A document management system can save you time and money!
Historically, a document management system (DMS) is a system used to track, manage and store documents in folders and cabinets. With the transition from paper to the cloud, document management has become more streamlined, reduce paper consumption and enabled us to keep records of the various versions created and modified by different users (history tracking).
However, like so many new age processes, they have also come with a string of new challenges that include but are not limited to;
- Lost documents
- Documents not saved in the right locations
- Documents not saved with the right file names to enable quick search features to function accurately
- Documents accidentally being deleted
- Documents not backed up
These challenges and more are generally leading to spending way too much time trying to find documents when your time is very precious!
2 Quick & Easy systems to implement now
Document Management Systems are meant to save you and your business time and money, not waste it. Whilst there are a multitude of processes you can implement to change that, the 2 main ones which you can implement now with minimal time and effort and will positively impact your business are;
1. Document naming conventions
What does this mean? You should have a standardised way of naming all of your documents. The best way we recommend has 3 parts;
- The first part is the file name,
- The second part is the file type
- The third part is the date (Either an issue or expiry date).
- It should look like this – “File name – File type – Date
Example – “Krystle Divertie – Position Description – Iss 01.01.19”
This way you have 3 different ways to search for any type of document and thus maximising the search function and reducing the time taken to search for documents.
2. Folder hierarchy
A folder hierarchy is an organizational structure of one or more folders which organises your documents so that you and your team can browse through it easily. It is ideal to create multiple folder hierarchies to organise your business information in different ways to make browsing convenient for different types of users.
Here at KCS, we like a 4 tiered system as below;
- Tier 1 = Business
- Tier 2 = Departments (Operations, Admin, Clients, HR, Finance Etc)
- Tier 3 = Document type (Policies, Procedures, Forms / Checklists, Registers, Templates, Training etc)
- Tier 4 = Documents
This keeps it streamlined and uniform so it doesn’t matter who has access to which areas of your Document Management System, it looks, feels and works the same way everywhere. Again, saving you and your team time looking for documents and therefore money!
Is your Document Management System wreaking havoc?
Have you ever subjectively audited your document management system to see if it is wreaking havoc by wasting valuable time? It might be worth asking yourself and your team these 3 valuable questions;
- When you search for a document, how long does it take you to find it?
- Do you know where to save all documents you create or use?
- Have you ever lost or deleted a document accidentally?
If you take longer than 60 seconds to search for any given document and answered “No” to question 2 and “Yes” to question 3, then I highly recommend you make some time to strategically look at your Document Management System and maybe implement the 2 quick and easy systems above. You will be amazed at the transformation it can have on your staff and businesses efficiency and effectiveness!
If you don’t know where to start or need some support in implementing the systems, let us know, we love putting these into place and seeing the BIG impacts minor changes can have on your business.
Let us know in the comments below, what does your DMS look, feel and work like!