Proper document management practices allow your employees to spend less time searching for documents and more time working. Here are five ways you can use M-Files to increase your workplace productivity:
1. Use Metadata Effectively
Metadata allows you to organize content based on what it is – not where it is stored within your file management system. All content has metadata; typically, this includes file attributes such as size, name, document type, number of pages, dates it was created and modified and more. You can take this one step further by creating tags that live inside the metadata. But why is this important?
M-Files says it best:
Metadata-based approaches to ECM [Enterprise Content Management] that enable information to be categorized by what it is, not by where it is, are gaining ground as the preferred choice over folder-based ECM systems with limited metadata management capabilities. That’s because it makes for a more effective and faster search to describe what something is rather than guess where it’s stored (which folder it’s stored in, for example).
As you can probably relate, traditional file storage and organization systems generally can’t encompass all your organization’s content – and often become unreliable or ineffective as time goes on. Metadata resolves these issues. Here are a few articles published by M-Files for additional metadata detail and instruction:
- Manage Information by What It Is – Not by Where It’s Stored – with Metadata-Powered ECM
- Document Management: Find Files Faster and with Greater Precision with Metadata-Driven Search
- Enterprise Content Management: Controlling Where Information Resides with Metadata Driven Data Replication and Information Archiving
2. Eliminate Information Silos
In many organizations, documents and content get stored and mixed up on a variety of platforms and in unorganized filing systems. Files get stored on desktops, network servers, email programs, flash drives and many other locations. These are known as information silos – which lead to disorganization and restrained productivity. According to Gartner, it takes nearly 20 minutes (on average) for users to locate documents. This time spent searching for information can consume up to 50% of our time!
M-Files better explains the danger of information silos: “Massive amounts of structured data and unstructured content often reside within multiple and disconnected platforms, applications, locations and devices. This creates compliance and security risks and also leaves employees with only some of the information they need to perform their jobs.”
Fortunately, M-Files document management software eliminates information silos by enabling your data to be accessed and synced through various systems and devices. This removes the wasted information search time from the equation, allowing your employees to be more efficient.
For more education about information silos, read M-files blog Bring Order to Content Chaos by Eliminating Information Silos.
3. Integrate with Email
The average person sends and receives over 100 emails a day. Yes, some of these include spam, but in a business environment, a lot of these emails include important attachments. These attachments must be shared, modified and then shared again. Of course this can lead to serious problems – duplicate files, or two different versions of the same file, which have both been modified in different ways.
M-Files prevents this from happening. Thanks to a drag and drop interface, M-Files allow you to automatically tag important attachments, and enable them to be accessed by anyone who needs them. For more information on the this feature, and the value it provides to businesses, read M-files blog M-Files Integration with Microsoft Outlook Provides a Superior Platform for Managing Emails and Attachments.
4. Simultaneous Document Authoring
Most business documents pass through a variety of different employees before they're finished. Each employee may need to review the information, make adjustments and then pass it along. While many document management systems have check-in and check-out features that ensure everyone has the latest document (rather than creating duplicates), this feature creates one significant drawback: employees can't simultaneously edit documents.
This has the effect of causing delays by forcing everyone to wait for access to the editable document. M-Files, however, allow several users to modify the same document simultaneously. For additional information, read Boost Collaboration by Authoring Documents Simultaneously in M-Files.
5. Set Up and Use Document Templates
Every business has a variety of templates that it uses on a daily basis. These templates ensure consistency across the organization. They also save employees time, as they don't have to recreate the document each time they want to use it.
M-Files takes the idea of templates and pushes them one step further. When you create a template with M-files, the metadata is created simultaneously, allowing for easier and more consistent searching. Here’s how it works:
Document Management Best Practices
While an initial time investment is required to effectively set your business up with M-Files, your pay off will appear in terms of time-savings, enhanced productivity, increased collaboration and much more. Employees will be able to quickly access the files they need in order to complete their work efficiently.