Documents are everywhere – businesses sure know how to generate a lot of them. From internal communications to invoices and customer forms, the vast majority of business operations occur in documents. Smart companies use a document management system to keep pace with the torrent of paperwork they encounter.

However, paper-based processes are slow and unwieldy. In the 21st century, they’re also rapidly becoming impractical. If digitizing the office was a goal for 2020, now’s the perfect time to get started. Spring is just around the corner, and the traditional yearly cleaning spree is the ideal time to commit to electronic solutions.

A document management system (DMS) can cut down on office clutter and enhance the overall organization. Here’s how.

How to Declutter the Office with a Document Management System

A thoughtfully deployed document management system can be one of the most powerful tools that helps modernize an office. Here are four steps to take that both eradicate the mountains of paperwork and help a company operate more efficiently.

1. Digitize Those Permanently Stored Files, Records, and Documents

The very first document management system housed some 30,000 cuneiform tablets ordered by subject in Nineveh, in modern-day Iraq. It even came with basic security features in the form of curses against whoever stole from the collection.

Although the world has moved on from threatening curses for stolen documents, some 2,700 years later, the trend of physical document organization and storage hasn’t died. That has led to endless rows of filing cabinets, stacks of paper to be filed, misfiled documents, and a whole host of other problems.

Many of these documents are very important and need to be stored for future reference. Employee files, bills, tax information, or other sensitive data needs to be available if the need arises.

By digitizing them, an organization can ensure that these files remain on hand without taking up valuable real estate in the office. Digitization also makes it easier to store backups offsite, decreasing the chance that documents end up destroyed or mysteriously missing.

2. Eliminate Paper Forms by Embracing Electronic Ones

Data entry is time-consuming and prone to introducing errors. Likewise, handwritten forms are easy to misinterpret and easy to lose. If business operations rely on forms, manual forms can represent a liability.

Switching to electronic forms, however, isn’t always a straight shot. It’s certainly possible to start using them, leveraging a document management system capable of handling this data. However, that leaves the problem of the pre-existing paper forms that must be entered.

Some document management systems are now capable of leveraging sophisticated tools like optical character recognition or machine learning to “read” forms. That will accelerate the process of converting forms and help an office declutter more rapidly.

3. Process Receipts Automatically

Tracking expenses is hard, even more so when it involves a flurry of slips and receipts that must be manually processed by the accountant. That leaves plenty of opportunities for receipts to vanish, costing a company (or employees) money.

In contrast, a document management system makes receipt tracking easy. Whether leveraging scanning and OCR, or automatic filing, a document management system will ensure that no receipt ever clutters the desk again.

4. Finally Slay the Shredding Pile

Every office prints. Many print jobs will have sensitive information that can’t simply go into the waste bin. To ensure that documents are destroyed securely, many offices turn to shredding – but that introduces its own risks.

Although shredding is generally regarded as a best practice, it’s not as secure as many offices believe. If nobody has time to address the shredding pile, sensitive documents pile up and may prove capable of mysteriously vanishing. Likewise, an out of control shredding pile might accidentally find other types of papers sorted into it, leading to the wrong piece of information to be destroyed.

With digital files, that’s not a problem. Document management systems have secure file destruction mechanisms and features to ensure that the wrong item is never deleted. Enjoy document security across the entire life cycle, through to the very end.

Go Digital and Declutter with James Imaging

A document management system is one of the most powerful office tools out there. Not only do they help declutter and organize the office, but they also lend critical optimization to an office’s workflow and processes. In other words, a document management system helps make things faster, simpler, and more error-free.

As document management systems have grown in popularity, they’ve also gotten more sophisticated. It’s not unusual to find a solution that leverages artificial intelligence, or which integrates securely with industry-specific software. Likewise, many specialized document management systems are specifically geared towards types of documents or businesses. That makes decluttering the office and embracing digital easier than ever.

James Imaging is dedicated to helping organizations embrace operational efficiency. Start a conversation now about the office’s document goals.