Document management systems

News: October 2011

Document management systems

More and more businesses are deciding to “go paperless”. Many business owners and managers want an alternative to paper based filing systems due to the sheer cost of storing files and the space required to store them in.

A document management system allows for documents both scanned and electronic to be sent to and from staff and customers in a quick and easy fashion. Receipts, orders and letters can all be scanned and then stored on the system. Documents can be tracked and if necessary, documents can be password protected for security purposes. A document management system can create efficiencies in your business as it results in less time being spent on filing and managing paperwork, which leaves more time to focus on sales and business development.

The advantages of “going paperless” include:

  • Reduced cost.
  • Easy access to files via computer anywhere in the world.
  • Reduced risk – computer files can be backed up easily, physical files can be lost in a fire / flood.
  • More efficient document management.
  • An electronic document library is easy to search through (if it is set up correctly).
  • Reduced manpower is required to manage computerised document libraries compared to physical libraries of paper files.

There are numerous document management system software packages on the market. However, before you start looking at software, it is essential to decide what you actually need from it, as you would with any other major software purchase. This in turn will depend on:

  • your current IT strategy
  • your security requirements
  • your traceability requirements
  • your quality system compliance needs
  • what document authoring packages you use/plan to use
  • what type of documentation already exists in your business
  • what your current software platform is
  • what your staff are used to already