The COVID-19 pandemic developed rapidly during 2020, causing a global transition to support virtual environments. With few able to retrieve or transport their physical files, many businesses had to learn and adapt to new practices – an example being the digitizing of their municipal records.
Civil services, public sectors, and municipal organizations have realized that paper is expensive to maintain, store, and back-up. By reducing the usage, security measures have also strengthened while productivity levels increased. These are just a few of the many reasons to digitize municipal records.
Reasons for Municipal Organizations to Go Digital
As the post-pandemic era arises, the lessons that organizations and individuals have learned will be remembered, leading to better operations in the long term. Whether your full-team stayed on site as essential workers or you had a portion remote, there is no denying that any business can benefit from digitizing files. In fact, now is the perfect time for organizations to reinvent paperwork practices and adjust to the new digital age.
1. Risk Reduction
One of the top reasons that you should consider digitizing your municipal records is for risk mitigation. Over the years, we have faced potential hazards to our files, which could cause them to become lost or damaged. These large damages could come from fires, theft, mold, or sprinkler damage. They could also come from smaller circumstances such as accidental tears, coffee spills, or just from the ink fading away. By digitizing your files and putting them on a secure cloud, you are now protecting them from any of these potential environmental hazards. Best of all, there will also be automatic back-ups, so you will no longer have to worry about recovering lost files.
2. Secure Document Storage
Another benefit is simple but highly effective. You now have more control on who has access to your invaluable documents. Instead of pondering who was the last individual that laid their hands on a document or revised it, you have access to a full electronic audit trail to keep them accountable for any actions. The days of tracking down your municipal records are now over.
3. More Accuracy
The longer that hard copy records are used, the more it starts to deteriorate from wear and tear. This can cause content to fade to the point where we have inaccurate information. A common mistake that can occur is when files are dropped or mixed up, causing papers to be out of order – especially if they are not numbered. Paper trails can also lead to more errors if any revisions are not communicated to all parties. By digitizing your records, you can ensure that all parties will have the most accurate information to date and documents will always be in order. There will also be less duplication errors, which will help save your team time on rechecking your files.
4. Increased Productivity while Saving Time
How does it feel knowing that you can target your searches instead of digging through your files? When asked to locate your digitized documents, it’s as simple as counting 1-2-3. To save even more time, you can send the files over to the designated party – no more walking around to share documents! Not only is this a more efficient use of time, but it helps optimize your workflows which in turn increases productivity levels.
5. Improves Customer Service and Relationships
In this digital age, consumers are not as patient as they once were. We live in a community where customer service is based on kindness, reliability, and swiftness. Customer loyalty can be easy to falter, and you want to maintain your relationship as best as possible. The faster the retrieval of municipal records, the more respect and loyalty that you will receive from your clients and community. While time is important to us, it also is for your clients.
Although this does build a positive relationship publically, this can also help promote relationships internally. The ease of locating files may also reduce your team’s stress levels. No one wants to feel the pressure of losing an important document. Using a digitizing software will also optimize your workflow, which means there is more control over training and less confusion over processes. Lessening these struggles will improve your internal relationships, which will translate to better experiences on the customer side as well.
6. Quality of Life and Accessibility
Who doesn’t love hearing about new processes that can improve their quality of life? Once you have digitized your municipal records, it will be easier to access your files at any location. Imagine that a team member is on vacation or had to stay home due to a sudden fever. Imagine if you were working from home and had forgotten a document. Instead of waiting for your team member or yourself to return to the office, you can now access your files in real-time without waiting. Even if you had forgotten your work laptop, you could view the documents on your phone or tablet. This flexibility of being able to review and share your files is very important in our fast-paced digital environment.
Teamwork is highly valued in an organization. Having all your files in one document management software can promote collaboration within your team. In lieu of compiling all the paper documents for everyone to have, it is simpler to pull up the files digitally for everyone to view. Cutting out the physical step not only saves time, but it makes it more convenient for all parties. Having more eyes on a document can also mitigate errors and form new ideas. This is an effective tool since team members can work alongside each other in real-time, no matter what location they are in.
8. Reduces Costs and Increases Office Space
Digitizing your documents can reduce your costs significantly. Instead of using sections of your floorplan to hold filing cabinets, you could now maximize your office space or even move to a smaller office. The elimination of filing cabinets will also reduce clutter, which can improve productivity rates since it will be easier to pinpoint where the municipal documents that you are searching for are. By also limiting the use of filing cabinets, you would save costs on purchasing paper and on ink and toner.
9. Promote Sustainability
The average office worker generates 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year, and that’s just one individual! One tree can produce approximately 8,333 sheets of paper. It doesn’t seem like a lot on a daily basis, but paper can add up quickly. When documents are lost, there can be a habit to reprint and use more paper. By digitizing all your documents, there will no longer be a need for that step. When there is a meeting, you no longer have to print out the files for your whole team; everyone can just pull up the files on their devices. Moving forward, it will be beneficial to reduce waste and promote a better carbon footprint.
10. Less Contact and Contamination
Due to the recent COVID-19 virus, the community is more mindful of limiting the spread of germs and the virus. This practice has taught us that contactless delivery is also valuable to not only protect the community, but to protect our documents as well.
To top it all off, the digital age is here to stay. We must continue to adapt and grow with the community. To keep up with the ever-changing digital platform, we must minimize any inconveniences with others. Reducing our paper trail makes it easier to work with a variety of people in different locations at different times.
Let’s Make it Happen!
New technologies can play a large role in our success in adapting, so why not learn more about how Go Find It can help your municipality? Go Find It offers the best document management software to help improve your productivity, and our software solutions are also compliant with government regulations. We offer an affordable, cloud-based system to securely collect, store, organize, retrieve, and share information.
You will be able to quickly pull up documents, set up custom views to access the exact information you need, and divide information into specific categories to locate municipal records faster. And it’s a completely secure cloud system backed by our IT experts who are ready to support you!
If you would like to learn more about how Go Find It can help your municipality, please visit our website and schedule a demo.