5 Common Mistakes with Document Management to Avoid for Businesses

A total of 82% of employees. That’s how many people think that poor document management hurts their productivity during the day. If you want to improve your team’s efficiency at the office, keeping your files organized and available is essential.

Unfortunately, managing digital and paper documents isn’t an easy process if you don’t know how to do it. Avoid the five mistakes with document management below to keep your information in order.

  1. Lack of Indexing

Time is one thing you can’t get back when running your business. You need every second you can get during the day to work on your most critical tasks. You’re going to waste this time if you need to dig through mountains of documents to find something you’re looking for.

An indexing system will provide you a way to sort through your entire document database quickly and efficiently. You’ll need this system for both your paper and digital documents.

For paper documents, make sure to apply proper labels and storage locations. You should know which cabinet to find your files and be able to pick them out with labels once you get to their location.

For digital files, you can use document management software to apply tags to your documents. These tags will let you perform quick searches to find any files related to your search terms.

  1. No Digital Documents

No matter how careful and organized you are, there’s always room for mistakes when you keep physical files. It only takes one mistake to misplace a critical file.

This makes having a digital archive of every file extremely important. Set up a scanning station at your office and scan every document your business receives. There are many solutions available to store your files on your computer once you complete your scans.

Digital storage also allows you to convert to different file formats to work with additional software. Say you want to convert XML to PDF so a client can read your document on their computer. There’s software available that will take your file and output the file format you’re looking for.

Of course, don’t you shouldn’t stop here. Digital storage is just as susceptible to problems as physical files. Back up your digital information regularly, so you’re safeguarded on all fronts.

  1. Not Following Regulations

You can’t just put your files in a room and call it a day. Your business likely has sensitive information about your customers and partners. If you don’t secure this information from prying eyes, you’ll put your company at risk of legal problems.

You need security for the files you store at the office. Make sure your records room is under lock and key. Only provide access to the people who need access to these files.

You also need to take precautions with your digital files. You can’t throw everything on a central file server and call it a day. Anyone with computer know-how at your office will be able to find them.

Your digital file management solution is one of the common cyber threats you’ll face in your business. It only takes one of your employees to become compromised for your whole company to be at risk.

Implementing access management will save you here. Your access management system will put your data under lock and key while providing logs detailing who accessed your files and when. It will help you comply with any digital file management regulations there are to follow.

Access control also limits your exposure during a data breach. Hackers will only have access to the information that the problem employee has access to.

  1. Using In-House Storage

Keeping your files in-house is a no-brainer when you’re actively using files. You need quick access to them, so it doesn’t make sense to send them off to a storage facility.

It’s a different matter when you don’t need these files anymore.

You need proper storage capabilities if you want to store files on-site. You don’t only need space for storage, either. You need to have systems to ensure those files are protected from people who shouldn’t have access to them.

An offsite document storage solution will handle this problem for you. A document storage facility has security and sorting measures in place to ensure your important documents are secure.

  1. Poor Retention Schedule

You won’t need all your files in the future. If you continue to accumulate information and don’t get rid of anything, you’ll end up with mountains of paperwork to take care of.

It isn’t only about space, either. There are legal ramifications of keeping documents for an extended period. If you don’t keep this in mind with your retention schedule, you’ll find yourself in legal trouble in the future.

Creating a retention schedule will also help you formalize the process for file disposal. Instead of just throwing things away and hoping for the best, you’ll have a procedure to ensure you do everything correctly.

For physical documents, you need to make sure that everything is shredded. The last thing you want is dumpster divers digging through your trash to find sensitive information. Learn how to shred correctly or work with a shredding company to do things right.

The same is true for digital documents. You can’t just throw out the drives where your information is stored. Anybody can find your computer drive and recover your data if you don’t remove it properly, so make sure you use proper disposal techniques when getting rid of computer drives.

Mistakes With Document Management Are Easy to Avoid

It doesn’t matter if you’re a small or large company. If you don’t have a reliable document management solution, your team is always going to scramble to find the information they need. Make sure to avoid the mistakes with document management above to keep your files in order.

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