In addition to meeting the demands of the marketplace, you're tasked with creating an efficient and streamlined office environment. Staying on top of your company's paper filing requirements can be a challenge – even in a well-organized workplace.
Document management software can help create a more productive document archiving and retrieval system. But before you turn your records over to the latest business technology, you'll need to understand how document management solutions work and what they can deliver to your company's document storage efforts.
Introduction to Document Management Systems
Document management systems give you the software and hardware you need to handle your organization's security, tracking and searching needs. Companies located in the financial and medical sectors have an acute need for electronic document storage to meet regulatory requirements. However, businesses in the manufacturing and other sectors can also leverage document management system benefits, especially in their HR and accounting departments. By storing document images on either a local or provider-based server, you'll experience greater consistency and productivity than ever before.
Limitations & Restrictions
Document management and imaging are related, but separate functions. While imaging converts traditional paper files into an electronic format, document management provides the software you need to manage electronic files. When you meet with potential vendors, make sure you're talking about the same thing.
Although it's possible (and sometimes necessary) to convert all of your existing files to an electronic format, it's more common for businesses to take a "scan forward" approach. New documents will be archived electronically, but you may will still need to maintain paper storage for older records.
Document management software solutions are sold through resellers who have been authorized by the manufacturer. With that in mind, it's important to assess the worthiness of both the vendor and the manufacturer who makes the product. You should also know that resellers may offer either a client server (in-house) or an ASP (application service provider) solution. There are advantages and drawbacks to each approach, so you need to determine which one is best for your business.