Documents make up a large part of the average office’s workflows and while going paperless can help offices save money and waste, it will not eliminate the realities of creating, utilizing, and managing critical documents. The need for effective document management—the ability to digitally organize, file, and store documents—will only grow as more companies pursue project collaboration on a larger scale while reducing their carbon footprint.
A document management system (DMS) provides the efficiency that organizations need when dealing with digital documents. Think of a typical DMS as a sort of digital filing cabinet, only with features that are far more advanced than what you would get from an ordinary file cabinet.
The following highlights the many functions of a document management system and how it can improve your office’s overall efficiency when it comes to handling documents.
Document Capture and Storage
Capturing documents from multiple sources is one function of the typical DMS. Users can transfer paper documents via high-speed scanners, capture system-generated daily reports, and even capture the contents of emails and their attachments. Once these documents are captured, a DMS solution can automatically sort files based on an organization’s specific parameters. Storage can be done via an on-premise solution or a cloud-based DMS utilizing an internet connection to facilitate cloud storage.
Document management systems are also designed to help organizations move documents along the workflow process, boosting team productivity in the process. This workflow optimization consists of allowing easier uploading and editing of digital documents, along with precise document indexing via metadata. Users can also assign rights for viewing and editing uploaded documents, as well as adding new versions.
Document management systems can also double as effective project management tools, allowing for improved collaboration on critical projects. For instance, team leaders can customize permissions to allow only key members to review and access select documents and folders. DMS software can also provide automated or user-facilitated dashboard alerts and emails whenever certain project milestones are reached.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
A document management system can be combined with data backup and disaster recovery tools to help secure and protect digitized files from damage caused by disasters. Organizations can easily trace and retrieve indexed documents through DMS software. Documents that would otherwise be lost or destroyed during a disaster can instead be archived for safekeeping and future use.
DMS software can also be used to ensure documents conform to certain regulatory standards, which is a helpful feature for organizations involved in industries where regulatory compliance is an absolute must such as the healthcare industry. Many vendors offer industry-specific DMS software with features and controls already built in to fulfill regulatory requirements.
Key Benefits to Consider
Document management systems offer a wealth of benefits for organizations large and small, including:
- Centralized document storage – A DMS lets you access your documents at any time from anywhere, no matter the format, from a centralized location.
- Automated document management – A DMS can automatically collect, sort, and file digital documents for easy retrieval at a later date.
- Protection against data disasters – A sudden flood or fire can damage or even destroy irreplaceable documents. A reliable DMS gives you a bulwark against both natural phenomenon and human error by providing safe storage.
- Increased efficiency – Document management systems can help boost your office’s productivity by providing more efficient management of your existing documents.
- Improved collaboration – A DMS also makes information sharing and collaboration among multiple users easier. Businesses can monitor document access while available version controls help track changes and ensure successful recovery of older documents when needed.
If your office is in need of a document management system, contact us today to learn more.