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What is electronic file management?

Digitize. Store. Organize. Here's how enterprise-wide electronic file management streamlines workflows.

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Electronic file management overview

Electronic file management, or electronic document management, is the practice of importing, storing and managing documents and images as computer files. It includes the scanning and capturing of data from paper-based documents, digitizing files and allowing for the disposal of hard copies.

Essentially, electronic document management allows you to create an electronic file system that takes the place of physical file cabinets. Think important files and data that are organized, backed up and retrievable — in ways that are significantly more cost-effective and organized in comparison to physical documents.

> Read more | Using an electronic document management system (EDMS) for a centralized file repository

Why upgrade to electronic file management?

Paper-based system pain points that are eliminated or minimized with an electronic file management system include:

Error-prone data entry and poor productivity

A business is only as productive as the employees that comprise it. But managing paper documents with heavily manual processes opens organizations to document disarray, data entry errors, decreased employee satisfaction and lower productivity.

With proper electronic file management in place, employees experience less frustration from switching back and forth between systems, chasing paper or having to correct document inaccuracies repeatedly. Instead, an accessible, user-friendly platform hands employees the information they need, faster.

High paper storage costs

In place of filing cabinets, employees have access to crucial information in a digital format. That’s why organizations that implement a document management system can witness a significant reduction of hard costs that come with handling physical paperwork.

Disaster recovery and other security issues

Paper documents are constantly at risk of loss due to fire, water or other physical forms of damage.

An electronic filing system minimizes the risk of disaster to sensitive customer or organizational data through cloud backups. Choosing a cloud solution that employs stringent and industry-specific compliance also means businesses have peace of mind with the knowledge their information is stored securely 24/7.

Benefits of an electronic file management system

When your organization chooses the right electronic file management solution, it replaces outdated paper-based tasks that consume valuable manpower with an efficient and automated process that allows you to save time, reduce costs and prepare for the future.

By moving from manual, paper-based processes to an electronic file system, organizations can craft a single source of truth for their information organization. These benefits come in the form of:

Maximizing cost efficiency and ROI

Save space and resources otherwise needed for organizing, filing and storing papers, such as:

  • Renting off-site storage solutions
  • Purchasing binders, cabinets, etc.
  • Printing paper
  • Manually delivering paper documents to employees across locations

Improving customer satisfaction

Document management reduces wait times by sharing information with customers, vendors and other stakeholders with greater speed and efficiency. Technology like automation and electronic signatures directly improves business processes, fostering greater customer experiences all around.

Optimizing productivity and minimizing human errors

Electronic file management solutions minimize errors likely to follow manual data entry and the filing of paper documents. These include inefficiencies like lost documents during transit and ad-hoc data sharing that stems from employees navigating too many systems.

Best practices in electronic file management

To keep file management confusion to a minimum, practice these guidelines:

  • Standardize how you name your files
  • Create folders and subfolders that follow an understandable hierarchy
  • Populate your documents with relevant and accurate metadata for easier, faster file searches
  • Backup all your data with cloud storage or on a hard drive
  • Practice regular housekeeping to avoid information clutter

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Do even more with the OnBase content services platform

A content services platform such as OnBase allows organizations to optimize the management of content and processes to better support decision-making and day-to-day operations. This includes electronic file management capabilities that improve accessibility to information by:

  • Capturing and storing all relevant documents
  • Making information searchable
  • Making information accessible from one central platform
  • Enabling multiple users to access the same, up-to-date information simultaneously
  • Enabling versioning control
  • Providing e-signature functionality

Explore Hyland for content services