Document management: Has there ever been a phrase so loaded with both promise and dread?
The promise, of course, is that well-managed documents could help your organization work better and much more efficiently. Instead of wasting time sorting through a scattering of documents across multiple systems, good organization can help put the information you need right there at your fingertips.
If only it were so simple. Because the scary part of the process is figuring out how on earth you’re going to get a handle on all those documents to begin with. Maybe you’ve even heard horror stories of organizations that have been chipping away at a project like this for years, trying to figure out where things are stored and how to collate all that information into one place.
In light of that, maybe it seems to make sense to keep things the way that they are. But experiencing any of these five pain points is a big red flag that it’s time to get serious about document management.
Pain Point #1: Disorganized Documents Cause Bottlenecks in Your Organization
Wherever processes rely on documents you can’t find quickly (or at all), your organization is losing time. If those documents are also required to authorize action, then it can leave you utterly stymied as you search through your systems trying to find what you need.
Proper document management gives you the ability to deliver documents quickly to the right stakeholders throughout a process. This, in turn, reduces the time it takes to deliver results. In other words, without ever changing the process itself, good document management can make your organization much more efficient.
Pain Point #2: Unmanaged Documents Complicate Version Control
Version control is one of the most important components of any editorial process. It’s how you ensure necessary changes are made before moving on to the next round of edits. But without a proper system for managing documents, it’s all too easy for multiple stakeholders to leave feedback in multiple places, causing confusion down the line.
A good document management system enables you to control who has access and when. You can also ensure changes are tracked within one “source of truth,” rather than scattered over multiple files. It’s a better experience for your stakeholders and helps ensure nothing gets missed between versions.
Pain Point #3: Poorly Managed Documents Get Lost (or Disappear)
Human error is a fact of life, but it can be especially painful when it leads to a lost or deleted document. If you’ve ever spent hours searching through folders and drives trying to track down something that isn’t where it ought to be, you know exactly what we mean.
When documents are managed well, however, “lost” is a thing of the past. Instead of each user operating by their own rules, everyone follows a single, consistent system that makes documents much easier to find.
Pain Point #4: Missing Documents Must Be Recreated
When documents are managed poorly, sometimes it seems they vanish altogether. Meanwhile, your teams still need them and may end up losing time recreating documents that somebody else already created.
Duplicative efforts are not only expensive but completely unnecessary. The way to avoid this maddening reality is through document management that ensures the docs you need are always accessible and easy to find.
Pain Point #5: Lost Documents May Resurface at the Worst Possible Time
As documents are updated with new information, disorganization can lead to an especially embarrassing problem as old versions continue to float around on your drives. At some point in the future those old documents may resurface as someone goes in search of the latest draft.
When this happens, it can lead to the accidental publication or distribution of old, incorrect, and erroneous information. But without good document management, you never know where these old versions might lurk, or who will stumble across them in the future.
Get Your Document Ducks in a Row
These pain points may sound familiar, but how will you address the original problem? What will you do to make sure all your documents are well-managed and organized?
The same way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time. When you work with a partner that understands the scale of the problem, the priorities of your organization, and the particular pain points you’re facing, you can tackle the challenge of document management in a way that makes sense for you.
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