Include Paper in Your Spring Cleaning

Guest Post by Laura Ngan Tian, Senior Consultant for Blackbaud’s Financial Management suite

Spring is here! Wouldn’t it be nice if you can just go “spring-clean” office, de-clutter, and rid of all the papers in your desk? Can a paperless office work? Can you really maintain acceptable system of records while saving some trees?

With advances in technology, most organizations are now operating with less and less dependency on printed documents. And maybe it’s time for you to consider it in your organization and go with the trend.

A Document Management System (DMS) is a software system used to store and manage electronic copies of documents. The advantages of implementing a DMS are as follows:

  • less physical storage requirements
  • ease of access to documents
  • secured access to confidential and sensitive materials
  • faster and more efficient way of searching for documents
  • reduced cost associated with archiving and secured document destruction

What do you need to implement a DMS?


Don’t look far or think that you need to spend a lot of money on a good scanner. Keep in mind that most copy machines or printers already offer the capability to scan your documents. Most scanners have OCR (Optical Character Recognition) features that can convert images into its digital version which can substitute data entry or enable a user edit/update the text version of the document


A good document management system would not only provide you with storage, indexing, and retrieval capability but it should also offer versioning, security, and workflow.


Digitizing documents mean that it now lives in a hard drive somewhere. Now more than ever, backup, and retention is at the forefront. Remember, a backup is only good if it can be restored so routine testing plays a big role.


It is important to define the series of steps, workflow, status, and the approval for documents stored in your system.


And last but certainly not the least, you must ensure that you create or update the policy related to document management. You don’t want to invalidate all the efforts put into implementing a new system by not having a policy.