Digital document management systems have helped businesses make great strides in de-cluttering their paperwork. But in the digital scene, this is only half of what you can do to make your environment more productive.
When multiple people create documents on-site, they send email attachments to one another, making the whole process a total mess. While waiting for entire documents to upload and download, then going through an extra process of having to click through and open programs to read those documents, you’re at the mercy of the Internet connection’s speed and the computer’s own capability to process the document. Very large documents aren’t the only cause of this problem. Having to open many small documents also makes the process just drag on. While one person’s waiting for another to finish, he or she is forced to sit down and wait.
Collaboration software completely eliminates this problem, allowing people with the proper permissions to edit any part of a document and update it in a live data stream. There are a number of applications a business can adopt to do this, but only a few of them are actually flexible enough to be a feasible solution for your business. Here are three of them:
- KnowledgeTree – This company fuses document management with collaboration. The software lets you create new documents in-house and import hard copies through the DMS. You can import documents practically anywhere, even on your mobile device, and even reward collaborators for creating good content. If you prefer Microsoft Office, you can use it to create and edit documents via KnowledgeTree’s proprietary service. You must contact them to get a quote.
- Google Docs (soon to be named Google Drive) - If you haven’t tried it yet, you should definitely give Google Docs a shot. From literally anywhere, you can create and edit documents in a collaborative manner, allowing people to edit live. As they edit, you will see the changes appear on your screen almost immediately. Importing documents is a cinch as well. All you have to do is click the “Upload” button right next to “Create,” and you’re done. Google Docs also lets you work with presentations, spreadsheets, forms, drawings, and tables. And best of all, it’s free!
- TeamWox - This software combines many applications that companies use on-site and in the SaaS scene. It combines human resources management, email, task management, CRM, message boards, a search engine, a reporting system, online assistance via chat, a service desk system, accounting, electronic banking, and private branch exchange (PBX) telecommunications into one enormous collaborative package. This is the ultimate solution for small and medium businesses who want to operate more efficiently and really see an uptick in ROI. For smaller enterprises, they have a free solution that includes all the collaboration features without all the hubbub that you won’t use. SaaS capabilities are available only through the paid SaaS plan, which costs $375 per month.
Online collaboration has a more positive effect on business operations than you might think. It doesn’t hurt to give it a try. After all, two of the solutions mentioned here are free to use. You will finally be able to eliminate clutter and avoid dealing with several different versions and copies of one document.