Inefficient document management is a significant burden for many organizations. Businesses remain buried in paper documents and content of all types, making specific material difficult to locate and access. Employees often spend too much time searching through legacy file systems and disparate document repositories looking for information, which translates to squandered resources, poor productivity, and countless employee hours wasted. According to recent studies from IDC and McKinsey, knowledge workers spend an average of nine hours per week simply searching for content. The problem relates to both hard copy documents and digital media.
For digital media, file servers are still the most common storage repositories. Yet most types of file servers have their own problems. Legacy file servers not only hinder access to information but also lack the necessary features and functionality to enable access from mobile devices, which is crucial for today’s workforce. Other content storage options such as external hard drives, on-premise systems such as SharePoint, and cloud services such as Box and Dropbox place additional emphasis on the need to manage multiple silos. Providing for seamless access and retrieval of information has become a top priority due to the costs associated with lost worker productivity.
Implementing an intelligent document management solution that is integrated with the network multifunction printer (MFP) provides an effective way for businesses to address these problems. These solutions not only help streamline access to information, but can provide additional benefits in terms of content security, distribution, and collaboration. There are a variety of key benefits that businesses could expect to see by deploying an MFP-based document management system, including the following:
Central Electronic Document Repository
One of the most important aspects of document management is the ability to create secure, searchable archives for digital content. Businesses can significantly reduce hard copy storage costs by building a central repository for electronic data and documents. Advanced security features provide an added layer of protection and allow businesses to more easily comply with company policies and government regulations.
Document Auditing and Tracking
A document management solution typically utilizes libraries to manage documents, whether those files are located on a desktop computer, in a network folder, on a document server, or in a cloud-based document repository. This type of solution is able to proactively monitor registered libraries to notify users when new documents are added or when existing documents have been updated. Most solutions also provide a quick-review feature for PDF files, images, and other office documents using a preview function within a desktop browser or even at the MFP — saving time by eliminating the need to open files in the native application. Powerful search functions allow users to search for files across multiple libraries.
Capturing Paper Documents
Converting hard copy documents such as reports, presentations, or invoices into usable digital documents continues to be a challenge for many businesses. By integrating a document management solution with the MFP, users can easily batch scan and convert paper-based documents into common electronic file formats such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF. With advanced automated scanning features and OCR, users can capture relevant contextual forms data such as invoice numbers, company names, or other attributes so that documents can be classified, routed, and archived to the appropriate system or application automatically. This allows knowledge workers to search more easily for, manage, and retrieve information quickly at a later date.
Share and Collaborate
Most document management systems provide tools that enable users to more easily share and collaborate using existing electronic documents. Users can typically share files across multiple locations, with advanced features and editing tools that allow individuals and project teams to easily locate, share, read, and comment on files that are stored in the dedicated document server.
In the future, organizations will need to free up access to the information that is currently stored across multiple silos and content repositories. By deploying a document management solution that is integrated with the network MFP, you can begin to unlock data and gain real control over business-critical information.