents aren’t an essential part of operations when in actuality companies spend as much as ten percent of their revenue on documents and printing. Toner, professional printing costs, and paper can be extremely expensive over time, so it’s important that businesses always be evaluating ways they can save money.
When documents are stored on a business’s server instead of in filing cabinets, those documents can be emailed or uploaded to collaboration tools like Google Docs. This allows team members located across the globe to easily work together on projects, saving time in addition to the cost of printing and paper. Although it may cost money to direct resources toward upgrading an outdated process, the savings that will be achieved over time will make it well worth it.
The Cost of Old Technology
As more businesses shift toward automated document management processes, businesses that cling to old methods will quickly be left behind. To remain competitive, it’s important that businesses have the tools their competitors are using.
It’s important that businesses realize the reputation damage that can come from poor document management procedures. When important documents like purchase orders or contracts are lost, a business risks alienating the very customers it’s trying to impress. Instead of taking that risk, businesses should investigate storing those documents electronically so that they can provide the same service level as their competitors.
Documents are critical to almost every part of business operations. With the right tools in place, a business can save time and avoid looking unprofessional in front of customers, clients, or vendors. To find out how to start integrating your paper and digital workflows with a common platform, visit www.xerox.com/connectkey.
Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com/ . Visit his Small Business Solutions Blog Author Page to get in touch on Google+, Twitter or Facebook.
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