Document Management: A Health Check for the Lifeblood of Your Business

Posted by Deltek Guest Blog on March 5, 2020

Document Management: A Health Check for the Lifeblood of Your Business

From contracts to permits, concept drawings to engineering specifications, meeting minutes to status reports, documents are how your business operates. They truly are the lifeblood of your work. So it follows that effective and efficient document management is critical to ensuring your operations run as smoothly as possible. But how much thought do you give to the management of those documents?  How robust are your controls to ensure that all stakeholders are working on the same version at the same time and that nothing slips through the cracks?

For the vast majority of A&E firms, document management simply isn’t working as well as it needs to, and that’s because it relies on people to handle the management aspect, and that leads to mistakes. In fact, IDC found that document-related work accounted for 21.3% of lost productivity – and since that survey included all industries, the number is likely higher for the AEC vertical. That’s a terrifying statistic for any business owner, but it might not be the worst. IDC also found that 76% of companies experience significant business risks and/or compliance incidents as a result of broken document management processes.


 

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But it’s not all bad news, this whitepaper explains the three key elements of an effective document management software solution for successfully eliminating these risks and inefficiencies. And the impact of ineffective document management is not just a matter of statistics or potential harm; there are real costs that impact your bottom line both directly and indirectly.

For most businesses, document management consists of simply storing a document in some form of shared repository and trusting individuals to always work with the latest version from that repository. That requires consistent naming conventions and human driven version control. Maybe that works when the volume of documentation is fairly small… maybe. But the volume of documentation is not just growing; the growth is also accelerating. A 2017 IBM report estimated that 90% of the data in the world was created in the previous two years. Even if you were certain that you could rely on your employees to manually manage that volume of information without making mistakes, it’s not a good use of their time. And it takes up lot of their time. McKinsey found that employees spend 28% of their day dealing with email – that's almost a day and a half each week.

But worse than this internal management issue is the problem of managing documents once they have left your company. With A&E firms being so reliant on the accurate and timely communication of documents, it is critical to make sure that the right document, in the right version, is shared 100% of the time. You can’t simply update a document once it has left your company and is in the hands of the client. If a mistake has been made or the client receives the incorrect version of a document, confidence in your abilities is damaged.

Across all industries there is increasing recognition that ineffective document management practices are exposing companies to inefficiencies, costs and errors. Market.us reported that they expect the global market for document management software to experience a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9% between now and 2028. That’s a massive investment being made in improving document management and is a warning sign to companies that have not yet committed to such an investment that their competitors are doing so.

That not only places companies that have not committed to investing in document management in a position of potential competitive disadvantage by increasing their costs relative to competitors; it also makes those competitors more attractive potential employers for employees who don’t want to battle an ineffective and outdated information infrastructure.

Interested in learning more about document and email management best practices? Download the white papers, Are Your Documents Managing You and Improve Efficiencies with Email Management.

 

 

 

About the Author

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a management consulting firm with a strong emphasis on organizational transformation, portfolio management, and PMOs. Andy is an in demand speaker and author who delivers thought provoking content in an engaging and entertaining style, and is also an instructor in project management related disciplines including courses on LinkedIn Learning / Lynda.com.