The Purpose of Document Management Systems
Electronic document management systems (DMS) are designed to organize business files and records digitally, whether they started out in paper form or were generated by software applications. Paper files are first converted to electronic format by scanning. This provides a more compact means of storage, universal access for retrieval, and higher levels of data security and privacy.
A company-wide document management software, also know as an enterprise content management storage, controls digital files that are generated directly through applications — such as those in the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), accounting software, CAD, email, and so on. Managing (rather than simply storing) documents enables quicker access to, and greater command over, business information.
Document Management Systems Eliminate Paper Storage Needs
For businesses across the board, eliminating the bulk of their paper documents and records will immediately eliminate substantial material and labor expenditures.
Companies are also liberated from paper’s inherent limitations as a means of information storage. To share or distribute paper files, they must be duplicated. To store them, companies must devote a large portion of their office area or lease a separate space dedicated for physical file storage. The more staff and files are spread out across locations, the greater the obstacles to access.
Given the large expense and inconvenience of paper documents, maintaining them in digital format instead leads to a substantial increase in efficiency and decrease in operational costs.
Five Essential Components for Electronic Document Management Systems
Solutions designed to manage electronic documents should contain the following essential components:
- Import – Mechanisms to bring new documents into the system, whether image scans of paper files or electronic files previously stored on a server or hard drive.
- Storage – Options to maintain system files via data storage hardware, utilizing one or several distributed locations.
- Identity – A scheme to index documents with discrete identities for accurate search and retrieval.
- Export – A way to port and/or remove items from the system.
- Security – Placement of password-protection on certain files according to authorized user security controls.
Long-Term Value of a Document Management System
Document management systems exist first and foremost to organize, store, and retrieve files accurately and efficiently. Once documents and company data reside in a structured system, more sophisticated file-handling procedures become possible.
For example, because most document management systems log information about the history of document creation and modification (i.e. a digital “paper trail”), managers can query the system to assess the status of employee progress or trace the history of past versions.
Document management systems and enterprise content management (ECM) put the volumes of unstructured information your business generates at your fingertips. What’s more, those documents remain archived safely and securely.
We offer several document management and ECM products to fit your needs. No matter your requirements, LBMC Technology Solutions has the ECM solution and services for you. Contact us for an objective assessment of the right software for your organization!