Each day, millions of employees worldwide, spend the entirety of their work schedule mired in documentation tasks. So much so that, a statistic published by Microsoft Office has identified the numbers to be a whopping 500 billion documents. Additionally, studies indicate that it takes not less than 8 searches for an employee to land on the right document.

What do all these numbers mean? In a nutshell, it gives a brief glimpse into how much a company should prioritize on this and yet, there are many that haven’t put forth a legitimate document management process.

Surprisingly, the advancement in technology and innovation might have skipped documentation either accidently or just because of inadvertent ignorance from the companies themselves. Nevertheless, if you are seeking to streamline your document management system then, it is advised you take a quick look into its history and amalgamate the trends mentioned herewith, into your current schedule.

Document Management Process

History

Prior to the massive technological revolution that we see today, workplaces were heavily reliant on physical paperwork. Going ‘old school’ resulted in problems varying from condensed collaborative efforts, excess time in locating documents, ink bleeds and more. Lest we forget that there was more to come in the future, the fragility of paper documents reminds us that they don’t stand the test of time.

It wasn’t until the 1990s when computers started to become commonplace that paperless documentation management services were taken into consideration. Acting as a double-edged sword, this did not just amplify the accuracy of the data but also digressed the use of machines like scanners for instance, that performed too slowly.

The inception of document management software (DMS)

The second wave took over the market with the rise of myriad documentation software primarily, those to do with searching and indexing. Presently, they have grown to manage, track and store documents and their data. Moreover, DMS’s have moved on to encompass cloud-based technology that further satiates an employee’s need for simplicity in this matter.

Security

Storing documents wasn’t necessarily a concern, way back when desktops were nonexistent. Since they were piles of paperwork, they were largely stored in files/ folders that were probably locked away in a cupboard. Today though, cloud-based DMS have raised several eyebrows concerning breach of security, cyber attacks and so on. Fortunately, companies have made it mandatory to run rigorous security checks frequently, to avoid any such mishaps.

Virtual Assistants

Adding to the aforementioned legacy, in the past few years, firms have realized several alternatives to physical document managers. Virtual assistants have swept the market off its feet with providing documentation services not just remotely, but with the fraction of the cost of a physical employee. Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant don’t just end here. First off, staff will be left with ample time to focus on other tasks that need their immediate attention whilst harnessing 24*7 support throughout the day. Second, firms will not have to spend on office supplies or payrolls especially, if they are just starting to establish their business.

Best suited strategy

If you are someone who doesn’t seem to put their finger on which of these choices is best suited to their business, let me help you here.

  • Firstly, understand the scale of your business operations. For instance, if you are a small business that doesn’t need to invest in a DMS, then it is obvious that a virtual assistant (VA) is best suited for you.
  • Second, is the affordability factor. Ask yourself this – “Is it well within my budget to hire a VA or invest in a DMS?”. To clear the mist, you should know that for smaller businesses, VA’s could help save up on a lot of operational costs. If you are a corporate then you might as well go for either or the DMS, if it fits into your requirements.

Since we have established the importance of a stable documentation system, it would be great if you used or even consider the aforementioned choices to make better business decisions.