If you don't currently use document management system software, the implementation of a new system will mean spending more than you do now on document archiving and retrieval, right?
Not necessarily. Sure, there will be a cash outlay for the new system. But many small business owners find that electronic document management results in a net savings that makes it well worth the effort.
Document management systems aren't cheap. In fact, you may be surprised how costly it can be to transition from paper-based storage and retrieval to a first-rate electronic management solution. Don't be deterred by the prices you hear when you first enter the marketplace. Document management systems are usually scalable and when you factor in the cost benefits, the price of electronic document management becomes an easier pill to swallow.
There's a wide range of pricing based on whether you're looking for a bare-bones application or a high-end, sophisticated package. At the low end, you can find an extremely basic application for as little as $200—$300. However, these applications often lack the features required by most businesses.
A more realistic entry-level paper conversion system that includes software, server and a scanner comes in at around $3,000. If you require access for 10 users you'll be looking at something in the neighborhood of $6,000. Top-tier offerings that include Web access, auditing and workflow features for as many as 100 users cost $25,000 and up.
If you're interested in an ASP solution that is hosted by the provider you will be required to pay a monthly fee. These fees can range from $250-$2,000 per month, based on either the number of users or the number of images your system requires.
Cost Benefits & ROI
There are several cost-saving benefits of electronic document management that also need to be taken into consideration. It has been estimated that an employee who retrieves just four paper-based files a day spends up to 80 hours per year on document retrieval and storage. Although it's a hidden cost, that's a sizable expense for any business.
But when you combine that with the time and hassle that is associated with locating lost documents and the physical space requirements associated with paper document storage, the ROI of a document management software system becomes even more clear.