When considering cost management and improved productivity across your legal department, your first thought might not be changing how you’re storing your contracts and documents. However, research shows that not only can you reduce the cost of storing paper documents by moving your documents online, but you can also enhance collaboration, save time by making your documents more accessible, and reduce your risk.
Adding OCR capabilities (Optical Character Recognition) to your document storage solution further increases our access to the documents you need. This is because OCR converts any text in a document, whether your document is an image, is scanned in from a copier, or in any other format, into searchable content. To get less technical, OCR basically means you can search for a word or phrase and any document containing that word/phrase will come up in your search.
Below, we’ll review 4 ways an OCR-enabled document storage solution can help improve your bottom line:
1. Save Time
According to a McKinsey report, employees use up to 20% of their time looking for internal information.
Improving access to your documents increases the productivity of your team substantially. Digital document storage changes this story dramatically by making documents available from an employee’s computer (which has become increasingly valuable with remote work on the rise) and reducing the time they would spend traveling to and searching through paper files. However, if you’ve ever been stuck trying to log in to the VPN or digging through folder after folder on a server, hoping to find a particular file (that you’re not quite sure of the label you gave it a year ago), you can imagine the value of a cloud-based, OCR-enabled search.
With OCR capabilities, you can search the client name, a particular phrase, or anything else you happen to remember about that elusive document, and your system will show you every document in your system that contains that criteria. Instead of trying to guess which filing cabinet your document is in, or figuring out which team member worked on the document and trying to interpret their organization system, you can find what you need in seconds and get back to more important things.
2. Save Money
We’ve all heard “Time is money” more times that we can count, but it’s not always an easy phrase to quantify. When it comes to document storage, we fortunately have the infamous 2004 Coopers & Lybrand Document Management Study (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) which tells us that companies spend an average of:
- $20 to file one document
- $120 to find a misfiled document (15% of documents are misfiled)
- $220 to reproduce a lost document (7.5% of document are lost)
These costs can only rise as labor costs rise, and with 20% of employees’ time being spent searching for internal information, time truly is money. Through the increased accessibility of digital documents, and increased searchability using OCR technology, you can quickly recover the significant labor hours spent simply finding the information needed to do the work.
3. Increase Collaboration
Increasing access to your documents makes collaboration easy. Documents can be accessed by multiple users throughout the creation process, versions are stored in the same place so you can track modifications, and in advanced systems, conversations can be tracked within your system so you can understand who made decisions and how the document was collaborated on when looking back.
A central repository – especially during the rise of remote work – is a critical part of ensuring your workers are equipped to collaborate. Emailing documents back and forth requires time from your employees as they search for the most current version, and your organization will not have an accessible record of the document or creation process if the work is being stored in email alone.
4. Enhance Security
Digital document management improves the ability to secure your documents. Rather than having to lock file cabinets based on who can see what’s inside them, nuanced digital access allows you to give specific access to types of documents, a single document, or documents associated with a team, project, or department. You decide who can see which files so you can keep sensitive data protected, can see who has accessed a document, and if a document has been modified.
Central document storage solutions have become a critical part of organizational success and cost management. ALOE’s OCR-enabled document storage solution is included in our project management and legal operations management software at no additional cost so you can manage your work and your documents in one place for one price.