How Document Management Improves Business
Document management or the lack thereof can have a significant impact on your business.
Consider Mr. Jones and his accounting firm. Mr. Jones has been in business for a long time. He sees no reason to change the way he’s always done business. Paper files, filing cabinets and banker’s boxes. At the end of every year, the file cabinets are cleaned out, and the old files are stored in banker’s boxes in the basement. New file folders are labeled and arranged in the freshly cleaned file cabinets. Mr. Jone’s business is usually fairly well organized by February, just in time for tax season. By May, chaos reigns as his over-worked secretary tries to get all of the tax returns filed in the appropriate folders. Mr. Jones has always worked alone, because he can’t handle any more business than he currently has. He’d like to expand, but it’s just not in the cards (or the file cabinets!).
Now, consider Mr. Smith, and his three partners in his accounting firm. Mr. Smith started his company the same year that Mr. Jones did, but Mr. Smith had big plans. He wanted to expand, and fast. He wanted to take advantage of every opportunity that came his way, and he knew that efficiency was the key, because, ultimately any office system is only as efficient as its weakest point.
The Importance of Document Management
No matter how up-to-date your computer system is, everything grinds to a halt if a paper file needs to be located and relevant documents found, photocopied and faxed. By scanning all of your paper files and storing them in an easy-to-access document management software Mr. Smith eliminated his company’s weakest point and set the stage for his success.
The Value of Time
How much time does an average office spend finding paper files? Mr. Jones doesn’t know…but his secretary figures that at least two hours of her time every day are spent looking for files, copying files, refiling files. She knows that when a client is waiting and has to be phoned back, it’s not a satisfactory way to serve them.
The Value of Customer Satisfaction
The advantage of having all documents relating to client transactions immediately available is reflected in increased client satisfaction. Questions are can be handled immediately, with one phone call often avoiding potential problems.
The Value of Space
Document files can take up an enormous amount of expensive space in an office. As Mr. Jone’s secretary knows, moving files into banker’s boxes and storing in the basement only increases the time spent in finding files.
Security from Loss
Data security is a high profile topic. Paper files are notoriously insecure – subject to deterioration, loss, theft, fire, flood. Anyone can pick up a file and read it, copy it, remove pages or even add pages. Digital files in a secure document management system can be protected from unauthorized access at a number of different levels, as well as restricted by user rights. Files can be encrypted so that they can only be viewed by specific software and specific users.
Cost vs. Benefit
Let’s go back to Mr. Smith and his three partners…
His office adopted document management very early on…going green and paperless. He told us that the major cost saving for his document management system was the reduction in return telephone calls to clients waiting for response to questions. Because all files were on the computer system and immediately available the vast majority of client calls could be answered immediately without the need for return calls.
This cost savings and time savings enabled him to take on more clients and rapidly add partners to his firm. Today, his accounting firm, while still small, by national standards is quickly moving from a small town accounting firm to a regional accounting company, providing many accounting services to individuals and businesses in a three-state area.
Next year, he plans to open and staff a new office in another location. (Meanwhile, Mr. Jones is busy filing papers.)