Document Workflow: Three Ways to Navigate a Better Paper Trail

Have you ever followed your own paper trail to see where it leads you?  Regardless of how small or big your business is, all organizations have a unique paper trail based upon their existing technology and individual departmental practices.  Their routine document workflow, files and moving paper from desk to desk both manually and digitally, direct the route of your paper trail.  Your path can often be cluttered by manual, paper-based processing, damaged by inadequate security measures or completely overgrown due to slow processors and negligence.  So ask yourself, how easy is it to navigate your paper trail right now?  Does it align with your overall business objectives?  Now may be the ideal time to identify your current inefficiencies and explore a cost-effective, secure method to move ahead.

Manual, paper-based processing can be costly and time consuming.  According to the BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report, it takes approximately 25 HOURS to recreate a lost document.  That's more than THREE WHOLE WORKING DAYS!  Additionally, PriceWaterhouse Coopers values the cost to recreate that document at approximately $220.  With increasing pressure to reduce costs, increase productivity and enhance security, finding better ways to navigate the paper trail can immediately produce these results.

Three Ways to Navigate a Better Paper Trail

1.  Document Workflows

Document workflow, at its simplest, is the path your documents and files take towards a destination.  Clear and powerful solutions allow businesses to make real productive use of their business-critical information by using software to eliminate the shuffle of papers.  These solutions help organizations to:

  • Automate document-driven work processes
  • Implement easy, flexible and secure rules-based routing and monitoring
  • Improve productivity and accountability with automatic notifications
  • Distribute workloads evenly among team members

A document management solution will make your paper piles digital in a structured and easily accessible environment.  The main objective for document management solutions is to make your business more efficient and to speed up and properly secure the way you move documents throughout your business.

2.  Document Imaging/Capturing

Paper is an everyday facet of many companies' work environments.  How you capture those documents raises procedural questions:  Who will do the scanning?  Do we need to consider a dedicated scanner, and how fast should that scanner be?  How can we make the scanned documents easily accessed and shared by those who need them, but secure as well?

Document imaging and capturing helps organizations to:

  • Minimize manual scanning and indexing by capturing specific snippets of information from paper and electronic document formats
  • Automatically sort and categorize incoming documents, fill out specific fields and crate folder paths based on image data, bar codes, page size and more
  • Allow for the rapid drag and drop of electronic files in to virtual file cabinets for easy storage
  • Refine image quality and apply enhancements to scanned documents
  • Convert all incoming documents to full-text searchable information for easy future search and retrieval
  • Trigger document distribution workflows based on document processing activities

3.  Document Security

When a document leaves your desk and travels across the office, do you believe it's secure?  What about all those papers left on top of desktops or sitting in a bin by the printer?  Confidential customer information and corporate intellectual property are the lifeline of businesses.  With specific software-based solutions, documents can be protected from unauthorized access or release, have confidential information redacted, preserve long-term documentation and automatically move documents to an offline archive once they're no longer necessary.

Internally, these solutions can help businesses crate highly customized confidentiality rules such as identifying work groups, granting permission rights to certain designated users and even setting up rights on what users can or cannot do with those documents.

These are just some of the plethora of ways that document workflow can be managed to help you wade through the pool of paper in your business.  At Fraser, we work to analyze your business to be able to provide the most efficient and secure solutions to make your documents safe and easily utilized.  Call us today to see what document workflows can do for you!