Document management is the procedure of capturing, storing, tracking, and retrieving electronic documents and scanned copies of paper documents. A document management system is software that performs these tasks.
Document Management Systems can Help Organizations to:
- Reduce paper clutter: By digitizing documents, organizations can reduce the amount of paper they use and store. This can save space, money, and time.
- Improve document security: DMSs can help to secure documents by providing access control, encryption, and audit trails. This can help to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access.
- Streamline business processes: DMSs can help to streamline business processes by making it easier to find and share documents. This can lead to quicker decision making and improved productivity.
- Meet regulatory requirements: DMSs can help organizations to meet regulatory requirements for document storage and retention. This can help to protect organizations from legal liability.
What are Document Management Systems, and How are They Used?
Document management systems are used to capture and organize all types of documents into an electronic form that is easy to find and retrieve when needed. A document, in this case, as defined by the ISO 12651-2, is any recorded object or information that is considered a unit of data. A paper document, such as an invoice, is first scanned and integrated into the document management system in electronic format for future retrieval.
The document is then indexed by categories such as department, order number, vendor, or any other identifiable concept relevant to your business. Unlike the traditional file cabinet folders, a document management system stores documents in an electronic format that is easier to be accessed by authorized personnel and customers.
With one secure central electronic repository, such as cloud document storage and management software provided by Folderit, you no longer have to suffer the constant headache of searching for lost or hard-to-find documents. You can now easily search and retrieve any document in your organization in a matter of seconds. Fast retrieval of documents enhances productivity by shifting focus from searching for a hard-to-find document to solving the problem at hand.
Critical Components of a Document Management System
The significant components of a document management system include document capture, storage, metadata, versioning, security, indexing, and retrieval features.
Let’s take a quick look at each of them:
Each document is usually stored along with its metadata, such as the date of storage and the identity of the person storing the document. The system can take metadata or request the user to provide metadata. At Folderit, you can add a wide range of metadata, including tags, notes, signers, data or due dates, and much more to help keep your documents well organized and easy to access. You can even add your preferred data fields.
Capture in document management refers to the processing of paper documents through scanning to enable storage in electronic format. Some systems use optical character recognition software (OCR) to convert digital images into readable text. Capture also involves accepting documents in electronic format and other computer-based files into the system.
Indexing helps to track electronic documents stored in the system. It can be as simple as tracking document identifiers throughout the system or as complex as providing a specific classification for each document based on metadata or word indexes taken from the content of each document. Indexing is an essential component of a document management system. It helps to make the retrieval process faster, more efficient, and more accurate.
Storage is all about how the document is store in a central repository for later retrieval. It includes specific locations where each document is store within the system, how long it is store, migration of documents through different storage media, and the eventual destruction of a document.
Retrieval is a critical element of every document management system. It is all about how a document is retrieve from the central storage. This is a complex process that regulates permissions and access to each document. It allows users to access documents by identifying unique identifiers of the document, such as metadata and specific search terms.
Versioning is basically a process through which a document is check in or out of the system, giving users access to current or previous versions of the document. Documents change or are updated over time, which is where versioning comes in to ensure users can still access previous copies as reference. Folderit provides better and easier version control of your documents. You can upload a new version of any document stored in the system while still preserving the earlier version and existing metadata. The system’s highly efficient check-in and check-out feature allows you even to lock access to a document by other users when you are editing it.
Searching allows users to find specific documents and folders using template attributes or via a full-text search. Folderit has a powerful search that allows you to search for any document stored in the system via a wide range of attributes, including the document’s title and other metadata, such as tags and signers.
Sharing or Distribution of Documents
An efficient document management system such as Folderit allows the regulated sharing and distribution of documents, sections of documents, folders, or even the entire account with any authorized person. The system has “View” permissions, where the user can only see the document, and “Edit” permissions, where the user is allow to edit metadata.
The importance of document security is vital in any document management system. With the emergence of advanced security threats such as crypto-ransom malware. It is now mandatory to ensure that your documents are store in a safe and secure central repository.
What is Document Management Back Up?
Backing up your documents is an essential component of any document management system. Without a backup, your business may end up with huge losses in the unfortunate event of a hacker or virus attack or even fire or a natural disaster that can ultimately damage all your existing files. Folderit keeps all your documents safely stored in a secure cloud. However, if you want to, you can download individual files or even the whole account and save the documents on your hard drive as a local backup. You’ll still retain your copies of documents stored in the cloud.
Benefits of Document Management
Here are some additional benefits of document management:
- Reduced costs: Document management can help to reduce costs by eliminating the need for paper storage and retrieval.
- Improved productivity: Document management can help to improve productivity by making it easier to find and share documents.
- Increased compliance: Document management can help organizations to meet regulatory requirements for document storage and retention.
- Better decision-making: Document management can help organizations to make better decisions by providing access to the correct information at the right time.
In conclusion, document management is the process of capturing, storing, tracking, and retrieving electronic documents and scanned copies of paper documents. A document management system (DMS) is software that performs these tasks.
Document management systems can help organizations to reduce paper clutter, improve document security, streamline business processes, and meet regulatory requirements. They can also help to reduce costs, improve productivity, increase compliance, and make better decisions.