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Document management

Why You Should be Using a Remote Document Management Solution in 2021

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic

5 Minute Read

How A Document Management Solution Can Help Your Remote Business Operations

Remote work is a trend that we see on the rise across the world. Many companies started trying out remote working environments as early as 2018, with a Gallup report showing that more than 43% of US workers were telecommuting at least part-time. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, remote work environments became the norm for a majority of businesses.

This transition may have been rocky for some, but soon enough the advantages of remote work became apparent. The companies that have made a successful transition were able to leverage software solutions that would allow for proper delegation, work tracking, and the implementation of efficient business processes.

Today, as vaccinations are starting to rise, and we’re getting close to a conclusion for the pandemic, some businesses are looking forward to opening up. Others however are looking to implement remote work capabilities, at least partially, in order to gain the benefits associated with this new way of doing business. In this article, we’re going to talk about document management solutions and how they can help you take advantage of a remote work environment.

The problem with remote work

One of the big issues with remote work is inefficient communication. In an office setting, communication happens naturally and spontaneously, and during these conversations, a lot of information can be passed around very quickly. Information can be overheard, shared through a quick office drop-in, or during a meeting with multiple people. Online, however, sharing information takes a little more time. First, you have the limitations of communicating through text, which takes some getting used to. You then have the issues of setting up meetings, keeping track of multiple conversations, and staying up to date with any last-minute changes. Without a company-wide policy and the accompanying software solution, you stand to lose a lot of productivity simply through miscommunication. This is where a document management system can help your business streamline communication, and organize various tasks much more easily.

Workflow automation

Document management systems further integrate with workflow automation, allowing your team to conduct various operations with greater consistency, accuracy and efficiency. Let’s take a look at an example. You have a team member working remotely, and he is responsible for creating proposals. These proposals have to be approved by other team members. As the team members go through the review process, some may approve the proposal and some may ask for revisions. If this process is handled through email, you can imagine the huge headache it can become. However, with a document management system, the submitting and reviewing processes will be logged, and any changes will show up to everyone involved. So you will not have two or three versions of the proposal circulating around with no one really knowing what the consensus is. This is just one example. Workflow automation can be applied to numerous other processes, including conditional branching, scheduled tasks and reminders, and role-based security among others. The solution you ultimately go for can be tailored to meet your exact business needs, and integrate features that are specific to your particular company profile.

Consistency across the board

If you are able to implement consistency across your procedures and policies, you will be able to run your business much more effectively. Your team will not have to sit around and wonder how to go about this process or how to go forward with that procedure. Consistency is especially important in remote work environments, where you do not have direct supervision over a project. With a document management system, you have the possibility to do this very easily.

Document management systems have a central console that allows someone to set up policies and then send out alerts to the entire team. This is extremely useful when you consider the alternative. Having to write up an email whenever you have a policy update, and then CC everyone on your team, making sure that everyone is on board, can lead to a lot of mistakes and poor implementation. With a document management system, this process is fully automated. Simply upload any policy documents to the central console, and your team members will receive an alert, and they will be able to confirm after that they are aware of the new policy.

Complying with regulations

When working remotely, you have to be extra careful in order to ensure that your business processes and various records are kept in regulatory compliance. Distance and lack of supervision add a layer of complexity that is hard to handle without a specialized solution. Document management systems are excellent here, because they allow your team to enforce compliance procedures from a central console. On top of that, all the files and actions taken within the system leave an audit trail that can be very useful if you ever have to prove compliance.

Building a document management solution for your business

If you are looking to implement a long-term medium-to-large-sized remote work environment for your business, you will run into issues of scalability and complexity without the right software solution. Document management systems help you gain the flexibility and cost-efficiency of a remote work environment while maintaining the consistency and reliability of an office space. Contact us today if you are interested in setting up such a system for your company.

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