A document management system (DMS) handles processes such as document creation, sharing, organization and archiving. DMS streamlines these processes which helps improve file management and productivity in your organization. It creates a central electronic location which makes the documents and information your employees need much easier to find, and thereby saves time and allows you to manage more of your company’s core operations. Professional document scanning companies can also help with the scanning process and ensure efficient document management.
A good DMS helps businesses achieve efficiency in day-to-day information handling, streamline the overall workflow and productivity, prevent security risks and remain compliant with record keeping regulations. Having an electronic document management system allows modern workplaces to enjoy benefits such as customized workflow, document version control, automatic backup, data loss prevention, secure access through permission controls, and mobile access.
An effective DMS with robust indexing capabilities makes digital storage filing cabinets which in turn frees up office space. These systems utilize easy organization techniques that help reduce human error, make communication smoother and clearer, and minimize time spent searching for documents or correcting someone else’s mistakes. With a secure DMS, users can access the documents or critical information they need instantly from anywhere. These systems also protect your documents from digital risks and disasters like fires or floods with functionalities such as tools for managing sensitive data, permissions control and disaster recovery backups. Effective DMS makes information sharing and employee coordination much easier by allowing seamless collaboration of documents and business processes across the organization. They also allow for better workflow monitoring and provide greater visibility to business processes.
The following are some of the issues that can be addressed using an effective DMS.
- Inability to locate the right document -If an employee is unable to locate a document, it may adversely affect his/her performance. The employee will be wasting a lot of time searching for a document. A good document management system helps in document storage and archiving. With this system, you can search for a document quickly and efficiently. It ensures that the files are duly organized and easily accessible to every user. It also features an optimized search function to look up a document quickly.
- Wrong document versions – A large number of businesses work on the wrong versions of a document. According to a survey conducted by a full-service, digital consultative custom market research agency, Harris Interactive,nearly 83% of knowledge workers in the US and UK waste their time every day due to versioning issues. Half of the survey participants had sent the wrong version of a document to a manager, peer or client and 57% were confused about which version of a document to use. It was clear that 4 out of 5 knowledge workers lose time due to document versioning problems.However, a high-end DMS does not have this problem. These systems maintain records of when a document was changed by whom and what changes are made. They also inform the users whether they are working on an up-to-date version or not. In addition, managers and employees can work with previous versions.
- Manually merging documents – Harris Interactive survey also reports that 56% of knowledge workers had to manually merge different versions of documents. They spend a lot of time cross-referencing between versions, looking for changes made in one copy but not the other. A good DMS can address this issue by automatically merging document versions.
- File cabinets occupying physical space – File cabinets take up considerable physical space in an office. Thus, employees may find it very difficult to search for a document in a large area. In addition, these reports can deteriorate over time, due to weather and micro-organisms.However, a DMS takes up only minimal space to store your documents securely and also eliminates the chances of degradation. Digital documents can be systematically distributed and made easily available. In addition, it provides document routing facilities across different locations.
- Reduced Productivity – Employees lose time searching through archives and file boxes for a misplaced document or through manual versioning problems.This in turn adversely affects the team’s productivity. However, an effective DMS can save your business from unnecessary productivity losses.
- Repeated tasks – Many companies provide forms which every new employee and an interview candidate must fill out. These are 2 different forms, as one is before recruiting and the other is after. This issue can be avoided by providing a digital form and later using the same kind when hiring the candidate. DMS provides easy creation of new documents, prevents duplicate forms and eliminates the forms which are no longer needed.
- Security – Physical file storage is extremely vulnerable to unrestricted access. Earlier, several cases of document theft have been reported even from secured storage areas. A secure DMS can address this issue.
- Workplace Frustration – A bad DMS not only reduces the productivity of the employees, but also creates dissatisfaction and tension in the workplace. An effective, digitized document management system will help avoid workplace frustration.
Different types of document management systems are available on the market which we will discuss in our next blog.