Why It Is Essential to Have an Organized Filing System

Nothing can decrease a company’s productivity and efficiency faster than a lack of organization. One of the most important aspects of organization is having a filing system that offers quick and easy access to key documents while keeping them safe. Sensitive data requires proper storage while files required for the everyday operation of your business must be available without delay. The type of storage and filing system you choose will have an impact on efficiency and budget. Here are the reasons an organized filing system is essential for your business or organization.

Enterprise Content Management

Enterprise content management (ECM) tools provide your business with the easiest, most cost-effective option to manage the information you need. ECM keeps your files where you need them with protocols that are clear for an efficient single filing and storage solution across all departments. Digital document management allows you to capture, access, integrate and store information without the costs associated with paper and manual document management.

Accommodating Expanding Files

By organizing your files efficiently, you not only maintain the current files you have in place, but also make space available as new information, data and files are developed. Volume is also a key factor in the organization of files. Proper structure keeps things easy to find, while allowing enough room for growth without the need to keep removing, refiling or reorganizing your system. When using digital file management, you are not faced with the challenge of finding the physical office space to store your paper files.

Compliance Requirements

If your business or organization has specific compliance regulations to which you must adhere, having an organized filing system is key. Organization ensures a process is in place that allows you to remain compliant with industry standards, whether it is security, sensitivity or privacy at stake. As well, should industry standards require regular inspections, having a well-organized filing system provides access without delay, helping you avoid fines and penalties.

Safety of Files

Whether you have sensitive information or just want to be able to refer to records or papers from the past, ensuring all your files are safe should always be a number one priority. This is important across all industries, whether it is health records in a medical office, art files in an ad agency or research documents in a science lab. Having both digital and traditional office filing systems is one way you can ensure you always have backup for your data, from finding crucial documents in a lawsuit to important details for a contract. You can choose to maintain your paper documents, but also have a digital retrieval option that allows you to search and access important documents in seconds. Your needs may vary, for example, you may require specific filing systems for each department or even have different levels of security for accessibility to staff. Digital management is an easy way to provide these options.

Protecting Corporate Intelligence

Corporate intelligence plays a key role in developing your products, as well as ensuring your staff are well trained in the company culture, purpose and mission. Having a consistent approach allows you to make informed business decisions, hire the right staff and explore new partnerships. It also helps reduce risk when considering new business opportunities and solves corporate problems by providing crucial data that helps you learn from the past. The right filing system provides quick access to history, knowledge and structural information to ensure your decisions are made for business growth while maintaining a record of your successes and failures.

Improving Efficiency

Organized filing systems allow you to remain as efficient as possible which can result in major wins, including:

  • Document Management: Proper document management reduces the time spent by staff when not only trying to access documents but also in filing and organization tasks. Knowing exactly how documents are to be sorted and filed works as a two-way street to improve the hours spent in organizing and accessing files and documents, allowing for increased productivity in more important areas of the business.
  • Formatting Time: A well-organized filing system will use standards when it comes to acceptable formatting. The reason for this is that it allows all those in need of reviewing and accessing files to have compatible software to make edits, copies, etc. This means spending less time re-formatting documents in order to make them compatible for clients or sharing with other departments. In fact, a good system will even allow you to save multiple versions of the same document, such as a Word document and a PDF.
  • Faster Processing: Processing can be set up to allow multiple departments to access the same files without delay. This works well for staff that might have to travel for their jobs, but is also important for files that are in the process of being signed or approved by clients, at another branch, or across multiple departments. This cuts down on delays and provides quick and easy access to the people who need the documents, as opposed to having only one paper document available. Well organized filing systems can be set up to allow access to everything from project management spreadsheets to approval forms for easy collaboration across multiple departments.
  • Reduce Human Error: A perfectly organized filing system not only allows staff to find and access files, but also prevents the loss or misfiling of documents.

Avoid Cost of Manual Document Management

Most organizations do not realize the time and cost of managing documents manually. Paper filing and organization takes up 40 to 60 percent of the average office worker’s time. If you do the math, this means that 20 to 45 percent of labour costs go towards manual document management which translates into 12 to 15 percent of your expenses. Labour costs to find a lost document average $120 and having to recreate a lost document costs an average of $250. Other costs include storage space in your office; photocopying costs, including paper, equipment and equipment maintenance; and replacement due to damage or loss.

As you can see, using an efficient system such as an ECM and digital document management allows your business to remain organized, saves time and reduces the labour and space required for manual document management.

If you would like more information on how your organization can convert to a digital document management system, please visit ACI’s website here or call (905) 264-3535.

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