Across countless B2B industries, employees rely on file and document collaboration tools to help them process, store and share information related to sales, requests and numerous other types of transactions that occur every day. In a nutshell, these tools allow multiple users to access and edit various files at the same time. If your company does not already have one in use, consider these top features to look for in potential solutions.
When it comes to file collaboration, being able to save your changes in an efficient manner can make all the difference. For example, what happens if you forget to save hours of work that you put into a document and your computer unexpectedly shuts down? To avoid these kinds of technical disasters, it is best to look for tools that include an auto-save feature. Not only will this help you avoid losing work, but it will also save you time overall.
2. Version History
Whether there is one employee working on a document or seven, version histories are also useful for keeping track of information that frequently changes. Usually, version history features not only allow users to view previous versions of files but there is also the option to restore previous versions. This can be especially useful when working with manuals or policy documents that may only require minor revisions every year or so. However, version history features can also be helpful when updating website information.
3. Track Changes
Speaking of change, having the ability to track document changes is just as important as being able to view and restore previous versions. For this reason, there are file collaboration software solutions that work alongside programs such as the popular Microsoft Office suite. With this feature, each user can see who made a change to the document and what the change was. This can be a great way to keep everyone on the same page while also sharing knowledge and training newer employees.
4. New Change Notifications
Whenever you make changes to a file, having a tool that notifies others is another feature to look for. In any successful organization, communication is key. If there are multiple employees working on the same document, it can be helpful for them to know if someone makes a change when they are not looking over the document. This is particularly true when there is a major change. With notifications, you can limit the number of surprises and mistakes that occur with editing.
5. Multiple File Formats
What kind of files does your company work with most often? Because B2B companies work with so many other enterprises, it is likely that you work with multiple files. Word documents, spreadsheets, PDFs and various image types are common, but there are also many others. As such, your collaboration software should support that. When looking at options, make sure whatever solution you choose allows users to upload and collaborate on multiple file type formats.
Because communication is so important, another feature that the best file collaboration tools use is commenting. With comments, each person who edits a file has the opportunity to include additional information that can help readers understand the logic behind any changes. Again, this is another way that these types of tools can also be helpful for training purposes. For example, you can use the commenting feature to outline the reasons behind your change and direct employees on future directions as well.
7. Premade File Templates
On a typical workday, there are a lot of tasks to complete. If your employees spend a significant amount of time working with documents, one way to speed things up and make everyone’s life easier is by introducing premade file templates into your work. Instead of having individuals create their own spreadsheets and agendas from scratch, you can save them minutes and even hours by having them start with a template.
8. Wide Accessibility
How often do you use a smartphone to access work? Today, many professionals do this quite often. With this in mind, it makes sense to prioritize mobile device accessibility. One of the best ways to do this is to make productivity mobile from the business side of things. Similarly, you should consider accessibility from both online and offline perspectives. Increasing accessibility options can make your workplace more flexible while increasing overall productivity.
A company’s approach to file collaboration can impact numerous aspects of its final output. Make sure you should the best collaboration tools available by following these tips.