Securing a single legal copy of all output produced by all business system in the company proves to be a challenge and a major headache for many.
Quotations, order confirmations, sales invoices, statements, reminders, GL posting lists, packing lists, picking lists, inventory lists, Purchase Orders, and Pay slips are only a few of the many documents.
Huge volumes, many systems, various formats, and multiple locations only add to the misery. Even a simple sales invoice may very well exist as both EDI, XML, PDF, and on paper.
Manual filing of paper copies in ring binders or filing cabinets is still a procedure in many companies. Time consuming and expensive. Wasting valuable time.
When documents are circulated in the organization you will find that many even make their own personal copies and hence build local archives. Just in case.
In daily operation, physical archives are a burden. Calling customers with overdue and unpaid invoices you are bound to be met with: “We never got that invoice — could you please send me a copy?” Going to the archive, making a copy and mailing it, or sending it by fax takes time.
Finance, Sales, Logistics, HR, and R&D all share the same pain. Especially if they are working on another floor, down the road, or across the world.
Geography is one challenge. Time is another. Try to get hold of a copy once the financial staff has left the office for the day. Not an option. If you are late preparing for next day's budget review. Tough luck!
Having some of your documents on stray file servers doesn't help much.
You distribute more and more of your business output electronically but copies are often still printed. That is one of the reasons why the market for cut size paper still grows year over year, in spite of everyone going digital.
These copies don't come cheap. Besides the cost of paper, you'll have to add additional printer capacity and toner cost. All in all it adds up to a hefty price per copy. Multiply that price by 10,000. 100,000. A million or more.
Keeping a physical archive is not for free. Set aside money for file cabinets, ring binders, and shelving systems. And remember it all takes up floor space. Expensive office floor space that is.
Managing the archive also takes time. Even purging obsolete financial records from a physical archive takes time. Nothing is for free.
Imagine what a fire or a flood would do to your business. You do have backup and contingency plans in place for your business systems. But what about your physical archives? Securing physical archives is not easy at all.
Talking about security: Filing cabinets and ring binders simply aren't the best security measures to protect business sensitive information from prying eyes.
Even without the ridged Sarbanes–Oxley legislation, authorities require more and more documentation from businesses. Some companies are completely on track. Others pray that no one ever discovers that they rely on reprints from the ERP system and PDF files on stray file servers.
Complying with legislation and passing audits takes internal and external auditor time. Unless you auditor works for free this eats right into your profits.
It’s virtually impossible to stay in control with business information scattered over multiple systems, several physical archives, and numerous file servers.
As long as physical documents play a role in the business processes, you are severely crippling your organization’s scalability and agility. Optimizing procedures, dividing or merging business units, distributing workloads, working from different offices or from home is significantly harder when valuable information cannot be shared, accessed, or put to use.
Streamline how you archive business output with our standard-setting software solution, Next®.
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Jørn M. Christensenjmc@nextway.software
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