What is Document Management?

Everyone has documents. Your company may work with hundreds, if not thousands of them daily. But just as every business has a clear strategy to achieve measurable goals, confidential information requires a strategy too in order to protect them.

A document management system (DMS) is what you need to receive, store and manage your documents as a way to reduce your environmental footprint. In other words, less paper means that more trees are saved. This system operates digitally and tracks the entire document lifecycle on an electronic device, such as a scanner.

What is the Purpose of Document Management?

The purpose of document management is to organise your files as well as reduce the physical space you are using. It also helps with streamlining information and workflow.

Why Document Management is Important

The easier a source of information is to find, the better. Since several companies work remotely, it is wise to store all documents on a secure platform that can be accessed no matter where you are in the world. This keeps your team aligned and up-to-date on the process of the company’s files. An electronic document management system also gives you peace of mind that there is an added layer of security to your files as you may encrypt files with a password you may share with those you trust and in the unfortunate event of a natural disaster, you would still be able to access your files.

How a Document Management System Works

A document management system is captured in a few easy steps:

  1. Data capturing. Information must be captured and then indexed based on its date, barcode number, customer’s number, meta data or any other system that provides us with a way to classify the document. A document is indexed by a person or a digital source, and if it is done well, it would be easier to find even if you’re looking for it 15 years from now.
  2. Streamlined process. Chances are, you are receiving files from people all over the country or in the world. You should keep it in a centralised space where it’s easily accessible. Whether it is onsite at a document warehouse or an online document management system. At this point, you should be able to control who receives access. This keeps you in control of your information and also provides you with additional security. You should also be able to track the document, for instance, if you are making changes to the files, you may send your corrections to another person and be notified of additional changes made. A good system will be able to save the original copy while keeping a changed version of the original.
  3. Rapid retrieval. When you choose to store your documents offsite, you should be have the option to quickly access your files. At the document warehouse, are able to documents can be scan and email your documents within 2 hours while performing the necessary security checks.

Types Of Document Management Systems

  • Record management controls the maintenance and destruction of records. Watch this video to see how we safely destroy information:

  • Workflow management essentially manages the “flow” of the process as well as the overall production status. This system should give you an overview of which tasks are in progress and have been completed as well as who has been assigned the task. In other cases, you may also be able to track the workflow in terms of tracking and delivering shipments.
  • Document imaging is where hard copies are converted into digital documents and are scanned, organised and managed electronically.
  • Content management is aimed at creating, managing, organising and delivering content to users. Those working on a content management system are able to edit, schedule and publish content as they see fit. They are also able to analyse the impact of their content via a report.
  • Enterprise Content Management is a system that allows you to create a set duration or deadline for your content. In other words, it provides you with additional support should you wish to enforce the product of creating content, approving and publishing it. You are able to be in control of the process from start to end.

How to choose the right Document Management System for you?

  • Understand your company’s needs. Identify gaps within your workplace that you would like to fix and make a list of administration issues you are currently facing. This should give you a better idea about what your needs are.
  • Be specific about what you want. Every industry has specific regulations that they must be in compliance with. Therefore, it’s vital that you choose a document management company that understands the industry you are in and the respective challenges you may face.
  • Ensure the DMS is user-friendly and simple to use. You are essentially looking for a solution, not something new that will complicate matters further. If a DMS is able to fully integrate with systems you already have, even better! For instance, an all-in-one system that allows you to send emails, purchase orders, create tasks, assign content, and so on in one place.
  • Managing the internal process effectively is vital to track whether you are meeting deadlines, working within your budget and so on. The DMS must allow all projects to run smoothly.
  • Add security. Keeping your business’ files secure is probably the most important of it all. A DMS that protects you against potential hackers and viruses is imperative. Choose one designed to block external attacks.
  • Allow employees to collaborate. If you have an employee in Johannesburg and another in Cape Town, they should be able to work on a project simultaneously. Select a system that allows you to make changes, add comments in real-time.

A document management system should make work easier and life much simpler for you and your team. Contact TDW today and find out how we can simplify your world.