When it comes to protecting your important business documents, there are a lot of things you can prepare for. Locked filing cabinets and sign-out systems keep your important files from wandering off or being accessed by unauthorized personnel. Copies and backups ensure that if one file is lost or destroyed, you can retrieve the information. Heck, if you’re worried about coffee stains you can always laminate the most important documents, ensuring that they’ll last practically forever, but you can’t prepare for wide-scale natural disasters. You may think of the structure of your commercial space as absolute, something that will be there forever. And it could, but then again maybe it won’t. If a natural disaster takes out your building, could you pick up where you left off in a new location or would the loss of all those paper documents force you to start over from scratch with nothing but a few client numbers stored in employee cell phones?
A Concerning Rise in Natural Disasters
In the last few months alone, there has been a devastating onslaught of natural disasters on both the east and west coasts. On one side of the country, cities have been drowned by hurricanes with flooding so high that many buildings were completely swept away or water damaged beyond repair. On the other coast, wildfires have started taking out whole towns with nothing left but ashes and debris. Then there’s that devastating series of earthquakes down in Mexico. The fact of the matter is that you can’t actually be certain that your building will stand forever, none of us can.
Would Your Documents Survive?
The real concern is what that means for your physical business documents. Many businesses still work on a primarily paperwork system with customers filling out printed forms which are then sorted into folders, secured in filing cabinets, then referenced and copied whenever the information is needed. Of course, client information isn’t the only thing you’re likely to keep in paper form. An astounding number of companies still use paper documentation for their receipts, finance management, and even industries we think of as highly advanced like medical practices often still rely on a paper-based system. But what happens to all that paper if your building floods to the rafters or burns to the ground? Unless you have crush-proof, water-tight, flame-retardant filing cabinets (and every important document is stored inside them), you’re going to have to rebuild your entire business practice from scratch.
Reason Enough to Digitize
The fact of the matter is that you’ve probably known for a while that it’s well past time to digitize all your documents and your business practices as a whole. Even if you’re used to the old paper way, even if all your employees are trained to use paper documents, the paper document system also comes with hassles that have long since been eliminated by modern online document management systems, especially since we moved everything to the location-free cloud.
Documents stored on a cloud-based DMS (document management system) can be accessed from anywhere, even remote employees and clients meaning no more ‘swinging by the office’ to pick up paperwork. They can also be sorted in half a dozen different ways -per document- so you can always find exactly the document or information you’re looking for with advanced search functions. However, the most important factor of switching to a DMS and away from those paper documents is the fact that anything hosted on the cloud is completely safe from natural disasters because it doesn’t have a physical location to be destroyed.
This means that if your building does take damage that destroys everything inside, whether from fire, flood, earthquake collapse, or freak meteor strike, all your important business documents are still undamaged and intact. With complete access to your documents, you could theoretically maintain ‘business as usual’ working from the founder’s home, a temporary office, or even a rescue facility with nothing but laptops and cell phones.
Making the Switch From Paper to the Cloud
If you’re still working with a paperwork system in 2017, you probably have had some good reasons not to switch as well. Maybe you think it would take too long to scan or re-enter all the information you have stored on paper documents or that your employees will have trouble adapting to the new system. Let us be the first to give you the good news, digitizing has gotten easier than ever. You can even transfer progressively, continuing to work with the paper system while getting everything copied into a digital format as well. Where you once would have needed a scanner and a lot of employee time, now you can enter complete, high quality digitized documents simply by snapping a picture of each one with a phone. Your employees are also more adaptable than you might think. Most of them use some form private cloud-based document management at home and are more likely to be grateful for the switch than troubled, frustrated, or confused.
eFileCabinet Provides for All Your DMS Needs
Here at eFileCabinet, we’ve waded through the piles of paperwork, we know how important all your documents are and how much of a hassle it can be to make the change. At the same time, we want your important business documents to be safe from anything that could happen, from coffee stains to hurricanes. That’s why we’ve optimized our DMS service to make it as quick and easy as possible to digitize, organize, and then work with your documents from anywhere. For more information about making your business document natural-disaster-proof through digitization, contact us today!