If you were to guess how much time your business spends managing documents, what would you guess? A few minutes a day? Maybe an hour or two a week?
You might be surprised, then, to learn that most companies spend far more time than that on document creation and management. Just to give you an idea, research by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that it takes an employee about 15 minutes just to properly file a document, which adds up to about 250 hours per year, per employee. And that’s not even considering the amount of time it takes to find documents, which on average takes about 20 percent of any given employee’s time each day. When you consider the cumulative amount of time that goes into the creation, storage, and retrieval of documents, the cost to your company can reach well into six figures — and that’s not even considering the other issues associated with paper document management, such as permanently lost documents.
Given the availability and simplicity of document management tools, there really is not a reason that any business should be relying on filing cabinets and other outdated methods of creating and storing documents. Cloud-based document creation software eliminates many of the more time-consuming aspects of document management, while also offering other significant other benefits for business owners.
Document Creation Tools Are More Secure
Many businesses, especially small to mid-size enterprises, face challenges when it comes to securing documents. Given that many smaller companies rely on email as a means of communication during the contract drafting stage, for example, there is a substantial risk of confidential information and documents falling into the wrong hands. Even using shared drives or other electronic storage solutions presents risks, since it’s not always possible to fully restrict access to these areas of the network or audit access to the drive.
Regulatory compliance also presents an issue for many companies. Some industries have strict document management compliance requirements, and using a cloud-based document creation tool can help companies meet or even exceed the security requirements of those regulations, reducing risk and saving money.
Better Disaster Recovery
Research indicates that only a small percentage of small businesses are able to recover after a major disaster. Imagine that all your contracts and important business documents are destroyed in a disaster — or you cannot access your office for several months. What would you do? It doesn’t even have to take a major disaster to impact your business. Many individual machines aren’t backed up regularly, meaning that if something happens to that workstation, all work could be lost. This is especially concerning if your employees work on their own mobile devices. If a tablet or laptop containing contracts is lost or stolen, and it hasn’t been backed up to a centralized contract repository, all of that work and information could be lost.
When all your business’ documents are created and stored in the cloud, you can access the lifeblood of your company from anywhere, and get back up and running quickly in the even that something goes wrong.
Remember when we talked about lost documents? Well, consider this: on average, a lost document costs a company $122. PWC research found that 7.5 percent of all documents are lost forever, which in a company that produces 10,000 per year, equals $91,500 lost. That’s not even considering the costs of employee time spent managing and looking for lost documents.
By using a document creation system that automatically stores and organizes documents, and allows for intuitive searching — and quick retrieval — your business can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars per year, or more.
Creating documents manually, especially when sharing versions via email or other systems, increases the likelihood of errors considerably. Cloud-based contract management systems offer version control, which allows everyone involved with the document creation to see what was changed, when, and by whom, so that everyone is working with the same up-to-date versions of documents. This also creates an audit trail, so in the event there are questions, it’s easy to see how the documents were created.
In today’s technology-enabled word, businesses don’t need to rely on the “old” ways of doing things, an incur more expense and risk while reducing productivity. Implementing tools like document management software can ensure your business keeps running smoothly and you’re able to maximize the value of your contracts.