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Five reasons to upgrade to a digital data management system

Five reasons to upgrade to a digital data management system

Is a digital data management system something you’ve thought about? Shane Stenning from Pinnacle Insurance outlines the benefits and explains why it may be worth upgrading. A few years ago, we were still using an old-style, paper filing system. As you can imagine, it was chaos. Letters, papers, dozens of filing cabinets – not to mention important paperwork filed incorrectly.

We knew we had to change our system. When we heard about another practice that had completely transformed its business by going paperless, it was time for us to take that leap. After a challenging year of familiarising ourselves with the new software and digitising all our data, we now have a system that works brilliantly. Here are five benefits we’ve seen from upgrading.

1. Greater efficiency

One of the biggest problems we had with the previous paper-based filing system was that we had to rely on people’s filing skills. When I joined, trying to find things was just crazy. We also took over other agencies, who would just dump their own filing chaos on us – it was ridiculous. With digital data management, you can access exactly what you want at the click of a button. It’s all there – easy to retrieve – which saves a lot of time. Our clients are doing everything by web and email anyway, and we no longer need to print their emails for filing or scan documents to email them. Everything is already there in digital format – just click to save or send. 

2. Better compliance

It is a requirement of the Corporations Act 2001 that we must keep financial records for seven years after the transactions are completed. These may be documents we send or conversations we have, all dated and time stamped. Having a digital system automatically takes care of this for us. We know exactly when files were created. It’s also easy to find records older than seven years and delete them – we really didn’t need to hang on to records dating back to 1980. Though if we did, space would be far less of an issue with a digital system.

3. Stronger security

As well as our paper filing system, we were also using a program to record client interactions. However, the software wasn’t up to the standards required by the legislation. For example, it was possible for an entry to be manipulated, so everything needed to be more secure. With our new system, we’re fully compliant in terms of data privacy. This is becoming increasingly important as the government continues to pass more stringent data security laws.

4. More simplicity

Perhaps the biggest benefit is the simplicity it delivers. Everything is in one place – it’s easy to access and easy to manage. Everything is more accurate, and you don’t have to flip through 500 pages of documents to find what you need. Some years ago, we lost a couple of filing cabinets to water damage and it was difficult to see the data. With a digital system meaning the property is backed up, it’s safe from fire and flood.

5. Mobile access

The digital data management system has also given us mobility – we can now access files on the go. As anyone in business knows, that’s critical these days. People increasingly work outside the office, so our software was updated to enable access via iPads, which really boosts mobility.

If you are going to introduce a tech refresh, here are three tips worth considering:

  • Do your research: One company we work with used the first solution they heard about. It didn’t fit, and they’ve spent countless hours and dollars working with the developers trying to fix issues. If they’d used a different system, it would have worked from the get-go. So make sure your new solution fits your needs. Similarly, ensure it’s as futureproof as possible – you don’t want to undergo another big migration in two years.
  • Don’t fear change: Although it can be painful and hard, it’s very rewarding in the long run. The program we switched to includes a CRM feature for new prospects. While it’s sometimes difficult to get to grips with, we can already see the huge value it will ultimately deliver.
  • Involve your staff: You’re going to need their commitment to learning a new system and possibly helping migrate data, so ensure you offer proper training and listen to their feedback.

If you’re considering upgrading and automating your business processes but are still on the fence, here are five more risks of resisting a tech refresh.

Shane Stenning is a Resilium Adviser and an account manager at Pinnacle Insurance Services in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast. He holds accreditation in commercial and general insurance and possesses extensive knowledge of the local insurance market, developed over more than 10 years working in the industry.

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