4 Practices To Streamline Your Document Workflows
- 28 Apr 2023
All thanks to the Internet, businesses are now in an environment where information is readily available at one's fingertips. Whatever information you need, with a few clicks, you can find it. With this rise also comes the importance of good document workflow and management. More files are now available, but they won't work well to your business's advantage if you don't manage them strategically.
Information is only valuable as far as they're shared, stored, and well-organized. It's a lot to learn and keep up with, but fortunately, technology has paved the way to make this pursuit easier and more doable. Ultimately, the goal should be to lessen delays, reduce errors, and have smoother document management and workflow, contributing to your business' operational success.
Here are a few strategies to apply and keep in mind to effectively implement a workflow that counts.
1. Purchase And Use A Document Scanning Software
Although the digital climate businesses are operating on as of writing, it's unsurprising that numerous paper-intensive and paper-dependent companies still exist. You'll have rooms solely dedicated to file cabinets. The desks are overflowing with papers. And the office printer goes through quite a beating every day.
If this is how it is in your business, it's time to start streamlining your document workflow for better efficiency by switching to soft-copy documents. This is where it's a plus to have document scanning software. It's responsible for scanning physical documents to transform them into soft or computerized copies.
When achieved, you can save files on software or the cloud. You can bid those file cabinets farewell. When almost all your document workflow is done through the cloud and on software, workflow significantly speeds up. Not only will you spend less time going through mountains of documents, but accessing, viewing, and studying documents can quickly be done, even when certain team members aren't in the physical office.
2. Make It A Policy To Use Less Paper
Not every document you receive and go through has to be printed. Even if it requires signatories, electronic signatures can now be used, reducing printing. That said, make it a company policy to use less paper. Print only those that need a hard copy. Anything else that you can share through the cloud and different software uses this option instead.
With less paper in your office, workflow improves. If the team member can access the software, they can go through the document even when in a different location. You already have suitable software after applying the first tip above. This second one focuses more on maintaining what you've started by making it your practice to use less paper and reducing your carbon footprint.
3. Personalize Your Workflow To Make It Your Own
It's not enough to have a document workflow. You can get inspired by and take hints from other businesses, but, at the very end, you must also personalize your document workflow to make it your own. That way, it can meet your business's needs and preferences, bringing in the desired effects.
To do this, go back to assessing and analyzing what your business needs regarding document workflow. Each business has its individual needs, so align your workflow with yours.
The good thing about document management software today is that it provides analytics that lets you see exactly how your chosen software performs. The better you are at analyzing your document workflow, the more you'll have an assurance that your business will win back efficiency and productivity.
4. Designate Clear Roles
Take note that what you are aiming for here is a workflow. It means there should be a concerted effort from one team member to another, not merely a one-person show. Otherwise, there's no workflow to even speak of.
With that, be sure to establish each team member's particular task regarding document workflow. The clearer this is, the less confusion there'll be. Every team member will be on the same page regarding their specific roles to avoid confusion or overlapping of responsibilities.
If such isn't determined yet, during the implementation phase of all your changes, establish the necessary guidelines and select the responsible team member for each stage of the document's life cycle.
Given how crucial documents are in running a company, it's even easier to grasp how to improve file storage, management, sharing, access, and the overall workflow. Physical and manual storage is now a thing of the past. These days, automation is vital. When you save documents on software and the cloud, efficiency significantly improves. There's less idle time spent trying to look for and retrieve files, with more time now going through the document itself. There are many ways to achieve a better document workflow, starting with the suggestions above.