Document Dilemmas – Avoiding risk exposure & maximising business potential through document management

Be honest – do you know how many paper based documents exist within your business and what they are? What information do they contain, where are they stored, and how long would it take you to retrieve them if you needed to? You won’t be alone if your answer is ‘no’ to at least some of these, however, be aware that poor management of paper based documents could be increasingly putting your business at risk and also stifling some great opportunities.

Why? Well for a start it would be difficult to escape the noise surrounding new GDPR regulations coming into force in 2018. These will put new pressure on all organisations’ ability to provide, on demand, any personal data requested of them otherwise they’ll pay the price of fines of up to €20m or 4% of company turnover. Consider also that you might hold records about a particular customer in multiple departments and archives. How are you going to get all of that information together at short notice if you’re required to do so?

Equally, think about the number of documented storms and floods we have suffered in the UK in recent years. If your ‘archived’ documents are kept in a standard lock-up for example, they may be at risk from flood, leaks or other damage which could render them useless and leave you with missing critical information. As document management experts we come across businesses storing important paper files in all sorts of weird and wonderful places – garages, attics, basements, computer rooms, kitchens; anywhere there’s free space but all of which pose risks.

There are clear pitfalls to poor document management, but let’s not also forget that if you’re sitting on high volumes of paper files that aren’t properly indexed, managed and archived, you could be missing out on key business opportunities and efficiencies too. You might not have a complete and single view of your customers which could limit your ability to understand their behaviour and what they are likely to buy from you. Equally your staff could be spending large amounts of time and money travelling from your offices to archive locations and hunting for information when they could be being far more productive and useful.

The truth of the matter is that we all think we’re reducing the amount of paper we’re using or reliant on as businesses because an increasing amount of data is stored electronically – on computers, emails, cloud filing systems, digital storage or online archives. However, most of us are still holding vital historical information about employees and customers on paper, filed away and difficult to access, while many are continuing to accrue new paper records every day, such as forms holding vital and sometimes sensitive information.

Download our  document dilemmas white paper for more information about avoiding risk exposure and maximising busines potential through effective document management.


Section 1: Introduction: Don’t take your documents for granted

Section 2:  The evidence: business document management behaviours

Section 3:  The risks: what happens when paper documents aren’t managed?

Section 4:  The opportunity: using document management to your advantage

Section 5:  Where to start: the five Ps of document management planning

Section 6:  Summing up