Whether you’re planning to implement a digital document management system or enhance an existing system, you have to answer the same question. Where do you begin the process?
By using electronic document storage best practices, not only will you improve how you are currently managing documents, but you will get the added benefit of streamlining other business processes too.
Digital Document Management Best Practices
Digital document storage systems offer a number of advantages including creating a central hub for documents; providing better file organization and easier access; and helping to meet regulatory requirements through better document security.
These best practices will help your business enjoy all those benefits.
- Develop Consistent Folder and File Naming Conventions – Before you begin saving any documents, you should develop and enforce consistent naming conventions for all employees to use. If each staff member uses file and folder names of his or her choosing, it makes it difficult for others to find the document.
- Protect Sensitive Data – While having a central digital hub for your documents has many benefits, it has one big disadvantage. Everyone in your business, and maybe even suppliers and clients, can access sensitive corporate data and that puts the data at risk. Develop and implement data security policies that outline who has access and permission to open different document types.
- Remember Your Document Retention Policies – Yes, digital files don’t use much hard drive space, but they still have confidential data on them. Many document management systems can help you delete old files that you don’t need to store any longer.
- Harness the Power of Meta Tags – One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when setting up digital storage systems is to copy the paper document storage processes. In the paper era, different departments maintained their own folders with copies of the documents they needed. Something like a purchase order might be stored in the shipping department, purchasing department and accounting department. Digital documents can be tagged with customer account and project numbers. Even if you have separate systems for different departments, they can all access the same electronic files adding meta tags to them.
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