Keeping up with records, company files, and other documents is increasingly difficult when you don’t have the right tools. Many employees, company officers, and business owners waste countless hours per week sorting through documents to find the necessary information.
Why You Need a Document Management System (DMS)
An inefficient document management system, or DMS, can kill workflow, create productivity issues, hinder communications, and even cause compliance issues in some cases. More companies need to implement versatile systems to streamline document creation, revision, storage, and publishing activities. Having an organized approach can be beneficial in many ways, the most obvious being saving time, and as they say, time is money.
But before investing in a specific solution, it’s essential to understand your options.
Types of Document Management Systems
Document management systems fall into five distinct categories. Depending on your company policies and industry, you may need to implement more than one system to run your business efficiently.
Workflow management is all about automation. These document management systems can take care of repetitive administrative tasks for employees and officers of the company. This allows people to focus on high-value tasks and duties and streamline workflow.
But not every system is perfect or tailored for all businesses. Some companies may need a workflow management system to manage design, while others need to streamline production and shipping.
Regardless of your particular needs, task assignment is a key component of a workflow document management system. Businesses need software solutions that can scale with the team size and allow customization. For example, a sound workflow management system supports task reassignment, deadline modifications, and other adjustments that can optimize the company’s workflow.
Record Management Systems
All businesses need to manage their records. Record management can mean anything from maintenance request tracking to record retainment for tax purposes to proper disposal of confidential documents. Many companies rely heavily on such systems. For instance, businesses operating in the healthcare industry deal with massive amounts of records and legal issues that need paper (or electronic) backup.
Construction companies will also benefit from a record management system to handle all of their permits and ensure compliance. Other businesses keep risk and governance-related records in one of these systems.
Not every small business owner needs the same complex document management system to streamline recordkeeping. But having even a basic one can assist in tasks like scanning, storing, duplicating, and forwarding records between company offices, governing bodies, and regulatory agencies.
The easier it is to create, access, and exchange records, the less time employees waste on these tasks. Again, this type of system helps maintain a positive workflow and keeps people focused on high-value tasks that benefit the company’s bottom line.
Content Management Systems
Document management catering to content is crucial for many businesses. Think of this as a software suite and office equipment combination dedicated to improving task efficiency, such as:
- Creating content
- Editing content
- Organizing content
- Delivering content to users
Naturally, not all companies have advanced writing operations or publish large amounts of content. Therefore, some businesses can get by with simpler content management systems.
Businesses that employ writers and editors need proper systems in place with indexing, search, and sharing or publishing functionality.
Adding a strong content management platform to your document management system can keep everyone focused on their tasks. It enables better collaboration, analytics tools, and reporting. Companies can do more than create and publish content on time. They can understand the impact of their content on the audience.
It’s a great way to identify strengths and weaknesses and improve the company’s content both internally and externally.
Enterprise Content Management Systems
Small businesses seldom need an enterprise content management system, or ECM. This type of system handles all aspects of a traditional content management system and integrates additional data-oriented tools, workflow management, and more. Business owners looking to scale larger may want to familiarize themselves with the concept of ECM systems.
These are mostly used in publishing industries or by businesses that need more control over their content production and publishing processes. Streamlining content processes comes from using advanced data tracking and analytics.
ECM document management systems may also include additional digital security protocols, offline document access, and superior methods to centralize all content-related processes. From digitizing paper documents to maintaining compliance records, ECM systems can often do it all.
Document Imaging Systems
While it may seem simple, a document imaging solution is often a core component of a good office document management system. Few companies can claim to be completely paperless. Licenses, permits, invoices, and other documents still come in a paper format.
Due to the increased popularity of hybrid workplaces and completely remote work environments, exchanging paper documents isn’t optimal. Storing physical documents isn’t easy or cheap either, especially for companies looking to scale back on storage and office space costs.
That’s where document imaging systems come in. They offer ways to collect, scan, organize, share, and manage all paper documents in a digital format. Whether you’re talking about construction permits, expense reports, resumes, or anything else, digitizing documents is crucial these days.
A proper imaging platform ensures that businesses can do more than scan documents. They provide organizing tools, storage solutions, and advanced scanning using optical character recognition. This enables people to modify physical copies after they’re digitized.
Pick the Right Document Management System
Choosing the system that’s best for you comes down to two things. First, you need to understand your business and the type of documents you create or receive. This can differ significantly between industries. Secondly, it will benefit you greatly to confer with a reputable service provider for document management systems.
Not every company has the same specific needs. Ensuring compliance, streamlining communications, and improving recordkeeping and organization may not be necessary for a very small business or sole proprietorship. But that doesn’t mean your business won’t need a bit of everything to increase its operational and workflow efficiency and make tax time easier.
Bringing more automation into your core processes has both short- and long-term benefits. Modern Office Methods can set you up if you’re running a business out of Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, or Mansfield. Our document management solutions can be customized for various industries and business operations. Reach out to learn more.