Email has many purposes, but document management is not one of them. We send and receive documents in our emails all the time, but try finding that document later when you really need it (like during an audit) and you’ll be amazed at how they disappear…
If there’s one thing you need when it comes to documents, it’s reliability. Documents define our projects, control our expenses and manage our risks. The agency relies on documents to function. That’s why the #1 rule of document management is centralization. You need all your important documents in one system that is easily searchable, is designed for that purpose and has the security you’d expect for your most important data.
All of the leading agency management systems offer that functionality. If you don’t currently have an agency management system, that’s a good place to start.
When you’re evaluating systems, pay special attention to the ability to automate the document management for your agency. Here are some examples:
- AP and Invoicing; nobody enjoys matching invoices with AP documents, SOWs, etc. There’s lots of room for human error, and errors tend to cost the agency revenue (not the other way around). By automating your document management, the system matches your AP documents with related invoices (even across multiple assignments), displays the invoice on every job it’s related to and ensure the clients are billed accurately.
- Contracts: It used to be that everyone had a “tickler file” meant to remind them of important due dates. Your agency management system can automate that function and notify you when important documents like vendor or client contracts are coming up for renewal.
- Routing: Many documents require multiple signatures for approval which used to take eons to accomplish. Automation combined with digital signatures make the process very quick and efficient. When a document is received by the agency and entered into the management system, the approval requirements are automatically applied and the document is sent off instantaneously for signatures. Document tracking allows for anyone with permission to see which signatures are outstanding and automated reminders can be set for predetermined intervals to make sure the document’s approval stays on the top of their To Do list.
Automation saves time, money and effort. Automating document management can prevent lawsuits, improve margins and reduce risk for the agency. Those are all key elements in staying competitive in the advertising space today.
If you don't have an agency management system that gives you the ability to automate key tasks like document management, consider Advantage's AQUA system. Since it integrates Media, Accounting and Project Management you have the ability to automate a large number of tasks which can save entire FTEs and improve the risk profile for the agency significantly.