Documents are the backbone of any business. However, managing documents on a manual paper-based system takes a lot of time, can increase your budget, and is prone to errors.
According to Finances Online, manual document management requires 92% of employees to review and collaborate via email. Also, businesses waste an average of $20,000 on document issues. That’s where a digital document system comes to the rescue.
A digital document system increases productivity, reduces costs, and improves your overall business processes. But, the question is, how? In this article, we will discuss exactly that.
What is a Digital Document System?
A digital document system is a software that allows you to store and manage paper and digital files. Depending on what you choose, a digital document system can be as basic as a shared drive on your server (e.g., Google Drive) or advanced enough to perform complex actions based on the document’s content.
The biggest benefit of a digital document system is that it provides an easy and efficient way to access necessary documents. In a manual document management system, you’ll have to go through a pile of papers to find the required document.
How Does a Digital Document System Improve the Production Process?
A digital document system enables manufacturers to manage the complete lifecycle of their production process, including:
- Customer order
- Design approval
- Customer feedback
1. Customer Order
When a company bids for an order, it usually goes through many processes: planning, quoting, and manufacturing. It often takes 10-15 days of discussions to come to a conclusion.
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With a digital document system, you can quickly share the requirements with the manufacturing team, who can then revert with necessary documents (materials required, time to complete the production, etc.) – all within a few hours.
2. Design Approval
Getting the design approval is yet another time-taking task that affects the delivery date. With a document management system, you can easily share documents with the client, add comments, and e-sign. Again, this just takes a few hours.
If the client makes last-minute changes to the design, it usually gets difficult to inform the manufacturing unit before it’s too late. But, with a digital document system, you can instantly let them know of the required changes, along with proper documents.
3. Completion and Dispatch
It is essential that the manufacturing unit keeps the client-facing side of the company updated about the production. And, as soon as the production is completed, it needs to be dispatched.
And, for that, there is asset management personnel who will need documents to process the dispatch. Also, the client will need to sign the documents that they have received the products.
Instead of printing several copies for each personnel, you can simply give them access to your digital document system, which they update at every stage (production complete, dispatched, and received the product).
4. Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is vital to improving your products. The problem with the manual document system is that you might lose the customer feedback form. A digital document system, on the other hand, allows you to store customer feedback for years.
Advanced digital document systems offer business intelligence that converts raw data to actionable insights, enabling your production department to improve their products.
Thorough-Business Document Information Management
Aside from manufacturing, there are other departments that need to manage documents, such as HR (onboarding documents, employee records, etc.) and project managers (to keep records of all the projects).
A digital document system enables your entire organization to streamline document management and keep track of every file.
How Do Digital Document Systems Help Minimize Costs?
1- Lowers Storage Equipment and Supply Costs
Switching from manual-based document management to a digital document system eliminates the need for buying storage equipment and other related supplies (papers, printers, ink, filing cabinets, etc.).
This might seem costly at first, but there are hundreds of security systems for document management systems. Choose the one that suits your needs and budgets, and you are well on your way to keeping your data not only optimally retrievable but also protected.
Though a digital document system is itself an investment, it is often less than manual document management. Besides, it frees up your office space for more useful and productive work.
2- Eliminates Copying and Printing Costs
Digital document systems make it easier to create multiple copies of the same form for customers, inter-office distribution, or in-house storage. This reduces the time and money on paper, printing, and equipment.
3- Reduce Overhead Costs
A digital document system allows you to streamline different processes, such as sales, accounting, customer service, and human resources. As a result, your employees get all the critical documents required to do their work.
This, in turn, results in increased productivity, faster payment collection, lower purchasing costs, and higher customer satisfaction.
4- Helps Avoid Non-Compliance Costs
Irrespective of which country you run your business in, every region has its own laws and regulations for document filing. In America alone, federal regulations cost businesses $1.9 trillion annually.
In case of a data breach, businesses are likely to face the following non-compliance charges:
- Government-mandated fines
- Legal fees
- Cost of execution of breach response
- If you are a listed company, your stock price will also tumble. A great digital document management system is usually designed with required compliances in mind, thereby saving you hundreds of dollars.
5- Promotes Customer Relationship Management
With millennials projected to comprise 50% of the workforce by 2025, it is essential to keep up to their expectations. Not only are millennials unwilling to wait, but they also like to be well-informed on the product or service they are purchasing.
A digital document system enhances real-time and effective relationship management with customers, hence enhancing their experience and retaining them.
6- Allows Remote Access to Documents
So, the salesperson went to meet a high-revenue client but forgot a document? That’s definitely not the experience you want to deliver. A digital document system eliminates this problem. Your salespeople can quickly access critical documents remotely and do their work efficiently.
Also, when you are on a business trip, but your team requires your approval on a document, they can upload it on the digital system, and you can access and sign it within the platform itself.
7- Improve Employee Collaboration
When your employees can access, view, and share documents online across departments, it improves collaboration. And this enables your employees to complete their tasks quickly (as they won’t have to physically reach out to other departments for the document).
8- Makes it Easier to Store and Retrieve Documents
Businesses spend an average of $120 to find and replace lost paper documents. A digital document system ensures you don’t lose even a single form unless you delete them yourself. Besides, you can find critical documents within minutes using the search function.
A digital document system helps businesses reduce overhead costs, enhance production, and improve employee collaboration. Businesses that switch to a digital document management system enjoy a 40% reduction in document-related costs.
Have you tried a digital document system for your business? If not, what’s stopping you? Let us know your concerns in the comment section!