Taking control of the hidden costs

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re working in; everyone has paperwork of some kind. According to studies, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year.1

These days, your ‘paperwork’ is more likely to be in a digital format, but whether you’re dealing with paper or pdfs, word docs, excel files, jpegs etc., filing, storing and managing your information still brings the same challenges.

You need:

  1. A structured filing system so accessing files is quick and painless
  2. Secure filing locations. Whether that means a locked filing cabinet or using encryption and passwords
  3. Version control. The average document is copied 9 to 11 times, so it’s easy to work on the wrong version2
  4. To ensure compliance with company policy and industry legislation
  5. To share files and collaborate easily
  6. A secure way to destroy/delete documents that are no longer needed

Files can be stored in all sorts of places throughout the business including, filing cabinets, on desks, as email attachments, on USB/portable hard drives, in cloud file storage like SharePoint or Dropbox, on servers, and computer desktops. So, it’s not surprising that a typical employee spends 30-40% of their time looking for information locked in email and filing cabinets.3

The more fragmented your storage options are, the more difficult it is to access the documents you need, when you need them. This not only costs more in time and money but it can cause problems such as making your organisation look unprofessional, damaging your reputation, failing an audit, losing contracts or customers, risking a data breach, to name a few.

Did you realise that each misfiled document costs your business around £97?

And each lost document costs between £270 to £540.4  When you consider that large organisations lose a document every 12 seconds5, not having a structured, intelligent way to manage your documents can become very costly. These ‘hidden costs’ can add up but unlike other costs within the business, they’re not always monitored or regularly reviewed so many companies don’t have a clear idea how much dealing with ‘paperwork’ is costing them every year.

So, how can you take control of the hidden costs?

By utilising the right technology, simplifying your processes, and working with a company like YourDMS who specialises in Document and Data Management.

We’ve worked with a company who spent up to a week looking for one document that they needed for an audit before we implemented a Document Management system and radically changed the way they dealt with their paperwork. And they aren’t the only ones who’ve struggled with finding the information they need when they need it.

A Document Management system can solve the problems associated with managing paperwork and information and help you to take control of and reduce costs.

What is a Document Management system, and how does it work?

A Document Management (DM) system is a central repository that securely stores your digital files. Paper files can be scanned, digitised and stored too. This reduces the amount of manual data entry you’ll need to do, which saves time and improves accuracy. All files can be indexed and stored with metadata which makes searching for a file quick and easy – you’ll find the file you are looking for in seconds, rather than hours, days, or weeks.

All users have a unique login. Every time someone performs an action within the DM system, it is recorded in an Audit Trail. Audit Trails are invaluable for seeing who has done what with a particular file. This improves visibility and transparency and helps companies prove compliance, extremely useful when undergoing an audit. You can also set permissions to control who has access to what information. For example, only the accounts department and specified managers/directors would have access to payroll information.

DM systems have Version Control which ensures that users are always working with the latest version of a document. If you’ve ever spent hours working on something, only to discover it’s an old version, you’ll understand how fantastic this feature is. Users across the business can log in and access the same files, making file sharing and collaborating with colleagues quick, easy and secure. Version control also removes the problem of duplicated files because everyone can access and edit the same file. In the event of a mistake, perhaps a colleague has deleted a paragraph in error, previous versions of the document can be accessed.

A good DM system will easily integrate with other in-house systems such as finance, ERP, CSM. This allows information to be shared between systems reducing manual data entry and improves accuracy.

No business wants to retain files that are no longer needed or useful. GDPR states that you must only keep ‘personal data in a form that permits identification of the individual for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it was processed’. Or perhaps you have financial records must be retained for a minimum of seven years to comply with industry regulations. With different rules applying to different types of documents and information, managing document storage and retention can be a challenge. A DM system allows you to securely delete files from the system when they are no longer needed. This can be done manually on an ad-hoc basis, as part of a regular review or automatically by setting a deletion date for any document.

By utilising a Document Management system and ‘going paperless’ in your organisation, you’ll cut overhead costs such as paper, printing, and physically storing files; improve document security and compliance, speed up document filing and retrieval, and make sharing files across the business much easier.

To find out more about how Document Management can help you take control of the hidden costs in your business, contact Jack Wright on 01285 810606 or email jack.wright@yourdms.net to arrange a demo!

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