For over 15 years I have sometimes felt like I was an evangelist as I quoted, configured and promoted document imaging in our area of Ontario, Canada. In the past couple of weeks I have been gratified to meet and talk to people who have really understood the benefits and are adoptees of the tool.
Office Document Strategies Blog
Paper filing systems are a key tool in every office. Whether yours is a drawer in your desk, many banks of file cabinets or an electronic document system there is a tangible cost to setting up, equipping and using filing systems.
Most organizations have become much more "Green" in their thinking in the past few years. Everyone is looking at ways to reduce their footprint and to build cost savings into their operations.
When looking at the users of document management (document imaging) technology one of the largest groups of adoptees are professionals. Business professionals like lawyers or accountants and personal professionals like doctors or dentists are learning that storing their records in paper format has become a tedious, risky and expensive process.
I just came back from holiday. Getting away from the normal daily activities gives you a chance to look at things in a different light once you return to the regular routine. My first project back has been to finish up a document management system expansion redesign for a client project.
File storage in the cloud is becoming a popular tool for many people and businesses. There are many services which offer you free or low cost storage for video, pictures, and other digital data. In addition there are many online backup systems available which permit you to store your critical data on remote servers as part of your backup strategy. These can be very valuable and worthwhile tools and are not to be ignored.
Converting a paper filing system into an electronic record system requires several steps and impacts the workflow of the office. Here is a case in point.
How many filing cabinet drawers do you have in your office? Go ahead and count them.
Document management is a long established tool of business. For many people though it remains a world of smoke and mirrors. One of the reasons for this is the proliferation of acronyms which the industry has spawned. It seems that keeping language precise and understandable was intentionally avoided and creating terms which are often little understood became the norm. In an attempt to clarify a little we offer our collection of 10 definitions or explanations of common document management terms. To help we have referenced wikipedia to obtain some of the short definitions.
Wikipedia defines a Document Management System (DMS) as a computer system ( or a set of computer programs) used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. Smeadsoft defines it as the imaging, storage and retrieval of documents and information scanned into an electronic system. This includes both documents and files orginally created in electronic format as well as paper documents, photos and other items scanned into digital form and saved with keywords.
Both definitions start with STORAGE of documents.
If you want to store documents away- never to be looked at again - then get a brown cardboard box, fill it with paper, seal it up with tape, and store it in the basement- and in 20 years when you move- open it up- and finally decide to throw it out. Rather extreme case in point. Because if you really have documents that you will never have the need to look at again- shred them now.
But most documents do have to be looked at again for numerous reasons.
In your company is there any one type of document that seems to have the most “handprints” on it. Are invoices passed around for approval and payment processing? Is customer correspondence shared with different departments? Are meeting notes distributed to several team members.
Where to start- I’ll share my experience with Accounts Payable.