How to Find the Right Document Management Solution
Left unstructured, document management can become a black hole of confusion, frustration, and non-billable hours. This is especially true in the legal industry, where lawyers, paralegals, and other industry professionals deal with a significant amount of paperwork and documentation.
Document management is essential to staying organized and on top of your caseload (without sacrificing billable hours or layering on unnecessary work). When it comes to documentation, every firm’s exact needs are different, but there are a number of steps you can take to find the right solution for your practice.
It is possible to build a sustainable document management system, and when done correctly, it makes a big difference in a law firm’s productivity (and peace of mind).
How to find the right document management solution for your firm
While establishing good habits and following best practices can make a big difference in a firm’s documentation, at some point, it’s necessary to review your system as a whole.
Taking a 30,000-ft view of your document management policies helps you understand what you need in your system so you can find one that makes it easy to stay organized—while also providing the security your clients need. Here are some good questions to ask yourself and your team.
1. What are our document management needs?
Every law firm will have different needs based on their specific field, their firm size, their budget, and other factors. Take some time to review your current documentation system. Ask yourself:
- How efficient or organized is your current document management system?
- Does your firm’s current document management system allow for collaboration?
- What works well in your current system?
- What doesn’t work well in your current system?
- What would be on your wish list for an ideal document management system?
With these questions in mind, consider which features would make your work easier. For example, do you often need to access documents outside of the office? Then your staff should be able to access legal files from any device, including a phone or tablet, so you can pull up relevant documents whenever and wherever you need them. This points to a strong need for a cloud-based system!
Some firms may have years of paper document storage eating up office space and sitting, unreferenced, in the corner. What if you could easily scan and digitize your documents, so they become a searchable file for others on your team to reference? Look for software with the ability to digitize your documents, so paper files can become immediately accessible within the system.
2. What security and compliance features need to be implemented?
Some document management systems are more secure than others. It’s important for firms to find the right balance of security and usability. Additionally, each state bar association has its own regulations regarding compliance, so firms need to review their state’s requirements to make sure that any system they adopt will meet the mark.
Make sure you consider document management platforms that offer secure file-sharing capabilities. Secure file-sharing and eSignature services allow users to request, send, and receive documents securely and conveniently. The right tool will provide multiple layers of protection, such as customized security Q&A and expiring access deadlines.
3. How much storage does our firm need?
Different firms need different things. Instead of trying to change your workflows to make a software work for you, look for a system that can scale for your practice. Your firm may need a certain amount of storage based on a number of factors, including:
- Firm size
- Practice areas
- Client base
- Years of operation
Look for document management solutions that offer transparent and tiered pricing solutions, so you can use the tools you want and leave the tools you don’t need.
For example, Rocket Matter tailors plans to address different levels of need for document management. Under our Essentials plan, we offer secure document and video storage at a baseline level, while our Pro and Premiere plans offer unlimited secure document storage and tiered video storage. You can pick the plan that offers the right amount of storage at the right price for your needs.
4. How do our needs line up with our current document management software?
At a certain point, the software you use dictates the quality and quantity of work you can accomplish on a given day. If your firm uses a patchwork of different software that can’t talk to each other, then you may find yourself working through the same inefficiencies over and over again. Worse, if your systems aren’t aligned, then you may find documents and critical data slipping through the cracks.
The more robust and integrated a system is, the more you can operate from one place, saving time and money while reducing manual administrative work.
Look for a document management system that integrates with broader practice management software, such as billing and invoicing, CRMs, and time tracking. What if you didn’t have to switch between different software for every administrative task? What if it was all in one place?
Your team can build an efficient document management system in the same place where your other essential business functions live. Integrated solutions can offer not only document management, but also:
- Time and expense tracking
- Digital invoicing
- Billing and online payments
- Document storage
- Conflict checks
- Contact management
- Kanban boards
- Workflows and project management
- Document assembly
- Software integration (Office, Google, QuickBooks, and more)
- Advanced reporting
- Robust CRM capabilities
It’s hard to see how efficient you could be when you’re just trying to keep your head above the growing stacks of documents, files, and paperwork. Consider how you can build a more efficient system—one where your firm and your clients benefit from a more productive and organized document management system.
With Rocket Matter, it’s easy to build the document management solution that’s right for you
Every legal practice is different, and every practice has different needs. But every firm benefits from a secure and organized document system. Rocket Matter’s innovative practice management system provides tailored document management solutions alongside integrated features such as secure document sharing and eSignature services.