What is a document management system?
A document management system (DMS) is the use of a computer system and software to store, manage and track electronic images of paper based information captured through the use of a document scanner. It is how your organisation stores, manages and tracks its electronic documents. Document management is the software that controls and organises documents throughout an organisation. It incorporates documents and content capture, workflow and document repositories, COLD/ERM, and output systems, and information retrieval systems. Also the processes used to track, store and control documents. With a DMS you can track, manage and store documents and reduce paper. Most are capable of keeping a record of the various versions created and modified by different users.
Documents are vital. Storing documents in paper form carries with it a high security risk, especially when the data contained within them is sensitive and private.
Disadvantages securing paper documents:
Difficultly in editing and updating documents
Misplace or inadvertently destroy import documents
Documents can be stolen by an intruder or even an employee
Accidental fire or arson could destroy your files
Flooding can cause unprecedented damage to your office
Access limitations due to location of documents
The time and cost of filing and searching for documents
Easily accessed by unauthorised users
A document management system provides better more flexible control over the security of documents. Users are managed on a rights and roles based system, where what they can do and see can be restricted at a folder or even down to a document level. Most document and audit trail which produces a history of the life of a document, showing what actions users have made to that document. Both of these facilities are vital in the compliance of legal regulations, which is simply not possible with storing documents in a conventional paper format.
Employees who work both in the office and from a remote location can gain access to the documents they require instantly. Being able to search for a file or document on the electronic document management system from their computer rather than manually digging through a filing cabinet which can be very time consuming. Since the documents are now electronic, they can be viewed by many people at once.
Improve Data Retrieval:
In a conventional filing system paper documents are filed until needed. They are then retrieved when the document is needed, making it unavailable to anyone else and then refiled. This leads to slow and inefficient filing, retrieving and refiling documents. With this high number of refiling, comes the possibility of misfiling documents which could prove disastrous, when urgently trying to locate vital information.
Using a document management system, documents are stored in a central repository enabling multiple users to access data simultaneously, without the need to refile and because documents are stored electronically, with the simple task of entering of a search term, documents are available within seconds, providing increased productivity and better customer service.
Improved searching capabilities:
Being able to easily find information and knowledge from indexed content allows us to improve decision making and reduce the amount of time lost looking for information. Most document management software use Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, which is a technology that enables you to covert different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files or images captured by a digital camera into editable and searchable data. Once your data has been converted using OCR software, it is much easier to organise, search, store and even display online.
Increased Document Storage:
With the ever increasing cost of commercial property and the need to store documentation for longer to comply with regulation, paper based storage often competes with staff members for space within an organisation and outsourced paper based storage creates wasteful expenditure and costly inefficiencies to retrieve vital information when needed. Scanning documents and integrating them with electronically generated information i.e. emails, word documents, etc. in a document management system frees up expensive office space to be utilised in more productive areas of a business.
It is an unfortunate fact that many organisations have never addressed how their business would recover in the event of a disaster. Storing document on paper makes business extremely vulnerable to the risk of fire, flood, vandalism, theft and other ‘Acts of God’, which could result in a business failing to recover from such an incident.
Lost documents can be expensive and time-consuming to replace. Within a Document Management System, electronic documents remain centrally stored when being viewed, so none are lost or misplaced. New documents are less likely to be incorrectly filed and even if incorrectly stored can be quickly and easily found.
Electronic document storage however can be easily and cost effectively backed up to multiple locations and stored offsite, resulting in an almost immediate recovery from such a disaster
The risk of non-conformance leading to fines, a withdrawn licence to operate, or in certain circumstances custodial sentences when an audit takes place is reduced and in most cases removed. A combination of security control, audit trails, archiving and disaster recovery ensure that an organisation is able to authenticate the validity of information stored and demonstrate compliance with regulation and requirements.
Improved Customer Service:
Being able to respond to customer requests immediately with the necessary information at hand, not only improves customer satisfaction but gives a more professional look to the organisation leading to a competitive edge and allowing staff to allocate the time saved to other core business activities.
Document management systems:
We offer Document management Systems, a digital filing cabinet. Allowing you to manage and control all of your information and documents in a secure and central location. It is the electronic images of paper based information captured through the use of a document scanner. Document management systems show how your organisation stores, manages and tracks electronic documents. Here are the two most popular systems we offer.
FileDirector offers a powerful, cost effective and easy to use document storage solution. Suitable for enterprise clients, small businesses or workgroups where there are critical business processes such as invoices. Unlike traditional software with up-front costs and ongoing support fees, FileDirector Cloud is an offsite service, which means your business does not have to worry about the upkeep of services or systems. Using FileDirector will give you a competitive edge with a lot of benefits. It is an electronic storage media which references all information intelligently, allowing you to access the information faster, securely, at any time via the internet. To read more about FileDirector, click here. We also offer something called FileDirector Cloud, read more here.
Another Document Management System is ScanFile, which is one of the most popular. Offering flexibility, referencing and retrieval of organisations documents. ScanFile supports a vast range of black and white and colour document scanners. Including features to make storage of electronic documents (I.e. Word Processing and Excel) format files a straight forward task: including integration with Microsoft office applications. It allows users to design and create document storage folders and scan, send and import documents. Search and document viewing tools are comprehensive but easy to access and use. Designed to be modular, so users can purchase the features they require. Click here to find out more.
To find out more, please contact us or call us on 01785 785 650 to chat to one of our experts.