Indexing and Document Management

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A Well Thought Out Indexing System Will Save Time and Money

Indexing is the Achillis heel of document management.  There are TONS of filing cabinets filled with paper and in order to have a good document management system, every incoming piece of paper will need to be indexed if it’s to be in the document management system.  So, shiping manifests, invoices, receipts, contracts, employee records, quotes, some important E mails and other files…  all of this should be addressed.

So, how do you take all of those filing cabinets and make them useful and in electronic formatting.

Think About Who Will Do The Work

If you have a user friendly document management system, most of this work can be done by temporary help or employee’s kids for the indexing process.  If you have one of the “big boy” systems, it is actually more likely your costly accounting staff will be spending the next 6 months scanning, indexing, tying, and validating information.  We see many who start on the path to a document management system try to give up because they bought something way too expensive for their needs.  But who can afford to waste $35,000 or more in this economy.  So people eventually learn how their systems work, kicking and screaming the whole way!

Steps to indexing your documents:

  • Start departmentally – It’s a big elephant, eating it more than one bite at a time can be dangerous.  We recommend you start with your most paper intensive department, (unless you just want to practice and see how it works…) because this will get the people who deal with paper the most as efficient as possible in the shortest time possible.
  • Hire help – Unless you hate your employees, you need to outsource this tedious task!  If you think it through, you may be looking at 50,000 or more pages to index.  Using cheaper help, you can get it done faster.  We find that most companies can be totally on board in a few months if they don’t try and do this work themselves.  We can help you understand how some of our customers have done this without breaking the bank.
  • Understand the Importance – If you don’t realize the value of document management, from helping you with lawsuits to simple office efficiency, you may be inclined to give up.  A good document management system should allow you to index about 10 documents per minute…  If you have 500,000 documents (this is a lot of back filing) — you are looking at 833 Hours. (A normal filing cabinet drawer will have about 1,500 sheets as they are not crammed full) This would be about 100 filing cabinets!!   Assume about 8 to 12 hours per filing cabinet for help.
  • Index Once – Index Correctly – It is important to remember that mistakes multiply.  The indexing needs to be accurate.  One of the best ways for it to be accurate is to make sure it ties into existing systems (like accounting) so that the inputs are validated against already existing and accepted data.

Indexing gets easy once you are caught up.  It’s just the initial “catch up” that seems to scare people away from document management.  If your company has 10 filing cabinets, it’s likely you could be caught up with just 2 weeks of temp help!

About Jesse Harwell
Jesse Harwell is the owner of Pahoda Image Products in Denver,CO and has been dealing with copier and advanced imaging for over 5 years. He has built websites for more than 15 different copier and technology companies integrating a robust database of equipment comparisons, and has transferred this energy to the document management field. As the owner of an document imaging company, he gets to see many of the industry offerings and is able to provide this site with sme basic “how to’s” in the field of document management. As a document management company in Denver, he has dealt with the frustrations customers feel with most systems on the market. Jesse also enjoys a great glass of wine, running and reading books (especially on spiritual growth), you can contact him through his document management and copier company in Denver.