Why thoughtful document indexing makes accessing documents easy
Chances are, when you search for a document you’re looking to obtain a specific piece of information. That’s where indexing comes in.
Document indexing is the process of assigning categories to repeated information so that it can be stored by that category and searched for at a later time.
Common document indexes are:
- Document type
- Document number
- Client name
- Date of birth
- Company name
- Date of last order
Anything that your company references on a regular basis and is included across multiple documents is a good candidate to be indexed. As part of going paperless, you will determine which pieces of information should be indexed.
Once a document is scanned or digitally copied to your repository, the mandatory indexes you’ve assigned for each document type should be added. This ensures you’re able to locate documents using index searches at any time in the future.
Learn more about indexing best practices here.
What are the biggest challenges when going paperless?
You can ensure a smooth paperless journey by addressing these common digital transformation challenges before you begin. Here are the top seven obstacles to going paperless:
- Organizational concerns: From choosing a person to lead the change, to determining a budget, getting leadership on board with a paperless initiative can be difficult. Organizations can improve buy in by assigning leadership to a C-suite executive or other trustworthy individual.
- The IT Department: The IT department is tasked with ensuring the security of the organization’s information. With limited budget and labor, IT can be resistant to a big process change. However, document management in the cloud has taken a lot of pressure off IT.
- Usability: The system you choose needs to be easy to implement, easy to use and maintain, and integrate seamlessly with the systems you’re already using. Training administrators on the ins-and-outs can help avoid speed bumps.
- Adoption: Every organization has employees who like to do things their way -- or the “old” way. That’s why change management can be so hard. However, proper training and communicating the value-add for employees can improve adoption and accountability.
- Process Holes: Every once in a while, a new or existing process won’t make its way into the document management system. As a result, productivity, compliance, and return on investment can take a big hit. Instead of uprooting every process, start with the most logical department for your company. Finance and Human Resources are obvious candidates to embrace a digital transformation and act as digital advocates for the rest of the organization.
- Procrastination: There is never going to be a perfect time to implement a process change. But instead of delaying the inevitable, start off small and grow from there.
- Trying to Implement Everything Yourself: Without proper diligence and planning, your paperless initiatives can be a compliance nightmare. Get things done right the first time by working with an experienced paperless professional.
Going paperless is one of the best ways to streamline your department or business and stay ahead of the competition. Going paperless enables you to answer customer inquiries faster, allows your employees to work remotely, and reduces your risk of compliance errors and costly mistakes.
Taking your paper processes digital used to require an enormous amount of IT investment and created numerous process headaches and change management nightmares. But now, advanced technology means you can have thousands of paper documents scanned in just hours, and implement your internal workflows with just a few clicks.
With so many software options available, it can be difficult to make the best choice for your business. Contact us today if you need help getting started on your paperless journey.
What are the benefits of going paperless?
The benefits of going paperless are boundless. Not only does embracing a paperless-mindset help you remain competitive in the digital age, but you can make the most of your physical and human resources. By going paperless you improve:
- Accountability - A majority of business processes are driven by documents. Lost or damaged documents don’t just cost you time and money, they can ruin your reputation and accountability to your customers. Automated digital workflows can ensure the successful approval and handling of documents - and alert you to potential bottlenecks or missing information. Management can then observe weaknesses and make adjustments to the process in real-time.
- Labor Savings - Going paperless may be an up-front investment in time, but very quickly reduces the amount of touches and clerical chores that are done each day. An enormous amount of repetitive, manual task work disappears entirely with Electronic Records Management. Tasks like filing, stapling, collating, taking trips to the copy machine, routing, and manual data entry are no longer necessary. This frees employees up to focus on the important aspects of their jobs and drive innovation for the business.
- Auditability - Digital records are easy to manage and audit. Each employee is given appropriate permission settings. And digital time-stamping enables you to know who saw what, when, and what changes were made. With digital indexing, you can retrieve any document with just a few clicks. Not to mention, you can automate your organization's destruction of documents to meet changing compliance standards.
- Document Sharing - Documents can be shared in real-time with other departments, customers, management, and auditors in just seconds.
Are you looking sell your business one day? Going paperless improves transparency and ease throughout the sales cycle. Learn more here.
What departments and organizations benefit most from going paperless?
While going paperless positively impacts the entire business, here are the departments and organizations that have become pillars in embracing digital transformation and paperless processes:
- Finance: Invoice routing, approvals, management and compliance are easy when they are scanned and managed in a software that syncs seamlessly with the ERP and CRM you’re already using.
- Human Resources: Easily manage the entire employee lifecycle when government forms, resumes, job offers, and 1-on-1 meeting notes are stored securely on any digital device.
- Customer Service: Enable your customer success team by giving them instant access to important customer documents including purchase orders, order history, service records, contact details, tickets, and more.
- Sales: The more information you have on hand - the better. Make sure your sales team can access important sales records at any time -- in real time.
- Law Firms: Stop tedious trips to your file cabinet when you can access contracts, court records, and client files time with paperless storage.
- Medical Offices: Store prescription orders, medical history, X-rays, all while maintaining HIPAA compliance in a digital repository.
- Startups: Most startups are met with similar challenges: their staff have several responsibilities and limited time to complete them. Going paperless from the beginning allows startups to save on storage costs, employee labor, and provide documentation efficiently to investors and buyers.
- Any Business or Department that Relies Heavilly on Paper: From real estate to car dealerships to universities, any organization that feels frustrated by the overwhelming amount of paper records can benefit from a digital transformation.
Embrace your digital transformation
Embracing a digital transformation can seem overwhelming. However, taking your processes paperless is now affordable, IT integrations are simpler, and teaching employees the software is easier than ever.
From out-of-the-box software solutions to on-demand scanning services, organizations are able to streamline processes and reduce the use of paper in a matter of months - or even weeks. Contact us to find out if now is the time for your organization to go paperless.