Do you know what every organization has in common? Regardless of what industry they service, be it Medical offices, Insurance Agencies, the manufacturing sector, the auto industry – even your local cellphone repair shop. They all make extensive use of documents including client records, sales paperwork, invoicing, work orders and everything in between.
Documents are the building block of any business. Documents play a central role in facilitating the proper functioning and overall success of any business.
There is absolutely no company on the face of the Earth that can make it through a day without viewing and sharing documents – even in a paperless environment. That includes marketing brochures, project proposals, technical documents, HR guidelines, and training materials just to name a few.
Simply put, workplace documents are indispensable!
The problem is that the more we create and rely on documents for work, the more critical it becomes to have systems in place to manage the documents across your company. This is where a document management system comes in.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re going to take it piece by piece, looking at:
- What is a document management system?
- Why is it becoming increasingly important to have one in place?
- Which Document Management System to Choose?
So, let’s get started, shall we?
What is a Document Management System or DMS?
The best definition for a document management system or DMS, as the name implies, is a system or software that allows the creation, duplication, processing, indexing, securing, and retrieval of digital documents.
Although a majority of the document management systems store all of your digital documents in the cloud, they are much more than just cloud storage. A document management system is a framework that facilitates the easy flow of critical information across the organization. By replacing cumbersome paper with digital files and automatically indexing critical data, companies unleash new levels of productivity and customer service that ensure success in the digital age.
A good document management system can help organize all of your files and data in one place, keep track of all of your critical documents, speed up your workflow, improve accuracy and your critical documents are readily available on any of your electronic devices, at any time of the day, anywhere in the world.
Therefore, choosing the right Document Management System for your organization allows you to stay ahead of the other players in your space while ensuring the necessary flow of documents and information your employees need to complete their work efficiently.
Why is a Document Management System important?
With the adoption of digital devices in our society and ease of access to information from the rapid digitization of our world has lead to aggressive growth in business data and content. Every day, companies are creating and managing massive amounts of business documents, contracts, proposals, sales decks, collateral, marketing material, blog posts, HR guidelines, training manuals, on-boarding material, etc.
More often that not, these documents live in wide array of file types and version histories. All of them residing on a shared drive over here, a Dropbox over there, some in a cloud drive belonging to that employee down in marketing and others being pulled from emails sent over 4 years ago.
With that all said, what happens when you can’t find a particular file in the middle of a meeting? You’re fairly confident that you saved it to your desktop…or maybe you shared it with you colleague via the cloud…nope that’s an old stale version. Or what about when your manager has asked for a proposal for a meeting in 5 mins, and you cannot find it in any of your favourite “save spots”.
Organization of your digital files has always been an often-neglected aspect of being organized. Since there is nothing tangible with the digital mess you have created unlike the paper mess during the old-file cabinets-time, you may not feel like you have a problem, until you cannot find what you are looking for.
Have you ever wasted precious time searching for a document on your computer, in text messages, in your email attachments, in your LinkedIn Inbox etc.? Browsing through hundreds of folders, searching in your muddled and massively populated inbox, searching through your cloud files, etc., all end up being a search mission that’s impossible to crack that ultimately falls off the rails when someone pops by your office or your phone starts ringing.
Managing this digital mess, which is often unstructured, and making it available to your employees, clients, partners or other stakeholders is no easy task.
A global survey of workers and IT professionals in 2012 by IDC revealed that document challenges account for 21.3 percent of productivity loss. Employees often can’t find the right documents at the right time or can’t access the document due to time or location barriers.
All of these add ups to a big loss in productivity!
A document management system plays a huge role in making all the tasks related to the management of documentation easier, faster and efficient.
There are many reasons why an organization needs to deploy a document management system immediately. Some of these include:
- Clean up your digital mess – Electronically store, search and retrieve documents from one central repository, including email.
- Reduce your reliance on paper – Instantly access files from anywhere, anytime – on a computer or mobile device.
- Make information access a breeze – Automatically index critical data and improve search capabilities.
- Improve Overall Office Efficiency – Automate business processes with powerful workflows throughout the organization, from Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, HR, Inventory control and Sales Entry just to name a few.
- Centralized information – Integrate with multiple IT systems, including CRM and ERP.
- Safe and Secure – Achieve the highest levels of security, compliance and control for your critical documents.
Which Document Management System to Choose?
We recommend that a great document management system should have all these essential features:
- It should users to have a single source of truth bringing together digital content from all over to one place.
- It should be scalable and should be able to able to provide ample space as your company’s document produce grows as a result of your success.
- It should provide a space for employees to come together, and simultaneously collaborate, create, manage, and edit documents and other important files.
- It should have a pretty robust content management system to store all of the company’s files and document PDFs, excel sheets, guides, training documents and videos, images, etc.
- It should have pretty strong search capabilities to quickly browse through document titles and the content inside documents so employees can find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
- It should have a way to protect the information stored in the system from outsiders and or anyone without the proper consent to access that information.
- It should be responsive so that the information can be accessed from any device without breaking.