Posts Tagged ‘best document management’

Does a Good Document Management System Really Reduce Operating Costs?

Monday, February 11th, 2013
Steve Breault, President & Founder, Vircosoft

Steve Breault, President & Founder, Vircosoft

Document storage is one issue that both small and large organizations have in common, and with the emergence of latest technology, now many of them are interested in a paperless office, because this makes them more efficient, and also helps in reducing their operational cost. This is the reason why many companies have started using document management system to deal with all office issues. It is a computer based document management system that makes all the difference.

Most of the electronic document retrieval systems have built in feature that helps companies in managing their workflow process smoothly. They will be able to streamline their entire routine to ensure its smooth operation. The automated workflow processing of all vital documents also ensures that only right documents are right employees.

Let’s have a close look at some benefits of electronic document management system (EDMS):

* Less need of space for papers-Commercial space is expensive, and documents can just keep piling up with time. Think of al the money you spend on paper and huge cabinets to store them. You must also consider the commercial space you use to store them. This space can be used to install some equipment or to house more employees.

The implementation of electronic document management system removes all physical issues of managing the documents. In one stroke, you can remove rows and rows of cabinets, and hours spent in managing and retrieving the documents.

* Faster retrieval of documents-The electronic document management system ensures faster retrieval and storage of documents and other important files. All the company files, data, and information is stored in a central database, and is loaded onto the server, and is accessible to all departments and branch offices through network. Therefore, any employee with necessary access rights can retrieve the documents within seconds. Interdepartmental exchange of information is fast and more convenient.

* Savings on time and money-All important documents in a company are centralized using document management system. This makes it easy for employees to locate, retrieve, and edit them. Manual retrieval can take hours, and there is danger of documents getting in wrong hands. This is not so with document management software as only authorized people will be allowed to access the information.

An electronic document management system also means that companies can also comply with rules and regulations easily due to the faster movement of files. The amount of indexing, security control, archiving and audit trails make it easy for companies to comply with various regulatory measures.

Lost files can be a pain, especially if they are important for the operations of a company. All those who use electronic document management system would never suffer from this problem as all vital documents will be there on central database with backup.

* Cost reduction- Lastly, with electronic document management system, there is considerable reduction in the operational cost to the company as it helps companies in getting a clutter free paperless office. As files are now in electronic form, there won’t be any need for spending too much money on paper, toners or printers as there will be less need for printing documents.

How to Choose the Best Document Management System for My Small Business

Monday, February 11th, 2013
Steve Breault

Steve Breault

Being the owner of a small business these days means relying heavily on your computer and the Internet; in fact no new firm these days can be a true success without. Keeping all your information and files in one place has many advantages, an open source document management software being a must for today s astute business man. Below are just five of the features of good software that will allow you to choose from the best and never look back.

Firstly, by using such as system for your small business you will be instantly saving on time and labor. The last thing you need as a new business on a tight budget it to have to employ someone to file paper documents and fetch and carry. By using the best management software this task is performed for you automatically and will allow you to have more time to spend in other areas. With the introduction of a document management system you can also cut back on staff labor, these non core tasks being eliminated and replaced by a computerized system.

Secondly, as a small and new business, your empire will begin to grow. As welcoming as it may be to your eye and to your monthly income, you need to look for a solution that will allow you to continue to grow without having to employ new staff or even worse move to larger premises. By digitizing everything about your business with the help of management software you will instantly eliminate the need for storage for cumbersome paper files.

The third point to the best management system for your documents is that they will prevent disaster occurring. Just as you like to insure your stock in case of burglary, you need a system where your paper files are kept in a condition where they can simply not be destroyed by disaster. To achieve this efficiently you do not only have to transfer all paper documents into digital form but also make regular back ups and burn to CD and DVD. With the best small business solutions you will be reminded of this periodically and given the option to back up or burn to disc.

Next, any small business that finds itself in transit without the correct management system is a disaster just waiting to happen. Only when all your documents have been digitized and backed up can you rest assured that you will be able to access all the information that you need at the touch of a button, from anywhere in the world. You never know when you or your office will need to relocate and by digitally recording and backing up all your files your move will run safely and smoothly.

Lastly, when you are investigating the different options for an open source document management system you need to turn your attention to key employee attrition. With the ability to capture all the work files and knowledge of your best employees in digital form the headache that often arises when training new staff is all but alleviated. A long standing employee can hold a great deal of domain expertise and retraining can be tiring and time consuming; with the best document management system installed this process will be anything but!

Should Your Business Documents Be Operating in the Cloud?

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Steve Breault, President & Founder, Vircosoft

In traditional model of an office structure, organizations generally allocate material, human and technology for taking care of the documents of the organization or the office. Most of these resources are tied down on tasks to deploy, configure, maintain and upgrade the documents of the organization, which usually does not provide much added value in the output. The idea of a paperless office has always been an attractive one and has drawn many business owners towards implementing it in their businesses. In the recent times, Cloud Computing has made many businessmen realize the idea of a paperless office. Cloud computing is a paradigm that provides computing services via the Internet.

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of letting your business documents operate on the Cloud:
Advantages:

1. Little or no provisioning costs.
It is the most attractive advantage presented by cloud computing, and if not the most attractive at least the most obvious advantage of this technology. By leaving the responsibility of document viewing on the document viewing platform provided by the infrastructure provider, the client does not have to worry about buying computer equipment, training personnel for the setup and maintenance of the server.

2. Availability.
With the business documents being on the cloud, the supplier is obliged to ensure that the service is always available to the client. Hence this translates into the documents being always accessible to the client.

3. Access from any location.
Applications designed on the paradigm of cloud computing can be accessed from any computer equipment in the world that is connected to the Internet. Access is usually done through a web browser, which enables the application to be used not only from a desktop computer or a laptop but goes even beyond, allowing the user to use the application even from mobile devices such as smartphones.

As a result of the aforementioned advantages, the business owner can focus more on other aspects of business requirements that have a direct impact on the business processes rather than managing piles of files and cupboards full of old records.

Disadvantages:
1. Privacy.
One major drawback generated by this technology is of data insecurity. With your business documents being on the cloud, small loophole or a technical glitch can result in big disasters like the confidential information and trade secrets being revealed to competitors.
2. Availability.
While it is true that the availability is an advantage, it remains solely so till the time the service provider maintains the system properly. In the event of a system failure, all your documents go unavailable till the time system is restored.
3. Lack of control over resources.
By having all the infrastructure and even the documents on the servers located in the cloud, the client completely lacks control over resources and even on his own information once it is uploaded to the cloud.
4. Dependency.
In a solution based on cloud computing, the client becomes dependent not only on the service provider, but also on the internet connection because the user must be permanently connected to the internet to access that is in the cloud.
5. Integration.
It might not always be easy to upload and access all your documents on the cloud. One must do a thorough study of the feasibility of such a venture being undertaken before going for it.
It is anybody’s guess that if used with caution and care, business documents of cloud can actually make a paperless office an appealing business prospect. However, these pros and cons of doing so need to be kept in mind in order to be able to best utilize the service.

Document Imaging Software Increases Office Efficiency and Saves Money

Friday, August 31st, 2012
President and Founder of Vircosoft

President and Founder of Vircosoft

Document Imaging software can help business owners and managers in easily locating, scanned files, PDF papers, records and other electronic documents. The software to manage documents can be a web-based application or computer software. Today, businesses must not only manage electronic documents but also know how to deal with problems that are associated with managing these documents like version control and finding the right documents. The need for a good Electronic Data Management Software (EDMS) is clear and any product you get must be able to solve your problem. However, not everyone can afford to buy an expensive EDMS. There are many managers and personal users who are looking for a free solution to their problem. These people can get good open source document management software that can help in solving their problem.

There are several tangible and intangible benefits of getting an electronic document management system. Here are some tangible benefits of getting this system:

Reduce storage

When you have EDMS software, you don’t have to maintain a hard copy of the documents. Almost all the paper documents can be saved as electronic documents which can be saved in an archive or within the business. This will help in reducing the storage requirements of your business.

Reduce retrieval time

Getting paper documents from an archive or a storage facility can be more time consuming when compared to electronic retrieval of documents. EDMS not only reduces the retrieval time but also help in conducting advanced searches. Conducting these searches can be especially useful when you are trying to make some major changes or searching for information or data that is subject to litigation.

Reduces cost

If you maintain paper documents, you have to take print outs of documents which will increase your expenses on paper and toner. Paperless office is not possible but it is anticipated that using EDMS can help in reducing the need for paper copies of documents. Even if you use an EDMS that does not have electronic signature capability, you must only get the master paper printed which will reduce expenses.

Improve productivity

When documents are electronically stored, employees have to spend less time searching for the documents. Improved document approval and review cycle will reduce processing time and improve the efficiency of business.

Improved disaster recovery

Most EMDS contains important business document and has a disaster recovery system that allows the user to restore the documents when there is a disaster or disruption.

EDMS not only offer several tangible benefits but can also offer some potential intangible benefits. Some of the intangible benefits offered include:

a) The documents that are stored electronically are more secure than paper documents. These electronic documents are stored in a secure location which ensures that only the right people get access to these documents.

b) When the documents are electronically stored, there is improved compliance to legislation and regulation.

c) There is central management and control of all electronic documents.

d) There are reduced chances of documents getting lost or stolen.

e) EDMS can help in enhancing competitive situation as it improves internal documentation processes.

f) Customer service improves as employees have faster access to important customer information.

What is an Open Source Document Management System?

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Companies, large and small process many documents and valuable information in their daily operations. The loss of any of these documents means that a company or a business, whether major or minor, may suffer great loss of information especially at a critical moment. At times, keeping track of a mountain of paperwork in an office can be a great nuisance. Some time ago, many small businesses suffered from this effect due to lack of relevant software that would act as an alternative for information security.

With the advent, progressions and quick development of document management software in the market, this problem has greatly diminished. Today, there is tons of Open Source Document Management Software in the market. As opposed to the times when only Enterprise Companies could own them, small businesses have the ability to use Document Management Software for information security.

With open source management software, processing documents has become relatively easy. Manual documents processing has not only been tiring and time consuming. There are other additional drawback related to it such as occupying big space, boring to process information and the result was of poor quality. That notwithstanding, the use of DMS has come a long way to change this for good. Enterprise companies and mini businesses are able to process information faster, accurately and efficiently. In addition, it helps minimize on space by compressing files into a virtual system thus contributing to office tidiness.

Another reason why it is ideal to implement the use of DMS is its nature with employee relation. As content management software, it greatly assists to boost staff morale and put aside the boredom brought about by manual document processing.

Open Source Document Management Software:

  • Helps to facilitate the circulation of information among different departments in an organization accurately, efficiently and very fast.
  • Allows users full search and retrieval of their documents and files by meta-data, department, author, their names and comments. While doing document/file search, there is absolutely no external file indexing process required.
  • The software provides the user with open knowledge.It is easy to access the forum of the software.It is easy to create custom document properties to be in line with the needs of your company or small business.DMS is convenient and user friendly. It gives one or the user the possibility of storing any types of documents. Additionally, it makes it easy for the user to retrieve needed information during critical moment and to cooperate with other team members via effective and accurate circulation of information in various departments in an organization. A person working as a document reviewer using this software has the ability to reject or approve a changed or a new document.

For open source document management software to work effectively, companies, organizations, even small businesses must comply with the system requirements. These requirements could include Apache Server or Internet Information Service, Automatic Installer and Updater, Hypertext Processor 5 (PHP5) or MySQL 5.

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.

Does a Paperless Office Really Mean No Paper?

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the term ‘paperless office‘. Many believe that an office or work environment termed paperless will be literally devoid of any form of printed paper. Reality, though is somewhat different!

A paperless office should really be read as a less paper office. This term is more realistic in describing many offices and company’s today. People have been talking about achieving a paperless office since the 1970’s but in reality we are a long way from achieving the dream. Technology has developed at a fast rate and many innovations have reduced the need for everything to be recorded on paper but, as cutting edge as the new equipment is, it will never be able to completely eliminate the need for paper.

Not long ago everything had to be printed and stored in a hard copy. Now massive computer memories and new technology such as I-pads have reduced the need for printouts but many businesses will still eventually print a lot of information that they have stored on hard drives and the like. Despite the advantages in electronic storage many still need a tangible copy to refer to and many will often print out copies, ‘just in case.’

Paper use in business has dropped slightly for the last few years but there has also been an increase in the sales of household printer paper. Many companies will no longer print and forward an invoice, instead choosing to electronically invoice a customer in their attempt to move toward a paperless office only for the consumer to then print out the invoice for their own records.

In reality it will be nigh on impossible to achieve a completely paperless office. Recent studies completed by Hewlett-Packard have highlighted several reasons why paperless offices remain out of reach. Firstly, comprehension of information often results in documents being printed. Many find printed words on paper easier to understand than the same words on a monitor or screen. Secondly there will always be some ‘unenlightened’ staff members who refrain from using new technology to the height of its ability, again leading to more paper cluttering the office or workspace. Lastly, and on the same note, tradition will always hinder new beliefs. Many companies and businesses still feel better communicating with customers by using a traditional letter. Of course a copy of this letter needs to be kept and this is often achieved with a paper printed copy.

As more and more offices begin to see how using less paper may lead to reduced costs we will begin to see ‘less paper’ offices but it will be a long time before we see the two thousand year use of paper completely eliminated. Future generations who are more au fait with the use of electronic devices will grasp the benefits of hard drive mass storage but until the majority of people are enlightened offices will never be totally free of paper.

The move towards paperless offices is commendable but has yet to be achieved. Less paper offices are now the norm but it would be wrong to imagine a paperless office as a reality for now. In the near future, who knows?

How to Develop a Document Management Plan for Your Business

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Management of documents is a big and complex subject that needs careful consideration. It is an expensive proposition so everything must be planned carefully before implementing any software or process. There are two types of document management systems. The first involves storage and management of paper documents, while the other system refers to the digitization of the paper documents. Nowadays most companies prefer the electronic document management system because of various advantages associated with it. Under this system, details of the documents can be captured, processed and stored using a combination of hardware and software.

There are two ways to do this. The first is to keep the scanned copies of the original documents. The second is to convert the text matters printed on the papers into digital format. This not only makes it easy to retrieve the required information quickly but the data collected takes up minimum space on the servers. Images have to be scanned into image format and take up large server space. When the data present in the documents is converted into digital format, it becomes easier to retrieve, process and use the information and records. The required number of documents can be retrieved quickly as and when needed. This is simply not possible with paper documents that take up lots of space.

A company that relies on paper documents has to hire employees to handle the whole setup. The manual setup proves an inefficient method. It is difficult to store, process and retrieve documents. This problem simply does not exist when electronic document management system is used. Business owners interested in implementing document management system have to consider several things. The first is to be sure about the requirements. Different types of documents, such as invoices, bills, contracts and other documents are generated during the course of the business. These documents relate to sales, account, buying and selling. The document digitization goal must clearly identify how the documents must be stored. One should be sure about the techniques and processes that would be used to convert documents into digital format.

Developing an effective plan for document management is the most important thing. If documents are stored incorrectly under the wrong headings then it creates a big problem for the future. It is important to use document management software that is reliable, secure, and upgradable with all the required features. The business owner needs to be careful of using an application program that requires regular annual payment. The applications should be able to validate and upgrade over the Internet. It ensures that only the latest version of the software is used.

An important part is to plan the budget for the whole setup and process. In some cases, it may require hiring additional employees or temporary workers. They are needed to convert the paper documents into digital format. Initially, workers are needed if there are lots of documents that require scanning and handling. The document management setup is an integrated system that involves a combination of hardware, software, techniques and processes. Correct implementation of document management system speeds up the business process and makes the company more effective, efficient and economical. It becomes easier to authenticate, index and retrieve the required information with a few clicks.

Why Use Document Management Software For A Paperless Office?

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Steve Breault, Vircosoft Founder / CEO

Technological advancement has introduced a whole new technique for companies to carry out business activities and has played a crucial role in developing paperless offices. One of the best ways to create a paperless office is by using document management software which changes paper documents into digital files.

A good document management system provides an increase in productivity, reducing cost of document storage and saving on retrieval time. Document manager software is designed for both single and multiple users and is appropriate with your established business programs including Microsoft. Document management systems allow you to check, route and safely store records.

Some of the features of Document Management software include:

  • A centralized electronic storage program containing details in any format that duplicates your current or new filling arrangement
  • The freedom to search and access records by content or using the program structure which can be customized to your needs, to view documents multiple or single format.
  • The ability to configure document protection by allocating users and groups to different levels of accessibility ideal to their needs and benefits.
  • Easy access to information from off-site services anywhere anytime in the world

A paperless office in general provides your business with the following benefits:

  • Less cost of printing, sending, distribution, and document storage
  • An increase in your client support efficiency as buyer details is much simpler to locate
  • The security of never ever losing documents again regardless of any circumstances.
  • Updating documents information becomes so much easier because once a document is updated in the document management program all versions are immediately available to all who have access to the program.
  • Paper use is decreased drastically so you can promote your company as an environmental friendly business.

One major benefit of investing in paperless office software is that it considerably lowers labor cost. In a standard installation, staff make use of paper to share information. This includes photocopying data, processing records and other related tasks. According to research, 40 to 60 percent of an employee’s time in the workplace is spent handling papers.

Investing in document management program will reduce company,s expenditures. If documents are changed into electronic copies, staff quickly access a needed document, thus making it possible for them to get more information with less time and achieve more task for any given day. Paperless program like Vircosoft’s VFiler easily manages all documents that have been digitalized through its program, so if one employee unintentionally removes an important document, the company does not have to go through great lengths just to find it; instead, programs like vFiler quickly creates backup for all documents hence no document can be lost.

Another big benefit is that companies can quickly send or transfer their documents to their companies various offices, so shipping costs are reduced. They may even choose to spread responsibilities to their staff located all around the world and benefit from lower labor rates in other regions.

So, whether a business is just starting out or is already well-established introducing a paperless office will help in reducing expenditure and generating more revenue. In the end, while traditional methods are hard to let go,  if they are turning out to be more expensive, then letting go for a more cost-effective but quicker method is clearly the better option.

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.