A little over a year ago, when we spoke with business owners and executives, document management seemed to be more of a “nice to have” feature. Yes, it saved time, was more convenient, and saved space, but the traditional filing cabinet was still working. Now document management enters discussions as a necessity, and no more as a “nice to have” function.
What happened? Here are a few explanations that can help explain why document management has become important to have.
Remote Access For Sales Representatives
One explanation is that sales representatives that are traveling to customer sites need to see certain documents as well.With the help of laptops, smartphones, and tablets, sales people have lots of information available to them. Documents filed in the filing cabinet back in the office are difficult to access though. If they are at a customer site and need to produce a document, such as a proof of delivery or an invoice, it requires rigorous chain of events and people to get that document to them in the field. With a document management system, documents can be easily accessed from remote locations.
Regulations Requiring Documentation
Certain industries have regulations requiring them to have documentation readily available. MSDS data, certifications, and HazMat forms are some examples of documents required in certain industries. With a document management system, these types of documents can be easily accessed as needed for email or as a document with the shipment.
Businesses Going Paperless
The number of businesses that are trying to go paperless, or at least cutting down on the dependence for paper documents, is constantly increasing. Printing is an expense on many levels, postage keeps increasing, so businesses are getting documents to their customers by other means. Many businesses have moved to emailing documents. Other businesses have gone to making documents available online, through some sort of customer portal, giving their customers the ability to download documents.
Document management has gone well beyond a nice space saving and convenience feature. It has become a needed tool in today’s sophisticated marketplace.