Document management technologies unlock extensive time savings

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Document management has been widely recognised as an area where companies can add value to their operations. Given the quantity of information managed by modern organisations, even a small inefficiency in this process will mean a major drain on organisational resources.

This issue was explored in research from the Aberdeen Group into the performance of document handling systems and how these can improve a business, compared to an unstructured management task.

The study, entitled Handling Paper in the Digital Age, compared a number of different tasks that staff members undertake when working with electronic documentation. The time taken for each of these processes was then compared between a system with no document management processes, against one with a robust system in place.

According to the research, the time an employee spends searching and retrieving documents is three hours a week when there is a strong document management system in place. When this process has no system in place, this nearly doubles to five hours a week. Similar differences occurred across the scope of questions covered in the research. In a company with no system in place, only 65 per cent of document transfers are completed in a timely manner, compared to 78 per cent when using an effective management system. While there are clear productivity advantages to investing in a system to manage company documents, there are further benefits that companies can enjoy from these systems. Among those highlighted in the research was the decrease in errors made across different versions.

For every 1,000 documents processed, companies with no system in place make an average of 20 mistakes. On the other hand, those with a comprehensive system in place saw only 14 mistakes per 1,000, a 30 per cent reduction across the board.

Aberdeen Group suggested this improvement was the result of more processes being handled automatically. Even a simple process like sending an email attachment to an external service provider can easily introduce the possibility for human error, an issue that is removed when this communication is conducted through a dedicated system. For small businesses that want to introduce a more disciplined approach to their document handling, Dazychain is an ideal solution. Larger enterprises can also benefit from using Yarris Legal Gateway, a software application that is specifically designed to manage the legal procurement process.