5 Ways to Save Time with Document Management
It makes good business sense to take advantage of a document management (or enterprise content management) system that offers many efficiency gains; and because these systems are tightly integrated with the rest of your IT infrastructure, they have the potential to save time across your company.

Here are five ideas for saving valuable time with today’s document management systems:

1. Searching for documents: The average employee wastes 3.5 hours every week searching for documents that they ultimately fail to find, according to research by the IDC. With digital document management, time spent searching drops to seconds and you don’t need to worry about losing documents or remember how to find them again.

2. Increasing the speed of business processes: Whether you’re routing an invoice for approval, processing applications or managing revisions to a price book, these different projects can be managed with ECM as the process owners can see immediately where documents are held up and can take action accordingly; saving what IDC report as 4.3 hours per employee per week.

3. Automating workflows: Running paperwork back and forth takes time and introduces the potential for errors. A digital workflow, however, allows you to combine electronic documents and workflow rules that automate the process. For example, you could create a rule that ensures any invoice over $5,000 is automatically routed to a senior employee, and any invoice for less than that goes to another employee for approval. The result is fewer errors and greater transparency, and better process efficiency.

4. Reducing busywork: People spend lots of unproductive time simply reformatting documents. The average employee spends 2.4 hours every week moving documents from one format to another, according to IDC, and 3.8 hours converting from multiple formats into one document format. Digital document management helps you save that time by automatically standardizing the document formatting according to your preferences.

5. Improving cross department collaboration: Integrating all of your document types, including email and paper, makes it easier for employees to work together on projects and share information. For example, a proposal might include a Word document, a CAD drawing and a spreadsheet. Before submitting it to your customer, you could “staple” these documents together. Viewing software – as part of your document management system – makes it possible for team members to view the CAD file even if they don’t have access to a CAD application.

Those are just a handful of the ways your company could save time by applying document management to common tasks and business processes. A document management system also makes disaster recovery far more efficient, while providing an audit trail for better financial compliance and security. And because document management performs best when integrated throughout your company and IT infrastructure, the potential benefits are widespread.
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