Document management is not an easy task at the personal level, let alone at the firm level. Document management, the process of enabling the creation, storage and retrieval, process control, and tracking of organizational information manually using paper documents requires a lot of resources that would become a huge strain on the firm’s bottom line. The better, and more efficient way is to manage these tasks using Document Management Software, or, as it is also known, a Document Management System (DMS). A DMS will help ensure that the many issues that occur in the course of document management are resolved easily.
Some of the major issues that occur in document management in organizations are:
Disparate and often incommunicable systems to manage individual aspects of the document management process such as process management, storage, retrieval, and editing tools.
- Collaboration among the different stakeholders who have to work on the document together.
- Lack of support for process flow
- Lack of security for documents
- Losing or misplacing important documents
So, how can document management systems help resolve these issues?
In the first place, a DMS combines people, processes, and technology to offer firms a comprehensive one-stop solution to manage their documents, and by extension, their workflows in an efficient manner. While it is a solution in itself, it can also be an add-on for any other digital transformation solution that the firm has in place. It can integrate with solutions such as human resource management software, customer relationship management software, procurement software, and so on, and allow firms to manage all the documents related to these processes consistently. In HRM, you have documents such as employee joining agreements, in CRM you have documents related to customer profiles, and in procurement, you have documents such as requisitions, sale agreements, and invoices. All of these documents need to be passed through multiple stakeholders in the organization, and instead of passing these documents manually or through emails, using a DMS will ensure that all the stakeholders have access to their concerned documents at all times.
Not only will this improve oversight over the documents but it will also ensure collaboration among the stakeholders. They need not be physically together in one place but can collaborate even across different places. This is particularly useful for organizations working in document processing-intensive workplaces such as publishing, education, legal, or healthcare industries. Within the DMS ecosystem, different stakeholders can come together and collaboratively complete their tasks. The features of the documents such as versioning and audit trail ensure that the contributions of different stakeholders is maintained, and if any mistakes are made, then they can be traced to the stakeholder who has committed them. Versioning ensures that the previous versions of the documents are also kept safely, which means that one can always correct mistakes going back to the previous version.
As mentioned earlier, there are some firms that operate in document intensive industries. For these firms, their entire workflow runs around managing documents. In such cases, it is better to use a DMS to manage the process flow by assigning different roles to their employees. As is in the case of a publishing firm, writing, editing, proofreading, preparing indexes and cover art are the different tasks that have to be completed by different stakeholders in the organization. In this case, the DMS can take care of the entire operation for the firm. The entire process can be run from the DMS itself.
Regarding security and misplacing documents, a DMS ensures that firms’ documents are safely stored in the cloud and available for access from anywhere. Since different versions of the document are created, there is no scope for misplacing documents or lack of security for documents. Firms can safely control who gets to view their documents and who gets to edit them. Indeed, with the right security in place, firms can rest assured that only the people with the right credentials can access the document.
All in all, there are a number of document-related issues that firms face. With the right document management software solution in place, firms can ensure that these issues are resolved and that the business operations of the firm are handled effectively.