Document Management Best Practices

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document management best practicesDocument management has been around since the 80’s, but it’s still a new concept to most businesses. With that being the case, there’s a lot of confusion over document management best practices. They know it’s an efficient solution to storing and organizing documents, but they don’t necessarily know the best ways of going about it.

In this article I’m going to go over some of the document management best practices so the task doesn’t end up being any more complicated than it has to be. Surprisingly, the best practices have not changed a whole lot since the 80’s, despite how far technology has advanced since then. Here are some of those tried and true best practices that are still relevant today.

Capturing File Types

When it comes to capturing and storing digital documents, the software you’re using needs to be able to handle a wide variety of file types. At the very least it needs to be able to recognize and interpret the difference between images and text on a physical document. That way both text and images from the same document can be saved as different file types, as well as together in one singular document. Right there you’re dealing with three different file types: JPGs, word docs, and PDFs. The best practice here is to stay away from any document management solutions that support limited file types.

Legal Issues

Like I mentioned before, since document management has been around for a number of decades, there have been regulations established that could result in severe penalties. If your business plans to get serious about digital document management, it’s recommended that you familiarize yourself with the rules put forth by organizations such as the Association for Information and Management (AIIM), and the Association of Records. Play it safe to avoid making costly mistakes.

Trust

When storing sensitive documents in a database, trust is paramount to get your whole team on board with this new strategy. They have to trust and feel confident using a document management system. It’s a good idea to brief them on the legal policies, as well as any internal policies that have been established on handling critical information. If you don’t have internal policies in place, start implementing them. Knowing where to refer to when they have questions will help instill confidence in your team.

Training

We know you have taken the time to learn the ins and outs of your document management systems, but have your employees? Don’t make that a question, make it a priority to train your team. This will not only make your team more adept at using the system, it will increase efficiency around the office when your employees know how to work with document management systems on their own.

Further Resources for Document Management Best Practices

For more information about document management, we recommend reading some of our previous articles on the subject: