Five Common Inefficiencies SMBs Can Overcome With an Electronic Document Management

In today’s competitive marketplace, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are always looking for ways to accomplish more work without the expense of hiring more people or paying overtime.

Improving efficiency is one of the best ways for SMBs to drive profits and stay ahead of the competition, and poor document management should be one of your first targets.

Here are five common inefficiencies that SMBs could overcome with an effective document management system:

  1. Manually processing, routing and approving documents: Any time you receive an invoice, contract or other document, it triggers some sort of processing procedure. Whether you scan in paper invoices or put them in a file for routing and approval, these processes take time, and SMBs often don’t have streamlined, efficient workflows in place.Compared to manually routing paper documents, digital document management is faster and easier. A good document management system gives you the option to create reminders and follow-ups that make sure your workflows don’t stall out. For SMBs, this is an opportunity to reduce your workload and possibly capture additional savings through early payment discounts.
  2. Locating missing documents: It’s easy to lose paper documents in a pile or file them incorrectly, and finding them again is extremely time-consuming for a small staff (if not impossible). A document management system that stores electronic files in a central location ensures that you never lose an important invoice or contract. Because you’re always able to access these documents, the system helps improve your overall process efficiency.
  3. Lack of remote access to documents: If your company employs remote workers or has sales and service staff out in the field, it’s essential that they’re able to access project data and search for related documents from mobile devices. A good document management system makes your documents available via tablets and smartphones, allowing you to be responsive and provide better service to your customers.
  4. Storing and retrieving archived documents: Maintaining paper-based archives is expensive in terms of employee hours, storage costs and supplies. A good document management system makes it easy to store and retrieve documents as needed. You no longer need to dig through boxes in a storage space or risk the loss of important documents.Digital document storage also helps you maintain compliance. With paper documents, it’s difficult to stay organized and provide the relevant information to auditors. A document management system improves transparency, giving you a clear picture of your processes and generating audit trails that help demonstrate compliance.
  5. Managing multiple information silos: While many SMBs use paper for some business processes, they usually have additional storage for electronic files and email. At this point, it would be almost impossible to maintain paper records by printing out all emails, attachments and other electronic files. But having to dig through these separate information silos is time-consuming and inefficient.Document management software brings these disparate sources together in single view, offering significant time savings for SMBs. Paper, emails, attachments, Office files, documents from accounting systems — all of these could be stored in one central place and combined into one project, increasing process efficiency.

As the economic recovery continues, SMBs always need ways to accomplish more while controlling costs. Implementing document management software is a great way drive profits and increase process efficiency.

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