If you find yourself wading through a sea of documents for 15 minutes without finding exactly what you are looking for, it's most likely time for your organization to improve your document management system. Having everything organized and easy to find saves you massive amounts of time, leaving you to be much more productive in the process. So how do you understand what document management system is right for you? Here at Coordinated Business Systems, we’re here to help you with that.
What is Document Management?
Document management is a system or process used to capture, track and store electronic documents such as PDF's, word files, or digital images of paper-based content. The Association for Intelligent Information Management says that document management software “incorporates document and content capture, workflow, document repositories, output systems and information retrieval systems. Also the process is used to track, store and control documents.” Document management saves organizations time and money, as well as providing the benefit of document security, access control, centralized storage, audit trails, and streamlined search and retrieval.
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Physical filing systems have been in use for decades now to capture and store paper documents, folders and every other miscellaneous pieces of paper we find ourselves keeping along the way. But with this method of data management, businesses face higher costs due to manual processing, human error, physical damage, retrieval issues, and a serious lack of space. It's not uncommon to find rooms filled with rows of filing cabinets or warehouses packed with paper archives. The world has not yet discarded paper, but more and more organizations are becoming automated and are using online document management tools. As well as the obvious benefits of better document management, they also save and give you more space simultaneously. Think of it this way, the storage capacity of an online server could be exponentially larger than that afforded to you by a filing cabinet or even a warehouse.
An increasing reason behind document management and the shift from physical to digital files is the capability of backing up your data. Regardless if your organization faces a network crash or natural disaster, data backup ensures continued access to your documentation in the case of a business disruption. A business that doesn't back up its data is at the mercy of losing the information it needs to function.
Now that we've covered what a document management tool is and some of its’ benefits, it's time to look at what matters most— the features! Most document management tools share a range of features so we'll cover the general ones included in a standard document management program:
Metadata: This is typically provided for each document. This includes the date a document was stored, it's title and a description of the file.
Indexing, Retrieval and Search: This helps users find documents and information based on document identifiers, metadata and content.
Security: This includes protocols for protecting information and support compliance. Administrators can control who has access to which documents.
Workflow: This allows administrators to create rules that dictate the flow of documents through an organization.
Collaboration: This enables multiple users to view and modify documents at the same time. The system monitors changes to every document and the history of each document.
Here at Coordinated Business Systems, we offer our SmartDoc Document Management System that allows your organization to manage the lifecycle of any document in a digital format. This process starts with document creation then progresses to capture and storage, retrieval, manipulation, and finally, to circulation. With digital documents that are automatically indexed and securely stored, you can avoid losing documents, increase efficiency, and save money.
Why is Document Management So Important?
Organizations today work with paper and digital information, meaning their content can be anywhere; electronic files, paper documents, spreadsheets, scanned files and images. There is a mix of public and private networks being used, shared drives, hard drives, filing cabinets, and even email, which still account for a huge amount of corporate documentation.
So what does this all mean? It means that using multiple repositories for information presents problems to a business. Organizations face a higher risk of damaged or lost files, errors and redundancies. There's the problem of the significant physical space needed for paper storage. It could be, in some cases, almost impossible to find valuable content spread across the business. To add to all of this, proper records management is becoming a legal imperative.
So it makes sense for your company to invest in a document management system. It saves you time and money, and it provides tracking for sensitive documents by showing who has accessed them and when there were actions performed on the document. This gives DMS software the value and appeal of protecting organizations from lawsuits, fines, and penalties.