By Wayne Clarke, Managing Director of Metrofile Records Management – a group company of JSE-listed Metrofile Holdings Limited.

Many businesses are experiencing a loss in productivity due to misfiled electronic documents and the loss of data. This is why it is so important to have a quality integrated electronic document management (EDM) system in place. An EDM system manages physical records as well as fixed content such as emails, PDFs, Microsoft Office documents, photos and other popular business type documents.

Even though many businesses operating today have an EDM system in place, most of them are still at risk of at least some data loss and security breaches. In light of POPI and the compliance legislation in several industries the acceptable percentage for data loss is zero.

Below are a few vital elements to look at to ensure your business has an efficient EDM system in place.

It needs to be secure
Data is vulnerable at many points within a company, from employees’ own devices to online portals and websites. This is why an EDM system needs to have secure access control, both from internal networks, and web portals.

Easy to use
Even the best systems can fail if employees find it challenging to store or recall documents and other information. A system needs standardised repositories and advanced routing to allow for content from various systems to be consolidated, categorised and searched.

Cater for physical document management
Catering for physical document management is an often overlooked feature. Most businesses still rely on conventional paper documents in some form. An EDM system should be able to archive physical documents, keep track of their status and ensure their information is available via an easy to use front-end interface.

Have a simple, scalable process to capture and manage emails
Poor email management severely impedes productivity and does not support legal compliance or good governance. Considering the amount of business being conducted via email, critical company related information will always need to be retained securely, and be easily retrievable.

Use a proper migration system
One of the biggest risks for companies implementing new records information management systems is the possibility of data loss during the migration process. Along with that, there is often an interruption in the company’s day-to-day operations, meaning that productivity often suffers during this period.

Every business needs an EDM system that satisfies daily business needs. No business should settle for anything that could jeopardise the integrity and usability of information.

About Metrofile’s dataSTOR

Metrofile’s dataSTOR is a solution that checks all of these vital points, encompassing a wide range of applications, including imaging, email archiving, a web portal, advanced routing and physical filing.

dataSTOR has been developed over the course of 15 years and caters for both large companies and small enterprises. It is one core system with the ability to be configured according to the company’s requirements, with various integration options into line of business applications. This is what really differentiates it from most records information management systems. dataSTOR can be adapted for any type of company that produces and needs to retain records for the effective functioning of their business.

dataSTOR’s installation takes one day for a simple installation, and a maximum of three months for the most complex installations. The system is also flexible enough to host it either on the client’s server, or as a cloud solution in a secure hosted environment.

Metrofile offers dataSTOR training to client companies, as well as all pre-installation and post installation services and support. Clients who are serious about their records information management can transition within one month when supported in this manner. This of course depends on the size of the client, the number of departments, sites and users that need to be trained and set-up.