Manual document processes are still common place in many organisations but the frightening reality is, they're slow, error prone and costly for the business. If it was up to us, ghastly manual document processes would always be replaced with streamlined and digital alternatives.
Manual document processes refer to the traditional, non-digital methods of creating, managing, and processing documents. These processes often involve physical paper documents, handwritten or typed content. Human intervention and data entry will be required at various stages.
While many organisations have transitioned to digital document management, some still rely on manual document processes for various reasons. Often, it's the wrongly perceived idea that new solutions take a long time to implement, or that they're not cost effective. But the effects and strain on the business of continuing with manual processes can be truly horrifying!
At DocTech, we see a wide variety of frightening manual document processes that can be greatly improved with automated, digital solutions.
Manually creating documents such as invoices, purchase orders or forms using excel, word or even pen and paper!
The scary thing is - this is such a poor use of time, prone to errors and a waste of resources.
The solution is - creating these documents within a digital solution or by using a digital form means processes are streamlined and data is captured accurately from the beginning.
Documents often require manual signatures or stamps for approval. This involves the physical movement of documents from one person to another for review and authorisation.
The scary thing is - this is a huge area for bottlenecks and yet more wasted time. Staff often have to go back and forth and approval delays occur when colleagues are on holiday.
Paper files must be manually filled, organised and stored, which requires physical space and comes with a costly price tag.
The scary thing is - locating specific documents is time-consuming, especially when there are a variety of places to look. Even when a digital system has been put in place, there's often not enough thought put into the processes behind it which continues to present the same issues as manual document processes.
The solution is - a dedicated document management system, where documents of any type are stored uniformly and securely. Documents cannot be misfiled, duplicated or lost.
For many organisations, manual document processes mean having to physically search for information in filing cabinets or trawl through sub-folders on the network.
The scary thing is - this is inefficient and can lead to misplaced or lost documents.
The solution is - document management software, as documents are automatically organised so information can be retrieved in seconds.
With manual document processes, when a document needs to be shared it must be physically copied or mailed to recipients.
The scary thing is - this can be expensive and time-consuming if it needs to be printed and posted, or where online document transfer tools have to be purchased.
The solution is - digital tools to make sharing and collaborating on documents simple. Links can be shared to a centralised document, enabling multiple people to work on documents at the same time.
Ensuring that everyone has the latest version of a document can be challenging with manual document processes.
The scary thing is - when changes are made, they must be manually communicated to staff and integrated into the document. This can create a lack of document control, problems during audits and wasted time when trying to trace the latest version of a document.
The solution is - to implement software that manages version control automatically. With our document management software DocuWare, all edits to a document are tracked, recording who changed what and when. Only the latest version of a document is available to staff.
When information from paper documents needs to be digitised, or when data has to be copied from one system into another, it's usually accompanied by a lot of manual data entry.
The scary thing is - manual data is error prone, pretty boring and time consuming
The solution is - an automated digital solution that accurately captures data from documents such as invoices or digital forms and pushes the data into an integrated system such as an ERP, finance package or CRM.
Manual document processes often involve a lot of paper which can be easily lost, damaged or stolen. With paper documents, organisations need to have strict rules in place that stop staff from needlessly printing or leaving information on desks.
The scary thing is - with paper, security measures are limited to locks, keys and employee trust.
The solution is - to ensure any digital system you choose has robust access rights, retention and deletion policies as well as secure backups.
Tracking changes to documents or who has accessed them is challenging. In fact, it's virtually impossible with manual processes.
The scary thing is - There is rarely a comprehensive audit trail which leaves important information, and organisations themselves, open to data breaches or instances of fraud.
The solution is - to ditch the audit stress and have everything at your fingertips! Implement software that manages version control alongside which member of staff has accessed a document, and logs when and what changes were made.
Meeting compliance requirements and managing records can be a complex and labour-intensive task when dealing with paper documents or unstructured digital data.
The scary thing is - you could be holding onto documents longer than you legally should, risking non-compliance with GDPR, the data protection act or other regulatory guidelines.
The solution is - to enforce retention schedules with proper document management software in place meaning there are no more manual deletions. Schedule it, forget it, and stay compliant.
Manual document processes can be inefficient, error-prone, and costly. Many organisations have moved to a digital document management system to streamline these processes. These digital systems use automation tools to create, store, manage, and distribute documents electronically, improving efficiency, accuracy, and accessibility.
Is your business suffering as a result of manual document processes? Get in touch today, share what you’re looking to improve and learn what is possible with us.
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