Managing all the paper documents in the office is itself a daunting task, and when it’s time to search for a single piece of paper from a pile of documents, it’s not hard to guess that it becomes irritating enough. To save time and energy at work, the concept of document control and document management has been evolved. It goes without saying that reducing the usage of paper makes you one more step closer to become environmentally friendly.
In this modern tech age, everything around us is going smart, the mobile phones we used to use previously to communicate with others, now have become a Smartphone, and it does more than only communicating. Ignoring the digital transformation is going to have adverse effects on the businesses; as many companies have already implemented the document management in their system, and to give them an intense competition, you have to maintain the pace of their workflow, that’s why adopting the document management and implementing it in the workplace is required.
Here in this article, I am going to guide you how you can convert paper documents into electronic files and how to document digitization process can help you to manage the workflow at your office.
However, before starting the project of document digitization, you have to purchase document management software (DMS). There are basically two types of DMS available in the market.
- Cloud-based DMS: The entire process of saving and retrieving the digital documents is online, so internet connection is must in this type of DMS. The cloud-based DMS is popular in small and medium businesses as this software is cost effective and provides infinite virtual storage known as the cloud. The files can be accessed from anywhere with any device having internet.
- On-premise DMS: this type of DMS is also known as self-hosted DMS, as the entire responsibility of data maintenance and data security relies on the organization. An on-site server is required to be set as storage space. To maintain this type of software, an IT team is required. Mostly the large corporate companies that work with a huge number of data prefer on-premise DMS. The data cannot be accessed from elsewhere outside the office premises.
Start With Small
There can be many departments in your office, HR, accounts, sales & marketing, and many more. Do not take all the paper documents from each department; it can be a mess. Start slowly but have a steady effect on the process. At first choose a department, and include all the employees of that department and start sorting the paper documents, there can be some papers that won’t have any use; double check them to make sure that they won’t be required in the future and then get rid of the useless papers by throwing them into the paper shredder. I have found this article clearly shown some ideas about how to get rid from the unwanted papers.
Scan the Paper Documents
The useful rest documents need to be in the DMS now.Using a high-speed scanner is highly recommended to scan a lot of documents fast.
Decide How You Want to Format the Documents
PDF files are accepted globally, so, companies generally complete all their projects using PDF file format. Some scanning software is available in the market, using that the paper documents can directly be converted to PDF files. If that is suitable for you, then you can definitely go for that. You can get such a type of document management software like Filecenter DMS, which comes along with a scan to pdf software.
This one is a crucial step as because this step helps in quick retrieval of files. Basically, this process is about indexing all the scanned contents with some keywords, because the DMS allows ‘keyword search’ for faster results while searching for a file. To perform this process it requires expertise, ERP solution providers can be such a great help in it; otherwise, there is always some smart processing software available to complete the task of automatically sort the scanned documents.
Make sure that all the keywords that are related to the search are easy to remember to avoid confusion between the employees.
Use an adequate number of Folders and sub-folders
Use a straight-forward file hierarchy to make it simpler to handle for everybody. Maintaining an easy interface is always appreciated rather than choosing a complicated structure and failed to do work in it. Store all the related documents of a department under the folder of that department’s name; thus, it is going to be easy to search for a particular document. Do not get afraid of the idea of multiple sub-folders, as it might be required to store several documents. You may read this blog if you need some extra information on this particular point.
Everyone in your office should maintain one file naming convention like the file names should be short and most appropriate to retrieve any record. If using date while naming the file, the format should be the same for everyone;it should be either YYMMDD or DDMMYY. The UX Planet here will give you knowledgeable ideas about file naming convention.
Determine the Access
There are possibilities that some confidential or sensitive documents do not need everyone’s attention. It can be treated as a significant threat for a company if sensitive documents go in the wrong and unsafe hands. To prevent this, DMS allows you to give permission to certain people to access some vital documents.
Sending digitize version of paper documents is easy via e-mail or any other file transfer process. No need to worry because e-mailing is more straight-forward than sending a courier.
Though the DMS comes with some special security features, still it’s our responsibility to keep our data safe. There can be some departments which are completely unrelated to each other, so they don’t need to take a look on each other’s documents–for that reason, it is possible to password protect those documents from folder level. It is highly advisable to maintain the reliable password protocol, which is using a combination of capital and small letters along with at least one number and one special character. Keep changing the passwords regularly and easily guessable passwords should not be used.
Other than that, while sending an e-mail or sharing any files with any other transferring process, it is necessary to encrypt those files before sharing to avoid mishandling.
Stick to the Process
Adopting a new thing can be hard as fast, but once you get habituated with it, you can realize how effortless it is to work with digitized documents. Using a DMS is not robot science still, it is recommended to have a training session organized to make sure that all employees understand the process thoroughly.
Modern Days’ DMS purpose is not limited to storing files; it comes with more features and more useful tools to make our work easy. The DMS has a feature called “automated workflow,” using that it can modify any file or verify any files to check for any errors even it can run a report on behalf of you. What you need is to deal with an expert vendor to make your experience with DMS pleasant. If you talk to the software provider, you can come to know many other advanced features about DMS.
Document digitization process is not laborious if you can implement the right document management system for your office. Make sure to do minute research on each type of DMS and choose whichever suits your needs and purpose.
For any other queries, please comment below, I will be glad to solve your problems