Remember that time you were working from home and needed an employee to send you a file? Only they had to dust off a fax machine in order to send it because it was a physical file. You know, the kind that’s stored in a file cabinet.
If your company has gone digital, you might be surprised to learn how many companies are still using a slightly updated version of papyrus to keep track of important information. You could argue that the ancient Egyptians were ahead of their time, but our guess is they would have gone digital in a heartbeat if they had the chance.
A shocking number of companies still use manual processes, and the manufacturing industry contains some of the biggest offenders. Huge companies don’t decide that manual record-keeping is the smartest decision; they just start out that way when they’re much smaller. As they grow, processes are ingrained until no one questions that thousands of paper order slips are shuffled around the production floor each month.
Benefits of electronic document management systems
Paper-based document control is incredibly tedious, requiring employees to chase down signatures, check off boxes, and recheck each step of the way. A misfiled paper might never be seen again — a small loss that can quickly spiral into a major problem when an auditor is breathing down your neck. Inefficient document control is hard to defend during an audit, and it ends up creating even more work for an organization’s quality team. These professionals want to do work that improves quality, not chase down lost papers or fetch signatures.
There are many benefits of electronic document management systems. Electronic record-keeping systems offer dramatically improved visibility, and tools such as Intellect’s document control software make it easy. The system automatically marks each step’s due date, ensuring that documents are routed to the right people at the right time. In addition, an easy-to-navigate dashboard keeps track of where each document is in the review process.
With digital document management, users can collect the necessary information and perform the proper actions with fewer clicks, and the document will automatically go where it needs to get approval based on the contents. When it comes to compliance and conformity, automation ensures that mistakes are much less likely to happen.
Why document management is important
Another one of the advantages of electronic document management systems is that they can increase efficiency and improve productivity, not just in one department but companywide. Established digital processes ensure that employees aren’t going back and forth to clear up miscommunications and that the days of searching for lost files are over.
Instead of wasting time sending the wrong information from one person to another or one department to another, our document management and digitization system will remove the guesswork. Thanks to digitization, the instances when an employee has to redo a day’s work because he or she had the wrong document will soon be behind us.
If your business would close down without pens and paper, you’re not alone in holding on to manual processes. A study from LNS Research found that more than three-quarters of manufacturers are still using paper-based records of environmental, health, safety, and quality processes.
As a result, valuable data is siloed — or in some cases, missing entirely. A digital readiness study commissioned by Xerox revealed that employees spend more time on document workflows than their actual job responsibilities. To right this wrong, 65% of survey respondents report that they’re starting to digitize and automate formerly manual processes.
Any compliant quality management system worth considering will have a powerful tool for document control strategy because documentation is critical to passing audits and verifying compliance. As a bonus, these systems can improve efficiency and reduce the headaches that plague organizations with manual documentation processes. If your own business is still pushing paper, it’s time to make a change. Step into the digital age, and we guarantee you’ll never look back.