Document Management Systems: Everything You Need to Know - Web Imp

Document Management Systems: Everything You Need to Know

Rain Tan Rain Tan • February 25, 2021
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In the past, companies used physical filing systems for storing and capturing paper documents. These systems cost them a lot of money and other resources for processing, retrieval issues, lack of space and human error. 

It has become too unproductive and inefficient for the modern workplace.

While there are companies that still use this system, most organizations today utilize the document management system for their valuable company files and other digital assets. 

This guide will answer some questions like:

  • What is a document management system
  • Why a document management system is required
  • What factors to look out for in a document management system.

What is Document Management?

Simply put, document management is the capture, storage and retrieval of documents. Even filing your documents into a binder and putting it into a filing cabinet can be considered document management.

That method of document management should be left in the past. In 2021, and as part of digital transformation, organisations and businesses should rely on modern document management systems for document management.

What is a document management system (DMS)?

A document management system is an automated software used by individuals and businesses for capturing, storing, organizing, securing, digitizing and tagging electronic documents. You can utilize this system if you have PDFs, Word files, digital images and other documents that you need to manage and keep. 

Some of the key features of a document management system include:

Storage – A DMS should allow users to store documents.

Search – Users who have access to DMS can easily find and retrieve documents saved in the cloud. 

Metadata – Users can classify docs with metadata and use this identifier for retrieving the documents. 

Security – Security features include access permission, intrusion detection, file encryption, etc. 

Collaboration – Users can share documents and collaborate with others. 

In 2021, it becomes more important than ever that a DMS should have cloud based collaboration features. People working remotely must be able to access company files from wherever they are.

A document management system is more than just a tool for storing and managing electronic data, the software is an asset to a company. By using this in their business operations, productivity is increased and clients are happy. 

Some examples of document management systems are: Dropbox, pCloud, HubSpot, Alfresco.

What is the Purpose of a Document Management System?

The document management software/system serves as a hub for company files. It helps companies manage their digital assets better. 

A DMS helps companies store documents from a variety of sources. Some of these sources include emails and attachments, 3rd party tools such as ERP or CRM, any user-generated content and even paper files.

DMS can immensely help businesses as it saves them time and money from storing and capturing these files manually. With a document management system, human error is completely eliminated. 

With a physical filing system, retrieval takes time and effort. A document management system can help anyone facilitate search and retrieval within seconds. You can do this wherever you are, so long as you have a device connected to the internet.

It’s greatly beneficial for businesses — by using metadata, all files are tagged and can be searched using different parameters. Apart from speed, it yields the best results. 

Why Document Management System is Required

Because of digital transformation!

With a cloud based document management system, almost everything can be done remotely; including saving files in the cloud and being able to access these files anytime you want to.

For businesses, using electronic document management systems in 2021 is required for a number of reasons:

Facilitates Fast and Easy Document Search

Some companies have yet to switch to using document management systems. They have their own network for storing and retrieving company files. While this can somehow help the organization, businesses would not be able to fully take advantage of a great tool that offers a lot of benefits.

It may take several minutes to look for a document on your computer. This problem is alleviated by using document management software. The software lets you search files not just with their file names but by using metadata. 

A metadata is structured information allowing a user to organize and classify a document. It’s an invaluable tool that companies need to use. Metadata lets you efficiently classify and easily retrieve a document. 

A document management system includes a feature where users can access and even preview files using the metadata. This makes it incredibly fast and easy to retrieve any file that you need. 

Improves Productivity

Imagine when a worker needs to access several images — this could take several minutes without a document management software. By using a DMS or document management system, the number of hours from repeatedly searching for files is greatly reduced. The worker saves time; he can dedicate this time to his other tasks and therefore increase his productivity. 

A document management system offers several useful features to the users. When a business fully takes advantage of all these features, it can get more things done — efficiently and effectively. With a DMS, there is no room for error. The trick is just to properly tag each electronic data for easy and quick retrieval. 

Related: Strategies to Increase Remote Work Productivity Within Your Team

Decreases Security Risk

When it comes to storing company assets, it’s imperative that businesses have good security in place. Documents that are not secure will likely be hacked or stolen. You can completely avoid this from happening by utilizing a document management system with strong security. 

With a DMS, information is fully secure and it reduces information exposure and risk. Also, in the event of disasters or fire, businesses can still retrieve all of their company files as they are stored in the cloud. (Just like how Web Imp managed to transition to remote working easily by using a DMS) You get the best backup and recovery with the DMS.

Enhances User Collaboration

A DMS allows users to access all files from multiple locations and across all devices. This makes it a lot easier to share and co-author documents and monitor workflows. The process is controlled and transparent. Users that have access to the documents can provide notes and even share comments.

Related: 9 Important Remote Collaboration Tips for Business Owners and Managers 

Reduces Storage Space

Do you still store paper documents in your office? Investing in a document management system eliminates the need to buy boxes, storage bins and cabinets for storing files and assets. There is no need to rent a space just for storing company files. There might be hard copies you need to store but for the rest, they are best kept in the cloud. It’s cost-effective and also secure. 

What Are the Factors of Good Document Management System  

While it’s essential for companies to have a document management system, it’s even more important to have the right Document Management System.

So what makes a good document management system?

One Tool For All Tasks

Some businesses may utilize other tools to help them become more efficient. They may use Dropbox or Google Drive for storing some of their data. A good DMS should be able to access all of these files with their software. 

You can save time if you can create, edit and share electronic documents from other sources such as MS Office, Google Sheets and Slides using just the DMS software. With a feature like this, there is no need to keep switching tools. You have everything you need in one single software. 

All Files in One Location

It can be stressful and time-consuming when your files are saved in another location. You have a lot of tabs or applications opened, and it can be confusing at times. A good document management system should be able to completely transform your experience. One of the features of an efficient DMS includes having everything you need in one place. 

We highly recommend Dropbox Business as it transforms your folders. All your company files, including Google and MS documents can be accessed from Dropbox. 

We are aware that as a business, you want to save time and increase productivity. This is very possible when you have the right tools for your business. 

Send Big Files Securely

Another helpful feature a good DMS should have is the ability to securely send big files to clients and colleagues. On top of this, users should be able to set expiration dates and passwords for full protection. Lastly, a confirmed delivery is also useful. Thankfully, Dropbox offers this feature to its users. They have options for businesses who want to send files of up to 100 GB. 

If you ask us, we think it’s a lifesaver. Businesses that use Dropbox for sending out important info to clients can fully take advantage of this feature. You can quickly, securely and easily transfer presentations or high-definition videos to clients with Dropbox Business. 

Version control

A good DMS does more than just allowing users to collaborate with other workers or send large files. A document management system should have some form of version control, so that unwanted changes in documents can be easily un-done by simply rolling-back to earlier versions. This is a form of backup plan in case someone in your team makes a mistake accidentally.

With Dropbox, you can integrate these tools into the system with just a few clicks. 

There is no need to open other applications as you can use Dropbox Business for communication with coworkers or clients on Zoom and Slack. 

Dropbox as Recommended Solution for Document Management

We understand the importance of a document management in team collaboration and productivity. While there are several document management systems available in the market, we recommend Dropbox Business as the best solution for small to medium businesses in Singapore.

Our team is dedicated to helping businesses succeed by increasing productivity and improving their business operations. We recommended Dropbox Business simply because it’s what we use for our system and it works.  

Further reading:

If you still haven’t switched to a document management system, now is the time to get started. Ask us how Dropbox Business can be integrated into your business operations.

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