A lot of people can swim. A few people swim really well and have perfected the art of swimming. More people know how to swim and can swim moving forward with some efficiency. Some people think they can swim but are really bad swimmers, wasting energy and gasping for air. And there’s a group of people that can’t swim, don’t swim and are afraid to try.

How good a ‘swimmer’ are you?

The Awesome Swimmers

If you’re up in the top group, you are a document ‘God’. Everything is organized, categorized, indexed, searchable, secure and monitored. It’s smooth sailing for you. Your internal processes and workflows are strictly electronic and paper is a rarely seen item in the office. Need to know something quick or find an answer – no problem. It’s at your fingertips and ready to go. Your users are very happy and have access to documents and content. It’s a slick, well run machine and you are ‘content’.

The Good Swimmers

The biggest group of swimmers are on the road to getting things set and running smoothly. Nearly all of your documents are making it to managed storage although your users are sometimes happy to use the local PC (….the dreaded save to ‘DESKTOP’ or even worse save to ‘local folder’). You have a working taxonomy for storing your documents in the correct place and are running workflows and processes on your documents. You are catching up on your content conversion – it’s an on-going battle but you have automation on your side. You may have one or more capture points – desktop scanners, multi-function devices, mobile capture and more. Most of the capture works well but there is always room for improvements. Your users are able to mostly find documents but sometimes raise a hand that something is missing. Your document management is working but there is more work to be done.

The Bad Swimmers

The bad swimmers are in trouble. Some are literally drowning in a sea of documents. There is no management of document capture and most of the users prefer a piece of paper that they can hold. Incoming email attachments are printed out and then written on in pen or hand stamped and then scanned back in. Documents that are scanned on the copier are poor quality and sometimes blank (all scanners have a front and back side!). Your document management consists of a network drive that is broken down into folders. Your security model is riddled with holes and users complaining about access that is not permitted and is un-audited viewing. Searching is by file name and is mostly hit and miss. Your users don’t really understand the need to correctly name documents and prefer to make up names as they go and sometimes create folders that they need. Content searching is not available. Documents are not part of any electronic workflow and data is mostly hand entered into business systems. You really need help in catching hold of the tail of the paper shark!

The Ugly Swimmers

The final group of swimmers are ignorant to document management or simply do not agree with the need for a system. Paper is the king and anything else is not needed. They use the classic phrases – “that’s how we’ve always done it…” or “it’s not broken, why fix it….”. You’ll find a room or rooms jammed full of filing cabinets and boxes. There may also be off site storage where documents get sent to fade into history. Users work off the “live” library of paper documents that are in the office and requests for older documents are frequently ignored. Invoices sometimes get lost and requests for late payment is the reminder to pay a bill. HR files are kept in a locked room along with the cleaning supplies and an old exhibition booth. Lost or misplaced documents are normal and considered inconvenient – the time spent locating or recreating a document is measured in hours. 

The Lifeguard is here!

Being able to bring document and content management to your business is no longer an expensive, complicated, I.T. driven exercise. Cloud based systems offer all the features needed for a complete approach to document efficiency, security and compliance. For those looking for an on-premise solution, the features are the same and only require that you provide the hardware. Understanding how to classify your documents and create a usable, flexible taxonomy is available out of the box. AI, NLP & automatic data extraction is no longer technical speak that few can understand and afford. Capture is now seamless and available for all. Users can choose how to put documents into the workflow from email to multi-function copier. Workflows are built from a friendly User Interface allowing for error handling and notifications via email or text. Documents and data move seamlessly around in a connected, electronic business. 

Don’t be afraid of the pool ….. the water doesn’t bite!