How do I create order in my documents?
In 2012, McKinsey reported that an average of 1.8 hours per day is lost by employees searching and gathering information. According to Interact Source, 19.8% of all time is lost due to searching for documents. IDCdata puts the figure at 2.5 hours per day.
In 2018, a comprehensive study was conducted on US companies and their processes. It found that nearly 40% of all employees noticed poorly functioning processes in document management within their organisation. 50% of respondents had problems finding documents, 43% had problems approving and sharing documents while 1 in 3 had trouble finding the right versions of a document.
Time is money
Searching for documents is not only frustrating for employees, it is a waste of time for businesses. Fast access to information is the basis for good decisions. A lack of information can lead to hasty or ill-informed decisions.
Lost time costs every company money. The time spent by employees searching for information can, at worst, amount to 20% according to Diamond, Inc. That means that 1 out of 5 employees simply does not get around to work, because they are looking for misnamed documents in forgotten locations.
How does a DMS facilitate the orderly storage of documents?
Data comes in in a continuous flow that never stops. The way companies deal with this nowadays is often outdated and unnatural. It is important to think about how to achieve more structure in data, as a searchable database can reduce the time spent searching by 35%.
All efforts should be about completing the task, not about searching for the information needed. A first way to make it easier to search for information is a uniform naming convention.
The first tip for better document management is a no-brainer. Store all information in a central tool. Nothing is more frustrating than searching through an entire customer file only to find that a particular file was stored in an email folder. Centralising information may require an investment, but time savings obviously outweigh it.
File structure and metadata
First of all, it is important to create identical files for repetitive projects. It is therefore advisable to use templates for this.
Within these folder structure templates, it is also a good tip to use hierarchical numbering. In addition, if folders on all levels are given clear and unique names, this creates order and overview. This can save a lot of time.
The findability of files, folders or documents is also increased with the help of metadata. Metadata can be seen as a post-it. It contains additional information that makes it easier to retrieve files or dossiers. From the type and status of a project, to the people involved or the person with final responsibility.
Naming and metadata
Uniform naming rules are crucial. A good naming convention is short and to the point, and above all is known to all colleagues. Important information may include:
- Date: Always use the date of a document in the name. This makes it easy to sort them chronologically.
- File number or project code: By including this information in the file name, all information belonging to a certain file can be brought together.
- Author: In any case, it is always useful to know who authored a particular document. Authors will always be able to provide more information in connection with a document.
A search for a particular document is often a story of opening, viewing and closing files many times. A convenient way to avoid this is to visually present all documents. By displaying a preview or icon of a document, plan or picture, it is much easier to recognise.
When these guidelines are followed, there will not only be less irritation on the work floor, but also considerable savings. Discover what ByondFiles can do for your company.
10 May 2021
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