Document Management System
All companies create business records, which are documents that record business dealings such as contracts, research and development, accounting source documents, memos, customer/client communications, and meeting minutes.
Document management is the automated control of imaged and electronic documents, page images, spreadsheets, voice and e-mail messages, word processing documents, and other documents through their life cycle within an organization, from initial creation to final archiving or destruction.
Document management systems (DMS) consist of hardware and software that manage and archive electronic documents and also convert paper documents into e-documents and then index and store them according to company policy.
For example, companies may be required by law to retain financial documents for at least seven years, whereas e-mail messages about marketing promotions would be retained for a year and then discarded.
DMS have query and search capabilities so that they can be identified and accessed like data in a database. These systems range from those designed to sup- port a small workgroup to full-featured, web-enabled enterprise-wide systems.
Departments or companies whose employees spend most of the day filing or retrieving documents or warehousing paper records can reduce costs significantly with DMS.
These systems minimize the inefficiencies and frustration associated with managing paper documents and paper workflows. Significantly, however, they do not create a paperless office as had been predicted.
A DMS can help a business to become more efficient and productive by:
- Enabling the company to access and use the content contained in the documents
- Cutting labor costs by automating business processes
- Reducing the time and effort required to locate information the business needs to support decision making
- Improving the security of the content, thereby reducing the risk of intellectual property theft
- Minimizing the costs associated with printing, storing, and searching for content
The major document management tools are workflow software, authoring tools, scanners, and databases. When workflows are digital, productivity increases, costs decrease, compliance obligations are easier to verify, and green computing becomes possible.
Green computing is an initiative to conserve our valuable natural resources by reducing the effects of our computer usage on the environment.
Businesses also use a DMS for disaster recovery and business continuity, security, knowledge sharing and collaboration, and remote and controlled access to documents.
When companies select a DMS, they ask the following questions
- Does the software meet the organization’s needs? For example, can the DMS be installed on the existing network? Can it be purchased as a service?
- Is the software easy to use and accessible from web browsers, office applications, and e-mail applications? If not, people won’t use it.
- Does the software have lightweight, modern web and graphical user interfaces that effectively support remote users?