Filing cabinets cost a lot more than their up-front price tag indicates. Not only do executives need to dedicate office space to filing and archiving documents, but employees need to then spend valuable time searching through filing cabinets in order to find documents after the fact.
These factors combine to place a hefty price on the average, paper-based, filing system.
If it takes each employee an average of 15 minutes to retrieve a document from its place in a filing cabinet, you need only multiply your average hourly wage by four and then multiply it by the number of documents your employees retrieve on a daily basis to see how much time your filing system costs you.
That figure doesn’t even include the costs of misfiled documents, or the cost of reproducing lost documents. It also doesn’t include the cost of the physical office space that filing cabinets take up. Office space in the largest American cities cost between $23 and $75 per square foot per month.
Paper filing cabinets don’t actually produce value near the opportunity cost of placing them on-site.
This is why managed service vendors like ImageNet offer electronic content management (ECM) to small businesses and enterprises throughout the United States. By digitizing documents and making them immediately available to employees through a robust network infrastructure, we help organizations save money, boost productivity, and get rid of filing cabinets for good.
What is Electronic Content Management (ECM)?
Electronic content management, also called document management, is a solution for making digital versions of documents immediately available to office employees at all levels of the organization.
This approach eliminates the time-consuming labor of looking for physical documents and ensures that the latest versions are always available.
ECM solutions improve productivity by reducing the amount of time it takes employees to retrieve and process documents. As each employee modifies or edits documents, the system saves updated versions while archiving earlier versions, preventing otherwise-costly mistakes from affecting process performance.
This system also improves the efficiency of office layouts by eliminating the need to dedicate entire rooms to document storage. By entrusting your document management needs to a third-party ECM provider, you can empower your employees to have immediate access to the information they need, when they need it.
ECM solutions also improve corporate security and disaster recovery. Business continuity is easier with an ECM in place for many reasons. Just some of these are below:
- Cloud Storage. By storing your documents on a cloud-based server, physical disasters that could ruin paper documents are effectively mitigated. Floods, fires, blackouts, and other unexpected disasters won’t affect a redundant cloud-based system dozens of miles away from your office.
- Automatic Backups. If your documents are compromised in some way, your ECM provider is responsible for providing immediate, up-to-date backups. ImageNet saves redundant backups of its customers’ data in multiple ultra-secure datacenters, ensuring that business-critical data is available even in worst-case scenarios.
- Benchmark Security. An organized document management system is a better hedge against security threats than any paper-based management system. Physical access is an important security threat vector, and digital documents offer a profoundly effective barrier against data exfiltration from disgruntled employees and third-party vendors with improper clearance.
- Document Encryption. Unlike paper documents, digital documents can be encrypted easily. Encryption acts as an additional layer of protection. If an unauthorized intruder gains access to a document with sensitive information, encryption ensures that the intruder cannot read or interpret the data. This is an important step towards a comprehensive multi-layered cybersecurity approach.
Improve Document Accessibility for Remote Workers
One of the most significant benefits to implementing a cloud-based ECM solution is the ability to access documents anywhere, at any time. Traveling employees and remote workers can now feasibly perform greater and more important tasks away from the office than ever before.
This opens up numerous possibilities for improving production. Low-impact tasks may now be outsourced to remote workers who can generate value at minimum cost to on-site office infrastructure. Traveling employees can also access the very latest data at any time, from anywhere in the world, without having to worry about potential changes occurring in the meantime.
Furthermore, the ability to forward digital documents to remote workers eliminates printing costs associated with traveling employees. This makes ECM a powerful cost-effective strategy for businesses that have multiple locations, or that wish to expand to multiple geographic territories.
Without an ECM in place, keeping a large enterprise organized and able to meet modern document-oriented communication demands is nearly impossible. This solution is the most significant opportunity for enhancing office worker productivity available to any business.
One of our specialists can help you customize an ECM solution to fit your needs. Call us today to start the process!