Document Management Made Easy

Steve Breault

Document management has come a long way, from maintaining paper files to computer based documentation to automated data capture. The reason why automatic data capture has gained importance in recent times is the large amount of data that needs to be maintained on daily basis. Both large and small businesses and organizations receive thousands of documents everyday in the form of bills, receipts, order forms, and so on. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep a record of all the data that comes in, leading to loss of important information and consequently loss of precious time.

Data is one of the most important entities for any organization, be it government or a business. Everything from records of employees to transactions involving millions of dollars is dependent on efficient accounting. Also, hundreds and thousands of entries are laboriously made by typing on the keyboard, increasing the scope for errors. Considering this, one lapse in manual entry can have very serious consequences, emphasizing the need for automatic data capture system. A system in the form of document management software not only helps in maintaining data but also in retrieving it at the right time.
A simple issue like not being able to maintain a database correctly can be a big hindrance to expanding your business. For instance, it may not be possible for you to provide your services to more than a certain number of customers at a time simply because you don’t have a system to maintain those many records, orders and transactions. In such cases, software with the facility of automatic data capture can be a great tool to take your business to a new level.

The automatic data capture feature of document management software helps add records directly from the documents, without any manual intervention. It uses technologies such as bar codes, optical character recognition, smart cards and so on to record data for future use. For instance, a data imaging software scans and captures relevant information from a paper document and records it in a folder selected by the user. Basically anything that your office maintains in the forms of paper documents has the potential to be captured and maintained on a digital format.

Some benefits of document management software include:

Increased efficiency: Document management software is truly a time saver. The automatic data capture feature can save several hours otherwise spent in typing out data from paper documents. This also tremendously reduces the likelihood of errors and again the time spent in correcting them. As there is very less manual work involved, your employees can concentrate on the business objectives rather than putting their efforts on document management.

Increased ROI: As every document is saved digitally, document management system helps streamline the process of maintaining database. It also reduces the need for paper and consequently space required for their storage. These can have significant impact on investments made just for security and storage of such paper documents. Also, there is noticeable decrease in the amount of hours spent in searching and retrieval of documents, thus saving hours of business time.

Access control: Document management software can be setup in a way that it can only be accessed by authorized personnel, thus reducing the chances of loss of information. The data can also be shared on need-to-know basis.

Streamlined workflow: One important feature that matters most to organizations is consistency in processing. For instance, you may have certain document naming conventions or particular folders where each type of document is saved. There is always a chance of error when this is entered manually. However, once you have set this on document management software, you need not worry about whether the document will be saved in the correct folder or not, as everything is automated.

As you conduct meetings from time to time to monitor weekly or monthly progress and increase efficiency, you may have come across document management as a recurrent issue presented by your managers and other employees. There may be several problems ranging from accidental loss of data to hours spent in documenting records. Document management software is a great tool to automate your office and significantly reduce the time spent in manual documentation. It is one of the best means by which you can look to expand your business and help it grow exponentially.

Steve Breault “DocMeister”

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