Document management can eliminate paper trail

Document Management Back to Basics: What It Is and How It Helps Houston Businesses

Businesses across Houston, the state of Texas, the country, and the world are switching to document management systems and are not looking back!

The digital age has been upon us for a while now. Online document management systems are not only bringing companies up to speed, but they are proving to be critical for overall business organization, data security, and employee efficiency.

What Is Document Management?

In a nutshell, document management is an online system and cloud-based platform for a company’s documents.

When we say “documents,” we mean any and every document a company can deal with internally or externally:

  • Applications
  • Forms
  • Training Manuals
  • Presentation Templates
  • Archives
  • Meeting Notes
  • Legal Contracts
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Proposals
  • Grant Approvals
  • Client Profiles
  • Company Agreements
  • HR Forms
  • Marketing Collateral
  • Project Plans
  • Milestone Trackers

But there are many, many more documents that apply to businesses small and large across industries that all can be brought together in one place through a document management system (DMS).

Note: It also might be the case that your business already has a system in place for documents like purchase orders, inventory sheets, receipts, etc., for accounts payable. In that case, no worries, a document management system is still relevant in this situation. A document management system can be an additional piece to your overall structure for every other document (and odds are, the two systems can sync up, or at least that is worth looking into).

Online DMS can have elaborate folder and filing guidelines and organization across team members and larger departments. Not only does this ensure that any and all employees are operating within the same system and set of guidelines, but paper documentation can disappear or at least be drastically reduced.

Going to a fully online system not only hugely reduces the cost and storage needed with paper files, but human error and physical risk factors are significantly reduced with electronic documents. You no longer need to worry about a spilled cup of coffee, a lost file folder, a key missing for a file cabinet, or a disgruntled employee taking an entire project binder with them that is never seen again.

Operating within a single, coherent system is also highly beneficial for overall time management and work efficiencies. Businesses are seeing immediate positive impacts by adding online document management systems to their overall business structure, and we’re going to dive into some of the additional benefits below.

How Document Management Can Benefit Your Business

When implemented correctly, consistently, and with clear guidelines, technology in the workplace can be a great thing. A DMS is just one of the technological tools available to help businesses grow, be more organized, and operate smoother and safer.

DMS can scale with a business and help companies large and small:

  • They ensure a single working and storage place for employee documents.
  • Guidelines can be put into place to roll out consistent document naming conventions so things can be searched for easily.
  • Documents can be uploaded, shared, edited, and viewed with online capabilities.
  • Digital files are more secure.
  • Onboarding and training resources can be easily found and shared with new employees.
  • Documents from other teams use the same naming conventions, so cross-team or cross-department collaboration and communication are improved.
  • Systems can be set up to add additional team members or data space/availability so this system can grow with a company over time.
  • Documents can be accessed across devices, including smartphones.
  • Online systems are automatically archived and backed up on the cloud.
  • Systems can sync into other business management software.

Is It the Right Option for Your Business Files & Workflow?

Deciding to add an online document management system to your overall business processes is a very specific decision for your company. Many document management system solutions are out on the market today that range in terms of features and cost.

To determine the correct option, there are numerous factors to take into consideration:

  • Budget. Online document management systems do cost money to start up and maintain. Although they are definitely worth it in the short and long-term, understanding the money available for this system upgrade is helpful (and what the recurring costs will be).
  • Feedback from past and current users. Not all document management systems are the same or offer the same user experience. Do your homework and read online reviews or reach out directly to other businesses that have an online document management system and get their feedback. You can also go on a document management system’s website or call one of their customer service representatives and ask for references and reviews of their product.
  • Features. Adding an online document management system correctly means that a business truly needs to understand what it wants. This should not be a decision made lightly, and it will affect every single employee in your company. Rolling out a new online platform and new organization guidelines takes planning, so you want to make sure the document management system you choose can deliver.

If you are a company in Houston or its surrounding areas and are interested in learning more about how online document management systems can be a solution for your company, workflow, and overall structure, contact Stargel Office Solutions today. We’ll listen to your needs, learn your current document processes, and determine how an online document management system can be put into place to help your business thrive.