Document Management Software is the Future and it’s Here Now

Steve Breault

Document management is one of the primary concerns of any type of organization, be it a law firm, a retail store or a government entity. An organization without a robust document management system in place is sure to face problems such as loss of documents, delayed processing time and lengthy workflow. The result is slow progress of the business and consequently slower returns on investment. In today’s competitive world, a business can only succeed when it has document management software to record its documents and data systematically.

Documents maintained by any organizations are usually of two types, in image format and in file format. Data such as monthly reports, databases and forms are generally in file format and can be modified. However, data such as invoices coming from other organizations and brochures may be required to be scanned and saved in image format. And these cannot be modified. Whether your business is big or small, you may be receiving a large amount of information on daily basis. With document management software you can ensure that all this information flows smoothly and is available when required.

Mismanagement of documents invariably leads to several problems such as time-consuming retrieval system, loss of information, slow productivity and consequently, reduced customer satisfaction. A document management system offers a solution to these problems through document indexing and identification based on date of creation, author, purpose of the data, and so on. Though earlier systems required scanning of paper documents, today’s systems have features such as automatic data capture to scan and save documents in a digital format. In fact, data in the form of text and table files can even be modified and updated regularly.

Some benefits of installing a document management system include:

Prevents loss of information and enables quick and easy retrieval: When data is saved in digital format using automatic data capture, it becomes easier to manage compared to paper documents. A paper file often moves from desk to desk and is very likely to get misplaced. However, such a risk is completely eliminated when documents are in electronic format, which can be easily recovered. In addition to this, automatic data capture requires details such as date of creation, modification and updation, name of author and how the document moved, so it’s easier to keep track of data at all times.

Increased efficiency: Searching for a document in file cabinets is the number one reason for delay in processing time in almost every organization, not matter how efficient their workforce. Even the most qualified engineers, managers or technicians cannot eliminate human error. For instance, a paper document on the wrong desk is very likely to get misplaced and may even end up in the garbage bin! However, with document management software, every document scanned and every piece of information is stored systematically. Information cannot be stored till the time it fulfills all the criteria for its creation and storage, thus eliminating human error to a large extent. For instance, if an employee does not conform to a particular naming convention, the file will simply not be saved.

Increased productivity and ROI: With a professional document management system you can be completely sure of precision in processing of various documents in different stages. Some documents may be moving from one department to the other, finally reaching the higher levels of management. Unlike paper documents, movement of digital information is much faster, as data is integrated, saved centrally and shared electronically. This ensures that less time is consumed in searching, analyzing or even recreating content in any form.

Research has shown that on an average, employees spend about 27 hours per week searching for information. More than 3 hours a week is spent in looking for data that is not there or has been misplaced. Apart from this, more than 3 hours per week is spent in recreating or getting a copy of this lost information. If your knowledge workers have been employed at $15-$20 per hour, you can calculate the loss in business. Document management software almost completely eliminates these issues, providing a robust and foolproof system for creation, storage and retrieval of documents.

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