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Document Management Workflow vs. Traditional Filing: The Showdown

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The accumulation of paper documents represents a growing challenge for document management. Finding an efficient document management system is critical to operational efficiency. Even if your paper-based system has worked so far, the fact that you are reading this blog is evidence that you have a scalability problem. Below, we compare document management workflow software to traditional filing based on five key performance metrics to help you decide whether it's finally time to move to a transformative digital system.

1.Efficiency and productivity


Manual paper files require physical effort that takes time. Whether going to the filing cabinet, requesting a file from an employee's office, or driving to an off-site paper storage facility, paper files are not as easily accessible as digital documents. And that's just the beginning of the challenge. There is also a higher chance of human error if files are misplaced, misfiled or lost. Lost files mean a whole new, time-consuming process to track down the documents. This is an inefficient process that impacts productivity and can lead to bottlenecks, not to mention risks to privacy, compliance, and security.

Collaboration is also difficult with paper-based systems. Often there are multiple versions of a single document, which leads to errors. Editing shared documents is not only confusing, it also leads to interruptions and errors that negatively impact project results and overall productivity.

Document management workflow software

Document management software uses indexing to make it easier to search for files in seconds based on criteria used across the organization. You define the criteria with logical, relevant terms, metadata and full-text search functions. This means your team can access documents at any time and from any location, with passwords and role-based permissions ensuring document security.

Document management software with workflow functionality helps you streamline processes, consolidate your business tasks from a central location, and access documents from any location through an intuitive dashboard. Collaboration features allow you to track document revisions so you can review and restore previous versions at any time. Teams can also communicate quickly and easily using the integrated messaging service.

2.Security and privacy


Careless management of paper documents creates serious security risks and leaves your company vulnerable to lawsuits and fines related to non-compliance with data protection regulations. Even a locked door poses a security risk to your sensitive documents. It costs money to provide adequate security measures to protect your paper documents. Even if your business is not a high-security industry, basic laws protecting the privacy and confidentiality of your customers' personal information come into play.

Document management workflow software

Electronic document management software uses secure file storage services and cloud-based systems that reduce security vulnerabilities. Although cyberattacks are a real threat, a document management system leverages multiple layers of cybersecurity methods, such as: Such as anti-malware scanning, data encryption, ongoing vulnerability scanning and patching, and access controls to limit unauthorized viewing, editing or sharing of documents. Tailored solutions increase security through encryption based on customer-controlled keys.

3.Industry and government compliance


Meeting compliance requirements is challenging, especially in industries where one person is responsible for document control. Tracking access, auditing paper trails, and complying with privacy regulations are all issues with a paper system. Maintaining access logs is time-consuming, and compliance with retention requirements also requires tracking so you know when to destroy and dispose of documents can. Compliance with retention requirements can cost money if documents need to be stored off-site to free up space in the office. Additionally, in case of audits, you will have to travel to external storage locations, which makes the whole situation even more inconvenient.

Document management workflow software

Business document management software ensures document control and sets access criteria to protect documents from unauthorized personnel. Reporting and auditing tools also provide information on demand. If you are facing massive paper filing issues, digital filing solves these problems while ensuring that these documents are accessible within seconds when needed.

4.Cost savings


Paper is a costly business expense that impacts your bottom line. Costs include paper, printers, photocopiers, file folders and filing cabinets. Often you will need a larger office space to store paper documents, or you may need to invest in an off-site, rented storage space. Paper documents are more expensive to process than digital documents, which often means you need a slightly larger team.

Workflow software for document management

The best document management software is typically more cost-effective than a paper-based system for several reasons:

  • No external rental locations required
  • No filing cabinets required
  • Less office space is required, freeing up space for new employees or allowing you to rent a smaller office.
  • Process improvements that speed up manual document management processes
  • No need for printers, paper, toner, file folders, etc.

5.Accessibility and Collaboration


Remote work and hybrid workplaces have changed the way companies share and access documents. Paper-based companies can no longer ensure access to important documents to meet the needs of global teams and remote employees. Collaboration is also easier when using document sharing software that allows teams to coordinate and collaborate.

As mentioned in point 1, collaboration is difficult even in the office, whether due to too many versions of the same document, bottlenecks when someone in the approval chain is absent or too busy to sign off on a document, or messy handwritten edits - the Paper collaboration is outdated and messy, leading to many errors in getting work done efficiently.

Document management workflow software

Companies that offer document management software specialize in collaboration, allowing teams to share documents anytime, anywhere. They know that we live in a digital world where changing business models and global accessibility are crucial for success. Therefore, document management workflow software is designed to improve workflows, ensure 24/7 role-based access, and create symbiotic processes that paper processes simply cannot match.

Embrace the digital transformation with IceHrm's document management solutions. From efficiency to security, unlock the benefits of modern document workflows for your business.

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