Document storage and retrieval is harming your business
No matter what market your business operates in, manually storing documents and paperwork can feel like a never-ending task. But in addition to being an increasingly costly burden, traditional document management methods can cause efficiency issues throughout your business.
Manual document storage and retrieval processes can erode profit margins – so ridding yourselves of ageing filing cabinets can help you shed a lot more than just an office eye-sore.
Document storage – a costly problem that won’t go away
In an increasingly digital age, paper documents now represent the Achilles heel of the modern office environment. But although many businesses will be accustomed to ranks of filing cabinets and towers of paperwork, when does document management start to become a problem you simply can’t ignore?
It’s easy to view document storage as part and parcel of everyday life. But try to think beyond the obvious inconvenience – manual document processes can affect the efficiency of your company in a wide variety of ways:
- A burden on your employees: Information management is already overloading workers. With IT research firm Basex noting how workers already spend up to 50 per cent of their day simply managing information, making employees sift through physical document archives can potentially exacerbate this problem
- Lost or misfiled documents: At best this might delay payments, at worst your business could fail to comply with regulatory requirements
- Outsourced storage isn’t cheap: If you’ve run out of space in your premises and are having to pay for offsite storage, these costs can slowly erode the bottom line. And don’t forget the time staff may spend taking documents to and from off-site storage. Without a long-term plan in place to reduce the amount of documents your business produces, these costs aren’t likely to reduce any time soon, either.
- …and neither is in-house storage: For businesses dedicating their own office space to document storage, this can often be just as expensive as outsourcing. As well as creating an uncomfortable
- office environment, dedicating rooms for storage, occupies valuable (and increasingly pricy) office space.
- Slower business decisions: If your business is relying on employees to manually source, locate and extract documents from storage facilities, your ability to make quick and informed business decisions could be compromised.
A hidden menace to your business’ efficiency
It’s the hidden costs of manual document storage that are harder to see, which can really detriment businesses. As well as the physical costs of stockpiling paper documents, the effect on workflow can be severe.
As well as hampering the ability to react to external requests, consider the way your business communicates internally.
Unorganised documents can slow down inter-departmental communications, with insightful information often left to fester in silos of paper that nobody wants to go near. With Samsung recently estimating the cost of document-related activities to be as much as 15 per cent of a company’s annual revenue, the issue of manual storage and retrieval is one businesses cannot ignore.
Discovering a digital solution
One of the easiest ways of eradicating the problems found with manual document storage is by digitalising your archives.
Electronic document management solutions (EDMs) offer a simple, flexible and cost-effective method of fighting back against the document deluge. Utilising advanced scanning methods, EDMs create an identical digital copy of paper documents that can then be archived digitally in a way that suits your business best.
As well as eradicating the need for expensive external or internal storage space, EDMs empower business to gain easy access to the information they need, when they need it – without having to spend time and resource sifting through a physical storage facility.
Gain a financial advantage over your competition with EDM
Recent research from global consultancy firm AIIM revealed that two-thirds of companies who converted to paper-free processes reported a payback within 18 months – underlining the financial benefits of EDM.
But with only 14 per cent of European businesses implementing digital mailrooms as of 2014, many enterprises are still unaware of the benefits of electronic document management – giving your business the perfect chance to steal a march on its rivals.
Looking to understand more about how a poor mail process might be eating away at your bottom line? Take a look at our new infographic
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For many businesses, digital processes end at the point where documents require signatures. Enabling customers and suppliers to sign documents digitally cuts costs and speeds up processes, freeing up staff to get on with the job of generating revenue and growing the business.