In order for your workers to work effectively, they need to have the right documents on hand. It is the difference between a smooth operation and a series of hang-ups that could seriously hamper productivity.

In a traditional office setting all of your documents are stored in filing cabinets in your office, easily available for you to access as needed. Today, many teams are distributed, staff no longer sharing the same space, or archives in other physical locations as office leases have made storing everything on-site an expensive proposition.

To alleviate these stresses, enable their staff to better collaborate and work remotely, many businesses have been digitizing their documents and turning to document management systems. Here are some tips for setting up an effective digital document workflow.

Plan Ahead

In the same way, a physical archive needs a filing system, electronic document systems need one too. If you do this as soon as possible, preferably before you have a large digital archive, you will save time and money later. Once you have started storing documents electronically it can be difficult, though not impossible, to implement things like access control, versioning, and audit protections later.

The first step to any effective document management system is deciding the who, what, when, and where of how you plan on storing your digital files. The decisions you make now will make a difference in how you and your employees will access the documents, and prevent you from losing critical documents in the future.

TierFive can offer you a free consultation if you need help with any step of this planning process.

Assess Access

Think about who needs to have access to your documents. Consider whether you might need to offer levels of permission to access, edit, view-only, or share your content. Unlike physical records, electronic storage gives you complete control over who can access a document, and log each action when a user interacts with said documents.

A good document management tool will also help in document discovery. It should include tools to let your staff effectively search, finding the right document, exactly when it is needed. Your digital access scheme not only lets your staff access your files remotely but also more efficiently, document searches should be a breeze and help you find the right document at the right time.

With the right access scheme, the knowledge that makes your organization successful will be accessible to all the right people.

Digitize Physical Archives

Now that you know the who, what, when, and where of your digital archives probably the most challenging step is to get your physical archives into a digital form, so you can take advantage of all the new technologies that digital document management systems provide. For the interim having an archive clerk scan-on-demand is one approach, but this often labor-intensive and requires upfront investment in expensive production scanners to handle larger volumes.

Ideally, you would like to partner with a Document Imaging firm that can take advantage of the economies of scale with highly trained staff and specialized hardware that can do the digitization for you in a project-by-project or department-by-department basis. Partnering with a professional Document Imaging firm like TierFive Imaging lets you concentrate on your core competencies, while you can leave the scanning to us.

Learn more about the document scanning process. To find out how document imaging can pay for itself check out our ROI Calculator.

Compliance & Governance

For many industries, you may be required to have an audit trail for compliance purposes, for those not explicitly required it may still be a good practice from a security and liability standpoint. A good audit trail is important for internal management, confidence, and to meet compliance requirements. Any well-implemented document management systems should also include an audit trail.

You will also need an automated check to see if they have read it, and the means to collect a response that indicates more specifically whether they understood the document has, or whether someone needs to make further changes to improve clarity. A good document sharing system will have this as an integrated option.

Be it HIPPA, PCI, GDPR, or CCPA, we can help you reach your compliance goals.

TierFive Can Help

No matter what your existing document management system, or if you don’t have a document management at all, TierFive can help. TierFive Imaging can help you digitize your existing backfile physical archives from those filing cabinets of paper, rolls of large format plans, to all kinds of microform, microfilm, microfiche, and everything in-between.

We can help you fold time & space, access all your files securely, locally, or through the cloud, and help enable your remote workplace by putting all of your organization’s files at your fingertips with a simple online quote or call to +1 (888) 547-2267.

Raseaa Matome