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7 benefits of an EDMS

Oct 30

Environmental concerns are increasingly front and centre of business priorities, with the drive to net zero emissions gaining more traction and publicity.

Traditionally this has been physical paperwork, which must then be stored in filing cabinets – taking up valuable office space – with the added burden of manual search and retrieval when documents are needed.

Fortunately, times have changed. Electronic document management systems like File Stream are able to capture, store, retrieve and distribute digital documents. Once stored your documents are safe from security breaches, immune against loss (even in a disaster) and easily retrievable when needed.

What are the specific benefits of a document management system, and what does that look like for an organisation?

Less need for storage space

A 4-drawer filing cabinet typically contains 8-10,000 pieces of paper, occupies 0.7 square metres (7.5 square feet) of precious office space, and takes around 100 valuable staff hours to fill. 

By the time it is full, many documents will not have been retrieved since they were first filed: as many as 1 in 10 will be missing or in the wrong place: and once full, it is a costly and inefficient chore to weed out old files – either for archiving, or for destruction. And a misfiled piece of paper is as bad as a lost piece of paper: in both cases, the information is not available.

Peace of mind through document backup / recovery

There are many ways we can lose documents. Some are everyday occurrences – paperwork can easily go missing – but there are also those larger, rarer events that can really endanger a business.

Fires and floods happen, and while your insurance policy will cover the damage, they won’t bring back your missing documents. One incident can destroy years’ worth of documents – and some estimates say as much as 60% of small businesses never recover from losing that much information in one go.

Storing your documents in a document management system, especially a cloud-based, off-site solution like File Stream 5, will guard your business against such a catastrophic loss.

Enhanced workflows

Would you know how much time your staff spend each day trying to locate documents? Or how much time gets wasted working on the wrong documents because your current filing system is prone to errors.

Manual filing, and basic electronic document storage, comes with a lot of inefficiencies that cost your business time and money every day.

By streamlining your workflow with an EDMS, you’ll make it easy for staff to locate exactly what they’re looking for, whenever they need it. Editing, sharing, collaborating, filing – an EDMS can make all of that seamless and free up your staff to spend time on more important tasks.

Promotes better version control and organisation

You may have made the leap into electronic storage already, but many systems don’t make it easy to keep track of edits and version history. This can be a major headache for companies, with disorganisation and errors creeping in as versions get ever more muddled.

A good EDMS, on the other hand, provides robust version control – you can get a full document history whenever you want, seeing exactly what changes have been made on your document, when they were made, and by whom.

Regulatory compliance made simple

We all have compliance requirements in our industries. They vary from sector to sector, but regardless of the finer points, they require you to have a handle on your document management.

A good EDMS can securely store personal information, HR files and more, with access granted only to those allowed to view them. GDPR compliance means this information is completely safe

Grants wider access to documents

The move to remote and hybrid working highlighted one of the main drawbacks of physical documents – they can only be in one place at a time. Even if part of the workforce is somewhere they can make copies, getting these to other employees is far from straightforward.

An EDMS enables employees to access your documents wherever they are and whatever device they’re using. It also means several staff can work with the same documents simultaneously.

Enhanced security

Cyber attacks and security breaches have risen during the pandemic, in large part due to the fact more and more staff are accessing company files from personal devices that lack the same levels of protection.

Given companies have lots of sensitive documents – from personal and financial information on their staff through to company IP. A good quality EDMS like File Stream offers complete encryption – once your documents are saved, they’re safe. 

Think an EDMS will be useful for your business? Speak to us today.