Every business has vital documents they need to maintain, from coffee shop invoices to app development firm project timelines. Storing and retrieving files swiftly and accurately is essential for the smooth operation of any firm.

Yet many Sacramento businesses are still suffering under unwieldy paper-based filing systems, struggling to find what they need when they need it. Meanwhile, many who have gone digital still rely on multiple, disconnected databases that create obstacles and data silos.

Electronic document management systems (EDMS) are an effective solution for companies that want to invest in digital transformation and improve productivity. However, the right document management tools offer so many more benefits. Read on to discover what these are.

1. Better Organization Leading to Boosted Productivity

Most businesses agree that the key to success is getting organized as quickly as possible. A key facet of this is understanding what documents you need for each business task and storing those documents securely. Storage systems should empower business administrators with the ability to retrieve a document at a moment’s notice.

Physical filing systems are open to misuse. Busy employees may put documents in the wrong location, lose individual pages of multi-page documents, or rush admin jobs in favor of more business-critical tasks. These errors can lead to permanently lost documents and unnecessary delays while trying to find misplaced files.

Conversely, digital document management systems are much harder to abuse. Many will prompt users to choose a specific location from a range of limited document destinations. Systems may also prompt users to check boxes to confirm the accuracy of documents, so there’s always accountability if anything does go awry.

With a document management system, retrieving data is so much easier, organically improving productivity. Even if a document has been stored incorrectly, most tools have ultra-fast search functions to quickly locate missing files based on keywords. That’s much more efficient than rooting through a filing cabinet for an hour.

2. Enhanced Security

As a business, you have a legal obligation to protect the data of your employees and clients/customers, regardless of the industry you’re in. It’s also important to consider the security of other data, such as business goals, plans, or partnerships you’re working on. Physical filing systems can be locked as tight as possible, but with brute force and determination, criminals can still gain access. Also, it’s all too easy for a paper document to be left on a desk, where prying eyes can spot potentially damaging data. Outdated digital systems rarely offer the robust cybersecurity protocols necessary for deterring today’s savvy hackers.

The best document management solutions offer exceptional cybersecurity, preventing malicious actors (cybercriminals) from gaining access to any of your business data. Many will offer regular security upgrades for your peace of mind.

3. Better Business Collaboration

If sales personnel have to physically travel to your marketing team and rifle through cabinets looking for some campaign information, you’re losing time. That’s time that could be spent creating leads or following up on high-value customers. Keeping documents in multiple locations also creates a bubble around each team, reducing the development of a holistic organization where everyone works together.

When you use document management tools, everyone gets the right level of access to the files they need to do their jobs. Teams can swiftly point each other in the direction of resources and communicate much more effectively. You can eliminate the “us vs. them” culture and foster a culture of collaboration across your entire business.

4. Improve Accessibility Across Your Organization

Accessibility of documentation has two meanings here:

  1. The ability to quickly access documents as needed
  2. Making documents accessible for people with disabilities or additional needs

Document management improves both these aspects of administration. When you have documents in a single electronic repository, it’s quick and easy to find what you need. Teams can gain access to documents they need simply by accessing shared drives or sending a message to the appropriate administrator.

Plus, when documents are stored electronically, you can alter copies separately for various needs. Accommodations you could make for both clients and employees include:

  • Large print documents for visually impaired individuals
  • Use of certain fonts to help those with dyslexia
  • Different colored fonts for anyone with visual processing disorders

Electronic documents allow you to quickly email a file as appropriate. However, for those who require paper copies, there’s always the option to print out documents as needed. Businesses gain the best of both worlds.

5. Reduce the Impact of Human Error

Filing a document in the wrong place can have lasting impacts on your business. While it may seem like a small error, here are just a few of the potential consequences:

  • The failure to produce a financial document at the right time could mean you file taxes incorrectly, leaving you open to fines and other legal action.
  • Clients and customers who need copies of documents will be dissatisfied if you can’t find them.
  • Endlessly searching for documents makes each task slower and causes frustration and reduced morale in your teams.
  • If you lose data pertaining to a client, e.g., personal information, your business could be at risk of legal action under various data protection laws and regulations.

This last point is a critical consideration for all Sacramento businesses. For example, if any aspect of your business operates within the EU, you must adhere to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules. A single piece of business data obtained from a company that is based in the EU makes you liable for legal action should you break these regulations. With fines of up to 20 million euros or 4% of a business’s annual turnover, it’s clear that knowing where all your documents are is essential.

6. Reduce Your Company’s Environmental Impact

When you use less paper, you become a responsible business with the right approach to sustainability. While no company can eliminate paper just yet, digital documents empower you to reduce waste and lower your carbon footprint. Recent reports suggest Sacramento is at the forefront of California’s sustainable small business movement — and your company can be a part of that.

Streamline your Sacramento business with the right document management solutions. Talk to Buckmaster about the right EDMS, document management solutions, and workflow automation.