Datatrack Solutions Consult LTD

The Essential Features and Benefits of a Document Management System

Many surveys and studies by Mckinsey, IDC and other reputed organizations reveal that a valuable amount of time an employee spends in search of information, dealing with trivial matters due to poor prioritization; wasting huddling up for hazy discussions and much more. The table illustrates the unnecessary squandering of time by organizations across the globe. All because of an inefficient DMS or Document Management System.  

The major time-wasting factors are diverse and vary from organization to organization. But we have illustrated some of those factors which are common to the majority of companies.

Now, if you really have not calculated the way time is spent in your company. Here is an interesting activity we suggest for you. Observe the time circle below. You can see different classifications. Divide the organisation on the basis of teams and bring out additional time allocation blocks if any. Then encourage employees to take part in this activity with anonymity assured. The activity includes noting down consciously for one week the number of hours they spend in each of these activities. Calculate the time spent wastefully versus the total time that they employ in real work. You will get the percentage of time wasted. Now map it to see how much of it is related to the handling of documents.  

Now, if you really have not calculated the way time is spent in your company. Here is an interesting activity we suggest for you. Observe the time circle below. You can see different classifications. Divide the organisation on the basis of teams and bring out additional time allocation blocks if any. Then encourage employees to take part in this activity with anonymity assured. The activity includes noting down consciously for one week the number of hours they spend in each of these activities. Calculate the time spent wastefully versus the total time that they employ in real work. You will get the percentage of time wasted. Now map it to see how much of it is related to the handling of documents.  

What is a Document Management System

A document management system (DMS) is a computer software that allows users to store, organize and track electronic documents. It controls the entire document related processes in an organization. 

A document management system can be of varying sizes and scopes. It can be designed for a single functionality like managing files or for multiple functions like collaboration, tracking, etc. 

A robust document management system can automate the way files and records are managed in your organization. It will help you in prioritizing the tasks according to your personal logic. This it does through workflows.

But, what is a workflow?

A workflow is a sequence of pre-designed work. It defines a work from its starting point and advances the work in prescribed flow. For example,  a workflow relating to article writing would involve the following:

document management software allows the creation of such customized workflows for any process. Thus tracking and filing documents happens on its own, and you can save some precious working time.

Types of Document Management Systems (DMS)

You cannot directly jump into any file management system. The choice of your DMS depends much on the type of business you are handling. Hence, the decision has to be a conscious one.

How Does a Document Management System Work

A document management system manages a document starting from its initial stage. It has a prominent role in the complete lifecycle of a document. From document creation to document storage to document retrieval and distribution, let’s see how a document management system works.

1. Document Creation and Capture

This is the first stage of a document, which involves capturing it from any source. Document capture is necessary to save the document and store it. There are several ways to capture documents- like capture for paper documents, for enterprise applications like CRM and ERP, system-generated reports, and emails. 

During this stage, the document management system also performs an operation called indexing. Indexing makes it easy to find documents by classifying them based on parameters like metadata, unique IDs, etc. When a document is captured and indexed, it can be retrieved in simple steps whenever needed.

2. Document Storage 

A central document storage is the backbone of a document management system. Documents captured from all sources are stored in a centralized location. This increases the accessibility and ease of document management. 

Document management systems usually utilize Cloud storage for enabling central access. This ensures that the users of the DMS can access documents from anywhere and at any time. A centralized storage also makes space for features like co-authoring, multiple access, etc., to be implemented. 

A DMS administers safety by implementing access control- that is, defining user rights to author, edit, and manage documents- and version control- that is, keeping track of changes made in documents. 

3. Document Retrieval and Distribution

Another essential part of the working of a document management system is document retrieval and distribution. A DMS simplifies this process extensively. As a result, an organization can save time, effort, improve productivity and efficiency by implementing a document management system. 

Indexing of documents makes retrieval easy and fast—no need to spend hours searching for relevant documents when in need. A simple keyword search will give all the information in an instant. 

A document management system also simplifies document distribution very much. It enables document sharing through several ways like emails, enterprise software, etc. 

Document management system makes the working of an organization easy, efficient, and stress-free. It improves the way processes are done in an organization and makes space for more opportunities. 

Top 13 Benefits of Document Management System

A modern workplace is one that aspires for greater optimization and productivity. You may be concerned about the dividends that your organization may obtain from a novel investment. Here are some of the benefits of a document management system that may inspire you :

1. Security 

No more worries about data theft from lockers. Your patents, designs, and plans are all now safe in the cloud, and with blockchain coming up, data theft is now impossible.

2. Less Physical Storage

Storing paper documents require considerable storage space. Today, when the expense of office space is increasing, a DMS allows you to free up your existing office space and use them for other purposes. 

3. Better Backup

We have heard many incidents of companies losing important documents due to natural disasters, fire accidents, etc. With features like centralized storage, digitization, archiving, etc., a DMS provides better backup and recovery of documents in case of any unprecedented incidents.

4. Easy Updates

Documents often get updated when there occurs any change in business processes or goals. Updating paper documents takes a lot of time and might also create some confusion. DMS ensures that updates can be done easily, efficiently, and quickly. 

5. Enhanced Collaboration

DMS enhances sharing, increases visibility, and improves accessibility. Thus, it better facilitates collaboration- both internally within an organization as well as externally with stakeholders.

6. Saves You Money 

“Time is money.” And DMS saves for you almost a million dollar work hours annually. Besides, you save on procurement of stationery and file management systems.

7. Transparency

A transparent office inspires trust. It also provides ample opportunities to acknowledge excellent performance.

8. Green Office

Green is the word. Planting trees are something that benefits the future. But saving a grown tree makes a more significant impact. A DMS makes your office eco-friendly by reducing the demand for paper. You are saving nearly 3 trillion trees a year with DMS. A green office is a workplace for future generations.

How to Choose the Best Document Management System for Your Organization

Choosing the best document management system for your organization is a challenging and confusing process. There are so many options available with various features, narrowing down to one is not easy. 

To help you with this, we will take a look at the top four things you need to consider to choose a DMS that is the best for your organization.

1. Security

Security is one factor that you should give top priority to when choosing a document management system. Enquire in detail about the security procedures used, encryption policies, and access management. Know about security audits that can be performed, and if possible, do tests to find out any weak point in the security of the system. 

2. Scalability

Because implementing a DMS for your organization is a permanent step, you should consider the scalability aspects before making the final call. You should think about how, as your organization grows, you will be able to scale the DMS along with it. Will it still be able to meet your requirements, will it be relevant – concerns like this must be settled.

3. Ease of use

The DMS that you choose must be easy to use and understand for the employees. Even if an employee is not very tech-savvy, they should be able to use the DMS to accomplish their tasks. It shouldn’t take much time and effort for the employees to grasp the working of the DMS. The best DMS is the one with the least learning curve.

4. Reliability

Is the company that created the DMS software reliable? Look at their portfolio as well as reviews from previous clients. See if their services were satisfactory- how effectively did they implement the system, how is their customer service- research on all these aspects. Check if they provide updates, maintain quality assurance, etc.

These are four general things you should ensure before finalizing your document management system. Depending on your organization’s needs, there will be more factors that you would need to consider. However, be sure not to compromise on the above four! 

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