Does a Good Document Management System Really Reduce Operating Costs?

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

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!

Project Management Software

January 30th, 2013

Steve Breault, President & Founder, Vircosoft

Currently a paperless working environment is top priority for most companies and enterprises. Having documents organized in a digital file brings efficiency in the office which translates to improved profits and motivated employees. However, you still go through hassles if you scanned your documents and stored them on different computers; your departments would find them hard to share and not to forget inconveniencing loss of data is someone unknowingly deleted a document. Open source document management software solves these problems by providing an easier way to store, retrieve and share documents in any organization irrespective of its size and number of departments. Below are some of the benefits you gain after acquiring such software.

Easy search options

Consider a law firm, a real estate firm or any other firm which has thousands of scanned documents on a server and needs to access a particular document in an emergency. With conventional search options, it would take a lot of time to find it which would in turn leave your employees exhausted and unmotivated. However, with document management software, it would only take minutes owing to its fast search options. Documents are stored in a certain criteria which makes easier to retrieve them when need be.

Manage sharing and distribution of files

You realize that in a conventional system, everyone has access to documents as long as they have the password to organizations server. However, it is possible to restrict access to certain groups of people if you installed special software which manages your document. It is also easier to share the documents between departments on request or through group permissions.

Security and recovery features

Digitally stored information is easier to recover compare to paper documents in the case of a fire or other disasters. The software allows you to make back ups on your documents which are updated automatically whenever you add or delete information. You also realize that it would be easier to secure digitally stored information from authorized access or theft in comparison to paper documents.

Save on money and time

The one major reason why document management software was developed was to increase efficiency in business environments. It helps you save time by reducing storage, sorting and retrieval tasks. Consequently you do not need to hire many employees which in effect, reduce the money you spend on salary. Overall reduction of human error helps you save money by avoiding redundancy and loss of data.

Compliance with quality standards

If you want to get certified by ISO and other standard evaluation organizations, you must prove your capabilities in offering state of the art services. A file management system portrays your organization as one which cares about data security and with good organization systems. Remember, these are the factors that most standard organizations consider before awarding compliance certificates to companies and business organizations.

Open source document management software is free and available for download on the internet. There are several of them although you need to select one with a user friendly interface. Consider reading product descriptions and reviews before acquiring one.

Should Your Business Documents Be Operating in the Cloud?

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.

How to Develop a Document Management Plan for Your Business

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

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.

Document Imaging Software Increases Office Efficiency and Saves Money

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?

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.

Automated Document Imaging: A Powerful Office Asset

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.

Indexing Software Saves Time and Money

April 26th, 2012

Steve Breault, CEO & Founder, Vircosoft

For companies that have thousands of documents and files, whether it is a doctors office, or any other business that deals with various customers, accounts, and internal document work, the use of document indexing software is the ideal option to go with. Not only will this save time for the employees and front office staff who manually index the documents, but it is also going to save money for the company if a top notch document indexing software package is chosen, due to the fact that employees can focus their attention on other tasks that have to get done each day.

In businesses where various documents are added to client files each day, or where new merchandise comes in and has to be filed in to a particular account, the use of document indexing software will automatically do the updating for your business. Where in the past an employee had to pull down the folder, get the client information, and manually input the new information and documents in to their file and account, if the company employs the right document indexing software, this is no longer going to be the case. As soon as the document is inputted in to the system, the software will do the work, and will automatically input the information in to a client account, or in to the information about a particular product type.

By cutting back on the manpower that was required to do this work in the past, when a business chooses the most reliable document indexing software, they can cut back on staff. This is going to save on the cost of employee pay, and it is going to make the office more efficient, as only the most productive workers are going to be on hand, and will be working on other projects which were pushed aside in the past. The daily tasks in the office will also go by much more uniformly when document indexing software is employed in to the day to day business structure. Since employees are going to know their role, they are going to be able to pay more attention to customers, offer better customer care, and perform other tasks that have to get done in the office each day, rather than have to worry about setting aside time to file documents at the end of each business day.

Not only can staff get cut, but time is also going to be saved when the top document indexing software is put in to use at any business infrastructure. Employees can do other important work, the work and documents will automatically update themselves, and the clients are going to find much better customer care and satisfaction, as workers can focus their time on dealing with other issues. So, rather than do it the old way, choosing the top document indexing software on the market is something all business structures should consider, in order to cut costs, save time, and make the entire office structure more streamlined in their daily tasks.