Benefits of moving from paper to a digital solution

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Business owners are always looking for ways to increase profitability and efficiency. They are trying to use effectively their resources in order to improve performance and increase profits and moving to a digital solution will encourage continuous improvement thanks to standardized processes, increased production and lower error rates. If your employees spend a significant amount of time searching for the right document in a filing cabinet, you need to do something. By digitizing your documents, your company can reduce the amount of manual labor and supplies required to find, correct, and refile documentation and save money.

Benefits of moving to an electronic document management system (EDMS)

There are many benefits of digitizing documents, especially if your company relies on efficient and streamlined document storage and sharing.

Let’s look at some of the most relevant benefits to consider when you’re thinking about making the switch to digitization.

Improved data quality

High-quality data is important because it gives us accurate and timely information to manage services and accountability. Also, it helps us to prioritize and ensure the best use of resources. When you collect data using paper forms, there is always the possibility of incomplete, incorrect, or inaccurate entries during manual transcription or double entry into another system. Poor handwriting, or missed any data due to human error can lead to all-out disasters. Using digital data collection technologies you can increase data quality, even when resources are limited. When using digital solutions, data entry is controlled with thresholds and field validation.  Wrong decisions are the result of poor quality of data and poor data management processes. Improving your data quality and sustaining good quality data output are major challenges faced by the enterprises today and digital solutions could be the answer.

Increased operational efficiency

According to Developing People Globally, 57% of office workers spend one hour per day searching for documents, which is a significant amount of wasted time; and this does not even include the time required to print and paperwork. Double data entry and manual data checks and management, printing, distributing, and returning paper forms are other strains that make manual data entry complicated and create a barrier between issues and settlements. An automated system means that with a couple of clicks, users will be able find the documents they need without much complications.

Standardization of inspection checklists

Quality control inspection checklists are a great tool for quality control at every stage of the production process. Inspection checklists are one of the simplest, yet most effective, ways to clarify specifications and prevent defects in your goods and standardized inspection checklists can help companies to bring uniformity across their different work locations. Bringing uniformity is a complex but necessary task that can be aided by providing the right checklist to the right workforce.

Real time data

By using digital solutions, you can get real-time data, which is the key to take a more a more proactive approach and to improve operational processes. By using digital data collection, anyone can check, in real time, if the standardization of inspection checklists (for example) across various locations is being met.  

Data analysis has always been relevant, but access to real-time data is becoming more and more important to all aspects of business. The data world is changing; rather than analyzing data and drawing conclusions from past events, systems now work in real-time to deliver insights on what’s going on in that business at present. Real-time data enables organizations to understand what’s happening in real time and provide accurate and timely advice.

You don’t have to be a global corporation to realize the power of real-time data. Organizations, both small and large, are now implementing analytics strategies, assisting in making realities out of previously unobtainable goals.

Better data access

Re-entering data from paper forms can take hours or even days. The information is not available straight away; therefore, you cannot see what is actually happening in the field.  If you are dealing with a big amount of data, waiting for results is not ideal. With a digital solution, data is available in real-time. You and your team can access the results using a tablet or smartphone to check tasks, verify or approve documents with a digital stamp. as soon as a field tech or operator completes and submits a form in the field, the data is accessible to all stakeholders.

Better integration

Using paper, you will need extra steps to get the information you need. A digital solution can integrate all your other systems, exchanging data, tasks, and insights. That deep integration could benefit your business in many ways, such as triggering a work order based on a completed inspection. The right digital integration tool can help you save time by providing access to all your business data in one place. With greater visibility and insights into your business operations, you will be able to make faster and more informed decisions.

Any business software on its own provides features that help simplify business processes and can save time, but to maximize the potential of these tools, you need to make them work together. Integrating your business systems and applications enables your employees to collaborate and communicate more efficiently, thus increasing productivity.

Improved collaboration

Collaboration between the different stakeholders within life science organizations is becoming more complex as more operations are outsourced. Digital solutions can improve existing processes, generating new workflows and new efficiencies, so your team can have all of the features and services they need when they require them.

Electronic document management system (EDMS) have the capability to improve collaboration both internally and externally using web digital tools and workflows.

Lower costs

Paper document management and archiving can be an intensive and expensive work. By adopting a digital solution, your team will reduce the amount of time spent on unnecessary tasks and the chances of human error will decrease. In addition, by allowing more people to be involved in projects, your company will be able to operate more efficiently while reducing costs. The need for physical storage space for paper records will also disappear or will be reduced significantly. Central filing and document tracking can also be automated, eliminating the need for physical document management. Digital devices can cost more than reams of paper, however, in the long run, you will save money.

Improved security

Keeping sensitive data safe is imperative. Achieving this through paper or file share based document management systems is extremely challenging. The digital transformation is altering security needs. Electronic document management can help you to improve your information security and help meet regulations or industry compliance guidelines. While it is technically feasible to restrict access to your paper files, it can quite complicated. With EDMS, rules can be set based on a number of criteria: by user, by group, by department, or, alternatively, by the folder or by the document. This will ensure that the only the right people have access to the information.

Better traceability and accountability

When you are dealing with sensitive information, like safety inspections, or incident reports, you want to know where all the information comes from. If anybody makes a mistake along the document’s “chain of custody,” you would like identify the responsible user. You might also want to be able to control over who can access sensitive information. This is almost impossible when working with paper. Digital solutions provide control audit trails, user access rights, and data security.

With digital storage, trails are easily accessible to administrators, so you can quickly know who filled out, viewed, or changed files, and when they did it. While encryption options might vary by technology, they provide an advanced solution that paper does not. All these tools give you complete control over how (and by whom) your data is collected.

More reliable backups

Traditional document management practices encourage the saving of documents on local computers and non-controlled file shares. This means that quite often, data may not be properly backed up. We often find this out when it is too late and content is lost. EDMS centralizes all documents and records and encourages the creation and management of these records in one location, which significantly improves our ability to properly backup all content and ensure we can readily retrieve it.

Digital transformation may be a long and sinuous road, but it’s a journey that businesses can’t afford to delay. While most have already begun, for those that have yet to start, or are just beginning, this is the right time to catch up to the rest of the market. The digital transformation would be a challenge but it will bring incremental improvements to your organization and it is a process that has to be implemented as soon as possible.  Today, a vision for a company’s future must include digital transformation or it will need to face a risk of staying behind the market as competition leaps forward.


DataScope is a platform which allows various industries to streamline, organize and evaluate the work of their field staffs thanks to online forms which provide real time indicators 100% adaptable to any field.

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About the author

Sandra Melo
Sandra Melo

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