A fairly universal experience of office workers is the dreaded feeling you get when you can’t find a file. Whether it’s a word processing document, an image, scanned data, or a different type of digital file, odds are that you’ve experienced the time-consuming and aggravating task of not being able to find the data you’re looking for in your business’ shared network. Panic and, ultimately, frustration set in as you have to pull coworkers away from their tasks to help locate the file—or worse—you begin to recreate it.

So, what can you do to bypass all of the undue stress that comes with an unruly digital filing system?

The first step is to determine and standardize filing labels throughout your organisation. For example, name your document “ABC Company Invoice 30.5.16” instead of “ABC” or simply “30.5.16,” because descriptive labeling will help users locate the file later. Maintaining standardised folders and subfolders—logically arranged and implemented by your entire staff—can also be incredibly useful when organizing and maintaining a network’s shared files.

However, for most businesses, it can be difficult to enforce standardization rules or to retroactively apply them to thousands of existing files. Luckily, a much more reliable and accurate solution for the uniform naming and storing of digital documents is by implementing a Document Management System (DMS) to keep your business data organized.

DMS software will name, index, and store your documents using a standardized system, without having to rely on each employee to remember and consistently apply the agreed-upon naming convention. Each file name will also include the date that the document was originally created and track dates of all modifications to that file.

DMS also authorizes you to search in a variety of ways, which allows you to find documents faster than you could with standard searches. For example, if you’re replicating an event from last May, with DMS you can search for a date range, the event’s name, or even the author of the document. Another useful search tool with DMS is the ability to search the actual contents of all of the documents in your shared system via keywords. Not unlike a Google search, you can even use words like “and” or “or” to add or subtract distinct phrases and keywords while searching through your system’s files.

Sophisticated DMS technology not only helps you quickly locate the exact files needed on your network, but also can track and limit viewing, editing, or deleting capabilities based on specific users. This security feature protects your business, customers, and employees’ confidential data.

In addition to its long list of additional capabilities—like workflow automation, email integration, and document recovery solutions—the first step is to organize your shared network by implementing the automated filing rules offered by DMS software. Once put into effect, your next file search will be fast, instead of frustrating.

Contact us today to learn more about Document Management Systems and automation solutions!