Businesses depend on documents for their smooth operation. And managing documents, particularly when they come from multiple sources, can be challenging. Fortunately, a document management system (DMS) that captures, stores, and tracks paper and electronic documents can help with this endeavor. This blog post discusses the top seven benefits of document management systems.
- Reduced storage space. Paper is expensive, and so is the cost of storage. A software-based document management system reduces the need for filing cabinets, boxes, and storage space. This could result in a potential net reduction in costs.
- Easier retrieval. Studies suggest that employees spend far too much time searching for documents; this costs companies lots of money. A document management solution can be a time-saving tool, as documents can be searched by word, phrase, full text, or index category. Document management systems can be integrated with other business applications, allowing users to search across the full spectrum of corporate documents and data. A cloud-based solution also enables the remote search for documents.
- Enhanced security. Document management provides better control over a company’s documents, as one of the key features is providing a document trail for groups or individuals. Administrators can see who has viewed a document, when it was accessed, and how it might have been modified. It is also possible to place automatic alerts on documents. These alerts notify the document owner(s) if the documents are being viewed or altered.
- Improved regulatory compliance. Compliance requirements for certain industries and/or documents can be very complex. These are mostly tied to legal or tax issues at the national or state level; examples include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). While non-conformance can be very costly, document management reduces this risk through the automation of document records.
- Better backup and disaster recovery. With today’s document management technology, company documents are digitized at the point of entry into a company. These documents are scanned directly into the system; then automatically backed up. A professional document management system also prevents documents from being misfiled, so they can easily be retrieved. Furthermore, digital archiving and backup ensures that paper documents are protected from fire, flooding, and other potential disasters.
- Better collaboration. Document management systems make information sharing and collaboration easier, as workers can easily and quickly access files. As soon as one worker is done editing a document, another can jump in and make his or her own edits. Collaboration can easily be tracked and restricted. The system can be programmed to authorize access to certain people or functions, both inside and outside the company. Version control allows for older versions of documents to be recovered if needed.
- Increased productivity. Although difficult to measure, document management systems tend to help employees feel more satisfied about their work. They also help clients feel they are being better served. These improvements boost the company’s competitiveness, while also making it look more professional.
A well established and integrated document management system can bring many benefits to staff, business owners, and offices in general. All companies small or large should embrace this technological development at the earliest convenient time.
- Document management systems provide many benefits, including a reduced need for paper and physical storage that could result in a net reduction in costs.
- Concerns and requirements around security, compliance, and data protection can be better addressed through a document management system offering authorization, tracking, and data backup features.
- The digital nature of document management systems, as well as their key features, enable better document retrieval, document collaboration, and worker productivity.
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