A research shows that almost every employee loses about two hours a day to disorganized document management. One key benefit of effective document management is the ability to streamline workflow and tackle tasks efficiently further leading to better business performance. However, a good document management system is not enough without good practices. Below are document management best practices that can help you get the best of your document management system (DMS).
Determine the needs of your prospective DMS based on business goals
The number of latest document management systems today is on the rise. The same philosophies motivate these systems; hence, someone might think they are the same. It is worthy to note that they can never be the same. A simple change in your flow could reveal many unexpected behaviours, which is why you need to know what your DMS requires so that you can optimize it to work for you effectively. As you are looking for the one that suits your business, analyze the following features:
- What is the future of your business; maybe five years from now?
- Are you planning to invest in IT in your company?
- The location of your business (office or terrain based)?
- What do you value (transparency, multiple document access, and flexibility)?
The answers to these questions will allow you to choose a system that fits perfectly to your business operations, improving your performance.
Always prepare documents for effective storage
A document management system works better when it allows you to retrieve stored information easily. This is only possible when information storage has been done correctly. For this reason, documents need to be prepared before they are stored. Pay attention to the document scanning and indexing features. These features are essential for physical to digital files conversion and the labelling of information using keywords, descriptions, and content. Labelling allows for easy retrieval of information through metadata searches, remarks, notes, time and date-based searches, and signatures, among others.
Protect sensitive files
Document management systems will enable you to achieve transparency and privacy. Some practices ensure that you maximize the privacy and information security aspect of your DMS. Foremost, is the use of hierarchy; this allows you to determine levels of privacy and sensitivity for various documents. What follows is synchronizing, transparency, and workflow coordination. In a case where you feel the information is quite sensitive, adopt a secure file repository option. This option allows you to label documents as private, personal as well as restrict access discretely. You can limit file access using passwords and authentications.
Moreover, seek a document management system that allows you to track the individuals that accessed and altered the different files. These practices not only protect information but also manage hierarchy sections.
Integrating documents in your workplace, allowing for collaborations between documents and handling workflow does not make your workflow smooth. You need to digitize your files and even tag them. This way, you will have made file retrieval easy and fast hence increasing workplace productivity.
You need to make the system flexible such that even documents shared using preset permissions involuntarily send notifications to employers connected to the document in any way. The system should not change the files completely but also allow someone to access a document in its most original form even after alterations. Improving workflow saves time, improves document privacy and authorizations, defines roles, and ensures good communication between employees through the document management system. You can get some valuable information from YFS Magazine here.
Comply with Internal and External Audits
Businesses audit their processes but more often than not, fail to do the same with their document management system audits. Audits require that you track every action in your document management system and check whether they adhere to document management rules. Actions to be tracked include file edits, document views, and document purges. Such tracking is possible using software like eFileCabinet. Audits can help identify whether a business has adhered to document management regulations. To pass an audit, you will need to maintain the file structure of your enterprise. The eFileCabinet creates consistency in file structures and allow you to locate files easily during audits. For internal audits, the eFileCabinet allows you to run audits across the document management systems. Here, the audit tracks systems from user logins and during sessions.
Securing Data on Transit
Information is not only vulnerable in a resting position but also when in motion. Some practices can help secure such information as follows:
Encryption of files: Foremost, the files are converted into a form that is not readable by a human, transferred in that form to an individual with a decryption key, who unlocks file with the key on reception. A 256-bit AES encryption is an example of what can be used to protect information data on transit.
Another way of preventing interception, also known as middleman attack is to use programs like pCloud and Safe File Transfer Protocols (SFTP). pCloud is a way of securing information with the help of the cloud. pCloud allows you to upload data to cloud storage and later provides client-controlled encryption of password to protect documents on sharing with the help of its PCloud Crypto. The feature, which comes at $4.99 a month also gives you, access to 10 GB of storage space and an additional 10 GB in case you refer someone to use the feature. On the side, a Secure File Transfer Protocol is an extension to file transfer protocols. SFTP is accessible by a server using user logins and passwords to send and receive files.
The above are ways of doing it right in your document management. The practices include making the right choice of a document management system, improve document storage, protect files, improve workflow, comply with document management regulations, and secure data in motion. The practices have a considerable effect on your document management system you might need to adopt some of them to improve your document management.