Every company has its own unique patterns of growth. Each set of duties grow into a department, and those departments grow relative to each other based on the needs of the company. An IT company, for instance, will have a much larger necessary customer service department than a retail store. The store, on the other hand, will have purchasing and sales teams that have no place in a company that provides an online technical service. Because of this individual modular expansion, departments are often responsible for managing and storing their paperwork and information without a unified company system. After all, when there were only two or three departments, no one else needed their specialized production data. As your business grows, department duties split and then overlap more than they used to, people need access to each other’s documents, and it always comes down to finances. Here are the top 5 reasons why centralizing your company information with a cloud-based document management system will increase efficiency and save you money:

1. Inventory Management

If your inventory details are not already kept in a unified file system, your company is on the path toward complete chaos. Whether you are selling cupcakes or copies of downloadable software, you must know how many are available and how many have been sold. This data needs to be compiled into a shared document and updated regularly so everyone who needs inventory information can access it. Stats by item and category can help you fine-tune your business, but keeping different item information in different locations and filing systems is a quick way to lose track of something important.

2. Financial Checks and Balances

Whoever is managing your finances, whether they’re a single executive, a financial department, or hired financial service, needs every piece of financial data relevant to your company. Every transaction on every company bank account is important to them, along with private funds spent on the company and the value gained by non-financial trades of goods for services. All of this information is necessary to paint an accurate picture of how your company is doing. If department heads are keeping private departmental finances, you could easily be losing opportunities to fine-tune success, identify errors, and maximize efficiency. The best way to unify your departmental finances is with shared financial documents and scanned receipts. With advanced authorization control, cloud-based financial reporting is one of the most reliable and secure methods available.

3. Duplicate Data

As your business procedures become larger and more complex, certain types of data become relevant to multiple departments. When departments and teams have to keep their own records, a lot of documents will wind up duplicated, creating pointless multiple copies and possibly conflicting information. Left to their own devices, sales will independently track their success through orders sold while shipping marks their progress in orders delivered and finances does its duty by tracking orders paid for. This is all, in essence, the same information and is most useful when combined onto one shared record. A unified document management system makes it fast and easy for anyone to reference or update the information they need.

4. Shipping Orders

Fast and efficient shipping is one of the major benefits of document centralization. Listing items online or in a catalog and receiving orders is only the first half of successfully making long-distance product saleable. You must then package and ship the products, and this process isn’t as simple as it sounds. You can’t just grab any handful of items and ship them anywhere, the order details must be correct, and the products must be ready. Not to mention shipping type preferences and special delivery instructions. The communication errors caused by a disjointed data system can hurt your shipping team the most because they need an accurately kept inventory and up-to-date address and order information in order to do their job well. With cloud-based document management, your delivery guys can check special shipping instructions while out making deliveries.

5. Productivity and Visibility

When it comes down to it, there are hundreds of ways your team touches company information each day, and there’s no way to predict every instance in which an employee or client might need to check on a document written and stored by another department. By centralizing with a document management system, you are preparing your entire company, top to bottom and every department, for every situation involving sharing and working with documents and data. Inventory checks will become smooth and the data will be consistent no matter who references it. Production will add items to the inventory, sales will mark items to be removed, and shipping will remove items. Your inventory manager can count based on that data and your financial manager will track it all to confirm that every transaction is legitimate and complete.

Whether you’re a brand-new startup or an old pro looking to optimize, a centralized document management system is the key to efficient and cohesive business management. Your department heads are more than capable of tracking their own data, and are just as capable of integrating and sharing that data for maximum company-wide efficiency. With cloud-based document management, your employees and clients will be able to access all the information and paperwork that they have access to from anywhere with internet access. No more cross-department confusion, worrying about physical paperwork, or conflicting reports. For more information about how to centralize your business data with a document management system, contact us today!