What is document management

What is document management?

Document Management

document management sign

Being efficient is a never-ending process. Companies are always striving to increase efficiency in operations while minimizing process defects and improving overall performance. In addition to the environmental benefits and cost reductions associated with moving to a paperless environment, going paperless decreases the time involved in nearly every aspect of traditional document processing. Document management with MaxxVault is the answer.

The depth and breadth of paper use in our society is overwhelming. The more society grows, the more complicated it becomes to gain access to accurate and relevant information and so the process slows. Conversely, the public’s expectations for quick, immediate access to information continue to increase. Document management systems let you satisfy all these needs at once.

Regardless of whether you call the person whose documents you’re handling employee or customer, people desire their information to be maintained confidentially, with secured integrity and availability when needed. These three tenets of information protection are difficult at best to maintain in a paper-only environment, driving the need for a document management system.  Just as it is generally understood that streamlining and consolidating servers and infrastructure will maximize data center utilization and enable businesses to more quickly respond to changing IT needs, a document management system offers a solution to paper-intensive operations that provides similar economies of scale.

Document management systems come in many shapes and sizes, from systems designed to archive medium-size office documents to full-scale enterprise solutions. They all serve the same goal: to provide a systematic method for creating, capturing, categorizing, storing, locating and retrieving documents. An effective DMS facilitates the sharing and secure distribution of documents and helps reduce the costs of document distribution and filing.

A DMS should also improve and protect access to information, comply with government regulations and improve upon operational efficiency. Whether your company is a medium-size operation or a large retail chain, a DMS can meet demands to efficiently organize and manage the flow of information both internally and externally, and may substantially reduce the cost of operations.

Benefits of a document management system:

  • Relief of paperwork burdens through improved process efficiency
  • Minimization of the possibility of lost information and liability
  • Increased productivity
  • Sharing of information among many users simultaneously
  • Improvement of service and response to customers

And how does it work?

Document management systems turn paper into digital images such as PDF or TIFF files that can be stored electronically and, with some software help, searched or edited. These systems also can improve electronic filing, retrieving and secure access to information.

At its simplest, a document management system consists of a scanner and software that convert paper documents to electronic PDFs/TIFFs. And you can get less expensive software to make PDFs searchable and editable. Here are several things to look at when considering EDM Software:

  • Will it allow you to create PDFs and convert the images to searchable files?
  • Will it automatically recognize text with Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?
  • Will it scan documents like receipts and invoices, pull off key information and then make it portable to applications such as Quicken and Microsoft Excel and Outlook?

You'll need to develop a system for managing electronic files. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Create an online filing system as you would for paper in a filing cabinet. Use file and document names that will be easy to find and remember.
  2. Use the "print to file" option to save electronic documents from outside, like e-mails or online statements, to their correct electronic files.
  3. Back up your files regularly, probably at least weekly.
  4. Make a master list of file folders that you can refer to.
  5. End the year by reviewing your files. Trash any that you no longer need, move files that are going to storage (like the year's invoices) and set up new files for the new year.

Keep in mind that you'll also have to maintain paper files and weed through them at the end of each year, although the amount of these files should be much smaller than before. These documents include notarized documents and materials you need to prepare for tax season.

While you may be tempted to scan your receipts and toss the paper originals, don't do it. You may need them as proof for a tax audit. Keep all bills, invoices, receipts and canceled checks related to deductible expenses for three years after filing tax forms. At that point, shred them to prevent identify theft.

All document management systems are not created equal, so you’ll want to be discerning when determining the right one for your company. When chosen correctly, a sound DMS will ease continuity and disaster-recovery planning efforts, and help your business maintain regulatory compliance and avoid legal entanglements or penalties.

Give us a call and see if MaxxVault is the right solution for your organization. If it isn't, we will point you in the right direction!

Manage the creation, storage, revision, approval, processing and consumption of documents more efficiently and effectively.

Do you have any idea how much going paperless can save you every month? Over six months - a year?
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Or better yet, get a personalized EDMS ROI Assessment just for you and your organization:

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