AIIM Open Forum

Six Reasons Why Your Growing Enterprise Should Adopt A Document Management System

By Ricardo Rengifo posted 05-26-2021 05:16

  

GROWTH IS EXCITING, BUT…

It can be challenging too. Much like a growing child, the many internal systems of the enterprise grow at different rates. It is not only the expansion in volume you will need to consider. Any expansion in volume must be met with a proportionate expansion in capacity across the functional areas of the enterprise. 

Little systemic niggles that were dismissed with ease as negligible on a small scale get magnified. Eventually, these become bottlenecks, magnifying your inefficiencies and choking your growth. 

For instance, as your team size increases internal communication inefficiencies emerge. Or, you may need to add administrative layers you didn’t need before. Effective hiring itself becomes an important workflow that you may need to optimize or create from scratch. Set processes that were running smoothly, might quite suddenly require a dramatic overhaul. 


ALONG COMES A CHALLENGE WITH AN OPPORTUNITY IN TOW.

However, this is a typical step in the transformation of a fledgling business into a mature enterprise. And today, many of the solutions to the scaling challenge lie in technology. 

Take, for example, the challenge of document management at scale. What if your organization had an intelligent system capture, track, manage, and securely store the hoards of documents it generates? A document management system does exactly that and more. In fact, intelligent records managers know that its utility goes way beyond reducing organizational reliance on paper. It is a vital cog in the wheels of organizational progress.

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR GROWING ENTERPRISES

What makes a document management system a must-have for growing enterprises? Below are six of the most definitive reasons a growing enterprise must consider a document management system as part of its core technology stack.


  • Enhanced Scalability

In the Definitive Guide To America’s Most Broken Process, a survey of American employees reports the following - 49% said they have trouble locating documents, and 43% have trouble with document approval requests and document sharing, and 33% struggle with the document versioning.

The drop in productivity may not be remarkable on a small scale. But as your business grows, the inefficiencies of document management will burden your process-critical nodes with a backlog of low-value repair and resolve tasks. At scale, this has a damping effect on your growth that may be invisible to the naked eye. It’s easy to ignore while your growth trajectory is on the rise. That is before it attains the critical mass to become a roadblock to progress.

Also, it makes your organizational processes error-prone. And there’s no easy way to predict the one error that could suddenly and significantly add to the topline costs of your business. Adding volume at minimal marginal cost is a measure of scaling well. A well-oiled document management system will help you achieve that.

Document management made easy

  • Higher Time and Cost Savings

Repeatable tasks like capturing information, indexing and sorting documents, repetitive manual data entry, and many more can be easily managed with the workflow automation capabilities of today’s intelligent document management systems. In addition, the granular level searchability of such systems makes it immeasurably easier to locate documents and retrieve information when and where needed. The time savings you unlock by this simple measure becomes evident at scale.

An IDC White Paper observes with a few fair assumptions that an enterprise employing 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $48,000 per week, or nearly $2.5 million per year, due to an inability to locate and retrieve information.

With a document management system, your bottom-line will testify to the immensely improved enterprise-wide process efficiency.


  • Improved Collaboration and Communication

The seamlessness of communication and the ease of collaboration is limited by the increase in team size as you grow. Keeping the goals of all the employees aligned with the mission of the enterprise is a challenge when you scale up, especially for a distributed workforce working in silos. Cloud-based document management solutions remove these roadblocks by enabling real-time collaboration on any document as well as reducing redundancies in review and iteration. Features like access controls and versioning ensure the integrity of documents no matter how large your organization may become. 


  • Easier Regulatory Compliance

There’s a threshold for growth, measured by employee size or revenue, beyond which regulatory compliance becomes a necessary burden on your enterprise. Quarterly or annual audits of your organizational results and processes can be quite cumbersome unless clear administrative procedures are laid out and followed from the outset. In other words, historical data across the organization must be captured comprehensively in such a way that it is easily retrievable. A document management system makes authoritative audit trails available on-demand with nothing more than a few keystrokes. Detailed version histories of documents captured by the system make for easy diagnoses. Well-indexed records retention and a structured archival policy provide an easy reference for quality checks and compliance.

In case of a court dispute, the integrity of immutable metadata of digitally reproduced documents is necessary for it to be accepted as evidence. A sound document management system is built to adhere to international electronic archiving norms, meeting data privacy and legal validity requirements.  


  • Better Operational Agility

A document management system functions as the base layer of your technology stack upon which other core business systems such as CRM and ERP can be mounted, a “single point of truth” if you will. In fact, the integration of such tools enables your organization to automate decision-making at scale. For example, when an important invoice is received, it must be routed to the CFO for a digital signature, then forwarded to operation line managers, the sales team, and other departments before it is archived. This whole chain of events can be executed automatically without having to repeat any of the decisions involved each time. 

Even a complicated set of ‘if-then scenarios' can be programmed in such a manner that the decisions and subsequent actions taken are quick and efficient. This frees up your management to engage in making more important decisions that involve risk, attention-to-detail, and judgment calls, thereby improving the operational agility of your enterprise as a whole. In a competitive marketplace with no inch given, this becomes a distinct advantage.


  • Necessary Security and Permissions Management

As your enterprise grows, security lapses can be expensive, quite literally. The increased cost of data security risk easily goes unaccounted for. That’s because the vulnerability doesn’t announce itself before it happens. This means it may be difficult to estimate the dollar-worth of your data until the breach has occurred. 

A document management system enables secure file sharing, with an option to host the files such that the document never leaves your server. Multi-level access permissions allow you to grant viewing, commenting, editing, and duplicating rights separately based on the maximum level of access required by the entity. Also, any misuse of your data is traceable to the source of the leak.  


GROWTH WITHOUT OPTIMIZATION IS UNSUSTAINABLE.

The steepest phase of the growth curve is the most challenging one. Optimization is the key to steady your growth such that it becomes a launchpad for your enterprise to hit the escape velocity and reap the amazing benefits of economies of scale. 

Your competitive advantage in today’s digitally transformed marketplace will determine your medium-term success. And optimization will determine your long-term sustainability.

A document management system plays to both your competitive advantage and your long-term sustainability. However, the time horizon may be short for enterprises to take the leap. And you don’t want to be caught playing catch up.

Embrace your growth trajectory by staying ahead of the curve.

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