There exist multiple articles outlining the benefits of switching from paper-based processes to digitized processes, however; what many people do not take into account, are the negative effects of holding onto paper-based processes on their business. Choosing to mainly hold on to in the workspace may seem like a good idea, however in reality this is actually killing your office productivity.
You may argue that paper has been around longer and therefore productivity should remain constant, however therein lies the problem. Constant productivity does not equate to progress. So by holding onto paper-based practices you risk becoming obsolete as more and more organizations shift to working within the digital space.
So how exactly is productivity being negatively affected by paper use?
1. Slows down team collaboration
Paper intensive processes require staff members to be physically present in order to progress seamlessly. If a team member’s input is needed in order to proceed, this would mean waiting for a said team member to come in, or sending the document to their location. This means a lot of time is wasted identifying the documents, passing said documents back and forth, tracking misplaced documents, etc. These waiting periods add up in the long run and end up costing the company a significant amount.
In comparison, digitized document management systems have significantly reduced idle/ waiting times as employees have the ability to access files anywhere and at any time for as long as there is an internet connection. This means editing, project reviews, feedback, and approvals can be provided in real-time, more efficiently, and with fewer lag periods in between project stages.
2. Reduced visibility
Businesses tend to struggle with volume and variety when it comes to paper-based processes. When cabinets and desktops are crowded with various files it makes it difficult to find what you need, when you need it. This is made even harder if the project is being worked on by multiple team members across various devices. Tracking down a misfiled document can take a long time as it requires you to physically search through all the files or remember what the file was saved as.
With Document Management systems, finding documents is as easy as using the search feature or filter options which allow instant locating of the needed information and corresponding data.
3. Quality and compliance concerns
Printed confidential documents can pose a great security risk as Information can easily leak while the documents are being moved from desk to desk. Not to mention if data, unfortunately, does get into the wrong hands, it is extremely difficult to trace the source of the leak. This is because finding the person responsible largely leans on “he said, she said arguments”; which are difficult to prove and can result in a re-occurrence of the security breach.
Furthermore, keeping track of government-mandated regulations can be nearly impossible with a manual system. This is more so if you have several branches running simultaneously. Between Audits, incidence reports, tax filing, approvals, staff-related compliance issues, and the like, a mistake is bound to happen. This single oversight can result in a massive loss to the company as recovery would be time-consuming and costly. This risk can be minimized with the use of a document management system whose software features ensure that all processes are run simultaneously while still following the consistent structures outlined by the necessary regulations.
4. Slows down employee onboarding
Bringing on a new employee has traditionally always been paper-intensive, from filling of personal information forms such as health-related slips, insurance forms, bank details, contacts, etc. These processes can at times take hours at best or days on the extreme end, depending on industry requirements.
With a DMS system however information can be collected via electronic forms that can then be replicated across various document folders. These folders can then be shared with all the departments involved and any external parties as guided by policy.
5. Makes auditing time consuming and resource-intensive
Auditing of any kind is always time-consuming as old data is usually required. This means digging through large stacks of old files or sometimes having to drive to an offsite storage facility to try and track down the needed folders and their corresponding documents. After the audit is complete, the documents then have to be repackaged and sent back to storage which in itself can take days.
Audits are a legal requirement, therefore the entire process is unavoidable, and however, the process does not always have to be painstaking. Auditing cycles can be cut short significantly with the use of a document management system. All one would have to do is use the applications search feature and filters to track down soft copies of the documents needed for the audit, compile all the data on their screen and carry out the audit all from one device without having to ever leave their station.
So what are you waiting for?
Talk to us today about how we can help you boost staff collaboration, reduce time wastage, and improve document management through our step by step digitization process. It is never too late to go paperless.