When an organization is born, so are its processes. Therefore, document management for organizational processes is a viable solution. And it is by these processes that organizations will either thrive or perish—especially in today’s marketplace.
However, with the right document management system or document management software, even the smallest organizations can outpace the process efficiency of the giants in their respective industries.
Process as Capital: DMS and De-Manual Laboring the Organization
Customer and client revenues are often viewed as the most important components of organizational profits, yet many administrative leaders fail to account fully for the cost- reducing potential of streamlined organizational processes, DMS being one of if not the most potent process-enhancing technologies for small to mid-sized organizations.
Most paper-dependent organizations’ problems start at the process level, particularly because of these organizations’ reliance on manual labor. Effective document management for organizational processes begins with understanding just how prevalent manual labor is in the offices we think have “risen above” manual labor.
When viewed from its definition’s standpoint, the term “manual labor” is more applicable to white collar, paper-dependent office environments than many suspect, and the ramifications of relying on the process of manual labor, although operating largely outside of administrators’ consciousness, are no less detrimental than organizational problems of which administrators are already keenly aware.
However, organizations that have gone paperless using document management software, for instance, overthrow the human error-prone processes characterizing any manual labor, document filing, or document storage process, because any organization is relying too much on manual labor to carry out its processes as effectively as possible if most of its processes are paper-dependent.
Therefore, as a paperless office solution, DMS de-manual labors the organizational process, putting traditionally manualized office processes into the automated, digital, and highly secure workflow, collaboration, and storage platforms inherent to the best document management systems.
Organizations often find that DMS streamlines operations to such an extent that the “hidden costs” of previous manual filing systems such as time spent walking to filing cabinets, searching for paper files, and losing/re-creating lost documents are revealed as cold, hard profit on the balance sheets in as few as 2 to 3 months after document management software implementation.
These cost-reducing benefits are even more apparent when viewed in tandem with how distributed, information-intensive, and globalized even small to mid-sized organizations have become in recent years.
How Globalization and Hyper-Collaboration Demand Document Management for Organizational Processes
Any small to mid-sized organization striving to either acquire more customers or become international will increase its number of resources, primarily in the form of employee output and hiring.
The larger the employee sample size of any organization, the more the cultural, demographic, linguistic, and geographic differences among these employees will impose inter-organizational communication and collaboration barriers, particularly to paper-dependent organizations.
These organizations will not be able to maintain manually-intensive, paper-based organizing processes with so little overlap in their employees’ experience, understanding, and modes of thought—especially without document management for organizational processes.
Therefore, many industrial organizational psychologists and other work space efficiency experts are identifying these technologies as crucial for both knowledge and process workers alike.
Furthermore, the greater inter-connectivity that globalization creates requires newfound levels of hyper-collaboration among these employees—and DMS can simplify this inevitable, hyper collaborative environment—making DMS the solution to solve, not impose, problems for growing companies in the “Experience Age.”
Say a traditional, alphabetized filing cabinet at a non-profit organization in Spain contains a folder entitled ‘E,’ in which documents with the title ‘Expenses’ are stored.
A US college student working for the non-profit, studying abroad his or her first semester (serving as an example of the greater trend resulting from the globalization and inter-connectivity discussed in the preceding paragraphs), may file a document with the title ‘Expenses’ in the ‘E’ folder, when it belongs in the ‘G’ folder, given that the Spanish equivalent of the word ‘Expenses’ is ‘Gastos.’
Without document management for organizational processes, streamlined communication that circumvents these kinds of issues before they arise will be difficult.
Even if the employee misfiling the document declares Spanish a second language on his or her application for the position, he or she is less likely to remember how to use the language in completing administrative tasks on a manual basis.
Incurring Costs through Unaccounted Factors: A Danger to Worldwide Productivity
The result is not only a lost document, but also the hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars it would cost to either manually find or re-create the document, assuming it is ever identified as ‘lost’ to begin with.
Furthermore, if the document is one that needs to be referenced frequently, the costs of losing it are further compounded.
If this non-profit were using a document management system to begin with, it could have prevented the costs of losing or misplacing this document from occurring due to three-fold features that will be discussed later in this document, such as role-based user permissions, and data backup characteristic of document management for organizational processes.
With greater cultural and international overlap in the global work space, these mistakes are likely to continue in greater numbers if organizations continue to rely on paper-based organization systems.
The automated organizational processes DMS provides, however, can help organizations overthrow sporadic and inconsistent storage errors—helping employees retrieve and utilize documents much faster.
But just because the student who studied abroad made an error pertaining to physical filing cabinets doesn’t mean that built-in operating systems on computer desktops are any more efficient.
For instance, if the student were working in the exact same situation—with the exception that instead, the student was working with information on a personal computer’s operating system—the operating system would still store and file information according to its own rationale, making it difficult for the student to find the folder he or she needs or for the employees to store and retrieve files more efficiently.
Document management for organizational processes, as intrinsic as it is to business can be applied to what occurs outside the office.
For instance, eFileCabinet Express, the lite version for contractors or consultants, is a good place to start.