Side view of serious female economist working online with accounting documents on modern laptop device during sunny day in street cafeteria, caucasian businesswoman typing name for media files

Hundreds of thousands of files, documents, scans, etc., are at the heart of every organisation, as data is continuously gathered, stored, and sent. Whether it be employment agreements, customer documentation, income statements, non-disclosure agreements etc., there is a document for almost every business practice you can think of.

Yet, at the end of all these interactions, the physical document remains and requires storing, where an efficient document management process becomes essential. From collaborating with like-minded businesses on projects to keeping vital records so you can refer to them further down the line, effective document management is essential for boosting productivity, minimising errors, and improving your business’s day-to-day operations.

But how can organisations manage all these essential business documents without recreating that filing cabinet scene from ‘Bruce Almighty’? The answer lies within the best practices businesses can implement to streamline their document management process, several of which we outline in this article.

Including ensuring document security is up to date, educating staff about the importance of document management, and switching to cloud-based storage systems; there are many best practices businesses can use to facilitate better document management. So, let’s look at some of them together and see how they can benefit your organisation’s document management processes below:


Say Goodbye To Traditional Filing Systems

According to statistics, the average UK professional uses an estimated ten thousand sheets of paper annually, one of the most significant contributors to global warming. And since sustainability has become a hard-to-ignore trend in today’s business world, increased pressure has been placed upon business owners to reduce the impact of their day-to-day business operations.

One of the best ways businesses have scaled back on their paper usage is by moving beyond traditional means of paper storage to a paperless solution. Unlike conventional document management methods (think filing cabinets piled high with loose bits of paper!), going paperless boasts many benefits, such as increased security, timesaving, more effortless information transfer, reduced costs, increased storage space and more.

While it can be difficult to abandon traditional storage methods, which worked well previously, switching to a cloud-based document management system can be done within minutes. Once it’s established, you’ll only regret not having made the switch sooner. As well as cloud-based storage systems, there are other areas you can also turn paperless; consider the following:


  • Use paperless signatures, eliminating the need to scan, print, sign, or post paper documentation.
  • Digitise all your receipts by sending them to customers/contractors/suppliers via an app or email, which prevents you from having to send physical copies.
  • Make all your employment agreements/training paperwork digital and many more.


Increase Document Security

While living in this digital age has made our professional and personal lives easier in many ways, by eliminating the need to transfer documents through traditional means like email etc., it has also made it easier for records to fall into the wrong hands or read by someone who wasn’t the intended recipient.

To prevent security issues like the above, your business must pay attention to document security so that the legitimacy of a digital document can be proved. One of the best ways to protect your digital documents is by using helpful online tools that can help you protect the integrity of a PDF file in various ways, such as compression, encryption, two-factor authentication and many more.

By using PDF compressors and PDF sign/security tools, not only can you increase document security, but you can also control and protect against other threats like the following:


  • Prevention of sensitive information being revealed to anyone other than the intended recipient.
  • Minimise the likelihood of lost documents.
  • Increase the security around files, documents, and images, making accessing private information more challenging for cyber criminals.
  • Control the number of copies made of documents and permit them from being created if necessary – and much more!


You can do all this and more using the range of online tools Smallpdf provides. Whether your mission is to increase document security using their PDF e-sign tool, or reduce the size of a document using their PDF compressor, consider visiting their website to learn more about each of their PDF tools and how they can help you increase document security and in turn better your document management processes today.


Deliver Staff Training

As with any business change, it is essential that you solidify any changes you make to your document management processes by following up with staff training. Educating new and existing staff members about the change in operations enables them to get to grips with the updated way of doing things, ask any questions, and adjust quickly to the difference so you get faster results.

You can achieve this by making document management training a part of the necessary training process so that all staff clearly understand how it works, why it’s essential, and their role in helping keep the process efficient. You could consider using a learning management system (LMS) to deliver this training and any follow-ups needed for the best results.

LMS are excellent tools for delivering staff training as they provide various business (and employee!) benefits such as reduced training costs, faster turnaround times, improved student experience, and much more. Plus, new training modules can be added at any time, so whenever recent changes are implemented, staff can be informed and trained on the updates in no time at all.


Take Advantage Of Automation

Regardless of the size of your organisation or the sector you operate within, there will always be a selection of repetitive tasks that no staff member wants to take responsibility for. Sadly, document management can be one of these draining tasks, mainly if you’re still relying on outdated, traditional processes like filing cabinets etc.

But this isn’t the only problem these dull, repetitive document management tasks create; they can also increase the risk of human errors, which is one of the leading causes of problems for organisations of all sizes. While we can’t eliminate human errors entirely, you can reduce their probability by implementing automation.

A growing trend in our modern business world, automation can be applied to almost every business task you can think of nowadays and can provide several benefits for businesses and their employees. Some of the most sought-after benefits include lower operating costs, improved worker safety, faster return on investments, reduced environmental footprint, and much more.

However, automation is only helpful from a document management perspective if you already have a sound system in place. If it is not up to scratch, automation will only highlight its weaknesses and won’t deliver the desired improvements. Yet, when you combine it with an efficient document management system, businesses can benefit from faster processes and fewer errors.


Your business can start reaping the benefits of an automated document management process by enlisting the services of experts to help you set up your workflows, give you expert industry advice, manage the process on your behalf, keep you up-to-date with the latest industry trends and much more. By implementing automation, you are effectively allowing your business to benefit from improved speeds, fewer mistakes, and time-savings, enabling you to spend time on more critical business areas.