There is no question that there are costs associated with managing and storing your data. That’s true whether you rely on paper documents and files, scanned records maintained on network drives or if you use an electronic document management solution. However, those expenses can be significantly lower for organizations that choose to take a proactive approach to document management, rather than a reactive one.
Using Electronic Forms and Records vs. Paper Files
Some businesses maintain manual, outdated filing practices that could easily be automated and streamlined based on the misconception that it is expensive to switch to electronic document management and storage. The truth is that relying on paper files can cost your company more – much more – over the long run.
Using paper records involves hard costs like paper, printers and toner, file folders and cabinets and the space in the office to store all of those paper records. You’ll also be paying staff to do all of the tasks associated with printing, filing, copying and retrieving documents if they’re needed later. There are also the additional costs associated with file retention and destruction.
Electronic records can help your business be more environmentally friendly while saving on all of those expenses. A proactive approach to your document management will allow tasks and processes to be handled faster and with more transparency and customer service personnel will be more capable of addressing customers’ needs real-time.
Automated Workflows vs. Manual Processes
The way your organization handles forms, processes and approvals can also be improved drastically with the incorporation of a document management solution.
Using paper-based processes means you are relying on people to transmit completed forms to others, either by hand or through email channels. Reviewers or approvers document their reviews and the paper forms are kept. All of these tasks come with costs as described above, in the form of printing and reproduction costs, labor expenses and storage costs.
Manual processes are also more prone to human error than automated workflows. A multitude of possible things could go wrong, including forms being incomplete, not being directed to the correct reviewer, becoming lost on someone’s desk, missing review documentation or being misfiled in the company’s records.
When a business uses automated workflows, forms must be complete before they are submitted. Once the person generating the form hits “submit,” the form is routed automatically to the correct person who can document their review and add comments. When they’re done, the form is automatically routed to the next contributor or indexed and filed electronically so it can be retrieved quickly and easily at a later date. The overall cost of taking a proactive approach to electronic workflows can be substantially lower than continuing to rely on paper processes, shuffling documents from one desk to another manually and having a difficult time quickly identifying where a document is in the workflow process, who has it, how long it is taking to process each document. Electronic workflows remove all of the uncertainty and virtually all of the possible human error.
Finally, if a cyberattack, natural disaster or other unforeseen event affects your company’s offices and networks, relying on electronic storage and workflows gives you the tools you need to continue serving customers’ needs and interacting with third-party service providers and regulators, all in a flexible, secure manner.
In contrast, companies that rely on paper-based records and processes are much more likely to struggle in the aftermath of a disaster. Companies that take a reactive approach are also more likely to face potentially brand-damaging negative publicity if they aren’t able to serve their customers or have to resort to using unsecure communications channels to do so.
There is No Better Time Than Now to Begin Using an Electronic Document Management Solution
Whether you are just getting your business up and running or have been serving your community for decades, implementing Treeno Software’s Electronic Document Management (EDM) solution now can save your organization time, expense and frustration in the future.
To learn more about how your company can benefit from electronic files, forms and workflows, contact Treeno Software today online or call us at 800-528-5005.