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The impact of Covid-19 forced many businesses to adapt to extensive Home Working and now with an uncertain future ahead, both staff and business owners are coming to the realisation that Home Working is probably here to stay in some form or another.

For most businesses Home Working has presented many issues. One of the biggest challenges being the flow of documents around an office. Companies still use manual processes for workflows and to push a document from conception to completion. This works when you are sitting next to someone and you drop a document onto their desk; you know you have dealt with it and it has been passed onto the next person in the process. But when everyone is working from home it becomes very problematic. For example, if you need to make changes or there is a consequential action required by you, or someone else; how does that happen; where is it saved and which is the current version?

The answer to all these issues is a Document Management System (DMS) and the first part of that solution is Archive and Retrieval. Instead of all documents being saved in folders on numerous people’s machines in numerous versions and probably under different folder names; all documents are stored in the cloud. Instead of searching folders to find a document you just type in a search bar what you are looking for, either key words or specific tagged words that will narrow down your search.

Getting documents into the DMS can be either done by scanning a hard copy or using electronic documents. Automatic tagging and archiving can be set up saving further man hours.

Also, if the document has been through a work flow and several people have made changes you can see the latest version, all previous versions, as well as changes that have been made, by who and on what date.

Visibility of workflow is vital for management so they can work out staffing requirements, confirm deadlines to their clients, keep a track of progress and produce forecasts. DMS software can give a manager an overview of all documents in a workflow, who’s working on what, any bottlenecks and allow immediate action to be taken to speed up processes keep to deadlines and keep clients happy.

Automated workflow in a DMS ensures that you are not relying on the failings of human input, you don’t have to rely on staff members remembering to put the job onto the next person, or everything going wrong because someone in the process is off sick or on holiday. An automated process will push the job onto the next person or alert others if there is a delay in a process allowing management to redirect a workflow to a different member of staff.

Ultimately a good Document Management Solution will help you work more efficiently from home and even if you return to the office it will still improve the way you work allowing you to cope with more work with less staff whilst reducing the risk of human error.