Posts Tagged ‘automated filing’

How to Develop a Document Management Plan for Your Business

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Steve Breault, President & Founder, Vircosoft

Documents are a major part of every business, and without them it would be impossible to keep track of transactions. Not long ago every office consisted of shelves and boxes full of files and folders with all kinds of documents. With the advancement in technology, document management software has provided a platform for a paperless office. All your documents are saved in a centralized system, with access allowed only to authorized parties.

Most businesses today have their documents in both soft and hard copies. Even with management software, it is not possible to transition overnight from paper offices. The shift is gradual, towards the electronic storage mode which is easier and more convenient. In the meantime, both types of documents have to be managed efficiently for the business to run smoothly. Developing a document management plan involves the following steps:

1) Set a standard: Related documents should be presented in a particular format. For instance, you can decide that all the monthly reports are to be created using Microsoft Excel. For all other documents such as receipts, spread sheets, payment notices and invoices, come up with an appropriate format or template for each one. Present these procedures to everybody in the office and explain the importance of maintaining the set standards.

2) Obtain soft copies: Hard copies can be damaged easily and consume a lot of space. To enhance the efficiency of your business, scan your documents and work with electronic copies. The papers can be retained as a backup but not for daily references. They can even be transferred to a separate room or the basement, so that the office has enough space. The electronic documents need a backup too. You can save some copies on a separate drive or online so that you are on the safe side even in the case of a system breakdown.

3) Establish a retrieval system: One of the major benefits of document management software is the ease of retrieval. Time, money and energy are lost whenever document retrieval is a lengthy process. In an efficient system, it is possible to search for a document by simply typing in the file name. In a manual system, all files and folders should be clearly labeled. You can simplify the process further by coming up with a file location list. Print and post it on various locations where staff members can locate it easily. The list specifies the location of various documents, whether in soft or hard copies.

By following these steps, you will have brought your business closer to a paperless office. Document loss, misplacement and damage will be a thing of the past. You will save money and space that is required to store all these documents. Sending and receiving information will be as fast as the click of a button. In the near future it will be rare to come across paper documents, as management software is quickly taking over. Prepare your business for the shift as you enjoy the convenience of properly managed documents.

The Power of an Open Source Document Management System

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Steve Breault, President & Founder, Vircosoft

Open source document management software is a program that manages and tracks the flow of business related content through each business cycle. Most small businesses as well as large organizations make use of this software to take control over their business content in order to enhance the retrieval of their files as well as the automation of the business processes. This software is very useful and its power can be felt in many ways.

One of the ways in which open source document management software helps your organization is in the automation of the business processes. All your transactions can be obtained in a flexible manner with results of your searches coming up almost as soon as you input the commands. The need to write down long statements as part of your queries is negated since these commands are already inbuilt in the system. This makes your work much easier.

Another advantage of this software is the sped of retrieval of data due to the automation. You will only spend a fraction of time looking for numerous files and documents regarding your business since the process will become faster. The time freed up can be used for other business activities in the organization thus improving productivity.

Open source document management software is usually online based. Your data and files are stored within a cloud. This ensures that your company can become paperless and thus save on costs of physical storage. As a result, you will not need a large space to carry out your business tasks since everything is stored elsewhere. The program is hugely popular with small businesses as a result since even security expenses are quite low.

The program is also quite popular with companies that have a huge number of staff who reside in different area of the world. It makes it possible to access company data online from any remote location in the world as long as you have internet connection. All your staff needs is the necessary security access codes, which ensures that unauthorized users cannot access your files. With these codes, they will be able to access the information that they are supposed to and do their work. As a result, your business will be borderless and you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

The internet connection also makes any coordination of large projects possible. This is because the management software will be able to coordinate various aspects of the project to make up the whole. This flexibility is very central to the success of large organizations made up of different people from many parts of the world. All one has to do is their part and rest assured the project will be completed regardless.

Open source document management software is highly interactive thus making it easy to navigate through. It can therefore be easily integrated into an organization without many hassles. The centralization of information also ensures that there is enhanced collaboration and sharing of data from one common interface. Data management has become quite easy as a result.

Automated Document Imaging: A Powerful Office Asset

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Steve Breault, CEO & Founder, Vircosoft

Efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery and high productivity has been the major concern for many businesses these days. Every effort is put in place to ensure that this is achieved. In respect of this, business leaders have developed several ways in which they can create an effective office operation. Emergence of paperless office environment has been adopted by modern businesses courtesy of advanced technology that is causing change in all areas. This article aims at helping the reader understand how offices are running without the use of papers.

Paperless office environment can be described as the workplace that does not rely on papers in its operations. It may be where the use of papers is avoided or reduced greatly. This is where the use of filing cabinet and other filing facilities is eliminated and replaced with automated documents imaging. All the office information is computerized and is retrieved whenever it is needed. This has brought about numerous merits in terms of efficient delivery of services as well as increasing productivity in an organization.

Automated documents imaging is common in modern office environment. This is where documents are scanned and stored automatically in electronic form. This allows easy retrieval and sharing of the information stored in different offices thus improves the way things are done. There are several advantages that accrue to the adoption of digital offices which are discussed later in this article.

Paperless workplace is economical compared to traditional offices where a lot of money is spent on papers. Once the automated documentation software is installed, all the relevant office information is stored in computers. When the same is needed, it is retrieved and can be updated or shared among individuals within the office. This eliminates the cost incurred in maintaining physical filing system and purchasing filing cabinets. This has been seen as cost reduction measures thus enhancing profitability of the business.

By adopting paperless working environment, the space is highly utilized. This is because the office will need the desk, seat and the computer system. The small office is able to handle volume of tasks with ease. The use of many files, cabinets, printers and papers is reduced if not eliminated totally. This spares a space thus making the office neat and tidy. This has had a positive impact on the productivity of the employees within the organization.

The tradition methods of storing documents may be risky and unsafe. Many cases have been reported where sensitive information is destroyed either by fire or any other disaster. By adopting automated documents imaging, documents are safely stored and protected by use of passwords and effective back up systems. This has greatly improved the level of service delivery in an organization.

Paperless office is eco friendly and enhances the preservation of clean and habitable environment. Proponents of green revolution have backed the campaign for all the businesses to adopt paperless offices.

Total elimination of paperwork may not be realized since there are some of the sectors that demand physical documentation. However, with the current economic hardship that faces businesses, the adoption of paperless office has been viewed as the solution to many challenges encountered before emergence of digital technology.

What Are the Benefits of Document Indexing Software?

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

Document indexing is the process of adding tags and marks to documents. These tags and marks are then stored in an index and used when someone wants to search for a document. Document indexing is normally used by engines to help retrieve information from different websites. It helps search engines to be fast in document retrieval. Document indexing can also be used by an organization which wants to optimize its filing system.

An organization which needs document indexing done automatically should use document indexing software for automation of the indexing process. There are many benefits which an organization can get from document indexing. Some of these benefits are discussed in detail below.

Faster retrieval of documents:

When the documents are indexed tags and marks are used to identify them. These tags are normally derived from the content in the documents and/or a short description used to describe the document. When a user searches the document index using a certain keyword the index quickly returns a list of documents with tags same as the searched keyword. Therefore a user can quickly select the document that he/she wants. Unlike document filing which requires a user to search the content of each file individually so as to find what he/she wants. There indexed documents are easily accessible.

Allows easy orientation for new employees:

When your organization recruits new employees you will need to familiarize them with the filing system and other aspects of the organization. With document indexing software the new employees will be quickly shown how to search for files in the organization. If you are using the old filing system for document organization then you need to go through the whole filing system so that the new employees can understand how to find files.

Faster Decision making:

In an organization decision making is normally made by using files which have important information about the organization. If the organization uses document indexing software they can quickly search through and find what need quickly enabling them to make faster decisions.

Increases efficiency and reduces running costs:

In organizations with indexed documents, document access speeds are highly increased. This makes the overall efficiency of the organization to increase especially when the organization deals with a large number of documents. When the efficiency of document retrieval is increased the running costs for document retrieval services is reduced. This is because you can employee fewer employees to do the document retrieval work.

Improved security of documents:

Tags can be used to represent security levels on documents. This can be used to restrict some users from accessing documents with certain tags. This greatly helps the organization to protect its organizational secrets.

Gaining a competitive advantage:

Many organizations do not use document indexing software. This makes their file retrieval system cumbersome. If your organization uses a document indexing and retrieval system you gain a competitive advantage. Better customer service and reduced cost are two examples.

Faster batch processing of documents:

Some documents have similar characteristics thereby they have similar tags. By using document indexing software you can quickly search through your documents and arrange them to be batch processed. Batch processing involves the manipulation of documents with similar characteristic in a queue. This also allows for faster and easy updating of documents.

Document Management Software for Business Efficiency

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

The managing of documents in offices can be time-consuming and daunting.  According to studies, employees use a significant portion of their work hours just trying to scour through information that is already available within the organization.  This task includes searching, organizing, sorting, and creating and recreating documents that are sometimes redundant.  The manipulation of paper files or documents is actually contributing to an organization’s inefficiencies and is costing millions of dollars of wasted hours and productivity.  Using document management software can solve this issue.

A document management system (DMS) is a software that is utilized in storing and managing electronic documents and images of paper files or documents.  This software allows organizations to create a central database or repository of all forms of electronic and paper documents.  Listed below are advantages of using a Document Management Systems.

Reduced Storage – Scanning paper documents and integrating them into a DMS greatly reduces storage page within the organization.

Time and Money Savings – Sorting out documents and searching for them takes time.  Using DMS reduces the costs associated with the storage of hardcopy documents including the cost of paper, printing, and archiving.
Flexible Retrieval – Retrieving hard copy documents takes time.  Through DMS, electronic images of documents are created and stored centrally.  A lesser amount of time is spent in locating documents as this task can be done even without leaving your desk.  Access to documents through DMS can be over the internet on the company’s intranet.

Documents Security – Provide controlled access to your documents and folders.  DMS can protect these files from being accessed or modified by unauthorized personnel or potential intruders.  Access of the documents can be set on a user and password-based access and access rights can be assigned for both users and groups at the folder and/or document level.  The use of DMS for the documents is way more secure that filing them in traditional file cabinets.  Also, DMS has audit trail feature where you can view who last used the item and when.  Obviously with the hard copy files, this is difficult to track.

Disaster Recovery – A document management system provides a convenient way of creating back-up documents for offsite storage and disaster recovery.  Backing up documents the traditional way through paper is bulky and expensive.  Also, it is prone to damage and vulnerable to flood, fire and theft.
No Lost Files – When paper documents are lost, it can be expensive and time-consuming to replace them.  With DMS, image files of the documents remain stored when being viewed thus, it is never lost or misplaced.  A full-text searching mechanism is a very useful feature of DMS which makes storing, finding and moving documents very easy.

Improved Regulatory Compliance – Comply with government regulations such as SOX (Sarbanes Oxley),  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA),  Food Safety Modernization Act, ISO, Medical device manufacturing (FDA), Healthcare (JCAHO), and Information technology (ITIL).  Your documents  which could include policy statements, workflow, procedures, and many other pertinent organizational documents should provide evidence of control.  Failing to conform with this may mean legal repercussions including fines.  DMS offers a combination of security control, audit trails, efficient archiving system and disaster recovery to guarantee that an organization can authenticate the validity of information stored in the system and demonstrate strict adherence to regulatory standards and requirements.

All in all, the use of Document Management Software in an organization or a business brings even more benefits other than the ones mentioned above.  DMS can further improve internal operations and enhance customer service and satisfaction while bringing a competive edge to the business.

Document Management Software Should Be Your Next Asset

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

How to manage information for your business purposes has become a very important issue. Loss or misplacement of important business document, distribution of wrong documents for important projects, cases of stealing confidential business and security data are surfacing every day. So, equipping your business with the most reliable and efficient business document management software in order to prevent any unwanted incidents is indeed one of the needs of the hour and an important asset that must not be undermined. A tested electronic business document management solution will help you to create, scan, index, store, retrieve, edit, fax, email, share information securely within company departments, improve your business customer relationship, maximize profits for you, improve employee productivity, help you to meet industry regulations, preserve your business information from being destroyed in any disaster, and even print your documents when you need to do so.

The importance and asset nature of digital business document management software is illustrated in the following scenarios:

1. A renowned civil engineering construction company submitted a bid for a project with the wrong set of drawings due to the use of poor in-house document management system. Being famous for quality deliverable, the project was awarded to them and the construction works advanced so much after which one of the project supervisors suddenly realized the drawings being used were the wrong set of drawings. The constructions already completed had to be demolished and rebuilt to keep off litigation which resulted in the loss of millions of dollars to the company. If they had integrated efficient document management software, this professional disaster and misjudgment won’t have happened and there are many companies that have lost lots of money due to inefficient document management practices in use.

2. Imagine manufacturing companies that have manufactured tons of parts and even shipped them before coming to realize that the engineering drawings used for manufacturing the parts were out dated and not the currently approved standard drawings.

3. There are many companies that usually have multiple projects and tons of employees accessing many documents across these projects. Imagine two people editing the same document simultaneously and one person’s edits gets overwritten in the process because the business document management application in use is archaic. What this implies is that such document will be shared and much damage would have been done before someone gets to realize rather too late that the document distributed was actually the wrong document.

If there is any reason you have to integrate the electronic document management software into your business processes, it is to avoid an extremely costly error commonly associated with the use of inadequate or outdated document filing solution as it has been revealed in the instances stated above. There are many companies that have practically lost millions of dollars while some have been locked in avoidable legal battle with their clients as a result of distributing wrong project files or documents. Good business document management software is reasonably priced compared to the value of costly mistakes that comes with the use of inefficient document filing system. In fact, the price of an efficient business document management application is indirectly an asset that keeps on helping your company to maximize profits and run efficiently.

Document Management Software is a Fit for ALL Businesses

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

More and more businesses irrespective of their size are making the switch from the traditional methods of filing documents with the use of file cabinets into electronic business document management software which promises better efficiency, more productivity, customer satisfaction, cost savings, and long term growth. Once incorporated into your business, document management software provides a one stop shop for scanning, indexing, saving, editing, and departmental sharing of your documents. Electronic business document management software has been tried, tested, and proved useful by large businesses as a means to win customer satisfaction, lower costs, improve efficiency, and enhance business growth on the long run.

However, one of the main concerns of small businesses looking to make a switch into business document management is the cost of acquiring or the affordability of the electronic document management software by small enterprises. There is also the concern of how complex such business document management will be for their staff to be able to understand and use with relative ease. Here are some hints about the affordability of the digital document management solution and its simplicity of use that will interest you.

Availability of easily affordable document management software: Small and mid-sized enterprises that have been yearning for an affordable electronic document filing solution now have it in their grasp. Easily affordable digital document management applications with the full range of benefits of lowering costs, enhancing business efficiency, and lots more are available for small businesses. The increase in demand of this software has driven down its cost so much that you can find them far less affordable than they were before. In fact, the smallest businesses who are looking to deploy this application and individuals who would like to deploy the document management software in their homes can now do so at very affordable price while they still enjoy the benefits of good return on investment since it guarantees security and effective departmental sharing of documents.

Document management software offer easy usage and smooth learning curve: Electronic document filing solution allows you to scan, index, and store all your paper documents with ease and little learning curve. What may be complex and hard to do is looking for lost or misplaced document when you file in the traditional way with paper documents and file cabinets and not with business document software though you may need to spend a few seconds in scanning and indexing your documents. Think of the record time you have to search a document that has been well indexed and stored using the business document management software and getting what you want almost instantly. That gives less stress and makes your business operation more productive and reliable yet the software is affordable.

There has never been a better time to think of acquiring this electronic business document software to work for you than now. Even in recession, your target is to save cost of doing business while productivity is increased. The numerous benefits of integrating document management software in your business far outweigh the present price.

Document Management Software is an Investment NOT an Expense

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

In today’s challenging business world, running a paper based business would mean managing a business with endless amounts of paper, the file cabinets, and the storage space for keeping them. Besides the space and the volume of paper documents, there is the need for someone to file each paper document and for multiple times, someone else would have to retrieve the documents. When dealing with paper files that run into thousands or even millions of paper based information piled up over many years, filing and retrieval processes are bound to be very cumbersome and costly. The costs of this system of managing business information without business document management will mount up so quickly in the areas of wages and salaries of persons employed to do the filing and retrieval of the paper documents and the storage facility meant for keeping massive quantities of these paper files.

Paper filing system is inefficient and costly: The economic costs indices of the application of paper and cabinet filing system in managing a business has its effect in wasted time, absolute delay in customer response rate, inefficiency of the system,  and the costs of rent for the storage facility for this age-long pattern of managing business information. If a thriving business continues with this old business document management system for a long time, its bottom line is bound to be affected and the shareholders wealth will decline compared to if the electronic business document management software is deployed. With the electronic document management software, you will be able to store all the paper files online through the process of scanning and indexing. Once the document is stored online, you can discard the paper file because every document stored electronically is secured by hi-tech firewall security system and it will be kept protected throughout its legal lifespan.  

Investment in business document management software guarantees efficiency and higher profitability: Most often, the initial cost of acquiring the business document management software technology is what may look like a heavy expense but in reality, it is an investment into the future of the business and it would be recouped within the first few years of integrating the electronic solution into the setup of a business. Once a business has integrated the document management software into its mainstream, its efficiency will greatly improve, its customer response rate will improve, and the office will be more spacious since all the office clutters and the file cabinets are completely done away with. All these improvements will translate into more patronage for the business which will lead to more profits and increase in shareholders wealth.

The business document management is therefore an investment and the vital information of the business is also protected from being stolen, from getting lost in transit, from fire disaster, and from such unforeseen natural disasters as the Hurricane Katrina that claimed millions of paper based business documents when it struck some years ago.

Besides, the document management software has added benefits to your business by serving as a reliable off site backup. Likewise, its security features guarantees prevention of any unauthorized persons from gaining access to its contents  and even the authorized persons will be prevented from accessing any part of any document that they shouldn’t access which is what paper based filing process can’t achieve.

Document Management Software Files Automatically

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

Business document management software is an efficient electronic filing system that works well for all types of businesses. Software helps the business owner save money, improve efficiency and render better customer service.

The smooth operation of any business depends on how effective the process of storage, retrieval, sharing, control and management of its information has been. For most organizations, the challenge of managing documents increases as the volume of documents increases particularly where the modern system of filing documents has not been deployed. 

When the business document management software is deployed in a business, it helps to create, name, index, store, control, retrieve, and in fact, manage the entire process of document filing within the business organization. The software has been designed to manage large volumes of files simultaneously among all users in the business set up with utmost efficiency.

Business document management is beneficial to those businesses whose costs of filing and managing paper based files is increasing by the day. It also benefits those businesses that require quick and easy access to business documents regularly in order to share information with clients, partners, and even regulatory agencies or vendors.

Here are the basic features of good and efficient document management software you should look out for when you are seeking to deploy the technology in your business.

Efficient document management software facilitates multiple indexing and customer satisfaction: Efficient business document management must enable multiple indexing of documents for easy reference and retrieval. Any user should be able to locate the right file within seconds from among the large volumes of the already stored documents. The document software must enable easy and logical search operations of stored files including the different versions of any given document.

This is particularly beneficial to you since it implies that your employees can attend to customers’ enquiries and questions while on the phone. So, if a customer calls in to ask for specific information or a copy of their contract and such information isn’t provided within seconds, then the filing system of that business must be working against customer satisfaction and must be replaced with proven document management software.

Efficient document management software guarantees customizable security options: Efficient business document management must provide effective security options that allow customization of features to meet the needs of your business. With this security customization, there comes your control over all users who have access to the stored documents. Good document management system also protects the original document throughout its entire lifespan.

Good document management solutions work seamlessly with client’s existing computer systems and server: When deployed in your business, efficient document management software will work in compatibility with existing computer systems and your company server to do the magic of filing your business documents automatically. Good modern technology filing solutions also allow easy integration with third party software systems whether the software is for scanning or imaging.

Document Management Software With Document Capture Combined

Monday, April 18th, 2011

steve-in-white-1Decisions in any business are based on organizational knowledge. In today’s business environment, this knowledge rests not only with some top executives of an organization, but also with the databases and documents that an enterprise maintains. It’s the speed and accuracy with which information can be retrieved that the success of a business largely depends. Digital document management has made it possible to create and store information, and organize it for easy retrieval.

There are generally two types of documents that any organization handles, one that is produced by the organization and second, received from the outside. Most of this documentation in the form of financial statements and monthly or yearly reports come in handy for analysts to formulate future goals and assess current status of the business. Critical information is also received from the outside in the form of invoices, suggestions from clients or customers, letters of complaint and so on. This data comes in several formats, both electronic and paper.

Document capture forms an important part of recording every piece of information received by your organization. If you do not convert paper documents to digital format, it cannot be included in your analysis. This can be of great importance when making critical business decisions. Though scanning a document converts it into an image, it’s of no value without the corresponding metadata which makes it searchable and retrievable. Document management software provides a unique solution to this problem, as every data from a paper document can be captured and stored on the computer.

Document capture can be defined as a process that converts paper information into electronic format, which can then be processed and stored using various technologies. Some important components of the document capture process are:

Scanning or document capture: When a document is scanned it produces an image on the screen of the computer which can be stored on the computer like any other file. Several factors must be considered when choosing a scanner depending on requirement and average number of documents likely to be processed every day. For instance, size, quality of paper, volume is some factors that you must keep in mind. Scanners are extremely handy and can process a variety of documents, from business cards to engineering drawings.

Automatic document feeder: Optimum use of document management software can be made only if you have automatic document feeder. This device feeds paper automatically into the scanner and speeds up the process significantly. The device is quite useful for processing bulk documents such as invoices and forms.

Speed and accuracy: Speed with which documents are processed by document management software decides the quality of the document. Ideally, a standard sized scanner can process anywhere between 6 to 200 pages per minute. However, considering optimal performance, a processing speed of 20-30 pages per minute should suffice for everyday use.

Image cleanup: Most scanners come with enhanced technology to apply cleanup techniques to increase accuracy of data. Contrast adjustment, noise removal, rebuilding broken characters and cropping borders are some of the cleanup techniques used in scanners. This helps in capturing all the information in the original document without compromising on its accuracy.

Data extraction: As in the case of paper documents, digital document management too requires extraction, storage and appropriate indexing of useful information. Document management software normally has an indexing system which organizes documents in form that can be easily searched and retrieved when needed. As such, accurate extraction and storage of information is one of the most important features of any document capture solution.

A digital document management system must perform various tasks to make the scanned data readable and useful for the organization. As each type of document needs to be processed in a different manner, the document management software must be customizable to meet these requirements. New technology has provided a great tool in the form of document management systems to maximize productivity and increase profitability, and is one of the best investments that you can make for your business.

Steve Breault “DocMeister”