January 14, 2014 by Tom Zeliff Categories: Document Management

We are inclined to believe that big problems can only be solved by big, complicated and expensive solutions. However, our experience tells us that simple solutions can have a major impact on even big problems. The following is an example of how the simple transition to document management software helped one organization go from paralysis to empowerment.

A Step in the Right Direction, But…

Scanning documents is always a big step in improving efficiency and reducing costs in your organization. But, if not done correctly, your scanning solution can actually make retrieval of critical documents more time consuming, more frustrating and more difficult. A small change in how your documents are stored and retrieved can have a big impact on employee productivity and your bottom line. Consider the following situation faced by a large social services agency.

A Big Problem

Every year, the social service agency would scan thousands of terminated employee files. These documents were critical for determining employee benefits and retirement calculations. Scanning them was the right idea, but there was just one problem: it took hours to find the documents after they were scanned, wasting time and paralyzing productivity.

When the documents were scanned, they were saved as PDFs and output to multiple CDs with no central database. Employees needing to find something had no way to search across all CDs simultaneously. They didn’t know which files were on which CDs, so they had to guess, load a CD into a computer, search for the document, unload the CD if the file wasn’t there, and repeat the process until the file was found. Doing so was a maddeningly frustrating and time consuming effort.

A Simple Solution

By implementing the simple change of uploading and storing the PDFs of the scanned documents to document management software vs on CDs, employees now have one document repository to search with a central database pointing to all of the documents. This uncomplicated and inexpensive solution ushered in a new era of productivity: agency employees can now instantly locate requested HR documents from their computers instead of having to search through multiple CDs, and can quickly email, print and share them.


As a result, the agency’s new document management solution took them from paralysis to empowerment. Transitioning from PDFs on multiple CDs to document management software with a central database was a small and simple change, but one that had a profound effect on productivity. Now, employees spend much less time searching through outdated media and more time on value-adding work.