How to Streamline Your Electronic Document Storage
Getting away from paper documents, especially those used in regular business practices and workflows, is a great step toward streamlining your company’s document management storage system (DMS).
There are so many reasons to invest in a strong document management solution. Running your business effectively takes creativity and focus, and administration should be the smoothest, easiest part of this process. Eliminating paper documentation frees up your employees to spend time on projects that create far more value for your company.
Experienced businesses often lag behind in adopting the new technologies and systems that help them stay streamlined in a competitive, connected world. And the longer they wait, the further behind they fall. And for small or newer businesses with growing workloads and limited employee resources, getting on top of document storage and organization is even more essential.
But where do you begin? One reason companies can be slow to integrate useful document storage solutions is that uncovering best document management practices can be like chasing a moving target with your eyes closed. It’s challenging to find consensus since customer needs and vendor solutions vary so much.
Yet a measurable result is vital if you want to ensure your vendors (and projects) achieve your expected outcomes.
ContractWorks document storage solutions have cross-department uses & benefits that aid in streamlining electronic documentation. We’ve decided to show you, step by step, examples of how real employees use the products to complete different tasks geared toward different outcomes.
Document Management and Security
Task: Setting up the information & permission structures
Users: Admin / General Counsel
Product Feature: Permission-Based User Roles
It’s far easier to locate documents and files when they are all stored in the same location. However, a centralized location for document storage leads to a potential problem: not everyone should have (or needs) access to all contracts or documents. Also, companies sometimes need to share documents with non-employees, which creates its own set of privacy and access issues.
Fortunately, when using ContractWorks solutions to store your documents: “multiple people can access the items…[but] this access can be assigned and restricted as necessary, so that company outsiders do not continue to have access to contracts when it is no longer appropriate.”
ContractWorks has strict user control that allows admins to implement the following features, among others:
- Selecting which folders a user can access, so each employee only sees exactly what he/she has to at any given time.
- Choosing what level of access a user has: view-only (no print), download, or full access, so employees and clients can do exactly what they need with each document.
- Only allowing administrators to assign and change users and permissions, keeping the safety and security of your information intact.
Business Process Management/Workflow
Task: Uploading, tracking and reporting on various documents in unique projects, based on user roles and responsibilities
Users: Contract Managers / Project Managers / CFOs
Product Feature: Quick Search
Solid contract management storage (CMS) does more than just help with storing, locating, and sharing contracts…it actually makes contract analysis easier and more efficient. The ability to tag and search by tags for specific folders and documents eliminates search time and frustration trying to find specific documents.
The management system’s report generation feature, for example, can help a CFO who needs to know about impending payments by creating a clear, powerful snapshot of the needed information. The system also allows users to highlight key terms and create data tags that are referenced frequently or are particularly important. This ensures that employees spend less time searching for what they need and more time harnessing the power of the information they find.
Even more fundamentally, so many users in document storage scenarios have trouble even finding the contracts and documents they need. ContractWorks makes this simple with a suite of search features, including:
- Instant search across all your contract and folder names, so users don’t have to change the search style that feels the most familiar.
- Advanced search and filtering based on any customizable tag that users select, which allows the information to be cross-referenced on multiple levels.
- Reports created from advanced searches, which can be automated and exported to share with others.
Task: Allowing sales teams or other users to access the status of client contracts and important deadlines…without bothering the legal, purchasing, or other relevant departments.
Users: Sales Teams, All Users
Product Feature: Secure Contract Repository
Contract and data management storage systems are particularly useful when it comes to staying on top of important dates. Even if key dates are put into a master spreadsheet—an approach many companies use to keep important due dates on the radar—someone has to remember to check the pertinent column to see what is in the pipeline. Fortunately, DMS/CMS reduces the need for that sort of tedious oversight, preventing the likelihood that things will fall through the cracks.
Robust DMS setups will allow users to create customized alerts to ensure that they receive email reminders when something is pending or due. This directly impacts revenue by eliminating missed opportunities, whether it’s to renegotiate contracts, auto-renew contracts that are no longer needed or make client contact.
ContractWorks offers solutions to stay on top of these tasks and, even more importantly, allows admins to determine who has access to these reminders and status updates. In a traditional setup, a sales member that needs info might have to contact another department, taking valuable time from both employees. With a strong DMS solution, that employee would have view-only access to the information in a few quick clicks, saving time and effort.
ContractWorks gives user this ability, facilitating storage of contracts in a single and highly secure location with strict access controls and important features, such as:
- Unlimited capacity, which means there's no downside to storing every contract in ContractWorks.
- Unlimited users, allowing document managers / admins to involve as many employees as they need to, on a strictly controlled basis.
- Seamless slotting into a strict compliance environment, which is important for corporate and legal documentation.
Information has become one of our most valuable commodities, and storing it securely is more crucial than ever before. Keeping up-to-date with the latest best practices in document storage management can reduce your company’s risk, simultaneously giving you peace of mind that your data and documents are protected to the highest means possible.
A manual records management system can be prone to error and inconsistency, and is an outdated tool for companies whose information inventory is ever-growing. In this world of information glut, it’s surprising that so many organizations pursue a strategy of retaining all of their records indefinitely for fear of deleting something prematurely. From a compliance standpoint, this can actually be as damaging as prematurely deleting something.
Excellent DMS solutions help solve these problems since retaining records indefinitely can slow you down, bury pertinent information in an avalanche of data and hold your organization back from integrating other important technological tools into your workflow. This last idea is key: integrating business process management/workflow software with other key technologies will enable you to leverage your investment in existing technology enterprise-wide.
Of course, rules governing privacy and sensitive information need to be followed when storing and managing data. These tasks can be streamlined using dedicated secure document software, making it far more valuable than other electronic document software.
Unlimited users, unlimited storage, 24/7 email and phone support and intuitive user interfaces are just a few of the advantages that push ContractWorks past the competition in streamlining your document and contract storage.