What is Document Management Software?
If you’re currently looking around your office and wondering what to do with the file cabinets, the full folders, and the piles of paper, then you would benefit from using document management software. Not only will it help you go paperless and stay organized, it will also streamline your organization’s workflows and save you time and money. Learn more about this software and how it will change the way you work.
Defining Document Management Software
Within the system, you’re able to easily store and search for documents like invoices, human resource documents, client intake forms, and more. Modern and more robust systems offer additional functionality to help streamline document-centric business processes. Most systems include features that bolster your security for digital documents and give your organization the ability to adhere to compliance regulations like HIPAA, FERPA, SOX, or ISO. Some include a whole suite of features that enable users to collaborate easily with others, ensure office work and documents follow specific workflows or even automate these workflows, as well as track a document’s entire lifecycle – to name a few.
The Benefits of Document Management Software
There are several benefits to using DMS software for your company. All of these benefits combined are why so many businesses have decided to switch to a paperless office environment. Benefits of document management software include:
Easily Find Documents
Document management software was created with an end goal in mind: to make it easier for organizations to find the information they need as quickly and efficiently as possible. With paper documents, you could be searching for minutes or even hours to find what you need. Optical character recognition (OCR) functionality is the process of turning scanned images of physical documents into digital ones that are more easily accessible, searchable, and shareable.
Telecommuting is Simple
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many companies have moved to remote working environments, but still face issues with working remotely or being able to securely access documents while on the go. Document management software allows for quick and secure access to business-critical information any time, anywhere, and on any device.
Automated Workflows = Huge Savings
Intelligent workflows that cross departments within your organization can help streamline any business process. From the point of document capture, automate the entire lifecycle of a document, send it through approval processes, route for electronic signatures, send reminders, or even amend documents into a predefined packet - saving your business both hard and soft costs that rack up with manual processes.
Eliminate Data Entry Redundancy & Errors
Scan physical documents and allow intelligent software to detect, store, or share pertinent information from these scans, rather than using precious staff resources to manually enter data into third-party systems.
Integrate with 3rd-Party Software
When you use a DMS, you often need to transfer data to other software, such as an accounts payable system. Integrations with API access allow for infinite integrations which empowers automated workflows across systems that streamline all facets of your organization and save your bottom dollar.
Going paperless does save you time and money, but it also benefits the environment, too. When your organization uses less paper, you’re saving money and trees (which is great PR) but the cost savings go beyond the costs of the paper itself to save soft costs as outlined in our paperless office infographic.
How Do You Identify a Real Document Management System?
There is no well-defined industry standard definition for what constitutes a document management system. There are hundreds of solutions on the market today that have branded themselves as a DMS, while offering only a small piece of the functionality most organizations are seeking when embarking on this search – which is why finding such a system can be very difficult and time consuming.
When document management software first came to market, it was basically a scan-and-archive system; essentially an electronic file cabinet. It allowed users to input scanned documents, then index, store, and retrieve those electronic documents. While that functionality is still at the heart of every DMS system available today, the software has evolved exponentially over the years. There are many more features today that a true document management system supplies, including:
Integration with 3rd-Party Systems
Access & Audit Controls
Intelligent Document Capture
How Secure is a Document Management System?
When searching for a document management system, look for features like data encryption (at rest and in transit), and other ways that they protect data. Many providers offer additional tools that keep data secure, whether you’re in the office, at home, or working from another location – as well as features that ensure data is only accessible by those intended to view it like access and audit controls.
Within document management software, these controls allow you to assign different levels of access to each employee, ensuring that the most important data is only accessible to designated people. System administrators can also audit the actions performed by any user, allowing you to trace who accessed the document, who modified it and how it was changed, who searched for it, and more.
When you opt to use a document management system, you’ll be more equipped with the solutions and tools needed to increase overall organizational security and data safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Document Management Software
Switching to document management software is a big decision, and it’s common to have questions about the software or the process. Read some answers to frequently asked questions about DMS systems.
Will transitioning to this software interrupt business operations?
Generally speaking, implementing this type of solution can be a relatively quick process, but moving paper documents into an electronic format does take time. Some software providers offer additional professional services to convert from other software solutions or to customize their systems to fit most any business type or need which can take additional time to set up. However, initial setup tends to be pretty straightforward and can have your business up and running with the new system very quickly. Additionally, most providers also offer training for your staff which can help ensure that your document management system is used properly and poised to maximize your ROI from day one.
When you decide to purchase a document management software, most providers also offer training for your staff. When you work with a software engineer to implement your new system, they help guide configuration, settings, and provide expert insight that will help maximize the software so you can get the best ROI for your organization.
How easy is it to scan and load existing files, papers, and other electronic files into a DMS?
While a document management system will often use optical character recognition (OCR) software to help scan and categorize your documents, you may want to consider document scanning and indexing software if you’re dealing with a large amount of documents each day.
Using this software, it’s easy to scan and load your existing papers and files, whether you’re looking to handle scanned images, photos of receipts, or handwritten forms. Some solutions work better than others for specific types of documents, though – so be sure to investigate your software options to ensure that the types of documents that you’re dealing with can be properly indexed and added to any third-party software solutions you currently employ at your office.
Plus, if you’re looking for a solution that automatically indexes even the most difficult and unique of documents or handwritten forms, consider a human-backed indexing service. Using a full suite of options like these can fully automate your document intake and greatly reduce your hard and soft costs across your entire organization.
Some software providers offer API access which can allow integrations with third-party software applications. Be sure to investigate any potential software to ensure your planned integrations are possible and supported.
Will document management software make our organization compliant?
The right document management software will provide you with the tools and security needed for compliance under HIPAA, SOX, FERPA, ISO, and other regulations. However, full compliance will be up to your organization and getting employees to follow correct procedure at all times.
The location of your data storage depends on whether you choose on-premise software or cloud-based systems. With on-premise software, you’ll likely have your own server within the company that keeps all your data and it will be up to you to keep the data protected. If you choose cloud-based, then your data will be stored in a secure data center and accessible only via your DMS. When researching your next DMS be sure you ask about encryption protection for documents at rest and in transit.
How much does document management software cost? Will I get a good ROI?
Software providers for document management systems are numerous and so are the price-points. Some offer products priced on a per-user basis, while others offer feature-based modular pricing, or some combination of the two. As you’re evaluating your organization’s needs, consider the number of users that will need access to the system and the type of access that you’ll need as well as the features that are important to you. Some providers hook new clients with low upfront costs that grow exponentially when users, functionality, or modules are added later on.
The total strength of your ROI depends on a number of factors; hard costs like physical storage or the costs associated with lost documents, and soft costs like the time to retrieve a document or an employee’s time spent walking from desk to and from a file cabinet. Your ROI can even be influenced by how well your staff commits to using the new system. There are a number of statistics that can help you calculate a possible ROI, be sure to check out our paperless office infographic to learn about a few more statistics that directly influence your return on investment.
Interested in Document Management Software? Contact Us Today.
With more than two decades of experience in the document management software industry, the pros at Ademero know exactly what is needed to get your organization up and running when you’re looking to switch to a paperless office. Our document management software, Content Central, offers businesses like yours:
A user-friendly and intuitive system that’s easy and fast to implement for your organization.
All-inclusive features at one low price - meaning you won’t get hit with a bunch of add-on fees when you least expect it.
Adaptable software that fits any business, with a price point that’s perfect for small-to-medium businesses and feature-rich enough for enterprise needs, regardless of your industry.
If you’re interested in adding a DMS to streamline your organization to save time and money, we can help. Contact us today at 863-937-0272 or schedule a free customized demonstration of our Content Central DMS software.
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