Whether in the form of hard copies or digital files, it’s likely that your business’s legal documents take up the majority of the company’s storage space in hard drives and steel filing cabinets. If stored in cabinets, not only does space become an issue, so does the easy and quick retrieval of documents that may have been archived and moved to another location for storage. If the files are in a digital format, problems can arise when various employees need access to the same document or when different documents have been created in multiple formats by various users. To alleviate these issues, a management system must be employed company wide.
If ever there were a boon in terms of the indexing, filing, and retrieval of a legal document, it was the invention of the Boolean search. A Boolean search enables a user to search for something by entering a single word, multiple keywords, or phrases that are known to exist within documents. This means that a document that was created 10 years ago is just as accessible within the system as a document that was electronically filed just last week. A legal document management system ensures that any authorized user can access the document at any time. This obviously has numerous time saving advantages over a system that involved a myriad of folders in an untold number of drawers which could only be filed under one heading.
For the legal department of any business and for any outside legal counsel with whom that department might work, the ability to collaborate on documents, electronically, in real time can make the difference between success and failure when it comes to the business of getting legal documents where they need to be when they need to be there. Whether the document is a contract that must get to a client by day’s end, an amendment to a policy that will affect someone’s hiring or termination, or the lease renewal on the company’s main offices, being able to quickly access, edit, and process documents is a must in the modern workforce.
In order to facilitate storage, make versions consistent, ensure security, and provide for uniform indexing, ease of retrieval, and the opportunity for collaboration, all businesses operating in the 21st Century need a systemic legal document management system. If your company has been totally digital for quite some time, or if you are in the process of converting to total electronic storage, it’s probably time to take a look at your system to determine if you are taking complete advantage of recent technology and all that a document management system can do to increase productivity and the success of your company.