Everyone has excuses for not doing something they know they should do better. An excuse is “a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.”
- I'm too tired to go to the gym today.
- If I don't eat this bag of chips, it's going to go bad and I don't want to waste it. I'll eat an apple tomorrow.
- It's almost bedtime, I'll call my Mom back tomorrow.
- I have some emails to check. I'll work on that report after lunch.
We hear excuses all the time for why companies don't want to invest in the software and tools we offer. Sometimes, there are valid reasons, but more frequently it's just an excuse not to do anything different.
When it comes to document management, here are five of my favorites.
I Can Already Find the Documents I Need.
Since I can already find my documents, I don't need to pay for software.
This might even be true if you have a good filing system.
Think about this though, how long does it take to find those documents? Can more than one person at a time view a paper document? (Of course not, unless they huddle together or make copies – and if you make copies of confidential information, you're ensuring that the extra documentation is securely disposed of to prevent a data breach, right?)
A Gartner study from a few years ago found that the typical office worker spends 40% of their time looking for information.
Not making decisions on the information or further adding value to the business. LOOKING for information so they can do their job.
If you want to find documents NOW, so that employees can act on information and so that you can immediately answer customer questions (customers don't want to wait), there's no excuse for you NOT to do document management.
What's better – 20 minutes to find a document or 20 seconds?
File Cabinets Are Locked. What More Information Security Do I Need?
When we usually think of data breaches, most of us think of digital information – patient records being hacked or documents (oh, like emails) being stolen. Obviously, network security IS important for digital information.
But paper documents aren't immune from theft either.
Let's say your customer files are securely locked away in filing cabinets behind locked doors. A tornado strikes and destroys your office.
Those securely locked paper files are now spread in the fields around your office building and you now have to pay people to search and retrieve those documents because you don't want credit card, social security, or other information – literally – floating on the wind.
In two months in 2012, there were 45 HIPAA data breaches involving paper records. That's compared to 5 via email, 15 via a network/hacking incident, or 3 with electronic medical records.
Plus, it's easy for someone to pick up a paper document and walk off with it.
Digital documents can give your document security a boost.
Paperwork Keeps Our Staff Busy
I've heard this once or twice and it floors me every time. Basically, this says that you're OK with staff wasting time on manual paperwork because “idle hands are the devil's tools,” or something.
Personally, if you can't trust your employees to do good work – you need better employees. On the other hand, maybe you're just a bad manager if you think like this!
Wouldn't it be better for your employees to have the time to think about how they could create better opportunities for the business?
We've Got More Important Things To Do!
Every business runs on information – often contained in documents. There's no reason to manually manage your documents when there's a better alternative.
Adopting document management is one of the most important things you could do to improve your business.
The Benefits Are too Soft and Squishy
If you can't see the benefit of being able to quickly find the right document to answer a customers questions, then it's going to be hard for me to sell you a document management system.
Digital documents save space. They save time. They allow workflows and business problems to be automated.
True, some of the ROI benefits are “soft” and don't have a direct “I spend X and get Y savings.” However, the benefits are anything but squishy.