3 Challenges of a Paper-Centric Filing System

Challenges of PaperAre you relying too heavily on paper to support your business process?

Let’s give credit where credit is due and say that paper has served businesses and individuals well for many centuries. And while there will probably be a limited and controlled presence of paper for years to come, its dominance in the business market for transferring data is over.

 

 A hit to floorspace

Because paper is physical, as it multiplies, it becomes unwieldy and burdensome. Offices turn into storage rooms filled with record boxes stacked to the ceiling. Meeting areas and hallways become littered with bulky, wall-to-wall filing cabinets. And the piles of paper cluttering desks means productivity grinds to a halt.

Not so with an electronic document management system. Digital documents, instead, reside on a server which take up far less physical space. Even better, choose a cloud based solution with absolutely no physical demands.

A hit to efficiency

Pulling documents hour after hour presents a number of concerns. The first and most obvious is the time wasted each time an employee marches to the file room to retrieve a document. Many companies don’t have the luxury of designing their floor plan. Instead they furnish the work space to meet their needs. Oftentimes the result is a storage room down a hall or in another building.

But pulling the document is only half of the problem. It still has to be refiled to the cabinet – hopefully, in its proper place.

Refiles, misfiles, and lost files are virtually (pardon the pun) eliminated with a paperless filing system. And there is no need to leave your desk. Documents can be instantly accessed, edited, and even shared from your PC, tablet, or smartphone.

A hit to security

It is possible to create levels of access using a lock and key for each filing room and cabinet. But the practical complications to this method are obvious. Lost or stolen keys and temporary access become a records-management nightmare, so what you’re left with is either complete access or no access.

I’ll reiterate that last point because it’s important: complete access or no access. In a paperless, you can control levels of access, even to the point where no one person can entirely and irreversibly destroy your data. No such guarantee exists in a paper-centric filing system.

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