Making the Most of Your Document Management System


Many companies like the idea of converting over to a 100 percent digital document approach. However, the devil is in the details. The organization and nomenclature needed for an effective document approach take time to design and set up. Without it, a business ends up with a couple of dozen different ways of organizing files, which in turn breaks down to each individual’s approach to folder and file names. In short, it turns into a big digital mess in which nobody can really find anything quickly. So, starting off with a proper document system management approach is essential for a smoothly operating digital record system.

What’s in a Name?

Good document management starts with a naming convention that makes sense for the given business. This isn’t an alien concept. For example, many doctor and dentist offices had an extensive paper patient file system that was extremely effective at storing and retrieving patient information.

Why? It was highly organized from the start.

Before electronic files, most patients would be color-coded and numbered. That way, all one had to do was associate a name with a number and color, and the file would be easy to find. The same approach is needed in the digital world. Top-down, the naming system has to be consistent, organized and must make sense to the operator. When this occurs, data can be found quickly and repeatedly.

Don’t Assume New is Perfect

If going digital, make sure your document management plan also has redundancy and a backup recovery component to it. There is nothing worse than going full digital, converting everything over, and then suddenly losing it all to a network or computer loss. Redundancy is an absolute must with any kind of digital archive system. In fact, most standards recommend three copies, with at least two being kept in a location physically different and separate from the primary storage location.

Fortunately, this is entirely doable in today’s Internet-based world; redundant backup can be set up to save at storage sites remotely or online archive cloud resources. Copying can be automated and synced easily as well. Anyone who is not taking advantage of these tools is simply asking for a disaster to occur with their business.

Bring in expert help when starting off with a document management changeover. It's worth the minimal cost, especially when developing an approach and establishing your recovery methods for the first time. The digital filing doesn't need to be impossible if you partner with good planning.

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