Active vs. Archival Document Management
Organizations seeking improved control, efficiency and profitability of their paper-based business processes often have their documents scanned and utilize document management software for centralized file storage, access, search and retrieval. While this can add great value, even more value can be realized from processing your active documents with workflow automation and document management software.
Why Document Management Is Beneficial for Active Files
Active documents are those accessed by your employees on a regular basis and many times are part of a business process in which actions have to be taken. Examples include invoices, employee records and business contracts. In many cases, these documents often need to be accessed and processed by multiple parties in a short period of time. Once they are processed, they need to be stored but still be easily accessible.
Document management software and workflow automation control an active document’s processing lifecycle, including:
- Who has access to the document
- Ensuring all required document processing steps are completed
- Identification of other documents needed to complete processing and whether they’re included or missing (such as I-9s and credit applications)
- Visibility of where each document is in its processing lifecycle to identify bottlenecks
This ensures document processing is completed efficiently and in a timely manner, leading to accelerated decision making, improved customer service responsiveness and reduced costs. Document management software offers the added benefit of giving management visibility into workflows so efficiency can be measured and bottlenecks resolved. Once the document’s processing is complete, it can be routed to file archival storage but still be easily and quickly accessible.
Why Document Management is Beneficial for Archived Documents
Archived documents are those that your employees do not need on a regular basis but may need to be accessed at a moment’s notice as part of an inquiry, audit or lawsuit. Archived documents include former employee records, proof of delivery documents and old contracts.
Once a document has transitioned away from being active, file storage in document management software enables secure and remote access from any computer or mobile device, instead of being trapped in a filing cabinet (with all of the associated real estate costs). Information retrieval time is shortened from days to seconds.
Document management also ensures record retention schedules are followed for each and every document so they are stored long enough and removed according to regulatory guidelines. This automates what used to be a manual, error-prone and often overlooked process—and one that is required by law for many documents.
How to Make It Happen
Whether active or archived, scanning documents into document management software is the ideal way to manage active business workflows and archival storage because of its many capabilities. Cloud document management also makes all of this possible without making any capital expenditures, which has given many small and mid-sized organizations an opportunity to realize the efficiency and profitability gains once only affordable to larger organizations.