Paper Sucks: Why Document Management is Vital for Digital Information
By Marc Edwards, B.Sc., PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA
Sometimes, it feels like paper is the cockroach of business; it refuses to die.
Chances are you’re dealing with a lot of paper within your organization. Printing, scanning, archiving…all of this leads to the generation of paper, paper, and more paper.
Let me tell you about my experiences. I admittedly used to print out reams of paper to help me work. Any interesting articles I found that was relevant to my job would end up as piles of paper on my desk.
Any project management documents that I was working on? Same thing.
Have you ever tried to clear your desk? How do you feel? Clear-headed? Calmer? More focused? Your organization will be the same way once you do this on an enterprise-scale. Stop dealing with paper stacks and deal with transforming your business into the powerhouse it could be.
Some of the problems you face when trying to manage paper:
- Cost per invoice is high
- You may feel that you have too many staff or that you are not using staff efficiently
- The time to correct an invoice error is long
- Processes are complex and out-dated
- Reporting on your information is painful and expensive as e-Discovery is a real problem for you
You can try to outsource much of this but the anchor of old manual process will still weigh you down.
We at Rextead Consulting feel that taking action on digital transformation initiatives and projects is important for you to really get a handle on these challenges. Here are some things you can do to better manage your documents:
- Capture your documents as close to the source as possible. This means try to catalogue and process them as soon as they enter your organization. This helps ensure high data quality throughout your business processes.
- Convert your current analog sources of documents to digital. Faxes, mail, etc. should all be received electronically. This doesn’t mean that you should go to your giant cabinets that are blocking the hallways and start scanning reams of documents. DON’T DO THIS! It’s a waste of time. Cut your losses and move forward. Instead, try to ensure that the paper documents that you do have are records that are of vital importance to the business and that all duplicates and the redundant, obsolete, and trivial stuff (ROT) is destroyed.
- The metadata and taxonomy structure for your digital documents is important so that you can find whatever you’re looking for. The amount of information we generate increases exponentially, so the ability to find your documents when you need them will provide dramatic savings in costs and time spent.
- Automate the document management processes as much as you can. Free up your intelligent and capable staff from doing monotonous work and get them working on things that will help your business meet its goals.
How are you dealing with your paper issues? Have you made any progress that you would like to share? Let me know!