Here’s how you can simplify your document storage

Published May 30, 2024

Colin Dean Colin Dean is Regional Vice President UK at d.velop AG d.velop AG

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Is there nothing worse than spending several hours every day storing documents and searching for documents in a large archive? According to Gartner, every office worker spends 40-60% of their working time manually filing documents. But shouldn’t it be easier and, above all, faster?

In this blog article we introduce document storage, compare the digital and the analogue or manual solution and show which variant is better.

Document storage simply explained

Document storage refers to the management and storage of documents used in a business or organisation. It is an important process that ensures important documents are kept safe. Both in the long term and in daily business processes. The documents should be quickly available whenever they are needed. You have the choice whether to use document storage manually or in digital form.

Why keep documents at all? 

Before we delve deeper into the different options for document management systems, it is important to understand why businesses and employees should deal with this topic – regardless of whether a digital or paper-based solution is used.

An important reason for this is retention requirements. These state that documents from completed transactions must be retained for later inspection. This obligation applies to all persons who are also obliged to keep accounts. Each type of document has a set rules for how long and how it must be archived.

Another reason is that you often need old receipts from older, completed transactions. What did the bill look like? What conditions did we get? How long does the contract last? These are all questions that can be solved by looking at the document. Accordingly, it follows that you have to search for the document again. It is practical to have a good structure in your document storage to make the search as short as possible. Often, the physical journey to the archive is usually time-consuming enough.

In summary, it can be said that every company relies on document storage or is obliged to do so.

Digital document management explained 🚀

Templates, best practices, tips and tricks for a digital document management system

What should a good document management system be able to do?

Document storage should definitely store data and documents unchanged over the long term. It is important that the document storage can comply with legal regulations. If past transactions can no longer be traced, this may have significant consequences.

Furthermore, document storage should have a simple and understandable structure. This simplifies traceability and above all, speeds up the search for a document.

Another important point is security. Documents that are not intended for public viewing should be kept locked away from unauthorised employees and third parties.

However, it is important that employees who require access receive it. It should be easily accessible but employ, the correct permission controls and rules. Especially if there are multiple archives. Protection is also extremely important. What is the point of retaining a document but it is unreadable. Environmental influences such as light or moisture, which can destroy the documents, should be avoided at all costs. This results in certain conditions as to how the documents are stored correctly. The best temperatures are between 14 and 18 degrees, darkness and humidity below 60 percent.

Analogue vs. digital document storage

Since document storage should meet certain requirements, you should carefully consider which type of storage is the best choice for your company. Analogue or digital?

To do this, we should clarify what the digital version actually is. Digital preservation is a term for the long-term digital storage of documents. These could be located locally, for example on hard drives, or in a cloud. A distinction is made between an “open” folder structure or software that houses digital storage. An example of this would be a DMS. This is software that makes it possible to simplify and speed up the entire management of documents and information. The digital version accompanies the entire process from receipt of the document to archiving.

But does the DMS really offer advantages compared to the paper-based solution?

Benefits of digital document storage

  1. By automating the document flow, increased efficiency can be achieved. This allows employees to find, share and edit documents quickly and easily. The full-text search and integration with other systems such as, Salesforce, SAP or M365 contribute to this. Overall, this leads to higher productivity and efficiency in everyday work.
  2. A DMS enables employees to access all documents regardless of location, regardless of whether they work in the office or remotely . Teams can also work on documents together without having to be physically in the same location. This improves collaboration.
  3. The security of confidential information can be increased as various security features are available. Access rights to documents can be restricted to ensure that only authorised people have access.
  4. Using this software can reduce costs for archiving and managing paper documents. This is mainly due to the fact that printing and storage costs are reduced, but also the personnel costs for archiving and searching are eliminated. This reduces costs and is more sustainable.
  5. Another benefit is that it supports compliance with legal requirements for archiving documents and avoids potential penalties. This is made possible primarily by the functions of simplified long-term archiving and versioning of documents.
  6. The DMS also offers the option of integrating workflows into the system. Automated processes that trigger specific actions when certain events or conditions occur are called workflows. This means that vacation requests or sick notes, for example, can be displayed digitally.

Conclusion

In summary, it can be said that document storage in the company is an important issue and that you should definitely deal with it. Not only because of the legal requirements but also because of the control. Whether you choose the digital or paper version is up to you. However, digital storage has some advantages. Among other things, it allows you to save time and money, work across locations and supports topics such as security. Document management significantly simplifies document storage.

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