As companies embrace new ways of working like remote or hybrid work setups, having a systematic process of saving, retrieving, sharing, and retaining business data is now more important than ever. Thankfully, document management systems enable us to easily adapt to this work-from-anywhere environment.
What is a document management system?
A document management system is a process of capturing, storing, sharing, accessing, and managing your business data digitally. It is becoming an important consideration for businesses nowadays because of the significant benefits it delivers.
- Reduce storage space
Since a document management system is a digital-based solution, you won’t need to buy more large cabinets and boxes to store your files, freeing up your office space.
- Improve document backup and disaster recovery
One risk of storing physical documents is that they may be destroyed by flood, fire, or any other disasters if not stored properly. Saving your files digitally into a document management system would allow you to avert this risk and recover your files easily after a disaster.
- Better collaboration
Having your files available online allows you to easily access them (anywhere and anytime) and share them with your colleagues for their input and feedback, creating a better collaborative work environment.
- Increase work productivity
Have you ever found yourself searching for a document without noticing that it has already eaten up your time? A document management system can help facilitate this process as it allows you to retrieve documents via a simple search of words and phrases in your file, boosting your productivity.
How to implement a document management system successfully?
Implementing a document management system may require a significant amount of time, effort, and cost. So, to make sure you are making the most of your resources, here are a few best practices to set your company up for success.
- Develop a strategy
Before you implement a document management system, identify and prioritize the critical processes in your business that would need this solution immediately. For example, you notice that your delivery process is lagging because the customer data containing the orders are stored by your employees in different folders. In turn, this hurts your monthly sales. As such, you might want to prioritize implementing the solution to this process to ensure continuous sales inflow.
- Establish consistent naming structures
One key element of a good document management system is a uniform file naming convention. This makes searching for and retrieving documents a whole lot easier. So, before you implement a document management system, think first about how your documents and folders should be named. To help your employees adopt this, create a file naming template that they can use as a guide.
- Customize file access
While having your documents online facilitates access and sharing, not all files should be seen by your whole company. To ensure that your confidential documents are protected, customize their access to ensure that they are only accessed by the right people. You may also set up role-based security to determine the kind of access the users will have to your file or folder. For example, you can mark a document as read-only so the user will not be able to make changes.
- Use digital signatures for enhanced productivity and security
Electronic signatures make signing important documents more efficient. This is because you don’t need to print out and ship out a document anymore to your colleague or manager for their signature. It is a perfect solution to complement your document management system as it helps increase your productivity and cost savings. With esignatures, documents can be signed off instantly and from anywhere, you don’t need to spend money on printing and shipping documents, and it improves data security as it reduces the risk of document duplication or alteration.
Twala provides a legally binding and secure esignature solution. It is powered by blockchain, so you can be sure that your electronic signature is tamper-proof. More importantly, it is compliant with the Electronic Commerce Act, the Supreme Court’s rules on electronic evidence, and other esignature laws globally. Learn more about Twala’s electronic signature solution.
- Set document retention policies
Some government agencies have rules and regulations on how long your company must retain a document for compliance. For example, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) requires taxpayers to preserve their books of accounts, including subsidiary books and other accounting records, for 10 years. Setting a retention policy for your documents will help you comply with these regulations while making sure that only needed files are kept. When setting up your document retention policy, identify and classify documents that must be retained (and for how long), archived, and deleted.
We hope these best practices will help set yourself, your company, and your people up for success in this new world of work.