Small Business Brief


What Is a Document Management System and What Does It Do?

The use of paper documents in offices and other institutions has fallen significantly. In 2016, the demand for paper reduced by 2.2%. With the advanced technology, the move towards a paperless society is indeed tenable. 

One of the technologies making paper desolate is the document management system. A DSM is an electronic filing cabinet that an organization uses to organize paper and digital documents. 

If you want to know what is a document management system, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find out more about document management systems.

What Is a Document Management System?

Document management systems refer to the use of computer software to track, manage, and store electronic paper images and documents. A document scanner is used to capture these documents. DMS involves report capturing, repositories, workflow, information retrieval systems, and output.

A typical DMS has features such as version control, which differentiates documents. Check-in and check-out are other aspects that manage simultaneous document editing. This feature prevents a change in one document to affect the other. 

Other features in document management include stamps and annotation. There’s also an audit trail to know who authored, edited, or made any changes to a document. The storing, controlling, monitoring, and versioning tools in a DMS makes the system to perform optimally. 

With the diverse components of a DMS, the use of paper and physical filing is fading gradually. Once you adopt document management in your business, you’ll experience improvements in the way things run around your organization. 

Why You Need a Document Management System

A document management system gives you more time to focus on an organization’s internal work. Making your workers carry out mundane tasks each day can be demoralizing. Fortunately, a DMS reduces the burden, making your workers more productive.

The time one spends capturing and distributing information can be useful in accomplishing other tasks. With a great document management system, your productivity improvement will be evident. 

A document management system promotes convenience. Employees can store and retrieve information remotely. With the increasing number of mobile workers, such a system is ideal. 

What’s more, it is possible to retrieve information instantly. The convenience of a DMS makes it possible to address customers’ concerns promptly.

Document management will give you peace of mind. Considering the increasing cases of data theft and breaches, the security of business documents is a concern for many business owners. A document management system has several security features that will deter intruders from accessing and compromising your documents. 

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Document Management System

Now that you know what is a document management system and its benefits, understanding its features is crucial before buying. Check out these factors to understand what to look for when purchasing a DMS.

1. DMS Quality

The growing number of technicians has made it challenging to choose one DMS provider over the other. Yet, it would help if you had a creator who prioritizes quality. Researching before settling for your service provider will save you from future frustrations.

Check a company’s past products. Are they satisfactory? Examine customer’s reviews to know their experience with the DSM providers you’ve identified. 

Work with a provider who is keen on assisting when you have a problem. The last thing you want is constant downtime caused by the document management system. 

2. Integration Capabilities

A document management system should streamline other operations in your company. It would help to get a system that integrates with other programs and processes within your business. The compatibility of the DMS with other software makes the changes seamless.

One of the reasons employers install a DMS is to reduce the daunting tasks related to paperwork. If the document management program doesn’t integrate with other applications, patching up the processes will create additional work for your staff. Check with your DMS provider to know the features before purchasing.  

3. Data Security 

A 2019 data breach report confirmed that there were about 4.1 billion compromised documents. The alarming statistics don’t come as a surprise. The advent of technology has brought with it unimaginable cyber threats. 

Businesses are seeking ways to improve their data security to avoid the resultant losses. When shopping for a DMS, checking out the security features ought to be a priority. A standard data management system has several security elements. 

Attributes such as document archiving and automatic deletion can help in data security. Encryption is another security component in DMS that can deter malicious people from compromising shared files. Your contractor should inform you of the security aspects of the package you decide to purchase. 

4. Scalability 

Business growth is the aim of any business owner. It would be best to have a document management system that grows along with your business. When choosing a DMS, understand if it has a scalability plan.

If the system can’t accommodate an expanding business, you might need to reconsider. Changing to a robust platform can be costly. Besides, the alterations are likely to affect processes that were running smoothly. 

5. Friendly User Interface

When selecting a document management system, have your employees in mind. The system should be simple enough for all workers. If it can’t reduce the burden on your team, it is probably not worth it.  

Your workers ought to participate in selecting the DSM package. Ensure that you settle for a program that has simple graphics and commands. 

You can have your DSM provider train your workforce on how to go about the software. Your employees can raise their concerns about the system to know which area to focus on. When everyone is on board, the change will be smooth. 

Once You Understand What Is a Document Management System, You’ll Realize Its Significance in Business 

A document management system has features that can give your organizational productivity a boost. If you’ve been using manual documentation processes, it’s probably time for a change. A DMS will increase the efficiency in your office. 

Now that you know what is a document management system, how about implementing it in your organization? 

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