Discover the untold benefits of Paying Filing Forward.
‘I simply don’t have time to manage our documents properly.’
This is what you think as you look at the quote you just received for a document management system. The sales person calls you to follow up. ‘Sure I want to get organised, but I simply don’t have time now – maybe next month … next quarter… next year …’
‘In the meantime Windows Explorer is good enough for me.’
You decide to take a lazy way out and use Explorer. (Makes sense, you think, it’s already there!) So you set up folders and sub-folders and save everything to them. Over time, as your business grows, your hire more people and they continue to follow this system. Sometimes your team works on the road, or from home. Unknown to you they start using another system (such as Drop Box, Google Drive, One Drive), and soon there are multiple copies of files spread over multiple hard drives and devices.
‘Why can’t I find good people?’
A few years go by and your organisation filing is adhoc and unpredictable. Without a known filing protocol, your staff has made up file names, according to what makes sense to them. Mistakes are inevitable. (After all, like you, your team simply doesn’t have the time to do it properly). In their haste, docs are placed into wrong folders never to be found again. Folders get dragged into other folders and just seem to vanish. Some files and folders get deleted altogether. (Sure it’s by accident, but the culprit will never own up).
Then one day, while you are fruitlessly looking for the most up-to-date version of a proposal you need for an urgent meeting, you notice an important contract for MacDonald filed under McDougal. You become paranoid about other similar mistakes. You yell at your staff for being inefficient. Unhappy at being blamed for others mistakes, they leave. The cost of replacing staff seems to be never ending.
‘I file correctly, why can’t everyone else!’
You hire a new General Manager and direct them to get your document management sorted. You even approve a budget. However, some staff covertly block progress. They delay meetings, delay decisions, suggest you get yet another quote, all because they don’t want to make the time to change. They are comfortable with the way things are. They file the ‘right’ way, why can’t everyone else.
‘It’s time to think about others.’
On the day that you find a key client’s name misspelt 17 different ways across all files (true story), you finally have a blinding epiphany – you realise that you are to blame. You started this lazy filing system at the beginning because it required minimal thinking and effort. In your haste to grow your business, you did not adequately consider future document retrieval needs. You shoulder the blame for establishing the poor filing culture your staff now follows. Everyone is filing selfishly, without thought for the next person who will need to retrieve information. This approach is paradoxically costing everyone time and especially costing you money. You take responsibility and resolve to change.
“Let’s Pay Filing Forwards’
You finally get organised. The Info-Organiser DMS experts talk to your team about how your docs are used and help you set up a standard filing protocol for the entire organisation. All the files spread across hard drives, and other systems, are imported into one central database, accessible by all. Every client name is pre-added to a drop down list, (so misspelling is no longer an option), and accuracy occurs 100% of the time, no matter who files a document.
Your team is fully trained and using Info-Organiser by the end of the day. After a week, they are amazed at how easy it is to file, stunned by how simple searching for a file has become. (One particular long term staff member quietly discovers with great relief, they cannot accidentally drag folders into other folders anymore.) Info-Organiser Smart Folders allow staff to see relationships between documents they never knew existed and potential avenues unfold for new products and services.
Months later, everyone knows the benefits of ‘Paying Filing Forward’ within the business. They have seen firsthand, that the few seconds one person takes to file properly, saves hours for everyone. There is a buzz of renewed, confident energy in the organisation as staff feel supported and have time to do their jobs better.
‘It’s better to be organised.’
You look for other ways to increase efficiencies and your business grows to another level. Your suppliers and customers see the change and want to know what’s going on. You laugh, (with the wisdom of hindsight), and you tell them a story about ‘Paying Filing Forwards’, and suggest they get organised as well.
Finally, you can take time out for an extended European vacation because you know your business is organised and productive. You have finally discovered that having your info organised is the ultimate lazy.