Document management is something that every organisation carries out on some level. At its most basic, it simply involves the storing of documents in a filing system or on a computer. However, many organisations choose to take their document management to another level by investing in a document management system.
Overview of Document Management Systems
Document management system (DMS) are designed to make the capturing, storing and retrieving of documents much easier for organisations. They are software solutions that focus on the storing of electronic files, but they also incorporate paper documents by converting them into electronic documents. Document management solutions can be quite small or very large depending on the type of organisation using it.
Key Features of Document Management
There are a number of functions that a good DMS will be expected to perform. These include:
The capture phase of the DMS simply involves formatting the documents correctly so that they can be included in the system. For example, if some documents are in electronic format and some are in paper format, you will need to group them all together by converting them all into electronic format. This can involve scanning the paper documents into a PDF format (or another suitable format), and then bringing them all together into the same system.
The effectiveness of any DMS will depend to large extent on its indexing capabilities. The indexing involves tagging all of the documents with details such as the name, number, date, time or anything else that is relevant to the organisation. By indexing the documents under numerous tags, it becomes less time consuming to find the documents when they are needed.
Storage & Retrieval
One of the main purposes of using a DMS is to be able to retrieve documents with greater ease. A good DMS will therefore make it very quick and easy to store documents away and then retrieve them quickly whenever they are needed. Because documents are all indexed, users are able to see all of the relevant documents in one single place to gather the required information, rather than having to go to various locations to find all of the relevant documents.
Benefits of Document Management Solutions
There are many benefits of using document management solutions, with the three key ones being that they allow organisations to save time, enjoy greater convenience and have better security for their documents.
They save time by preventing documents from going missing and reducing the amount of time it takes to gather together the relevant documents when necessary. For example, you may have to find out what has gone wrong with an order, but this involves examining the purchase order, invoice, contract, delivery receipt and a whole range of other documents. If these are all held in different formats by different departments, it will be very time consuming. However, in a DMS they will all be immediately available.
It can also be more secure because the documents are all kept in one secure place. On top of that, you can also grant access to certain employees, preventing the documents from being accessed by the wrong people.
Get Organised with a Document Management Solution
There are many benefits that a document management solution can bring to your organisation, so try one out for yourself. You may find that you are able to save a significant amount of time and avoid the hassle of having to search for documents when you need them. Many organisations make use of these solutions, so find out how you can take advantage of one in your own business.
John Hoskins is an office manager of many years. When he has some time off, he likes to unwind by posting on a variety of blog sites.