How Implementing a Document Management System Saves Untold Time, Money and Space
Managing invoices, purchase orders, tax papers and other documents can be a time consuming task that only requires more and more space. Various business laws require you maintain records for a certain amount of time…relying on traditional storage can mean stuffed filing cabinets and entire rooms dedicated to maintaining records.
Not to mention times when you need to retrieve something and can't find it because of the inevitable headache maintaining paper records involves.
Implementing an electronic document management system at your company can eliminate these headaches and more, providing you a way to capture, store and retrieve both paper and electronic records efficiently.
A document management system can be defined as:
An integrated network or compatible computer systems or programs that reliably handles information for accurate records and usability
What are some of the characteristics and capabilities of a good document management system?
A good document management system needs to seamlessly work with all of your content creation software – Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat and more. The system must allow you to save, index and scan these documents in their original form and store them with searchable meta data.
You will also want the ability to control security and access to your system. Assign documents to specific, pre-determined user groups, create and store multiple versions of documents and requiring users to login and logout are just a few of the other requirements of a successful document management system.
Being able to make notations and remove/add pictures or text and log them into the item's indexed meta data for easy retrievable is another important feature for you to have.
A good document management system will also save all versions of a document for you, providing a detailed record of its entire life cycle – from creation to disposal. A good system will also ensure all documents that are past their life cycle will be erased per the policies you setup in your system.
And if you're like a lot of modern companies, you also need to be able to retain emails for a predetermined amount of time. These emails can be easily found through a simple search on your document management system.
Some document management systems like the Microsoft SharePoint system provide the ability to archive and retrieve documents online. Meaning, you don't have to be at your office to access vital company information…and you don't have to worry about dragging a lot of paper documents along for a trip!
So how can I ensure implementing a document management system goes smoothly and is worth the investment?
Besides the technical capabilities, a document management system is only as good as the people using it are. Without effective policies for governing the creation, update, storage, retrieval and disposition of important records, your venture into an electronic document management system will no doubt be chaotic.
Your document management solution should specify:
- What types of documents can be created at your company?
- What templates are to be used with each document?
- What type of metadata to provide for each document?
- Where to store a document at each stage of its lifecycle.
- How to control access at each stage of a document's lifecycle.
- How to move documents within your organization as team members contribute to the documents' creation, review, approval, publication and disposition.
- What policies to apply to ensure documents are properly disposed and content important to the company is protected.
- Whether a document's format can be converted from one format to another as it moves through the different stages of its lifecycle.
Innovative Architects, a Georgia document management system consulting firm near Atlanta, can help you integrate a top-notch document management system and develop and integrate the policies needed to make it a success. Our Microsoft Gold Certified technicians can help you integrate the DMS features of Microsoft SharePoint into your systems or develop a custom solution to fit your needs.
Implementing a document management system along with the proper organizational policies can make your company more productive and save you time, space, money and above all, heartache in managing your company's records.
If you want to learn more about how a document management system can modernize your company, contact Georgia document management system consultant at Innovative Architects or read about our SharePoint consulting services today.
Related SharePoint article that you may be interested in: SharePoint ECM