About 46% of recently surveyed small businesses confirmed that paper-intensive processes are the primary time wasters in a business. Consequently, companies have sought effective, less tedious ways to manage documents. Without the proper organization of documents, the workplace can be unproductive.
Fortunately, an enterprise content management (ECM) or document management system (DMS) can restore order in the organization of your files. While the two terms have some significant differences, they often work together to offer a complete solution. As a result, most providers tend to offer both. When you contract the provider, there’s a good chance you’ll receive a combination system.
The document management system has significant benefits that will take your business to the next level. You will enjoy freedom, peace of mind, and convenience.
Are you in need of an electronic document management strategy? Below are tips for choosing the best system for you!
1. Define Your Needs
Before buying a tool to manage your business documents, you must identify your needs. List the current issues each team and department currently faces. Consider focusing on the most prevalent or worrisome problems or the solutions that can best improve productivity. For instance, if your team loses a lot of time searching for specific paper documents or if important documents are experiencing physical damage, you might need a system that focuses primarily on image scanning.
Involving your staff can provide insight into daily issues from those who experience them closely. The solution should address the problems identified by your team. The DMS can be different based on the functionalities you desire.
Without a proper needs assessment, you might install a program that doesn’t resonate with your business. Take your time before engaging a provider.
2. Integration Capabilities
Document management often involves the typical daily administrative tasks in a company. It is crucial to get a system that’s compatible with your current internal processes. Avoid installing a program that will require changing your digital system.
The right DMS should integrate seamlessly with your accounting software and CRM. A fragmented system can be overwhelming and messy. You need a program that will be consistent throughout the processes for improved efficiency. Suppose you currently use obsolete document storage (such as microfiche) or multiple systems that use various file types. You’ll need a DMS that can convert any type of document (physical or electronic) into one usable, integrated standard.
Review the key features of the DMS software to establish its compatibility with your business. Have a checklist of your frequently used programs, such as sage and Microsoft Office. Ensure that you brief your DMS provider on your business and document processes.
3. Get a Provider with Industry Experience
Document handling and recording are essential for many businesses. Yet, businesses have different ways of managing their documents. Some companies need compliance with various industry-specific rules on documentation and document security.
The software that works for a healthcare company is different from the food and beverage industry. The DMS vendor you choose needs a deep understanding of your industry. Vetting a potential provider can help determine whether they know about industry-related factors.
You need a solution that complies with your company’s administrative and security needs. A vendor should have insights into proper document management in the workplace. Avoid DMS providers who claim to have solutions for any business.
4. Simple User Interface
Your employees should navigate through the installed system without any hurdles. A sophisticated user interface can lead to change resistance. That’s why you need to involve your staff before settling for a DMS.
The system should be efficient and easy to use. The visual designs need to be straightforward and the commands simple. If your team regularly needs to share documents, doing so should be quick and straightforward. If they must refer to the DMS manual every day, there’s a chance that the software is not user-friendly.
Have in-house training for all your employees. Everyone in the organization should understand how to go about the document management program. Those workers who understand the interface can help other workers.
5. Data Security
Data breaching remains a concern where there’s the involvement of digital technology. The recent data breach of one of the largest financial institutions affected more than 100 million people in the US. The hacker compromised thousands of bank accounts and social security numbers.
If you opt for a cloud-based system, the data protection measures should be commendable. You need to confirm the security features of a DMS package before buying. Ask tough security questions to avoid signing up for a system that will compromise your business. For instance, suppose the proposed document management software stores documents in one central hub. It’s important to make sure that the hub is impervious to hackers, viruses, and other security concerns.
Data security ought to be a priority when choosing DMS software. The DMS provider should incorporate industry-mandated protocols and standards for maximum security. The features and practices should also comply with the industry’s regulations.
6. Support Options
The benefits of DMS in your business are diverse. However, you’ll need a vendor with various customer support options to reap the maximum benefits. The support should be reachable by email, online chats, social media platforms, and telephone.
Get to understand the average time the customer representative takes to attend to your request. Avoid making any agreements if you are unsure of the prompt availability of support. If your software provider requires 24 hours to address an issue, you will need an alternative for urgent documentation needs.
Work with a vendor who offers service-level agreements. The provision ensures that the DMS provider will resolve issues and answer queries within the stipulated time.
7. Collaborative Features
Employees working remotely might need a system that allows collaboration. Most conventional document management solutions comprise cabinet filing. This aspect limits collaborative functions.
The DMS software you select needs to accommodate users working off-site. A cloud-hosted software can guarantee you centralized access control. Your workers will appreciate a system that promotes easy access to required files regardless of location.
Version control is a feature that enhances collaboration through your DMS. For one, it allows users to make changes to documents one at a time, so multiple users don’t create different document versions simultaneously. It also saves one primary version of a document but lets you revert to previous versions if needed. This way, your team doesn’t have to sort through files to find the latest version.
These collaborative features can further allow people to co-author a document or make video calls within a window. With the system creating an audit trail of all changes, your team can track revisions and make modifications as necessary.
Whether you own a multinational corporation or a small business, losing documents can affect your venture adversely. Unlike paper-based documents, a DMS can routinely back up your information without requiring large filing cabinets. Consider asking your provider if they offer consistent data backup.
A Document Management System Increases the Efficiency of Your Business Processes
Your company will appreciate the role of the document management system in file organizing. With the many vendors available, you’ll need to identify your desired features for a DMS. Settle for software that increases value in your business.
Contact us today for a quote if you need any document management services.
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