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Why does it matter?

Why should Human Resources departments bother implementing a document management system? Below, are 10 reasons why it’s a good idea to switch out paper-based processes to electronic form.

1. Easy to implement and manage

The process of a DMS is simple: Paper documents are generated or come into the office or department, and are scanned into the system. Each scanned document is indexed and attached to an either an existing electronic record, or a new one can be created.

2. Increased productivity

With a DMS, you can reduce the time to access files by simply keying in a search term. Each document that is converted to electronic form is given a unique identifier (usually an index number) and can be searched for through various search terms. Managers, administrators and other end-users can search by any number of search queries, such as employee name, SIN number, dates, resumes, worker’s compensation claims, etc., and retrieve those files in mere seconds, leaving them more time to spend on value-added activities.

3. Eliminates human error

Mistakes are unavoidable when dealing with vast amounts of paper documents. Too much paper causes clutter, and clutter increases the occurrence of lost or misplaced files, claims and other pertinent documents. A Document Management System aids in reducing errors and workflow automation help to further eliminate errors.

4. Reduces costs

There are many cost-saving benefits of a DMS:

•Reduce the cost of physical storage space – An HR department can spend large amounts of money each year on storage for employee files and various other documents. On-site storage such as filing cabinets can take up a lot of room in an office, adding to the clutter. A DMS can eliminate the need for cabinets and banker’s boxes full of unorganized papers, giving office personnel an organized space to work in.

•Reduce the cost of paper – photocopying, faxing, printing, filing, etc. Research shows that it costs, on average, $20 in labour to file one document, $120 in labour to find a misfiled document and $220 in labour to reproduce a lost file. It also shows that one document will get photocopied an average of 19 times!

•Reduce the need for additional staff – Larger companies and extremely busy departments staff more administrators to deal with the large amounts of paper work coming into and generated by the office. A DMS can reduce the needs for extra staff, in turn, reducing operation costs.

5. Improves employee relationships

Converting paper documents to electronic forms gives HR administrators more time to engage in value-added activities because they’re searching and retrieving documents faster and spending less time manually entering data. This, in turn, increases employee satisfaction as it allows staff to respond to inquiries and complaints at a faster rate.

6. Increases security through audit trails

An audit trail shows the date, time and username for each activity that takes place within a record. This allows administrators to monitor record activity and ensure security and compliance. A DMS can also be equipped with “rights management” which allows administrators to input who can do what with each document. This ensures that the proper business practices are followed and that content is properly captured, stored, managed, and disposed of at the appropriate and legal time in its lifecycle. Security such as this, aids in fraud detection and prevention.

7. Maintains regulatory compliance

Security control can be a regulatory requirement, depending on the nature of the business. PIPEDA mandates privacy and security of personal information. A Document Management System offers seamless conversion of paper documents into electronic files to control information access and increase confidentiality. Security features, disaster recovery and enhanced auditing ensure regulatory compliance.

8. Easily integrates with existing systems

A DMS can be easily integrated into most office systems. This means that managers and administrators don’t need to spend valuable time on extensive training for a new system.

9. Reduces the risk of damage and loss

Storing paper documents on-site can be risky business. Documents can be destroyed by fire, flood, and natural disasters such as severe storms. In fact, studies show that the survival rate for small businesses that experience disasters is less than 10%!

10. Enhances collaboration

Documents can be retrieved and modified by a user while access is denied to others while that particular document is being used. This reduces duplicates and old versions of content to be kept in the system. Collaboration features can also allow multiple users to view and alter a document at the same time. Whether or not a document is available to only one user or many users at the same time will be specified by the administrator, depending on office needs.

Given all of these reasons, it makes sense for HR departments to start implementing a document management system to manage their files and other important organizational information.

And if those 10 benefits aren’t reason enough, here’s a BONUS: Document management systems are environmentally friendly. By reducing the use of paper, HR can do their part to help save our forests and those animals that depend on them for survival. Just one more reason why switching to a DMS system makes good sense!

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