For a long time, the storage and retrieval of documents were time-consuming affairs for lawyers and caused productivity issues for a long time. Thankfully, Legal Document Management System is there to enable a smooth legal practice by tracking, managing, and storing documents with the help of metadata and tagging.
It is not unfair to say that Document Management Software streamlines the workflow and increases overall productivity.
So, you decided to update your system and manage documents in a smart-way through a document management system. Good for you. However, there are some red flags that you need to take into account for your convenience and smooth process integration. Let’s talk about a few of those red flags and how to avoid them.
1. Lack of coordination
Most law firms do the mistake of installing the document management system and let their employees deal with it. However, this approach may be easy, but not right. You have to keep in mind that a document management platform is not like a common application like MS-office.
It is unfair to assume that the employees will automatically get used to it. You need to give that effort towards educating them about the benefits, features, and applicability of the system. Truth be told, a good approach will be conducting regular training programs to familiarize them with the document management system.
Additionally, you need to run routine checks to ensure that everyone is following a document-digitization approach. You can do so through in-house surveys asking questions about the impact and feasibility of the platform.
2. Adopting a complex process
No matter what anyone says, it will take months for your entire law firm to get in sync with the document management system. If you are not ready to adjust and adapt during this interim period, then you will be entering troubled waters.
The document management system works best by dealing with data, creating associated metadata, and slowly integrating into your existing workflow. Naturally, this will take time.
It is wrong to presume that all your colleagues will be technical experts who will love categorizing documents or getting familiar with a machine-enabled workflow. However, the truth is most of your employees just want to get their work done and are least interested in process modification.
That’s why it is better to avoid useless complex processes and take the help of the service provider in the initial phase. Always lookout for the best customer service when you are choosing a document management system provider. Make sure the service provider and your colleagues work in tandem from the start to end of the software implementation process.
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3. Ignoring the hardware requirements
There will be some hardware requirements when you start to implement the document management system in your law practice. Some of them might be a router to allow ethernet connections, computers or laptops for employees, a document scanner, and so on.
While there are cheaper variants available in the market, it is always better to go for branded solutions when choosing hardware. Mind you, it may seem like an expensive affair in the beginning, but considering the long-term benefits, they are necessary. Talk to your service provider about the system requirements and incorporate them accordingly.
The first and foremost requirement will be of a high-quality document scanner with OCR (Optical character recognition) capabilities to scan existing paper documents in a readable and searchable format. This is necessary for you to build the document repository for your document management system to perform well.
4. Choosing on-premise solutions
Surely, everybody in your law firm is using a smartphone for their daily tasks. This smartphone can help all stakeholders of the law firm access important documents remotely through a cloud-based document management platform.
With on-premise solutions, there are always security issues associated with fire, water, tornado, or any other natural disaster. So, the Security of documents remains a primary concern of any firm and its clients. A secure document management system ensures that there is no such risk. It does so by allowing users accessibility only on their security clearance level. Furthermore, the requirement of a security key or a password to access the centralized document storage ensures privacy and security.
In addition to this, the cloud-based systems can store information regarding the history of access to ensure a proper check on compliance of internal and external regulations. This way, you can ensure the confidentiality of any sensitive information.
Cloud-based systems come with in-built security features that back up data and ensure recovery of important documents in case the central document repository is affected adversely.
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Technology has touched every aspect of legal practice. It has made practice management reliable, fast, and easy. Needless to say, the document management system plays an important role in enabling legal technology.