Documents are comparable to the circulatory system of an organization. A growing business generates and manages hundreds and thousands of documents every day – contracts, training manuals, proposals, policies, sales records, financial transaction records, marketing material and so on. These documents are crucial for the smooth flow of communication between the different departments of a business enterprise and between the business and its stakeholders.
Now, imagine this scenario. Your boss is meeting a prospect for lunch. He calls you and asks for the updated sales presentation he created two weeks ago. “Sure, I am sending it right now” you reply. You click on your shared drive hoping to find the file. But to your dismay, it’s not there. You try the search box, the results run into pages. After 30 minutes, the boss calls again. You don’t have it yet. You call the employee who is on leave but she isn’t able to remember the exact location of the file too. Pretty soon a whole bunch of people joins you in your frantic search. But an hour later, you are still clueless. The normally cool-headed boss is perturbed. He hurriedly puts together a roughshod presentation and rushes to the meeting. For the remainder of the day, you sullenly carry a heavy load of guilt.
Does this story sound familiar? Most office-goers would have come across a similar situation in their work lives at least once. No matter how well you think you have organized your digital documents, you may fail to retrieve a crucial document when you need it most. When the operations of your business are spread across different locations and time zones, things get more knotted. One thing is clear – these outdated methods of storing and retrieving documents don’t serve you well anymore. You need a proper document management system.
What is a Document Management System?
A Document Management system is a system or a set of standardized practices that are used for tracking, managing, storing, protecting and retrieving documents. When the documents are in digital format or can be converted to digital formats, a computer program is normally used as a frame to build this system. Such a system not only reduces paper and costs but offers more protection and convenient retrieval. Document Management Systems involves document imaging, managing digital assets, controlling workflows maintaining records and disposing of outdated documents. A good document management system enables an unhindered flow of critical information across the organization. So enterprises both big and small are now realizing the need for document management systems. But before deciding on a DMS you must know what it entails.
How does a Document Management System work?
A Document Management System fulfills three main functions with reference to documents.
Documents generated in an organization can come in different forms and from different sources – paper documents, email attachments or reports from other systems and applications like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relations Management). These documents can be captured by scanners and indexed manually or by integration with other systems through smart processing software. This software make it possible to import system generated reports from other applications automatically into the DMS.
2. Document Storage
Document Management Systems enable centralized data storage. Central storage implies that stakeholders can access both dynamic and static documents from any location. In today’s globalized world where ‘outsourcing’ and ‘work-from-home’ are becoming common, this accessibility is a key benefit. Another benefit of using centralized storage is added security. Features like version control, authentication using passwords, user-defined permissions make your documents as secure as you want them to be.
3. Document Retrieval and Distribution
The purpose of capturing and storing documents is to be able to retrieve and use the documents when needed. So retrieval and distribution is perhaps the most important function of a Document Management System. Efficient retrieval rests on the hinges of speed and ease. We must be able to access the documents quickly and easily. Indexing documents through a DMS enables a user to retrieve documents through keyword searches. DMS also enables easy distribution of documents to employees, clients, vendors or authorities through email and FTP.
How does a Document Management System help your business?
Here are some areas where a good document management system or a professional document management service would make a huge positive difference to your business.
Improves efficiency and productivity
A document management system reduces the time taken for document management by half. Your employees can minimize the time wasted on searching for documents and on duplicating work when they cannot retrieve such documents. They can use this time in doing work that is more central to the business.
Physical storage of documents involves costs of paper, printing, stationery, space, storage cabinets and hiring employees to maintain and secure the documents. Digital storage using Cloud can also be quite expensive when the volume of documents is high. A document management system, in contrast, brings significant savings in money by eliminating the need for physical storage.
Unauthorized access to your critical documents can have grave consequences for your business. With a DMS you have the provision to limit access of your documents to authorized persons. In the unfortunate event of fire or floods, recovering damaged physical documents become nearly impossible. But with a DMS, even after such disasters, your documents can be recovered quite easily.
Helps with Regulatory Compliance
A Data Management System makes compliance with complex Government regulations less burdensome as most systems have in-built features like checklists, forms and automatic submissions to help you with compliance.
Using a Document Management Service sharpens your competitive edge to push ahead of your peers. In light of all the benefits we talked about, we can surely say that a DMS is a good solution for your document management problem. But a better solution would be to let professionals trained in DMS handle the document management for you. Rannsolve provides reliable document management services at affordable prices. Contact us today for more information and a free demo.