Posts Tagged ‘open source document imaging software’

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.

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.

Planned Document Imaging Improves Office Efficiency

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Steve Breault, CEO, Vircosoft

Electronic document management involves the storage of documents in digital form for ease of use and accessibility. Through document imaging, it is possible to automate an office environment through conversion of all hardcopy documents into more manageable digital formats such as pdf and others. Large volumes of hardcopy documents are not only hard to manage, but also consumes large office space. It is therefore evident that, planned document imaging plays an important role in improving office efficiency.

Ways through which planned document imaging program improves office efficiency.

* Improved document accessibility and security: digital documents can be kept in a document management system where they can be accessed quickly from any office computer if the documents are shared. This means that many matters or customers can be handled within a given time, thus increasing services efficiency. In addition, it can be defined who gains access to particular documents. Sensitive documents access may also be set to ask for authentication such as security passwords.

* Enhances automated processing: matching and merging capabilities enable different departments in a certain firm to populate fields automatically. In addition, there is software that can process scanned documents and get all the required information quickly. Also, when data is entered in a document management program, it is easy to carry out computations and analysis such as producing charts and graphs. Finally, automated processing eliminates human errors.

* Dependable file backup up: documents stored in a computer hard drive can be duplicated easily through a copy-pasting action. Other documents could be stored in removable storage devices like DVDs or external hard discs. In addition, documents can be stored in online repositories and be accessible anywhere in the world where internet is available. Having file backups eliminates inconveniences and delays caused by lost or damaged documents thus improving office efficiency.

* Enhances collaboration: multiple office workers can work on the same project from different computers. This
promotes team work and saves time; for instance, if a given worker only fills part A of a given document, while
another worker fills part B of the same document, the two could do it simultaneously. This saves time and builds a compact workforce thus improving the office efficiency.

* Improves external communication: with a well planned document imaging program, stored documents can be sent through emails and the required transactions carried out quickly. In addition, the general documents can be shared in a company’s website for interested users to download or preview.

* Increases office space: elimination of large files and filing cabinets saves office space and makes it look
tidy. In addition, rented file storage is also eliminated. Enough office space and a tidy look promote workers

freedom and ensure to proper air circulation thus making activities to run smoothly.

* Enhances Versioning:  Versioning refers to the ability to have different document versions depending on changes. This helps in work follow-ups and timely documentation. Record keeping and record management is every important in any office. The efficiency of processes in any office depends on the methods used. When modern good electronic document management programs are employed, things can be simplified. We can therefore comfortably conclude that, applying planned document imaging program improves office efficiency.

 

Document Management Software Cuts Costs

Monday, March 14th, 2011

steve-in-white-1Computer technology was incorporated by many companies and organizations throughout the world as a means to automate information management processes. However, many still continue using paper based documents for a variety of reasons. For instance, many companies receive documents in paper format or have important archived documents in paper format. Even if receiving paper documents cannot be helped, filing, storing and sharing of such documents has to be done manually. This turns out to be quite inefficient, unsustainable and costly, compared to an automated system using document management software.

Many enterprises do not realize the loss they incur when handling physical documents. The loss of time and human resources in manual processing of documents is rather staggering. Apart from this, carelessness when handling critical documents, albeit unintentional, can prove to be disastrous for your business. Any organization can take care of common hazards and errors encountered while processing important documents, simply by adopting an electronic documentation system. Document management systems come with automatic data capture feature that can be programmed to scan and store data systematically. By doing this a well-organized approach can be incorporated to create, update, change, store, search and retrieve important information.

Some important features of document management software include:

Import document: The performance, usability and sustainability of a document management system entirely depends on how quickly and efficiently documents in different formats, from wide range of sources, can be imported into the system. Automatic data capture is one of the most important features of a document management system. The entire purpose of automatic capture of information is to reduce manual work and resulting errors.

Automatic filing: The document management system can be easily automated to capture and organize data, so that every document is saved in the right place. Document management software offers a variety of methods of integrating index data obtained from different sources such as databases, text files, address books and forms. Some of the methods are standard to all software while others can be customized depending on the requirements of your business.

Integrated system: A document management system offers an integrated platform to manage both paper and electronic documents. For instance, your office may receive invoices in both paper and electronic format. The document management system can be used to extract information from both types of documents and process it as required by company policy.

Disaster recovery: This is again an important part of electronic document management system. Though most companies find it easier to handle paper documents simply because they are used to it, paper is vulnerable to errors and hazards. For instance, a paper document can get completely destroyed in a fire or misplaced when passing from desk to desk. On the other hand, electronic documents can be easily stored, backed up and retrieved.

Apart from the benefits it offers in terms of document processing, document management software also helps cut costs. On an average, a company spends $20 per hour in searching for misplaced or non-existent files. Similarly, many man-hours are wasted in recreating lost documents. Using automatic data capture you can reduce manual handling of paper documents. Along with this, the information now in electronic format can be easily shared and backed up, reducing the hazard of losing or recreating documents.

Photocopying and printing paper documents are again costly, and this is greatly reduced when you use digital document management system. Apart from this, you no longer require bulky filing cabinets eating up your office space. Every piece of information in your paper files can be imported onto your computer system and organized using document management system. This reduces the need for physical storage space, both inside and outside the office.

Demand for information can come from many sources including upper management and regulatory authorities. Keeping control of proliferating paper and electronic documents can become quite a hassle, especially when making critical decisions for your business. With document management software you can take care of all your document processing needs and ensure consistency in work, thus achieving your business goals.

Steve Breault “DocMeister”

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

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

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.

Document Management Software Replaces File cabinets

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Steve Breault

Document management is an integral part of the administrative system of any organization. Your business objectives or goals can never be reached successfully without a robust document management system. Besides automation, there are several benefits of installing document management software for your business. Higher level of security, better storage options and saving cost on material such as stationery, printers and filing cabinets, are some of them.

With almost every software company coming up with document management solutions, getting document management software that meets your needs can become a bit confusing. Automatic data capture, OMR processing, barcode reading, version control and auto filing of documents in Windows folders are some of the features offered by document management software. However, requirements would differ from business to business and you will have to evaluate your needs before purchasing a document management system. Some features that you must consider include:

Functions related to records management: The software should be able to regulate the creation, modification and maintenance of the digital records. Easy search and access are two of the most important features of a document management system that you must look for. The software should be able to search and retrieve records using keywords or names of files or other conventions such as ID number of files stored on the system. Apart from this, it should be able to file, store and update electronic records. It should also be able to track movement of records or files between different users. For instance, in case a report or policy file was shared or distributed among employees, the software should keep a record of users to whom the files were sent.

General functions: Though you must look for features specific to your business requirements, the document management software you choose should definitely have general functions. Software developers usually include Help files and Menu shortcuts so that the software is easy to use. Make sure that the software you choose is simple to learn and operate. For instance, the Menus and Commands of the software should be easy to understand and operate. Similarly, the error messages should be easy to follow and rectify.

Customization: Though automatic data capture always forms part of a document management system, you must look for software that can be modified to meet the specific requirements of your business. As such, the software must be customizable so that particular requirements pertaining to your business can be incorporated. For instance, following a naming convention for files or documents always makes it easy to search or file. This is can easily be implemented if the software is customizable.

Manage different file formats: As your business grows you will be using several file formats such as videos or audio files for presentations, PDF, text, images, and so on. Make sure you select software that supports all types of file formats. For instance, a relational database system can support only tabulated data. However, such a system will not be feasible when your records contain other file formats.

Performance: The document management software you choose should be compatible with your current computer system. However, if you are planning to change or upgrade to a higher version of the hardware, make sure the document management software you purchase is compatible with the new system. Also, in case you plan to upgrade the hardware system at a later stage, the software should be able to adapt to the new system.

Once you have selected software that meets your requirements, make sure it is tested with mock records and file formats before you make the purchase. This is because in case there is a problem, it is fixed before the software is installed for your entire office. This can be done either at the vendors’ place or by installing the trial version of the software on one of the computers in your office.

Automatic data capture will be one of the primary features of any document management system that you choose. Apart from this, an important point to consider is versions of software available, so you can simply upgrade to another version instead of purchasing a new software as the need arises.

Go Paperless – Save Time With Document Imaging Software

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Steve Breault, CEO

Since companies are hesitant to go paperless, or to create a paperless office, they are missing out on the opportunity to save a lot of time and make work easier for their employees. Completely eliminating paper will create more space in the workplace and a faster acquisition of documents and information.

Document imaging is the primary tool in starting a paperless office. They are systems that can replicate documents and come in the form of copiers, scanner or other paperless software that can capture, save and reprint images. While these tools are relatively expensive, investing on them will result in bigger benefits and less cost to your company in the future.

Document imaging software is a space saver. Since your records are stored electronically, you will no longer need filing cabinets, drawers and storage boxes to keep your documents. These types of furniture are huge and heavy, so if you have a small office, movement will be limited with these around. All you need is a computer with a hard drive that can handle the software and your documents.

You will also save a lot more time when looking for records since you don’t need to open a bunch of cabinets just to acquire one document. Instead, all you need is to type in the file name or title of the document in the software and your stored information will be shown in seconds. With this, your employees can perform more tasks in a lesser amount of time.

Another beefit is customer satisfaction. Customers who come to the office with their queries and needs often have other appointments to attend to, so their patience is limited especially if they have to wait a long time before being entertained. The software you use will help you respond to your customer’s requests quicker and your satisfaction rating will increase. You will also be able to serve double the number of customers in the time you spent manually searching for records.

Document imaging also saves a lot of time when it comes to disseminating information. Say you are the CEO of your company and about to attend a business meeting. A few minutes before presenting your data, you realize that you forgot your papers in the office. You will waste a lot of time and embarrass yourself by making your clients wait for you if you decide to go back to your workplace just to get the documents. On the
other hand, if you make use of software, you can call one of your employees and have him send what you need through e-mail.

If you are unsure of where to start acquiring your document imaging software, one of the popular names is Vircosoft. Vircosoft is the most affordable open source document and management software in the market. It has two products, SMB open source document management software called HighPoint and an Enterprise version dubbed KnowledgeTree. With Vircosoft’s integrated VFilter, it would be easier to manage the number of documents you have stored electronically. Best of all, it is easy to use, so you do not have to worry about spending a lot of time learning how to use it.

The benefits of a paperless office are endless. If you start investing now, you are sure to save a lot of expenses in the long run. Also, not only do you save time and space, you also help the environment. So what are you waiting for? Go paperless now!

Thank you,
Steve Breault “DocMeister”

The Benefits of a Paperless Office

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Steve Breault, CEO

In 1975, a technology expert predicted that offices would be handling records electronically by the year 1990. Nearly two decades later, the basis for this idea, a paperless office, is yet to achieve fruition.

A paperless office encourages a work environment which eliminates or has minimal use for paper. In an age where technology continues to make life easier, a paperless office is ideal for companies looking to save at cost and production. Instead of shelling out huge amounts of money to buy printers, copiers, paper and envelopes so information and documents may be disseminated or filed, a company may save more by investing on a set of scanners and filing their records digitally. Going paperless also saves a lot of space, especially in a small office. Filing cabinets tend to be huge, take up a lot of room, and can only be used for a single purpose. Computers, on the other hand, can be portable and used for a variety of things.

Digital records are also more accessible to those who want to view them, thus saving time and energy. Imagine having to open dozens of drawers and browsing through hundreds of folders just to acquire a single document – that would be frustrating and exhausting. However, if records are stored electronically, a few clicks and typing a few keywords is all it takes. Also, if copies need to be circulated, sending the files via electronic mail is more convenient and only takes a few seconds to be received.

Plus, with the help of gadgets like cell phones, PDAs and portable computer tablets, you can view whatever you need anytime, anywhere. Tablet PCs also save people from having to walk around carrying pads of paper to meetings and conferences. Anything they have to jot down they can draw on the tablet and it can be saved and viewed at a later time.

It also doesn’t hurt to know that a paperless office helps care for the environment. With the ever looming threat of global warming and other environmental risks, more and more people are looking to save the planet, going paperless will encourage conserving trees.

All in all, the prospect of a paperless office may sound a little scary, especially to established companies who have gotten through years of paper dependence. Surely it will take a lot of work to transfer every record electronically, but in the long run, a paperless office will be more efficient and beneficial, especially in a generation where people witness technological advancements every day.

Steve Breault “DocMeister”

Go Paperless – Small Price, Huge Value, Fast ROI

Monday, May 24th, 2010

steve-in-white-for-blogsLet me let you in on a secret… vFiler Rapid Indexer makes document imaging, capture and indexing easy and inexpensive.  Hundreds of businesses world-wide are saving thousands of dollars with this powerful Paperless Office solution.

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Imagine all of these features for $995

  • Hardware Independent – Monitors / Watches folders
  • All MFPs and Scanners Supported
  • Capture from Multiple Folders
  • Capture from Outlook
  • OCR Multiple Zones, Full Page, or ALL Pages
  • Batch Process & Separate Documents while Indexing
  • Create Pull-down lists for RAPID-INDEXING
  • Database Lookup (Query) for RAPID-INDEXING
  • Creates searchable PDFs
  • Metadata Publishing
  • Interface to YOUR accounting system through ODBC for data validation
  • UNLIMITED DOCUMENT PROCESSING – no click charges
  • File documents to Windows Folders
  • File documents to ODBC databases
  • Automatically File documents to HighPoint™ or KnowledgeTree™
  • Launch HighPoint™ or KnowledgeTree™ Workflows automatically by publishing document types or to specified folders
  • Links HighPoint™ or KnowledgeTree™ metadata

STOP paying HIGH upfront purchase and license renewal fees.Businesses are switching to vFiler Rapid Indexer. RIO is fast.

Download and Try vFiler  – Registration Required. Includes Access to Training Videos

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support@vircosoft.com

888.446.1770 ext 2 (Phone & Fax) Main Office

616.871.0215 Support Lab


Purchase vFiler Rapid Indexer:

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Have questions or want to talk to our technical support team? Start saving money today!

Steve Breault, “Doc Meister”

The Paperless Office: Software Should Include These Features

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
Steve Breault, CEO

Steve Breault, CEO

The concept of the Paperless Office has been kicked around for years. Some say there will never truly be a Paperless Office. Others tout that it is too hard, too expensive or too complicated for the small and mid-sized business. Twenty years ago they all would have been right. I say it is not only possible today, but necessary to compete. The low-cost and the ease of setting up a Paperless Office is unprecedented.

Why, one might ask? It is the technology and mind-set my friend. What used to be complicated is now so easy, given the right solution, even someone with no computer experience (a rarity today of course) can start work in a Paperless Office environment comfortably and efficiently.

Every office is weighted down with paper, but that does not mean you have to follow suit. This issue is easily solved. What has become even bigger problem to effectively manage are the hundreds; perhaps thousands of electronic images sent and received every day from scan-to email, fax-to-email and attachments of all type formats. Once received, then what?

Traditionally in the absence of an electronic filing system recipients simply created their own filing system on their PC’s. Sound familiar? Need I go through the pitfalls of this type of system? I think not. Too often when a document was needed, post haste, no one could find it. Not a great strategy for the customer standing by, often under pressure, for a copy of a maintenance agreement the auditor needs now.

Have you ever calculated the annual cost to find, retrieve, re-write and reproduce on the good ole’ copy machine? The number will most likely be staggering. Download this Cost Savings Calculator from Vircosoft and see for yourself. We have been working with businesses for over ten years. Once they saw the value, ease-of-use and fast R.O.I. started the transition to The Paperless Office immediately. The R.O.I. can be under six months, often faster.

Today inexpensive world-class software can transition your business to The Paperless Office quickly and easily. Look for these features:

§ Project & Task Management with Gantt Chart

§ Shared Calendars

§ Bulletin Board for Team Collaboration

§ Search folders, document contents and metadata

§ Group and User Level Security

§ Document Audit Trail

§ Check-in and Check-out Documents

§ Document Version History

§ Hardware Independent – Monitors / Watches Folders

§ All MFPs and Scanners Supported

§ Capture from Multiple Folders Simultaneously

§ Capture from Outlook

§ Automatically Split Multi-Page Documents Easily

§ Automatically Straighten, De-speckle, de-skew, rotate and resize images

§ Auto-Orientation

§ Reads 16 Barcode Types (1D and 2D)

§ OCR Multiple Zones, Full Page, All Pages, or Selected Pages

§ Create Searchable PDFs

§ Interface to Your Accounting System through ODBC for data validation

§ UNLIMITED Document Processing – NO CLICK CHARGES

§ High-end Forms Recognition – (form template training)

§ Metadata Publishing

§ Marked Processing

§ OMR Processing

§ Document Imprinting

§ Index and file multiple document types and departments simultaneously

§ Auto-create Windows Folders by User-Definable Indexed Fields

§ Auto-name File Names by User-Definable Indexed Fields

§ Automatically Publish metadata into ODBC compliant databases

§ Automatically Publish documents and metadata into leading Document Management Systems

§ Automatically Publish documents and metadata into SharePoint

§ Automatically Publish documents and metadata into HighPoint™ or KnowledgeTree™

§ Launch Routing work flows inside HighPoint™ or KnowledgeTree™ by Document Type

 

SUMMARY

Make no mistake about it the Paperless Office is here and you can have it. Software from Vircosoft and other major development and distribution companies is available for download and testing free of charge. During these challenging economic times many companies are pondering difficult decisions. No one wants to let an employee go. The Paperless Office can enable someone to work on other tasks that will help maintain the business.

 

Thank you,

Steve Breault “DocMeister”