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Paperwork is never a term that’s said with any reverence – it’s either a chore or an eyesore, but people treat it with a sort of resigned acceptance, as a necessary evil. We see business offices covered with stacks of stock reports, invoices and who knows what else. However, it doesn’t have to be this way, and if you can free yourself from the cluttered grip of paperwork then your business will really see the benefits.

Document management will help support your agribusiness growth plans. With greater emphasis on environmentally-friendly business practice and the upcoming changes being brought in by General Data Protection Regulation, now is definitely a good time to review your document management processes and consider how certain systems might be able to help.

1. Structure

Make sure you have a document management structure in place which makes it easy to see how documents are filed, where they are stored, and how long for. This will ensure that you can always find the right documents that relate to the right client.

With electronic document storage, also think about how to index documents and how to attach them to relevant transactions or accounts to ensure that you always have the right information available.

2. Security

It’s vital to think about protecting documentation against loss, fires, floods, and theft, whilst at the same time ensuring they are easily retrievable. It is also important to think about who needs authorised access to certain documentation.

An electronic document storage solution makes this far easier, but make sure you have backups being performed on a regular schedule, and that user profiles are created to enable access to secure documents. Document storage software often offers cloud-based storage, so you don’t even have to rely on physical storage which could be wiped out in a flood or fire.

3. Easy retrieval

This is essential to make sure you can show important documents to government/industry bodies that require them. Avoid the needle in a haystack scenario and make sure you have a catalogue/filing process in place, these should be written down and will help not only to access required documents but also to save time.

Logical systems allow those with permission to easily find the documentation they require whether this relates to a customer account or a transaction.

4. Document destruction

Document processes and policies should include something about how long you retain a document for, when, and how it should be destroyed. This is even more paramount with the new GDPR legislation – if the business is audited, you will have to be clear about why you have certain documentation. Ensure that you have a safe way to destroy any documentation which is no longer required, especially that which is commercially sensitive or confidential.

5. Document storage software

Storing all documentation electronically can ensure quick and easy retrieval, as well as support you to go paperless. It can save lots of time and valuable resources.

In addition, how much space in your office is taken up by filing cabinets? Or shelves full of ring binders? Storing documents electronically will ensure that you have more space to dedicate to other things, and cloud-based storage will mean that even less space is taken up and that it is cheaper to scale up.

Review which systems are available to help your agribusiness, and be sure to ask about all of the areas above.

Paper doesn’t have to be a necessary evil, in fact, storing documentation electronically can make it far easier to access whilst being extremely secure. If you’re interested in hearing about the document storage solution from Primetics, DocStore, call the team on 01275 279 811.