Document management workflow is one of those things which people don’t realize they are missing until they see it in action. This is a reaction we are used to when we demo the Predict360 Policy and Procedure management system, which contains a comprehensive document management system. When people see how convenient things can be with the right tools it is hard for them to back to the inconvenient way of doing things.

All businesses use documents and every business has sensitive documents too. Even the smallest businesses have files they need to keep secure and private. These can include financial documents, employee data (which must be kept private according to many laws and regulations), communication, and much more. The problem is that most businesses do not have a tool to keep all this information managed and secure. Businesses improvise by using off the shelf software to emulate some of the functionality they need, but in the end, they only have an ersatz solution that can do a bit of what needs to be done.

Manual workflow and document management

Most of us are aware of the problems that occur when dealing with documents in a business, but most of us do not know that there is a simple solution to all these problems. Sharing sensitive documents is always a problem. Imagine that you have a document that contains the company’s secrets. These may be future business plans, ideas for a new product, or financial information. If you have to work with someone on the file, you will have to send them the file over email. Then they will send the file back to you once they have made the updates that were needed. The problem is that now there are two copies on the computer of the person who assisted you – one in their inbox from when you sent it to them, and one in their sent items from when they sent it back to you. Some of the most sensitive documents of the business end up spread around different computers and email inboxes. If any hacker can access any of those devices or accounts, they will have access to all the sensitive data.

Collaboration is also a major problem related to the document workflow management process. It is difficult to collaborate and keep track of all the contributions without a document management system in place. There is a lot of conflict in file versions too – it is possible that someone may be making changes to an outdated version of a document, unaware that it had been superseded by an updated version. There is also no audit trail to speak of – if there is a mistake in the documents, there is no way to track down the cause of the mistake. All these problems can create risks, lower efficiency, and result in leaking of sensitive information.

What document management workflow software does

Document workflow software solutions introduce multiple tools that help management keep documents secure and private. They have tools that limit access to files – allowing management to ensure that only the right people have access to the file. You can even control what type of access an employee has over a document. Can they read the file? Can they copy the file? Can they edit the file? Can they send it to someone else? All these permissions can be changed for different individuals. There are also tools for collaboration – discussion boards and the ability to leave comments on tasks, which allows people to add context and details for the rest of the organization to see.

Document management systems also introduce audit trails. These systems keep a track of every access and change requires relating to documents. It is possible to go back and see who accessed a file or changed some data in it. All these features, combined with the many other quality of life improvements, make document workflow management software a necessity for most organizations.

If you want to see how a document management system can help you business, get in touch with our team, and we will show you how Predict360 can serve your business needs.