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July 08, 2013

Six Ways to Benefit From Electronic Document Management


Improving efficiency and increasing productivity are primary goals for every company. But, often overlooked is the need for an electronic document management system that can help eliminate paper overload while also enhancing project and team collaboelectronic document managementration. 


The construction industry in particular is awash in forms, documents, blueprints, contracts, and other data that needs to be stored and accessed. Typical filing systems that worked in the past now slow the job down by hindering the ability to find what you need when you need it.  There are much better options for electronic document management now.


Electronic Document Management (EDM) Defined

Through the use of a computer system and software, electronic document management (EDM) organizes, stores, manages and tracks electronic documents and scanned images of paper-based information.  Instead of sifting through a filing cabinet or mounds of paper stacks, files and information can be retrieved easily right from individual work stations. When paper documents are received, they are scanned and filed electronically for easy access later on.

So, how could your company benefit from an electronic document management system? 

Here are six key ways:

1.  Easier access to company and project related information.

When documents are stored electronically in a centralized location, your employees will have easier access to the information that they are looking for.  Everything is in one place and easier to find through the use of computer search tools.  Documents can be easily accessed with just a click of a mouse now and in the future.

2.  Better document security.

Having a document management system set up with electronic file back-up greatly reduces the risk of losing important documents in the event of a fire or natural disaster. On a user basis, a document management system can limit visibility, access and editability of documents based on confidentiality and necessary security.  Your documents can be secure while still providing easy access to those who need it.  

3.  Less time wasted looking for misplaced documents.

Sifting through paperwork and folders to find a manually stored paper document can take a lot of time.  An electronic document management system will end time-consuming hunts for mislaid or misfiled documents with everything organized by user-defined keywords and document classifications.

4.  Automated approval process.

When a document such as an invoice, contract or proposal needs group approval, a document management system can help manage the process more efficiently by ensuring that the right people review and approve electronically, without the shuffle of paperwork from desk to desk.  The process also creates an audit trail that allows for review of all edits made to the document along with preservation of the original document.

5.  Better team collaboration and efficiency of time.

Your electronic document system will be accessible to users across your entire company.  Project team productivity can be increased by categorizing related documents by jobs, phases, project manager, etc.  When project teams are collaborating on a job, they can access the same set of electronic documents vs. the inefficiency of having multiple files and records created. 

6.  Benefit from going green - help the environment and reduce costs.

An electronic document management system significantly reduces the amount of paper cluttering up your office and employees' desks.  By adopting environmentally friendly, paperless processes, your business will be cutting down on waste while also saving money with less investment in paper, filing cabinets, printer inks, etc.  This reduction in paper matter also helps reduce the cost of unnecessary office space and off-site storage.


The construction and real estate industries will never be completely paper-free, but as technology expands and companies look for ways to be more productive and efficient, an electronic document management system should be a key area of focus for your business.


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