One of the most tedious, time-consuming, and admittedly annoying tasks that come with running an organization is managing your paperwork and documents. Regardless of the size of your business, there will always be an astounding amount of files that you have to deal with regularly. From sales reports, invoices, purchase orders to contracts and proposals, there’s just a lot of files to manage.
To make your life a lot easier, you need to streamline and organize your document management workflow. Not only does this cut the time and effort you spend dealing with paperwork, but it also helps you become more efficient and productive.
Today we’re going to discuss all there is to know about document management workflow. Here’s what we will cover:
Table of Contents
- What is a document management workflow?
- Why do you need to have a good document management workflow?
- How to streamline your document management workflow?
What is a document management workflow?
As the name suggests, document management workflow refers to the system or process used to manage, store, remove, share, and collect all files and documents within your organization. One of the main purposes of this process is to put a guideline in place in the proper handling of paperwork during its life cycle from creation to disposal.
Why do you need to have a good document management workflow?
A disorganized document management process can cause a lot of problems in your organization. Not only can it cause bottlenecks that greatly affect your productivity, but it also has other serious implications. Here are a few good reasons why you need to take heed and create a robust document management workflow:
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
There are a number of governing bodies that ensure that all paperwork, especially those that contain highly sensitive information, is handled safely and securely. To remain compliant with their laws and regulations, your document workflow has to be organized and streamlined. A violation can result in fines and penalties.
Whether you have gone completely paperless and digital or you still have a few documents that you manage manually, the security risk is one of the most pressing issues you need to address hastily. Although all organizations are prone to data loss and breaches, establishing a well-planned document management system greatly reduces any of these unfavorable incidents.
If you decide to invest in software that can help you manage your documents, choose the option that offers the most robust security features to safeguard your data.
As mentioned above, the lack of a proper document management workflow causes several problems that can hamper the overall efficiency of your organization. For instance, if you do not streamline the way you keep your files and records, your staff will spend a considerable amount of time looking for a particular file. If, however, your document workflow is organized and is equipped with the right tools, your employees can retrieve any documents in a matter of seconds. Think of all the time you’ll save with other document-related tasks as well.
How to streamline your document management workflow?
With all these things said, how can you streamline the document management workflow in your organization? We have a few tips and tricks to help you with this.
Switch to a more digital approach.
It’s high time that you go paperless. Countless organizations have done the same, and it tremendously helped them better manage their files and documents. Instead of having physical copies of your files, go digital and store all of them in a cloud for better accessibility and easier retrieval. It’s also a lot easier for your team to collaborate in a more digital environment.
Develop a solid filing system.
To keep your documents organized and to improve their accessibility, you need to develop your own filing system. Use folders to segregate your files according to how you deem fit. You may also create subcategories. It really depends on the needs of your organization. Once you find the system that works best for your organization, get your employees on board.
Declutter your files regularly.
Even if you’ve gone completely digital with your document management, you still need to do regular purging to get rid of old and unnecessary files in your library. You can set aside an hour or two every week to go through some of your folders and delete what isn’t needed in your organization. If you are a bit hesitant to get rid of any documents, you may create an archive of inactive files.
Take advantage of tools and software
One of the major perks of living in the modern world is that there are many tools and software available to help you get jobs done a lot quicker and more efficiently. Take advantage of them. A software that’s particularly useful for your document management workflow is an electronic signature application. This allows you to sign any documents on the go using just your mobile phone or computer. You do not have to print the actual document to sign it. All you need to do is upload your e-signature and append it wherever you need to.
For all your e-signature needs, be sure to check out Fill. Click here to know more about what it offers and its great features.
Implement document management policies.
You need to put in place certain policies to ensure that everyone in your company abides by them. Policies are also important for proper accountability. For a document management workflow to work and for its many benefits to be completely felt, everyone in your organization has to follow the process and know it by heart.
And those are some of the basic things you need to know about having a well-established document management workflow. The truth is it might take a few trials and errors to find and establish the best document management workflow that’s perfect for your organization. Don’t be disheartened or discouraged if you cannot get the perfect formula right away. Take your time and carefully assess and note down what works best for your organization and what doesn’t.