Document Management Software Goes Mainstream

Steve Breault

Document management refers to the means by which organizations plan, create, organize, control and share information. Businesses today revolve around several types of documents such as charts, memos, reports, orders and spreadsheets. And effective management of these documents is imperative to ensure that your business stays on track. Records are not just the structured data maintained in the databases, but also include other type of files such as presentations, invoices, pamphlets, information brochures, forms, and so on.

Document management software is a computer program that helps in effective management of all type of documents for easy retrieval and storage. It is particularly designed to systematically store data through automatic data capture. Such software is of tremendous help when your business requires maintenance of records in different file formats such as PDF, text, image, sound clips, and so on.

There are several types of document management software available in the market and you would like to choose the one that best suits your organization’s needs. Knowing exactly what type of records and data are required to be maintained for your business is essential for you to select the right software. For instance, what records or documents are you planning to upload on the document management software? Will these be active records maintained by your organization or archival data? How often will you be accessing this data? At what levels will the data be shared? These are some of the questions that need to be answered while choosing and purchasing document management software.

You must also understand what the software does before purchasing. Automatic data capture, forms recognition, PDF creation, version control and document imaging features are some of the functions you must check. For example, you may like to save all the incoming invoices in a database format. The forms recognition feature of document management software helps capture all the required fields on an invoice and save it in a database format on your computer system. Also, same can be saved as an image file by simply scanning and saving using automatic data capture.

Though cost of software and your budget is an important factor, with a little bit of research you will definitely come across affordable options available in the market. Most companies have different versions of the same software so you can choose the one that fits your requirements. For example, if you own a small business, you may require a more affordable version which fulfills minimum requirements for your specific business. Also, some companies allow you to upgrade to a higher version of the software as your business grows and requirements increase.

Records are the most important entity while conducting any type of business. It’s evidence that a transaction has taken place in your company on a particular time and date. These may be required for making important decisions, during an audit, risk analysis and many other critical operations involving your business. To be reliable and authentic, records in any format must be correctly created, controlled and saved for easy retrieval when needed. Document management software provides a robust, affordable solution for maintaining records.

Manual systems probably worked great in the past. However, with the world moving at a fast pace your business needs to keep up with the times. Everything today from banking to education has moved online. Most people today find transactions such as online payment of bills and filling up of forms for a magazine subscription very convenient. At some point you may be faced with a situation where your competitors are succeeding simply because they have a better document management plan.

Installing document management software is an essential part of your business and extremely necessary if you want to stay in the competition. Sooner or later your clients would start demanding faster processing of their transactions. As a result you will require an automated system to take care of creating and maintaining records, while you look after the needs of your clients. Effective implementation of your document management plan is the best way to help your business grow and stay ahead of the competition.

Steve Breault “DocMeister”

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