Everyday we use different types of documents in the workplace, but what is the true definition of a document in today’s world of Facebook, Twitter, Paperless offices, etc.? According Dictionary.com, a document is “a written or printed paper furnishing information or evidence, as a passport, deed, bill of sale, or bill of lading; a legal or official paper.” In today’s corporate world, the definition of a document is changing every day because of the digital age. Information comes in all different shapes & sizes; and people need to understand that a document must be defined as how documents play a role in the internal business process day in and day out. Whether a document comes in paper form or digital form, they cost money because they require labor to process.
Here is a great exercise to understand what a document is in your company and if you need to create a better document strategy.
1. Think about the different types of documents you touch every day during your work day.
Books, Service Manuals, Emails, Voicemails, Faxes, Packing Slips, Purchase Orders, E-bills, etc.
2. Which documents are most critical to the success of your company?
Checks, Contracts, Purchase Orders, Sales Orders, Email Confirmations, Packing Slips, etc.
3. In your company, what technology is used to create documents?
Smartphone, Pen & Paper, Computers, Printers, Copiers, Typewriters, IPad, etc.
4. How do documents process from employee to employee and employee to customer in your company?
Postal Mail, Email, Fax, File Folders, Document Management Software, Internet, Text, etc.
5. How do you store, process, and keep documents?
File Folders, C-Drive Folders, Binders, Email Folder, etc.
After answering these questions, look at the list you wrote down and you will be astonished how documents play a vital role in every business process that your company does. While looking at this list, ask yourself this question: If I lost the function of being able to do one of the 5 questions from above during a work day, would be my company suffer? –YES, it would because documents provide information, and information is the heartbeat of every business as well as the way people access, process, and create documents ultimately effects their bottom line.
Documents are a very valuable asset to any business in today’s society, which is why it is very important to understand how your company defines the word “document.” So… How does your company define the word document and does your company have a document strategy?