Many surveys and studies by Mckinsey, IDC and other reputed organizations reveal that a valuable amount of time an employee spends in search of information, dealing with trivial matters due to poor prioritization; wasting huddling up for hazy discussions and much more. The table illustrates the unnecessary squandering of time by organizations across the globe. All because of an inefficient DMS or Document Management System.
The major time-wasting factors are diverse and vary from organization to organization. But we have illustrated some of those factors which are common to the majority of companies.
Now, if you really have not calculated the way time is spent in your company. Here is an interesting activity we suggest for you. Observe the time circle below. You can see different classifications. Divide the organisation on the basis of teams and bring out additional time allocation blocks if any. Then encourage employees to take part in this activity with anonymity assured. The activity includes noting down consciously for one week the number of hours they spend in each of these activities. Calculate the time spent wastefully versus the total time that they employ in real work. You will get the percentage of time wasted. Now map it to see how much of it is related to the handling of documents.
Executives, managers or professionals in every organization have to process a lot of documents every day. The filing system of the cabinet style can no longer cater to the needs of robust organizations. Simply because they are inefficient and another reason is that we have better solutions to the problem. An intelligent file management system is the answer to the messy search for information. And today intelligence means the internet.
What is a Document Management System
A document management system (DMS) is a computer software that allows users to store, organize and track electronic documents. It controls the entire document related processes in an organization.
A document management system can be of varying sizes and scopes. It can be designed for a single functionality like managing files or for multiple functions like collaboration, tracking, etc.
A robust document management system can automate the way files and records are managed in your organization. It will help you in prioritizing the tasks according to your personal logic. This it does through workflows.
But, what is a workflow?
A workflow is a sequence of pre-designed work. It defines a work from its starting point and advances the work in prescribed flow. For example, a workflow relating to article writing would involve the following:
A document management software allows the creation of such customized workflows for any process. Thus tracking and filing documents happens on its own, and you can save some precious working time.
Types of Document Management Systems (DMS)
You cannot directly jump into any file management system. The choice of your DMS depends much on the type of business you are handling. Hence, the decision has to be a conscious one.
Broadly speaking there are two classifications of document management systems. Depending on the performance management processes you pursue to evaluate your work and workers you may choose from the following types of document management systems :
1.On-site DMS – An On-premise document management may be suitable for you if your organization handle a large amount of data. Hereby the large amount, we mean documents in terabytes of quantity. If you are on an on-site DMS, then you can transfer gigabytes of data in a matter of seconds. If your company has already invested a lot in IT expertise, then on-premise is your right choice. Take a peek into the table to get a bird’s eye view of things.
2. Off-site DMS – On the other hand if you are running a company which has a large number of users to manage and your investment in IT is not convincing, then you need to go for the cloud or off-site DMS. Work from home and off-premise working require that you have a cloud network to connect them with your common working space. The comparison chart will help you see better.
Features of DMS that Add Value to Your Company
A DMS is not just workflows. It is an essential step towards a paperless and hassles free organizational culture. The importance of a document management system can be comprehended from the qualities it imparts to a firm. Some of the remarkable features of DMS are :
Categorize Content – A DMS software automatically indexes the various documents based on the type of content. If the content is related to management, then the filing system would look for such words. It maps the whole physical flow of the document from its inception to its expiry.
Document Libraries – Another fantastic feature is the document library. A document library is the repository of all documents. It allows creating a single space for everyone to read, write and store documents. Here you can create document types, records portal or even an engaging intranet as it suits your organisation.
Metadata management – In a traditional file management system, the cabinet has racks named after the type of file. Sometimes, a file may belong in two shelves and thus creating confusion. But an online document management system does it through metadata. Metadata is a set of data that gives information about other data. Simply said metadata is like a tag that you put on an online document. DMS allows the creation of a metadata library which assists other users with tags which are already in place, thus prevents duplication of work and saves the search time.
Monitor Progress through Versioning – Versioning is another specialty of SharePoint that ensures that every change you make to a document is saved with the numbering of the versions. The control approval feature also forms a part of it. It allows persons with the necessary control to publish documents. The check-out and check-in feature let you comment on the changes in text and even for particular versions.
Frame Sound Information Policy – An information policy sets the rules for documents in your organization. It defines who can access information in your organization, how long can they retain it and what changes they are authorized to make, etc. It determines the life cycle and flows for various documents.
Co-authoring Functionality – Co-authoring is a remarkable feature of Sharepoint based DMS, it lets your employees work on the same document at the same time without interfering with each other’s work. It remembers the changes each user makes from their point of view. It saves precious time that is often lost in the processing and handling of documents. It makes work mobile and handy.
How Does a Document Management System Work
A document management system manages a document starting from its initial stage. It has a prominent role in the complete lifecycle of a document. From document creation to document storage to document retrieval and distribution, let’s see how a document management system works.
1. Document Creation and Capture
This is the first stage of a document, which involves capturing it from any source. Document capture is necessary to save the document and store it. There are several ways to capture documents- like capture for paper documents, for enterprise applications like CRM and ERP, system-generated reports, and emails.
During this stage, the document management system also performs an operation called indexing. Indexing makes it easy to find documents by classifying them based on parameters like metadata, unique IDs, etc. When a document is captured and indexed, it can be retrieved in simple steps whenever needed.
2. Document Storage
A central document storage is the backbone of a document management system. Documents captured from all sources are stored in a centralized location. This increases the accessibility and ease of document management.
Document management systems usually utilize Cloud storage for enabling central access. This ensures that the users of the DMS can access documents from anywhere and at any time. A centralized storage also makes space for features like co-authoring, multiple access, etc., to be implemented.
A DMS administers safety by implementing access control- that is, defining user rights to author, edit, and manage documents- and version control- that is, keeping track of changes made in documents.
3. Document Retrieval and Distribution
Another essential part of the working of a document management system is document retrieval and distribution. A DMS simplifies this process extensively. As a result, an organization can save time, effort, improve productivity and efficiency by implementing a document management system.
Indexing of documents makes retrieval easy and fast—no need to spend hours searching for relevant documents when in need. A simple keyword search will give all the information in an instant.
A document management system also simplifies document distribution very much. It enables document sharing through several ways like emails, enterprise software, etc.
Document management system makes the working of an organization easy, efficient, and stress-free. It improves the way processes are done in an organization and makes space for more opportunities.
Top 13 Benefits of Document Management System
A modern workplace is one that aspires for greater optimization and productivity. You may be concerned about the dividends that your organization may obtain from a novel investment. Here are some of the benefits of a document management system that may inspire you :
No more worries about data theft from lockers. Your patents, designs, and plans are all now safe in the cloud, and with blockchain coming up, data theft is now impossible.
2. Less Physical Storage
Storing paper documents require considerable storage space. Today, when the expense of office space is increasing, a DMS allows you to free up your existing office space and use them for other purposes.
3. Better Backup
We have heard many incidents of companies losing important documents due to natural disasters, fire accidents, etc. With features like centralized storage, digitization, archiving, etc., a DMS provides better backup and recovery of documents in case of any unprecedented incidents.
4. Easy Updates
Documents often get updated when there occurs any change in business processes or goals. Updating paper documents takes a lot of time and might also create some confusion. DMS ensures that updates can be done easily, efficiently, and quickly.
5. Enhanced Collaboration
DMS enhances sharing, increases visibility, and improves accessibility. Thus, it better facilitates collaboration- both internally within an organization as well as externally with stakeholders.
6. Saves You Money
“Time is money.” And DMS saves for you almost a million dollar work hours annually. Besides, you save on procurement of stationery and file management systems.
A transparent office inspires trust. It also provides ample opportunities to acknowledge excellent performance.
8. Green Office
Green is the word. Planting trees are something that benefits the future. But saving a grown tree makes a more significant impact. A DMS makes your office eco-friendly by reducing the demand for paper. You are saving nearly 3 trillion trees a year with DMS. A green office is a workplace for future generations.
9. Easy Retrieval
Get to documents quickly from your desk. You don’t need to lurk around for reports from one shelf to another. Just locate it on the search bar, and you may go for an advanced search to pinpoint the right document instantly.
10. Flexible Indexing
A DMS lets you index documents in tune with your logic. It employs metadata to string together multiple tags and notations to bring out a “light-pull” approach in file indexing.
11. Lightning Search
In a DMS search is at lightning speed. You need to find a file put in a word or phrase into the search bar, and you have it in front of your screen. The multiple categorizations help you to stack files without adding new shelves to your file cabinet.
12. Digital Archiving
The essence of content management is to retain what you do and discard what you don’t. The life of a document can be set on your information policy, and the specific workflow will further decide whether a record is to be kept or expired.
13. Meet Compliance Requirements
Compliance certifications require meeting several regulations, which is a complicated task in a paper-based system. With a DMS, it is possible to present to auditors the exact business flow and convince them of the safety and security standards of your system.
All this and much more awaits your company when you make the essential switch to a document management software. So get ready to fly on the wings of an expert DMS software developer and take your organization to a new level of performance.
Top 5 Steps to Implement a Successful Document Management System
It must be clear to you now how having a document management system benefits an organization and helps to optimize business workflows. So if you are ready to implement a document management software for your organization, what steps should you take?
1. Inform relevant people
This might seem like a minor step, but it is essential to inform all the relevant parties of your decision to implement a DMS. Because for a DMS to be successful, it requires the support of your employees and stakeholders.
Often, digitization processes make employees feel stressed as they feel inconsequential and fear losing their jobs. It is important that you set straight their worries and educate them on the benefits of having a DMS and how it will reduce their workload and make their work more enjoyable.
You should brief everyone involved about the development plan you have for the organization and the long-term gains you expect to achieve. Making them a part of the big picture will ensure loyal and dedicated service from their sides.
2. Define your requirements and goals
As we saw earlier, DMS solutions are vast and have varying scopes. Depending on the needs of your organization, you must choose the best solution that suits you. Ask yourself what areas you are looking to optimize, what processes need to be improved, what you expect to achieve from the DMS implementation.
Lay out all your requirements as clearly as possible. This is important not just to choose the best DMS but also to utilize the full potential of the system you implement. While carrying out this step, it is an advantage if you include the employees or stakeholders in the discussion as well. It will help to make your solution more comprehensive and improve team spirit.
3. Make a list of features
Once you are clear about your requirements, it helps to write down the features that you want from the document management system. Be as specific as you can and list them down in a clear way.
For example, do you want a search option, plugin support, is scalability a factor for your organization, etc. Listing down all the features makes it easier when it comes to choosing a document management system. Prioritize the features and look at the potential DMS softwares keeping the features in mind.
4. Find a DMS provider
To implement a document management system successfully, find a reliable DMS provider. There are several DMS providers that offer varying services with a range of functionalities. Depending on the requirements you created and the features you shortlisted, find the most appropriate provider for you.
After deciding on a provider, you can discuss the implementation process with them at length. They will enable you to carry out the implementation as quickly and smoothly as possible. A good company will also be able to provide you with more insights from their experience in the field, which might benefit your organization tremendously.
5. Post-implementation support
Providing good support to employees post-implementation of a DMS is as important as installation and implementation. Employees will need some time to adapt to the change and may even be skeptical about the new system. To make their transition easy and smooth and encourage them to use the system, it is necessary to provide the right guidance.
By giving employees training on how to use the new softwares, arranging feature demos, providing expert tips, etc., they can be made comfortable with the new system in place. It will encourage them to practice using the new system. Otherwise, they may not feel comfortable enough to use the system.
How to Choose the Best Document Management System for Your Organization
Choosing the best document management system for your organization is a challenging and confusing process. There are so many options available with various features, narrowing down to one is not easy.
To help you with this, we will take a look at the top four things you need to consider to choose a DMS that is the best for your organization.
Security is one factor that you should give top priority to when choosing a document management system. Enquire in detail about the security procedures used, encryption policies, and access management. Know about security audits that can be performed, and if possible, do tests to find out any weak point in the security of the system.
Because implementing a DMS for your organization is a permanent step, you should consider the scalability aspects before making the final call. You should think about how, as your organization grows, you will be able to scale the DMS along with it. Will it still be able to meet your requirements, will it be relevant – concerns like this must be settled.
3. Ease of use
The DMS that you choose must be easy to use and understand for the employees. Even if an employee is not very tech-savvy, they should be able to use the DMS to accomplish their tasks. It shouldn’t take much time and effort for the employees to grasp the working of the DMS. The best DMS is the one with the least learning curve.
Is the company that created the DMS software reliable? Look at their portfolio as well as reviews from previous clients. See if their services were satisfactory- how effectively did they implement the system, how is their customer service- research on all these aspects. Check if they provide updates, maintain quality assurance, etc.
These are four general things you should ensure before finalizing your document management system. Depending on your organization’s needs, there will be more factors that you would need to consider. However, be sure not to compromise on the above four!
Why Choose Us for Your DMS Implementation
Our expertise in handling SharePoint based projects for 16+ years has earned us the Microsoft Gold Partnership. Our vibrant teams are keen to take on any challenge. With 16+ years of experience and mastery in handling SharePoint projects, Aufait Technologies can be your rightful guide for change and prosperity.
Our DMS is the right place to start for you. Aufait’s DMS offers to you clear-cut solutions to the document handling indisposition that your company faces. From managing e -forms to moving your office online through intranet portals, we have a long-standing record.
Some of the unique features of our Sharepoint based Document Management System are:
- Document Libraries that creates a unique space for your employees to collaborate, share and work together from anywhere at any time.
- Smart Document Organization with taxonomy, metadata, document search etc.
- One Drive Integration to coalesce work files and information
Check-in for a free demo and start your workplace revolution.
Aufait Technologies have a long-standing experience of more than 16 years in developing SharePoint based products. Aufait’s record of delivering innovative Document Management Solutions is well recognized among its client fraternity.