NEGOSENTRO.COM | Storage and retrieval of important business information have been a challenge for many business organizations. Advanced technology has enabled consolidating business documentation much easier. Here are some of the effective ways to do so.
You may find businesses still operating with information maintained on paper stored away in filing cabinets. However, this is not an efficient way to store business documents as maintaining them takes human resources and time. Instead, businesses can focus on digitizing their documents or capturing important data in electronic form. In place of file cabinets, businesses can invest in digital data storage devices.
Modern-day digital data storage devices have reduced in size compared to bulky disk drives, optical drives and magnetic tape drives. USB flash drives and SD cards are portable low capacity storage devices that take up very little room. High capacity backup storage devices in the terabytes are available today as well. Housing these digital storage devices occupy much less physical space than a bulky file cabinet. A business can choose to utilize cloud storage services for its critical data and not worry about maintaining it in its local facility.
An organization that has migrated its documents to a digital platform has to figure out how to organize them to be accessible by its employees across the organization. A document management software system for organizing and managing digital documents will be helpful. A user can search for a particular document quickly and effectively by typing one or more keywords that match the document title, content or tags. Results can be sorted and viewed based on the document author, type, creation or modification date, size, location or access permissions.
Documents may be created, captured or scanned from various input sources such as an optical scanner or mobile device. Each document has a history and every action applied to a document is recorded and organized in multiple ways as an organization sees fit.
Every company has to manage a variety of workflow processes for the business to run smoothly. For example, an online business typically validates a customer order then passes it to its inventory department to process the order before handing it to its shipping department to ship the order. Tracking the shipped order can be integrated into the workflow as well. Although this process is pretty simple, managing it can be a nightmare if the workflow is not automated. To avoid mistakes along the pipeline, the entire order workflow can be documented electronically from start to finish by notifying the relevant parties involved and checking off each task as they emerge.
Gone are the days when a human has to enter information on who has what document and when just like a librarian. With technology, a paper trail can be simulated on a digital document with accuracy through electronic timestamping. An important application of document tracking can be found in document signing. When an official document has to be signed by relevant parties, a document signage system implements this flow efficiently with instructions on where to sign the document and notifies the signees when the process completes. Users can view and download the signed forms wherever they have Internet access.
One of the best features of managing a digital document is enabling virtual collaboration where several participants may share, view and edit a document simultaneously. Annotations and comments may be added to any line of text for constructive feedback. The owner of the document has the rights to rollback a document to the desired version without destroying the document. Multiple versions of a document are maintained and every collaborative event is recorded so that an authorized user can always preview the document history. This process is a time saver and allows teams to work independently wherever they are.
Although training is necessary to transition from a paper document to an electronic document system, a business that embarks on this option will find it cost-effective in the end. Consolidating business documents through an electronic document management system is worth the investment.