Your document management workflow design sits at the heart of your company’s productivity, efficiency and security. If you don’t have an efficient document management workflow design, bolstered by a secure, cloud-based electronic document management system, you could be opening your firm up to inefficiencies, lost profits and damaging data breaches.
In 2019, nearly 30% of small to midsize businesses polled by Zogby Analytics had suffered a data breach. Of those:
- 37% suffered a financial loss
- 25% filed for bankruptcy
- 10% went out of business
According to a recent survey from Forrester, 80% of organizations already have — or plan to implement — database and cloud encryption within the next 12 months. Working with a trusted electronic document management system can help prevent catastrophic scenarios while improving your workflow for increased efficiency and profits.
But simply having the technology is not enough, you need to create a document management workflow that allows you to make the most of your management system. Read on to understand how to create a workflow that will help take your business to the next level.
Why Is Document Management Workflow So Important?
Document management workflow affects every aspect of a business, but not every department has the same needs. It may be relatively easy to secure low-stakes Microsoft Word documents from prying eyes to be shared mainly in-house; however, customer data, financial information, and trade secrets or intellectual property require higher levels of security and encryption. Creating a workflow that is simultaneously easy to use, effective and secure ensures your system caters to every department in your organization.
How To Assess Your Current Workflow Management Process
Start the process of revamping your workflow management by assessing your current workflow design. Consider the many documents that require creation, transfer, analysis, approval and storage. Some of the activities affected by your workflow management system may include:
- Transferring purchase orders for approval and fulfillment
- Sharing bids and proposals with third parties
- Collaborating on sales and marketing materials
- Providing due diligence documentation if your firm seeks private equity or venture capital
- Analyzing financial statements
Don’t neglect to evaluate paper files and how they are handled in your current workflow design. A shift to fully electronic systems can not only help reduce overhead costs, but it can also reduce your company’s overall carbon footprint while streamlining operations.
Then, consider the processes you use right now to share, review and collaborate on both print and electronic documents. Ask these questions:
- Where are the bottlenecks?
- Are documents ever lost?
- How secure is your current document management workflow?
Often, a shift to a cloud-based electronic document system can solve many of these pain points. Revamp your workflow design by implementing a system with the right tracking capabilities and security measures and you may start seeing positive changes across your business.
Rolling Out a New Workflow Management Process
Once you’ve performed an assessment, it’s time to dig deeper into your needs.
Assemble a Team to Create Your Document Management Workflow
Ideally, your operations manager or Chief Operations Officer (COO) should work with your IT department to establish a secure, easy-to-use document management workflow system.
Document management workflow affects many different departments, including:
- Supply and Logistics
- Human Resources
- Sales and Marketing
The operations and IT teams should work with these departments to establish processes that meet individual departmental needs while avoiding data silos that can lead to lost or inaccurate data changing hands.
You may also wish to enlist the help of a document management software company to help streamline workflow management. A company like CapLinked can help by using our experience with other businesses and our in-depth knowledge of what goes into effective workflow management.
Identify A New Document Management Workflow Strategy
Once an internal team is assembled to create the workflow, have them work to identify the documents handled regularly so that nothing slips through the cracks in the transition. Securely destroy or purge unnecessary documentation, including records that are so outdated you don’t need to hold onto them.
Have each individual department consider ways they can streamline paper workflows and electronic documentation and consolidate or eliminate steps in specific processes. Establish best practices for storing, transfer and file management in an ideal scenario. These new processes may or may not match the system you already have in place.
Finally, devise a strategy for your document management workflow process and then record your new best practices so other departments can replicate these steps.
Best Practices for Document Workflow Management
With a system in place, it’s important to stay on top of your strategy. Make sure to upload and file new documents as they are created to avoid a logjam, which can result in lost files. As documents reach the end of their retention periods, have a secure process in place to identify and securely dispose of these files.
Ensure you have a method to track views and edits, as well as a way to notify employees when documentation is ready to move through the pipeline.
How Virtual Data Rooms Help Streamline Document Workflow Management
Taking a hard look at your workflow management process could reveal some uncomfortable truths. As your company undergoes digital transformation, you may discover your old document workflow management process is not as streamlined or as secure as it needs to be.
Virtual data rooms take the guesswork out of workflow design. Caplinked consultants can help ensure your electronic document management system is secure, efficient and easily accessible to authorized personnel. Start your free trial today and take the first steps toward better document workflow management.