The decision to implement a document management system (DMS) is a big one for businesses of any size. Storing and exchanging your data digitally shifts how your employees work and communicate. A DMS can even change the liabilities your company needs to spend its resources on. For instance, companies no longer have to purchase nearly as much paper or printer ink, and they may not even have to purchase devices for employees if they implement BYOD policies.
With cost- and time-saving opportunities waiting for businesses who switch to a paperless DMS, it’s important to choose the one that is right for you. If your company is looking into document management for the first time, you may not know what features are available or even what features will best for your business. This guide takes you through some of the most valued elements, identified by sources with knowledge of and experience with DMS.
Easy access to and sharing of files
- Enhanced access – Accessing essential documents at the necessary time is critical to a productive day at the office. In an office setting with an on-site server, naming and placing the file are up to the creator’s judgment. Document management systems address this issue by requiring file names comply with standardized conventions. If an employee is unsure where the file is located, a search feature can be a valuable tool within a DMS as well.
- Comprehensive search feature – Here’s a fascinating statistic from Brian Bradford: “The average employee spends 30-50% of their time searching for information in documents” (Bradford). With a functional search option in a DMS, employees can find keywords in the document title, in the document, or in tags associated with the document. Smart Hustle Magazine said, “The sheer number of files a typical business produces per week makes search entirely necessary” (Matthews).
- Simple and quick sharing – Once an employee completes his/her necessary work on a document, it’s likely ready to be reviewed by another person. “A good document management program provides an organization with the capability to collaboratively share documents and information across multiple business applications improving workflow, productivity and business intelligence” (Bradford). Additionally, if employees need to send a file to someone without access to the DMS, a link can easily be emailed or the document can be sent as an attachment. Documents can be sent on the fly or transfers and workflows can be pre-planned using a DMS, making it an ideal platform for your business’ collaborating needs.
Security and Control
- Permissions and History – An Electronic Document Management System gives leaders control and oversight of their business. ITWeb explains, “You can decide who can edit documents, add them, delete them, etc. and, of course, you can get notifications on who and when accessed the document” (5 reasons you should consider a document management system). Seeing who changes information in documents and when they made the changes can help track employee productivity and maintain a security lock on critical files.
- Secure storage – When choosing a DMS, it’s important for your business to know that your files will be just as safe on the platform as when they’re under lock-and-key at your office. Be sure to find a DMS that is encrypted, adding a wall of protection in front of your company’s files.
- Recovery as an option – While disasters and mishaps do happen to unlucky businesses, document management systems provide another layer of protection. When you choose an EDMS based in the cloud, you never have to worry about losing your documents, as you can access them from anywhere you have an internet connection. Additionally, previous versions of your files will always be accessible to you with your DMS, so you can go back to any version you’ve previously saved. One of the “Top 10 Reasons Businesses Need Document Management Systems” is Safeguarding from Disaster. The article says, “Having a business continuity and a disaster recovery plan and system in place increases the likelihood that a company can continue after a disaster” (Bradford).
Compatibility and integration capabilities
- Infrastructure – A Document Management System should make your business more efficient, but it shouldn’t change the foundation on which your business is built. It’s always important to assess your options before you decide on one. A solid fit and integration into your already-existing structure is paramount to your success using the new software. Your business not only wants to continue doing business on the DMS, but it also wants to be able to archive previous activities and documents through scanning.
- Devices – Don’t only consider laptop and desktop needs of employees in the office. Some employees can work from home or on the go with a cloud-based DMS that supports mobile devices. “Being able to work on the go provides employees with great flexibility, making the opportunity for a more effective and proficient workflow a better one” (Matthews).
- Capacity – Businesses need to consider whether they want an on-site or cloud-based DMS, but they also need to know how much storage they actually need. While amounts of data transmitted can be massive, overestimating the amount of storage required can still be costly to a company. Assessing your staff, in both number of individuals and activity levels, is important in determining how much storage is necessary.
If you’re expecting your business to grow, you need a DMS that is prepared to mold itself to your impending needs. A crucial part of choosing a DMS is considering how long you will use the system and where your organization will be at that time. As your company’s needs change, your DMS must be able to adapt to them, without causing limitations or hampering your improvement.
While document management systems try to make the transition as easy as possible for new users, you need a product which is able to provide quality support when you need it. Consider a company’s reputation and quality of service when looking into your first DMS, because when it comes to your business files, you can’t afford to lose anything. Find a company with a 24/7 support team.
Reduce costs and increase workflow efficiency with DMS
There are a number of document management systems available, and they all provide value to a business looking to make the transition to digital files. With search features, scanning capabilities, and standardized folder structures, a DMS can save your business money on office supplies and increase employee workflow.
For more information on document management systems or Doccept, please visit www.doccept.com.
5 reasons you should consider a document management system. (2014, May 12). Retrieved May 19, 2016, from http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content
Bradford, B. (2014, September 04). Top 10 Reasons Businesses Need Document Management Systems - PIF Technologies. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from http://www.piftechnologies.com/2014/09/top-10-reasons-businesses-need-document-management-systems/
Hammack, D. (2014, February 07). 5 Things to Consider When Choosing an Electronic Document Management System. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from http://filesolve.com/2014/02/five-factors-for-electronic-document-management-system/
Klein, A. (2014, January 29). What to Consider When Purchasing a Document Management System. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from http://www.docpath.com/art-purchase-document-management-software-system.aspx
Matthews, K. (2015, November 20). Why to Consider a Document Management System for Increased Productivity. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from http://www.smarthustle.com/why-to-consider-a-document-management-system-for-increased-productivity/