There are many steps in creating a document management system but to begin, a plan would be needed.
Steps to create a document management plan:
1. Rules for creating documents
In a business a variety of documents such as invoices, payment reminder letters, sales flyers, email, balance sheets, spreadsheets, reports—all as well as everything else. To do this, rules need to be made to ensure everything remains organized. To achieve this, make sure you have:
- guides employees can follow to create documents
procedures on how to share and review documents
templates on your standard business documents
new documents dated/time-stamped
For simple document management, the only important point is where the templates for various business documents are located and how to use them. However if more than one person has to collaborate on, reviewing, or updating documents, your business would need to reconsider your procedures to have consistency and efficiency.
2. How to store documents
The most time consuming task associated with storage is probably when people have to look for documents. So it is essential to have a good easy-to-follow file management system.
Another essential thing that would be needed in your document management system would be a way to archive documents. Having out-of-date files in your folder would just make finding the current ones harder. Therefore a back burner would be needed. To achieve this, you would need to go through various files, taking out those that are no longer used. Also creating new folders named by date and subject, as needed from time to time.
3. Simplifying the process of retrieving documents
This step is the centre of all document management systems. Good filing practices can go a long way towards solving the problem. It can be simplified by consistently making and following strict rules like naming conventions to make documents easier to find.
No matter who you are, it is necessary for you to create a file locations list. This will help everyone remember where particular types of files are located. Do not forget to add in the list where the file has been saved to (such as in your computer or another server).
4. How to make and keep documents secure
The first step to a secure document management system is to make sure all passwords are safe and hard to work out.
However, it is also important for businesses to use other security devices such as security cameras. As, if the computers itself was stolen, there wpould be no point in investing in secure passwords and encrypting files to protect your electronical files.
Other ways of securing documents include:
- Regularly backing up all documents in another server/site outside your office to avoid natural disasters from destroying valuable data
- Locking all cabinets and doors when there is no one reliable in your office
- Not giving access to documents and other important files to those that do not need it
- And also not to send files to shared computers