Documents are critical elements that impact the efficiency of every business or organisation.
A Document Management system can be an excellent investment for your business. Digitising your key business documents with searchable content and storing them electronically, significantly reduces administration costs and increases productivity across your business. It’s out of the box GDPR compliant which keeps managers and more importantly auditors extremely happy. Employees can feel at ease, destroying historical documentation with the knowledge all digital files are completely safe and can be accessed within seconds.
There are lots of great options on the market, so what 5 things should you look for when choosing a Document Management system (DMS)?
- Ease Of Use/Accessing Your Information
- File sharing + Collaboration
- Workflow + Automation
1. Ease Of Use/Accessing Your Information
The only reason to save and file information is so that you can find it again, quickly and easily, when you need it. So, it is essential that your DMS has a robust search function, one that allows you to store documents with metadata. Metadata is information about a document that is digitally ‘attached’ to it. For example, the title, owner, file type, location etc. The metadata you ‘attach’ to your files can also be customised to fit business requirements. A metadata search allows you to search using one or more of these ‘bits’ of information, which significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to find the correct file. A good DMS will have a variety of intelligent ways to search for what you need. Using a DMS will also standardise your filing structure so that files are saved in the correct place each time, removing the opportunity for each employee to have their ‘own way of doing things’.
2. File sharing + Collaboration
It’s easy to share files with people across the business securely. Everyone can access and edit the same document, so you don’t have lots of versions saved in multiple places – desktops, hard drives, shared drives, email attachments and more. By collaborating and editing your files within the system, you can say goodbye to ridiculously long email chains with half of the office copied in. A good DMS will have a useful feature called Version Control which ensures that everyone is always working with the latest version of the file.
3. Workflow + Automation
Leveraging workflow and automation tools to do the tedious, repetitive tasks for you means you can focus on more important work. It also standardises the way a task is carried out so that it’s done the same way every time, again removing the opportunity for employees to ‘do it their way. For example, a digital invoice can be entered into a workflow to be processed, in accordance with your business rules, and automatically approved for payment if it meets the right set of criteria. It can then be saved in the correct place in your DMS for future reference. Especially helpful if you undergo an audit and need to find certain documents quickly to prove compliance.
Most systems will have an option to store your files either onsite on your server or in the cloud. All users have unique login details to access the system. All activity is recorded in a digital audit trail so that administrators can see who has logged in, when and what they have done. You can set permissions to ensure users can only access the information that they need to. For example, a member of the sales team would not be given access to HR or Payroll information. These features will help you to keep your information secure, compliant and provides a clear picture of what all users are doing within the system.
A system that can integrate with your existing in-house systems and software (think finance, HR, ERP, CRM, etc.) allows you to reduce data entry and makes sharing information between systems much more straightforward. This also reduces human touchpoints and errors and helps to improve accuracy and productivity. Your existing systems work well in other areas, for example, finance or HR specific. In contrast, a DMS concentrates on filing, storing and retrieving documents that are fully audited and has a high level of security access on group documentation.
If you find a DMS that has all of these key features (and more) like the Invu Document Management system, the next step is to arrange a demo. This will give you a much better insight into the system, allow you to ask questions, discuss your businesses specific challenges and let you get to know a bit more about the provider.
In our next blog post, we will discuss the ‘5 things to look for when choosing a Document Management provider’. What you are buying is equally as important as who you are buying it from. If you can get both of these things right, you’re heading for a great business relationship that will support you with the best technology and solutions.
If you would like to find out more about the Invu Document Management system, please call Jack Wright on 01285 810606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be happy to help. Let’s talk.