The value of document management systems

I’ve never been a great fan of electronic document management systems. I can see how they can be useful but I’ve seen a lot that, in spite of hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to install them, are not used effectively because the people who are expected to use them find them too hard.

Now there are many reasons for this and it’s not always the fault of the system itself.

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Give your business a flying filing start in 2015

Have you experienced one or more of these situations?

♦  Wasted time looking for information that you have filed “somewhere”?
♦  Got frustrated when you can’t find a paper or email that you know “is there somewhere”?
♦  Had to pay tax penalties because your missed a deadline due to inefficient business processes?

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Cost-effective administrative support for small businesses

Did you read Lisa Martin’s story in the DominionPost recently?  Her business GoFi8ure provides everyday bookkeeping and accounting support to small businesses before they get to the point of needing a full time office manager.  GoFi8ure provides bookkeeping and other administrative services to free up small business owners to do what they do best – run the business.

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Stop Wasting Time Looking for Lost Items

I love it when I come across someone who has a similar philosophy to mine about keeping everything in an orderly way in the office.

So when I found the Time Management Ninja I couldn’t help but explore this web site where Craig Jarrow helps individuals and companies reclaim their time.

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Hard lesson in how not to run a company

Reports this week from the legal judgment on the failure of South Canterbury Finance (SCF) show how a big company that arose out of a small family business failed in part because the systems and processes in place didn’t work for a large financial company.

Brian Gaynor writing in the New Zealand Herald calls it “Hard lesson in how not to run a company

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Small business challenges in Ireland and New Zealand

I’ve been in Dublin recently with my daughter and her family. It was a busy time with her young children and chef/restauranteur husband but lots of fun and very different from life at home in New Zealand where I live with my husband and a cat!

What I found interesting was the similarities between Ireland and New Zealand. I’ve always been aware of the similar

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Business lessons from Paradise

On 23 May 2014 an historic homestead in Central Otago was burnt to the ground, apparently due to an electrical fault following a lightning strike. The homestead was at Paradise, beyond Queenstown, beyond Glenorchy, beyond the top of Lake Wakatipu, .  It’s a fantastic place and lots of people go there to get away from it all.  No mobile coverage, no tech toys.  Just nature at its best amongst the mountains.

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Managing risk in your business

If you business is to operate effectively, you and your staff need to be able to create, store, access and reuse information received or produced during the course of a regular working day.

Establishing core principles for keeping a good record of your business activities will reduce risks and lessen exposure to issues that may incur corruption or even loss.

Risks associated with poor document management include:

  • Unreliable information is used to make business decisions
  • Key information or documents are hard to find or lost
  • Time is wasted re-creating documents that cannot be found
  • Management practices become untimely, inappropriate and inefficient
  • The business is unable to comply with legislation or regulations
  • The business gains a negative reputation.

Core principles for managing information include:

  • Having a structured system for storing documents that is easily understood and available for all team members to access and use as and when required
  • Ensuring that all documents created as part of normal business activities are filed appropriately in the approved filing system
  • Establishing standard policies, processes and procedures and ensuring team members understand and maintain them when creating, storing and using organisational information
  • Making and storing notes on key business decisions – made by your Board or with clients.

You can read about more hints and tips to improve your business in my free eBook; and even more if you download the eWorkbook that gives you a full set of instructions on how to set up a filing system for your business.

Your first step to improve your office efficiency

You can improve the way your office operates by creating efficient access to all the information that you use in your business.

Information, both electronic and hard copy, is the cornerstone of your business.  No matter what your business is you need information about stock, designs and other intellectual property, cash flow, staff, client and supplier contacts, business plans; in fact all the knowledge that is held by your business in paper files or electronic documents and systems.

Not knowing where to find all this valuable information, or being unable to access it quickly when needed, can result in loss of contracts and lower profits.

You and your staff need to get at important information quickly and efficiently

If only one person knows where and how information is filed, other people in your business won’t be able to access it when that key person is unavailable

Your systems and processes for keeping business records will reflect the information flow and ensure that everyone is able to work efficiently. This in turn will improve productivity and thus increase profits.

Think about this…

  • How you lost a contract because you couldn’t find a key tender document in time for a meeting
  • The complaints from your team because they couldn’t find something  someone else had filed
  • Information you can’t find after you have filed it
  • An important email that was deleted in error or lost in the thousands of emails in your inbox
  • The tax payment you missed and penalty you had to pay because you couldn’t find the reminder from your accountant

When was the last time you were in one of these situations?  You need to organise our business information so you can find what you need when you need it.

Our e-workbook is here to help you.  This step-by-step instruction book will give you the tools you need to build your own system for keeping your business information under control.  It won’t take you long and will save your heaps of time and money currently lost in unproductive searching for information.

Don’t waste any more time searching for elusive documents or files.  Create your own filing system using our instructional workbook.  Available online now.

You can read more hints and tips to improve your business in the free eBook.


How to manage your electronic documents across devices

In my last blog I discussed the complexity of managing electronic information on all the different devices we can use to run our businesses today; the laptops, ipads, tablets smart phones  etc.

I gave you some rules to consider to help you keep your business information manageable when you’re out and about.

I noted that there are some technological solutions.  Lets have a look at these now.

For example you can use a laptop as your main device whether you’re working in the office, working with a client at their place, or when you’re out of town on business.

You can sync all your devices; use cloud based email (eg Gmail, icloud) and storage (eg Dropbox, Google docs).

You do have to think about what is best for you and your business and learn how to make the best use of the technologies and electronic devices.

You will still need to have a filing system within your chosen solution so that your business information is organised for quick and easy access no matter what format – email, text documents, spreadsheets, databases, images.

If you don’t I can promise you that your information will still be in mess no matter how much you spend on the technology.

That’s why I created my eWorkbook ‘Keeping Good Records in Small Businesses’ so you can learn what to do, what is important and how to do it. If you want to create your own filing system then this book takes you through the steps one at a time.  Alternatively you can use it as a starting point and work through it with one of our consultants – in person or via the cloud.

You can read about more hints and tips to improve your business in my free eBook; and even more if you download the eWorkbook that gives you a full set of instructions on how to set up a filing system for your business.

Judy Owen has been working with businesses of all sizes and complexities for more than 20 years to improve and streamline the access to their business information.  She and her team can show you how to reduce risk, improve productivity and increase profits with good business systems and processes in your business.