“Document Management System”, as the name implies, is a software system that helps organizations store, retrieve, index, publish and manage their documents electronically and streamline document approval processes. For many organizations, this process is amazingly time-consuming and too often ignored. However, the sheer volume of documents that an organization has to deal with makes a document management system useful and in some cases even mandatory for increasing efficiency and productivity as well as for saving time and paper.
Usually, a document management system includes the following functionalities:
- Document storage
- Version Control
- Document Metadata
- Document Indexing
- Document search & retrieval
- Administration & Security
- Document Approvals
- Document Collaboration
Beyond these, a document management system may include a whole host of possible features, including workflow modules, multiple file format support, mobile support, document email, customizable functionalities, etc. The price of a document management system varies accordingly and solutions should be carefully matched to organizational requirements.
Compared to non-electronic systems, document management systems offer reduced operational costs, improved efficiency and speed of retrieval, improved consistency, and more safety (both in terms of file backups and security measures). There are hundreds of systems out there, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The points to consider are: purchasing/set up costs, types of features, training, upkeep, ease of use etc. Be sure to assess each one in light of your specific needs and your organizational processes.
With an electronic document management system, you no longer will have the insecurity of losing documents because they are all in one secure central electronic repository. You will also not be wasting time like the olden days when multiple people used to retrieve documents from various locations and multiple file cabinets. With online document management, the documents are immediately retrieved by the person looking for information. This not only makes them more productive for that one task, it shifts the focus from the document retrieval to solving the original issue.