What is a Digital Document Management System (and Why Do You Need One)?

December 15, 2022

Document management is the process of storing, managing, and tracking electronic documents and electronic images of paper-based information acquired through a document scanner. This process is frequently referred to as Document Management Systems or DMS.

This is for both public and commercial organizations. Paper and other associated procedures that delay workflows and the delivery of services drive up costs and offer potential security issues are targeted for reduction and ultimate elimination as part of this initiative. Digital document capture and storage, along with workflow and process automation, are all features available in enterprise-level document management systems.

Documents are defined by the international standard ISO 12651-2 as "recorded information or objects that may be considered as a unit." This may seem like a complex process, but in reality, it is straightforward and is what you have used for years to produce, distribute, and consume.

Now that we know what document management is, we can describe it as the software that manages and organizes documents throughout a whole enterprise. This solution includes document and content capture, workflow, document repositories, COLD/ERM, output systems, and information retrieval systems. In addition, the processes are carried out to maintain control over documents, store them and keep track of where they are at all times.

What can it do?

Document Capture. You may collect and store documents from any source with an intelligent document management system, including paper, email, CRM apps, reports, and microfilm/fiche. It makes it possible to index and search document data effortlessly.

Document Storage. The appropriate document management system safely saves digital documents, allowing for their preservation or destruction according to the requirements.

Users will have simple and speedy access when their digital information is housed in a centralized place. That includes the ability to designate permissions for increased safety.

Storage is handy for businesses that need to keep contracts for years. Unlike some businesses where receipts are kept but can be disposed of after some time, some contracts, on the other hand, stay binding until death.

Optimization of the Workflow and the Process. The automation of workflows and procedures is another benefit that comes with using a document management system. Invoices, for instance, may be sent directly to the accounts payable system through an automated process. If the system identifies an issue, it can transmit a notice to prompt the appropriate response if it determines a problem.

What are the benefits of DMS?

Documents are filed away to recover them later, whenever it may be necessary to do so, making the process of document storage and filing more convenient. These requirements could be entirely transactional, research-related, legal, or something else. If a reliable document management system (DMS) is not in place, retrieving a specific document from the vast majority of corporate papers may be challenging or even impossible. Installing a DMS should be done with the primary goal of facilitating retrieval that is both easy and prompt.

Improving Workflow: Most business processes include transferring documents from the firm to third parties, from department to department within the company, and from person to person within a department. In addition, papers may also travel from person to person inside a department. Before the document can fulfill its primary goal, it will need to be referred to by many individuals responsible for various tasks, including its development, review, approval, and dispatch. The flow of documents that is well-planned and efficient may significantly speed up company procedures while also improving the quality of such processes.

Compliance: DMS offers the advantage of avoiding difficulties with regulations, the severity of which may be sufficient to cause the company to cease operations. The criteria for complying with government rules may be rather complicated, and they often include the upkeep of various data and papers. A reliable DMS will ensure that the regulations are followed using compliance tools such as checklists, standardized forms, and automated organizing.

Security: Maintaining papers becomes an urgent need to satisfy the many distinct standards which necessitate their security. Documents can conceal trade secrets and other types of sensitive information, such as product formulations or workers' personal information. If unauthorized individuals obtain access to these papers, it may result in financial losses or legal repercussions. A DMS helps to guarantee that certain documents are only accessed by those who are allowed to do so.

Safety: Protecting documents against calamities such as fires and floods is also necessary. If you have a reliable DMS, retrieving the documents in an emergency will be more straightforward.

Cost Reduction: Managing the large number of papers produced as a regular part of the business is costly. Paper, ink, file folders, filing cabinets, filing employees, and other necessities may add to significant expenses in a system that relies on paper. Even with an electronic system, you still need people to manage the system, computers, storage media, and the data on those machines. By fulfilling all of the document-related needs (described above) in a well-planned way, good document management systems have the potential to lower these expenses.

Enhanced Competitiveness: A DMS may contribute to an organization's competitiveness by improving business processes, lowering expenses, and eliminating catastrophic losses.

Why do we need to do it?

The ability of an electronic document management system to assist in minimizing costs associated with keeping and retrieving documents is among the most significant benefits of using such a system. In addition, they help to increase an organization's productivity by making it easier to access documents and lowering the amount of time needed to get such documents from storage. 

Document management systems provide several benefits, one of which is that they contribute to the safety of the documents being managed. This is because document management systems monitor and restrict who may access which documents. This restricts access to the documents to only those who can see them. In addition to this benefit, document management systems also contribute to the maintenance of document integrity.

Ultimately, they assist a company in becoming more productive, which is certainly not the least of their benefits. This is because DMS helps streamline the process of producing documents, storing them, retrieving them, and sharing them.

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