Dealing with large documents… 4 steps to sanity

Posted by TAB on

If your organization relies on regular access to large documents, you’ll know what a headache they are to manage. From blueprints and schematic diagrams to maps and historic records, large documents are harder to store, harder to access and harder to share. These challenges often lead to significant business inefficiencies that can hamper growth and productivity. To increase productivity and eliminate headaches, follow these four steps:

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Step 1: Scan them.

Not everyone is aware that large documents can be scanned, but this is the essential first step to liberating both your documents and your team. The latest scanning technology is capable of imaging documents in excess 3ft x 4ft, which is more than enough to capture blueprints and other large documents. Before scanning, be sure to purge non-essential and duplicate documents to avoid extra costs and confusion when retrieving documents.  

Step 2: Apply a functional classification system.

In many organizations, the existing classification system doesn’t enable the quick retrieval of large documents for the full spectrum of business uses. For example, if your blueprints are only classified by the address of the facility that they apply to, employees can’t search for blueprints by category, which makes it harder to leverage existing designs when working on a new project. A well-designed functional classification system allows both the imaged and the original documents to be located and retrieved for any number of possible use cases.  

Step 3: Centralize and share the imaged documents.

With your large documents scanned and classified, it becomes much easier to share them among the various users in your organization. Shared drives and cloud records storage solutions are perfect for offering a secure, central access point for all users. Search tools allow documents to be located based on keywords applied during the classification process. This pays big dividends in terms of productivity, allowing for easier access, sharing and collaboration – both with internal staff as well as with clients and partners.  

Step 4: Revisit your storage setup for paper documents.

At this stage, you will be left with a few large documents that require less direct access because they are now available electronically on a shared drive. This opens you up to an alternative shelving solution that will drive greater efficiencies and lower costs. For example, the reduced demand for access to the original documents may make high density mobile shelving a viable option for the first time. This can dramatically reduce your storage footprint and help you save on the costs of any offsite storage you may be using currently. Large documents do not have to be the “bane” of your records management program. These proven steps will help you bring them under control, improving everyone’s productivity and sanity. If you have any other tips for managing large documents, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below..

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