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What should you pay attention to when introducing archiving software at your company?

Investing in a system for audit-proof archiving represents an investment in the future. In this context, much depends on the current situation of your company. Before you implement an archiving solution, you should ask yourself important questions about it and answer them honestly.

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Since an archive is used by many departments, you should involve these departments in the deliberations. For the sake of simplicity, here is a schematic overview, divided into four steps:

Step 1

Determine the current state of archiving in the company

Have conversations with relevant departments. Questions should include: Why, where, and with what should an archive system help? What are the goals to be achieved by this? Audit-proof archiving is not the only important aspect. Try to categorize the answers to these questions.

In the first step, a rough categorization could be as follows:

  • Which archive functions are absolutely necessary and which are simply nice to have?
  • Don’t forget to think about the future already today: What could become important later?

Once you have completed this list, engage with the various departments to expand the list.

Step 2

identify informative and persuasive key figures

This involves identifying key figures that describe the current status in the company with regard to the day-to-day handling of archiving. Questions of this type could be:

How long does it take your colleagues to enter, file, archive, and eventually search for information, measured in total minutes per document?

Record the time in minutes for
a) Entering a document
b) Filing a document
c) Archiving a document
d) Searching for a document

Note these times per document, then calculate the time required for all documents per day, and finally for a whole month. This gives you a first impression of how much time manual, paper-based archiving costs.

Finally, answer the following two questions:
g) What is the footprint of your company archive in m²?
h) What is the monthly rental cost (including heating) of the company archive?

Step 3

Outline and review the current filing / archiving structures and the document flow within the organization

Try to accurately capture the current situation. Only when you know which paths documents take through the company can you plan an approach for achieving the optimizations hoped for with the archive introduction. Consider: Transformation alone does not improve the process.

Ask the following questions:

  • Which document and file types exist in the company?
  • How do documents flow through the company from arrival to filing, and which intermediate stations lie along the way to the archive?
  • Which employee groups are involved in the document flow, who processes which documents and when?

With this approach, you will recognize quite quickly which processes prove to be efficient or inefficient. This process will help you find the biggest pain points in your company.

Step 4

Take a close look at potential archive providers

Once an initial determination of the above metrics has been made, you will have a strong basis for further argumentation within the company. The decisive factor at this point will be open communication with the respective archive developer, who can give you a realistic estimate of the target values to be achieved with the archive.

User acceptance – key users from the business departments 
Once you have completed this step, the shortlisted archive systems can be subjected to user testing. Identify a representative sampling of the users in the departments that will eventually work with the solution, then arrange for them to participate in a workshop with the provider. Have them determine whether the archiving solution meets expectations. Depending on the archive, a test installation with sample data is also possible. This enables testing even beyond the workshop. With SaaS and cloud solution providers, the steps just mentioned can be simplified, and much of it can
certainly take place online.

User-friendliness: Even with compliant archiving 
Take the judgment of the key users from the specialist departments seriously. Because the future archive of choice should truly simplify the work. Ask yourself: Would you look forward to working with the archive solution that was demonstrated to you by the developer? Invite key users from the departments to answer the same question. Have the selected key users tell you:

  • Is the future archiving solution really a pleasure to work with?
  • Does use of the software seem simple, self-explanatory, coherent, and ergonomic?

Audit-proof archiving made easy

easy archive is the powerful archive – whether on-prem or as an SaaS solution – for documents and receipts from document-intensive business processes. As a solid basis, you can use the archive via the digital interface for seamless integration into business processes such as incoming invoice management, HR processes or contract management.

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