Document management is essential for a lot of businesses that deal with data, regardless of the amount, because it can be scaled up or down, as the case may be.
There are a number of document management systems which are used to tabulate and keep track of – you guessed it – documents.
Traditionally, this was done electronically. But most of the time, it is done digitally now. Why? Because it is easier, more practical and it is better for the environment too.
Fine tuning and revising your approach to document management is important. It allows you to save time and money. Plus it reduces the need for storage space. And it helps to improve the trackability and security of the documents too.
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I love sharing insights and strategies to help businesses to succeed. So I pulled together this helpful article with an overview on document management.
Traditionally, document management meant physically filing away paper documents into cabinets, shredding sensitive but unneeded documents and ensuring that there was some sort of system in place so that individual files could be found in a pinch. Today, document management has almost exclusively moved online, as more and more businesses go paperless. It tends to refer to software which is designed to capture, index and store documents. Most businesses will have to utilise documents in one form or another, and therefore they will need some type of document management system.
While document management systems do vary depending on the provider and how they have been implemented. They all tend to follow a similar set of steps. Firstly, the documents are either created digitally or scanned into the computer network. They are then categorised using tags or keywords and saved to the system.
The document management system selects a suitable place to store the document depending on the metadata entered. Sometimes, the file is likely to be too big and take up too much room; the document management system cannot do anything about this itself. It requires human intervention, which is why it makes sense to know how to compress pdf files, et cetera which you can learn more about from Smallpdf. If you need to access the document again, then you simply look up the document name, or if you can’t remember that, then you can search the keywords and go through the results until you find the document that you are looking for.
Developing better document management processes and finding the best system does make sense, and there are a number of benefits to doing so. Firstly, it helps to reduce the need for physical storage places by reducing the amount of paper that a business uses and processes. This is always going to be advantageous, perhaps more so for businesses that have a more limited amount of workspace. You are also likely to find that the workspace itself is less cluttered, which can help to boost productivity. Going paperless – well as much as possible – can also help to improve your brand’s image and cement your business as being environmentally friendly.
the right one can help greatly improve your storage capacity. These systems are designed to store huge amounts of data, which also means that they can often be scaled up or down in their usage depending on the needs of the business, which is ideal if you have plans to grow your business in the near future. This storage capacity is optimised by the automatic deletion of old, outdated and unused documents.
Of course, you have to pay to purchase the system and implement it; they aren’t free. The implementation of a document management system usually elements the need for filing staff and physical storage facilities and equipment, which is likely to save the business money. They also allow businesses to cut costs in the printing and postage of delivering hard copies to staff or clients, whatever the case may be.
Implementing the right document management systems means that employees can access files more quickly and easily. This then frees them up to spend more time working on things that provide value to the business. The need to search for papers or manually file or organise digital documentation is removed entirely. It can also be transformative when it comes to filling in forms and data entry as a whole. It also helps to aid in productivity and increase efficiency by allowing users to share documents instantaneously within the network. They should also be able to alter the copy as necessary, and the document management system should keep track of the changes while also maintaining previous versions. Obviously, this depends on the system; some of them only allow edits to be done one at a time.
Most document management systems also provide users with enhanced document security because they tend to have built-in security controls which allow you to assign certain accesses to individuals and control who can view or edit certain documents. This is often done via user permissions, although, again, it might depend on the specific system and provider. Some of them also have settings whereby you can prevent the printing, sharing, or downloading of certain documents, and they may have encryption settings to be aware of too. This is great for businesses that deal with a lot of sensitive data.
Some companies will prefer to host their document management system on-site; however, to do this, you need servers, a private network, and, more often than not, a dedicated IT team that can maintain the system. You could also choose to host the document management system online in a cloud-based storage system. This option requires less physical storage, but it is more vulnerable to security breaches.
Obviously, you will also need to know what the provider recommends and what is possible for the system itself. If you are able to store your document management system on the cloud, then this does mean that it is far more flexible. It will be accessible to workers anywhere with an internet connection, which is great for businesses that have remote workers.
Document management systems are usually designed to integrate with other pieces of software which are integral to the daily running of the business. Integrating all business software is key; it makes things so much easier when all of the software is compatible and able to be used concurrently. Finally, you can also find document management systems that are specifically designed to work with your industry.
Choosing to incorporate a document management system into your business can be incredibly beneficial for your business. They have their uses in most businesses regardless of their size or industry – as long as they work with large amounts of documents. When it comes to choosing a document management system, there are a few things that you should bear in mind. You will need to think about whether you are going to host it on-site or use cloud-based storage, and will your employees require remote access? Is it easily integrated with your business’s other pieces of software? Remember to think about the security features that you need too.