4 Biggest Risks of Poor Document Management Workflow

document management digital

Is document management workflow giving you a headache? You’re not alone. Many businesses struggle to implement solid document processes.

Documents underlie everything an organization does. As a result, shoddy document processes can lead to daily frustrations.

But poor document control is more than just an annoyance. It can result in costly mistakes.

Consider all the important documents housed in your business:

  • Financials
  • Audit reports
  • Classified documents
  • Training materials
  • Personnel files
  • Tax records
  • Inventory data
  • Contracts
  • Business process documentation
  • Presentations
  • Strategic plans

Having inadequate protocols puts all those documents at risk. And that’s exactly what we’re covering in this article – how poor document management workflow puts your business at risk.

Here are 4 of the most common problems that arise from weak document processes:

    1. Security breaches
    2. Costly document errors 
    3. Productivity loss 
    4. Loss of clients & customers

Before we jump in, let’s discuss some basics about document management.


digital document management

Document management workflow is a system used by organizations to create, update, secure, organize, store, and share documents. 

Often, leaders make the mistake of thinking that document management can be resolved by a piece of software. Sure, technology is an important part of document management, but it’s not the only part.

Comprehensive document management workflow is a combination of processes, software, security protocols, and other tools used in the management of documents. 

Together, these tools allow documents to flow seamlessly and safely throughout their lifecycle.


The benefits of efficient document management workflow cannot be overstated. As such an integral part of business, documents have the ability to make or break productivity and performance. 

Here are some of the benefits of revamping your document management workflow: 

  • Increase information accuracy 
  • Ensure all employees have updated information
  • Improve process efficiency 
  • Standardize documentation procedures 
  • Make documents easier to access 
  • Decrease security risks 
  • Ensure regulatory compliance 
  • Improve document visibility 
  • Centralize document storage 
  • Streamline information workflows 
  • Decrease physical and digital clutter 
  • and more!

Thinking of taking on a DIY document management overhaul? Make your project a success by avoiding the Top 4 Missteps Leaders Make When Improving Business Processes!


document management workflow

If good document management has so many benefits, why isn’t it more common in the business world? 

After all, nearly everyone has experienced document management problems. Shuffling through filing cabinets, digging through shared drives, re-writing reports because you can’t locate the previous version, etc. We’ve all been there! 

So why is poor documentation so widespread?

Here’s the short answer: document management is difficult to master! And document management changes are even more difficult to implement. 

Now, here’s the long answer: to effectively establish new document management workflows, leaders need a wide set of specialized skills. They have to know proven document management techniques. They must be change management pros. They must assess and map out current-state document processes. 

They must identify document workflow bottlenecks and know how to fix them. They must be able to select the right software for their business goals. They must have the time to manage this monumental project. 

Rarely can such a project be tackled internally. For this reason, the best way to improve document management workflow is to partner with a document management consulting firm


document workflow planning

A good consulting firm won’t just recommend a software for your IT team to implement. At RTG Solutions Group, we provide personalized, comprehensive consulting to make document management workflows a success.

Here’s what we’ll do for your business:

  • Map out your current processes
  • Identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies
  • Recommend technology solutions
  • Test and implement new technology
  • Establish new standard operating procedures (SOPs) 
  • Create employee training for new SOPs
  • Manage the project implementation
  • Measure efficiencies

At RTG Solutions Group, we won’t just create a tailored document management workflow solution for your organization.

We will also guide you through the implementation of your new workflow to ensure a seamless transition into your new system.

In the process, we’ll teach your team continuous improvement techniques with the RTG Management System.

Now that we’ve outlined the wonders of efficient document management, let’s jump into the perils of poorly managed documents.

There are many risks of poor document control. Here, we’ve highlighted the 4 most common consequences of poor management.


document security breach

In the digital era, information security is more important than ever. In fact, Harvard Business Review reports that over 60% of Fortune 1000 companies experienced public data breaches in the last 10 years.

No matter the industry, information security is important. Every business has access to sensitive information.

Client information, transaction records, inventory data, and contracts. All these documents, and more, must be protected with up-to-date security measures.

data breach or security scandal can permanently tarnish your business’ reputation. It can also put your business at odds with industry regulations.

When you have poor document management workflow, all of your sensitive data is at risk.

You should be able to control who can access, edit, share, delete and store every piece of business data.

Only an effective document management system can protect your business from a data breach.


Weak document management can put your business at risk of significant financial loss. Don’t believe us? Just check out this list of 11 of the most expensive typos in history!

Just like a security breach, a document error can do serious damage to your organization’s finances and reputation. Typos can result in misreported assets, supply chain disruptions, coding malfunctions, and more.

But it’s not just typos you have to worry about. Misplaced files, outdated document versions, lost documents, and incorrect product listings can turn out to be very costly errors.

Document errors and lack of version control can even result in regulatory compliance violations.

For this reason, it’s imperative to establish air-tight quality control protocols for all documents.

With a cutting-edge document management workflow system, you can protect your organization from costly information errors.

Our experts at RTG Solutions Group will devise document processes that ensure you steer clear of costly errors for years to come.


We’ve all experienced productivity losses from inadequate document management.

When a business doesn’t have streamlined document workflows, employees lose valuable time every day to process inefficiencies.

Poor processes create redundancies, errors, bottlenecks, confusion, and frustration. All these things impair business productivity. This, in turn, hurts your bottom line.

Moreover, document workflows tend to involve a lot of collaboration, and documents often connect different business departments.

This means that productivity losses due to document management can reverberate throughout the company and slow down operations across the board.

Revamping your document management workflow can free up time for your employees to engage in profit-maximizing tasks.

Productivity is everything. Want to learn more about how to improve process efficiency in your business?

Check out these articles:

Are Inefficient Processes Hurting Your Business?

3 Ways to Measure Impact of Process Improvement Efforts   

3. Loss of Clients and Customers

Finally, poor document management workflow can cost your firm clients and accounts.

Poor document processes can drive internal operations into a constant state of chaos. When that happens, clients and accounts will inevitably notice. And a customer service crisis will soon follow.

There are many ways that poor document management workflow can cost your business clients and accounts.

If your organization loses or compromises an important client file, they may choose to work with your competitors instead.

If customers feel their data is not safe, they may not feel comfortable using your services.

Mismanaged files can also result in a breach of contract with accounts and vendors, leading to termination.

Overall, effective document management is key to happy clients and quality service.


digital document workflow

It is evident that the risk of poor document control is simply too great to be ignored.

A document management solution is sure to improve process efficiency across all departments, giving you a great bang for your buck.

But be warned – implementing a new document management system can exacerbate inefficiencies if not done correctly!

To ensure your documentation solution enhances productivity, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Select software that is compatible with existing business programs and processes
  • Create an implementation plan that mitigates productivity losses during the transitional period
  • Train all employees on the new processes to ensure adoption
  • Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of your new document management workflow

For more information on how to execute a document management change, check out our article: 

5 Steps to Improve Document Management in Your Organization

The Importance of Business Process Documentation in Times of Crisis


Efficient document management workflow can breathe new life into day-to-day business operations.

Implementing a cutting-edge document management strategy will help your business avoid major liabilities like security risks, costly errors, productivity losses, and compromised client relations.

However, document management change is not an easy feat! Working with an experienced document management consultant can help your business transition seamlessly into a new era of efficiency.

Is your business experiencing document challenges?

RTG Solutions Group can assess your firm’s needs and establish a customized document management workflow.

Contact us today to speak with our experts!

“A vision cannot be realized without the ability to execute.”

Khris K. Bhattan
President, RTG Solutions Group
Let's Talk Strategy!

Not sure where to start on improving your document management process? We can help.