3 Benefits of using an Electronic Document Management System in your Safety Program

3 Benefits of using an Electronic Document Management System in your Safety Program

An electronic document management system, or EDMS, is a software system used to electronically store, receive, and manage important paper documents. Each day businesses across Canada send and receive near endless numbers of documents and forms including hazard assessments, site inspection, OH&S forms, and so much more; managing it all can be a challenging task. Electronic document storage has grown exponentially since first introduced in 1980 and is now a powerful tool that can be used to streamline countless business processes. Some Electronic Document Management Systems can help a company digitize safety forms that can be signed on a mobile device and then placed in an online folder; saving time, paper, and easily completing important documents. Without a proficient document management system in place, companies are likely losing revenue and profit daily. Companies can lose up to $4000 per employee per month due to a loss of productivity from inadequate document management. A great EDMS is more than just a place to store documents. Below are just 3 of the major benefits that explain why integrating an electronic document management system can change your business.

1. Reduce Costs

Document management in the average workplace safety program is extremely costly, “the average four-drawer filing cabinet costs $20,000 to fill.” Between storage costs and the administrative costs associated with creating and maintaining a proper storage system, it can become a large overhead item for a business to run safely and efficiently. Traditional hard copy document storage incurs costs such as paper, space, filing cabinets, manual labour to file. etc. A study by Gartner Inc. states that businesses can cut costs by 40% with the proper EDMS. Switching to an established online electronic document management system allows a company to cut down on storage space, spend less money on supplies, and become more efficient with their time. All of this will mean the company can increase its profit margin.

2. Improve workflows

There is up to a 21% decrease in productivity without the proper system in place to store, locate, and retrieve documents. Countless unproductive hours can be spent duplicating efforts on work and safety forms that have already been completed but are not easily located; transferring documents to other departments; and making changes to the wrong version of a document. An electronic document management system allows for site safety audits, incident reports, HR paperwork, and secure digital documents to be quickly routed to the right people which creates strong workflows and can help automate manual tasks. Increasing workflow efficiency will increase productivity and streamline business safety operations.

3. Enhance Collaboration

Electronic Document Management Systems can enhance collaboration internally and externally. Employees can work together, or with external partners, on the same safety forms and HR documents via web-based applications to make a cohesive document without duplicating efforts. This minimizes the need for, and the time spent on reviewing, or approving documents from other departments or upper management. Important safety paperwork can move through the system faster and with less time spent on administration. A team with stronger collaborative capabilities will be more efficient and make better-informed business decisions.

The uses of an electronic document management system within a company’s safety program are almost endless. The utilization of online assessments, forms, or document storage streamlines administrative duties and simplifies the process. Documents that contain sensitive or private information can be stored securely online which increases security and control over who can access the information. Implementing a system that provides a way to digitally create and store important safety documents is vital to reducing costs, increasing productivity, and supporting collaboration. A proper EDMS will deliver a healthy return on investment and improve the overall efficiency of your business.


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