The benefits of document management systems
Published Thursday, October 3, 2013 3:08 PM by Wearev1, Author
I’m going to sum up this post in one simple statement.
Document management saves time, space, money and has a positive effect on the environment.
How document management systems saves time
Managing documents is time extremely consuming. A typical employee spends nearly 40% of their time looking for information locked in e-mails, documents, shared hard disks and filing cabinets. Managers spend an average of 4 weeks a year searching for or waiting on documents that have been misfiled, mislabelled or just plain lost. This doesn’t even begin to look at the time consuming processing of a document.
An electronic document management system removes this headache, as each document is scanned on arrival, so no need to worry about it getting misfiled, lost or destroyed, as it is held on a secure server forever.
Document within the Accounts Payable Department
There are many reasons why the accounts payable department is the most obvious place to start implementing a document management solution. Huge amounts of paper gets moved around, so AP staff will have experienced the following issues:
- Losing documents
- Running out of storage space
- Not getting invoices paid on time
- The cost of routing documents for remote approvals
Struggling with these paper-related pains, means that the accounts payable department is often the first to demand a solution to make their job easier. In reality, it’s not just the finance department that can benefit from using electronic document imaging systems. The HR department also potentially has a huge paper problem, keeping track of documents such as CV’s, holiday requests, salary information, employee reviews, disciplinary action, etc.
How document management saves space
Paper takes up a lot of space, whether it’s the pile of paper on your desk that you’ve yet to get to, or the rooms full of filing cabinets cluttering up your office space. Each four-drawer filing cabinet holds an average of 10,000 to 12,000 documents, and can take up 9 square feet of floor space. What if you’re an organisation that processes 100s of thousands of documents each month?
A well implemented document management system can remove all that paper freeing up all that space, just imagine what your organisation could repurpose that space for? A new staff canteen or chill out room? Or more likely, more office space allowing you to expand your organisation without additional office costs. If you’re one of the thousands of organisations that pays for off-site storage, you’re immediately saving money. It’s also completely safe. Cloud options and back-ups mean that should the worst happen, your documents and data are never destroyed, that’s almost your disaster recovery plan right there.
How document management saves money
Handling documents is expensive and it is one of those hidden costs that you perhaps aren’t paying much attention. The average cost of handling just one document over its life cycle is between £15-£20 and for each misfiled document, up to £125 and for each document that gets lost, you can expect a whopping £700 cost.
There are other costs of course
- Document copying (most business documents are photocopied 9-11 times)
- Document distribution (sending out documents by post can cost upwards of £1.50 per document)
- Paying for document storage
A document management software solution removes all the expensive parts of handling a document through its lifecycle. Creation, storage, authorisation, internal handling, staff costs for data entry, photocopying and distribution – all these costs can be reduced or eliminated by using a robust document management system.
To find out just how much money your organisation could save by implementing document management:
How document management helps saves the environment
Most organisations create a lot of paper! The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year and use in the average business is growing by 22% a year, meaning your paper use will double in 3.3 years unless you do something about it. All that paper comes from somewhere, and that somewhere is our planet’s trees and our planets forests, potentially contributing towards global warming.
Recycling is one answer, recycling one ton of paper saves about 17 trees, but a better answer is not to use the paper in the first place.
Electronic document management systems helps organisations to vastly reduce their paper consumption and save trees from destruction. Using less paper has a knock-on effect throughout the supply chain, from the manufacture of paper and toner cartridges through to printing and paper transportation, supporting organisations’ environmental agendas.
Using these solutions can go a long way to helping an organisation become carbon neutral. V1 as a company has been carbon neutral for many years now and have even offset all the carbon ever produced by the organisation.
I hope in this article, I’ve successfully outlined the main benefits of document management, and how it can help your organisation save time, space, money and the environment.
There are many other benefits of document management which I’ve not gone into in this article, such as how document management can help with internal fraud, how it helps you achieve compliance and how it speeds up the payment cycle increasing cash flow.