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How to Use Document Management Systems For Effective Workflow

Document Management Systems, Document Management, customer information, electronic dms, paper files

Whether your company has many discrete projects in motion at all times or repeats similar tasks over and over, there is likely room for workflow improvement. No matter the industry or the size most businesses tend to generate a great deal of correspondence. You need documents but you don’t need to put up with mounds of paperwork, complicated filing systems and a huge array of cabinets taking up space. Handling paperwork well can make the workplace more pleasant, each workday more agreeable and even provide the company with a competitive advantage over other firms. At the heart of a more effective workflow is an efficient document management system, and the most efficient DMS often relies on cloud-based storage.


Save money with good electronic document management and workflow procedures in several ways. No wasting office space for file cabinets, copy and fax machines, shredders or paper document storage. No more need for expensive toner or technician service calls. Accessing customer information on smartphones and other mobile devices saves purchasing specialized devices or hardware. Be sure to select a DMS that will be compatible with standard operating systems and legacy hardware.


Even more important than saving money is saving time. Accessing information more quickly allows for better customer service. Billable hours of front-line employees can be spent on revenue generation rather than file retrieval. Administrative personnel using electronic DMS report saving hours each week that had previously been wasted searching for paper documents. As a decision-maker, your time is better spent on solving problems, avoiding issues and managing people. Effective DMS will free up your time and the time of others to focus on company concerns that can help the business thrive.


Paper files can be misplaced, keeping them out of the hands of the intended recipients or worse, allowing them to be seen by the wrong people. Cybersecurity is a growing concern, so be sure any DMS you are considering offers encrypted, trackable files. Companies amass huge quantities of customer information that must be carefully guarded. Human resource files are especially sensitive as they contain personal data that could be used in identity theft; ensuring their security is crucial. 

For more on cybersecurity, check out this article.


It is easier to get organized when you don’t have to deal with paper files, folder, and cabinets; and staying organized is a breeze once the paperwork tiger has been tamed. However, beware solutions that entail the installation of multiple apps or software solutions; it is easy to get bogged down in electronic files just as it was in paper folders that cross-referenced more files in remote locations. Better to seek out a single method that provides all necessary capabilities in one integrated solution.


Most companies have some tried-and-true methods that have proven to work in past projects, yet creative or inexperienced team members may be tempted to recreate the wheel. Automation can help solve this issue. Templates increase productivity by making forms consistent from one project to the next and among departments. Automation encourages a systematic approach to tasks that helps streamline the entire job through to completion.


By allowing documents to be automatically routed to all parties concerned, your DMS can encourage collaboration and effective communication. Accurate information regarding a project’s progress will reduce misunderstandings among colleagues and clients. Remote employees need proper DMS and communication tools but are more efficient when you eliminate constant phone calls, emails and video conferences. Allowing access to relevant data from any location allows workers in the field to provide superior and convenient customer service, enhancing client satisfaction.


Electronic DMS and storage allow for an ideal balance of access and security, critical for many departments. Human resource divisions need to keep many employment documents handy in case of legal inquiries or audits. Safety officers must be ready to produce documentation upon demand to comply with regulatory agencies, rendering quick document retrieval capabilities priceless. Companies concerned with internal compliance during a project will appreciate features that save, track and attribute comments and document amendments, including customer approval for changes.

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