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What is a Document Management System? (DMS)

What is a document management system? (DMS)

Simply put, a DMS is an automated method of capturing, securing, organizing, tagging, digitizing, approving and completing tasks using business files. Understanding how a document management system works can have a huge implication for your enterprise.

The Basics of Document Management Systems

In any organization, daily operations involve capturing, storing, and retrieving documents. When done manually, this can be time-consuming and increase the risk of data loss.

Documents in an organization come in both electronic and paper formats, right? Take the example of an invoice. Your organization can receive paper invoices via mail for you to act upon. However, the invoice perhaps commenced from your organization when you placed an order with a vendor. Indeed, that order is lying somewhere in the accounting records. Two related documents that should be kept together are with different departments. This is a simplified example of what document management system targets to address.

Simply throw a few more related components such as acceptance documents, delivery receipts on every contract, and the system could get chaotic. Things get really complicated further if these documents come in different formats and are held by different units. For example, the contract might be in the legal office, the delivery receipt book in the warehouse, and invoice in the accounts unit.

Think of a situation when something wrong or clarification about an order is needed. Where do you get the right document? A whole array of departments and people will be required. It is time-consuming and could result in serious loss of working hours. The solution is a document management system that pools documents under a centralized system.

How Does a Document Management System Work?

Starting from 1980s, programs were developed to help with information storage and management of electronic data. Since then, document management systems have evolved and taken advantage of automation and digital tools. This has helped to optimize document handling and streamlined data searches. With a good document management system, locating a document is only a click away – no need to stop what you were doing or involving a long chain of staff.

A document management system has three core components that define its operations: document capture, central document storage, and document retrieval.

1) Document Capture

For any document management system to work, you need to have different documents for your business. Documents capture means that you have to be able to easily save documents so that they can be found on demand. To make this easy, you need to index the documents based on Meta data such as customer numbers, invoice numbers, or another reliable coding. Then, you can capture the documents using the following methods:

- Capture paper documents by scanning.

- Capture documents from emails.

- Capture documents using other programs that produce documents, such as customer relationship management (CRM).

2) Central Storage

Every document management system should have a good central storage system. This is used to safely keep the documents captured from varying sources. The centralized storage is crucial for several reasons:

- Centralized access: A document management system gives staff access to documents from any location any time. To give staff access even when away from their workstations, organizations use cloud-based document storage.

- Document security: When you use a document management system, you can offer security to your documents in two ways. One, you can give permission to specific people you need to access the documents, and two; you can add version control that grants authority to specific people to edit documents.

3) Document Retrieval

To make a document management system effective, it has to include document retrieval and distribution. This is used to make sure the documents can be utilized and shared with ease.

Document management system makes retrieval easy and fast through a quick search. When a client calls enquiring about something such as an invoice, the support staff should be able to pull it out by simply keying in the invoice number – fast, easy, and convenient.

Another crucial function of a document management system is the ease of distribution. You should be able to distribute the documents fast via different channels such as FTP and emails.

With document management systems, gone is the era of lost documents since your documents are located in secure repositories. Also, you can eliminate the time that was lost because multiple people, from varying departments, needed to retrieve and review documents. The document management system (DMS) empowers you and your organization to run more efficiently and securely at all levels.

What Categories of Document Management Systems Exist?

What Categories of Document Management Systems Exist?

Today, all organizations in every industry manage documents. These documents carry crucial information for the business, staff, partners, and other stakeholders. To most businesses, these documents are crucial assets. To make handling, storage, security, and retrieval of documents easy and reliable, your organization should have the right document management system (DMS).

A document management system (DMS) is a computing system engineered to improve how your organization tracks, stores, manages, and allows access to documents. The primary goal is reducing paper work, time lost looking for documents, and enhancing operational efficiency. A document management system, whether a stand-alone or a component of an enterprise content management system, comes with a number of categories.

Workflow Systems

A document management workflow is exactly as the name suggests: a system for producing, tracking, editing, storing, and managing documents in a company. If you check the daily operations of any business, a lot of documents have to be worked on. With purchase orders, expense reports, payroll, acquisition forms, and many others, the process can be tedious.

To get things moving smoothly; enters the document management system's workflows that allow documents to move from one department to another seamlessly. At every step, approvals or changes may be instituted. Workflow systems help to:

· Notify users when there are documents to be worked on.

· Alert managers when there are steps that require urgent action.

· Alert users if a specific task in the workflow is taking longer than expected.

Records Management Systems

If you take a look at document management systems, the documents managed there can be broken into two types: living documents that are used daily and records that require no or minimal altering. Records management system is more focused on compliance with existing laws that affect handling and retention of records. This is why they are common in most regulated industries, such as healthcare, government departments, and legal departments.

Record management system involves creating records inventory and safe handling of data. For example, every organization should have a records management system for its staff job description, past audit reports, and compliance records.

With a good records management system, your organization can avoid unnecessary penalties, make audits easier, and streamline decision making. The records should be easily accessible to authorized staff for action.

Document Imaging Systems

Some of the documents that your business will need to deal with are in hard-copy format. For example, if you get a certificate of accreditation or win a tender, the hard copies need to be converted into a digital format without altering the details. Document imaging systems are used to convert the paper versions of documents into images that can be stored in a digital format. A good imaging system should have the following capabilities:

  • Make it easy to scan many documents fast.

· Organize documents well for easy identification, search, and access.

  • Allow direct sharing with authorized users.

Enterprise Content Management Systems

An enterprise content management system (ECM) is a set of pre-defined strategies, rules and tools that enable a business to acquire, store, organize and deliver information to its staff, customers, and stakeholders. Enterprise content management systems are used to streamline information lifecycle and automating workflows where possible. The systems have the following five components:

  • Capture: This involves creating info or collecting files in electronic format for proper organization.
  • Managing: This component entails connecting and modifying files using means such as collaborative software and records management.
  • Store: This component is used to temporarily backup changing info in different files. Therefore, users have the chance to edit, view and confirm DOCUMENT details.
  • Preserve: This component is used for storing information and backing up the infrequently edited files both in the medium and long-term. It is very useful, especially when an organization is looking forward to complying with new policies.
  • Deliver: This is used to render information to end users on request.
Benefits of a Document Management System for a Company

Benefits of a Document Management System for a Company

Documents, whether in hard copy or electronic format, are crucial assets of any enterprise. But managing documents, especially when they are from varied sources, require regular updates and dealing with different departments, which can be quite challenging to say the least. Based on the nature of your organization, a good document management system (DMS) would come in handy to help simplify capturing, storing, and retrieving documents. Here are the main benefits that your company will derive from adopting good DMS.

Reduced Storage Space

Today, the cost of commercial properties is on an uptrend. It is costly to think of storing documents in paper format because they will require additional space. As such, a software-based document management system will come in handy to eliminate the need for additional space – no need for lines of cabinets and document boxes. Indeed, even the documents that must be kept in hard copies can be stored in locations that are less expensive, such as offsite vaults.

Improved Document Security

Document security is vital to many enterprises. A good document management system provides you with better control of all documents, especially the sensitive ones. It allows you to restrict access to documents so that only approved users can see or edit contained details.

Unlike in the traditional cabinetry system, where a person would pick a document and fail to return it, DMS is different. When an authorized staff accesses and edits a document he/she leaves an audit trail. This makes it easy to know who viewed the document at what time and what changes were made. And that is not all. Documents can also be tagged to make it possible for automated alerts.

Enhanced Collaboration

With document management systems, you will find sharing information and collaboration easy and fast. When you pool documents from varying sources, you can give access to different users in any locations. Using electronic imaging, it is easy to share documents online via channels such as emails.

By providing better visibility, it implies that an organization’s processes flow smoothly and can also be monitored. You can even allow outside users some rights to access the documents in a read-only mode.

The collaboration feature is very important when several parties in different departments or locations need to work on a document. Also, it makes it easy to recover documents if need arises.

Better Storage, Backup, and Recovery from Disasters

When you install a good document management system, one of the important components is a backup and recovery plan. Most DMS programs come with automated data backup models that ensure you always have the latest versions of a document. But what is more impressive is that you cannot lose documents.

In the event of a disaster that ravages your building or a virus that attacks your system, you will still be able to recover documents with ease. Well, do not wait until a disaster strikes and cripples your operations because of lost documents; get a good DMS that makes it easy to restore all your documents for seamless operations.

Better Regulatory Compliance

There is no doubt that compliance for some types of documents can be complicated. Non-conformance can result in hefty fines, criminal culpability, and revoked licenses. For example, regulatory regimes such as HIPPAA and Sarbanes Oxley are very strict on privacy and security, but you can meet their requirements by using a good DMS. Well, why risk all the penalties and closure of your business when a solution is there?

A document management system is at the heart of business operations and success. Whether your business is new or has been in operation for some time, you need a good DMS to make operations efficient, keep documents more secure, and compliance to laws easy.

What are the Benefits of a Document Management System for Private Persons?

What are the Benefits of a Document Management System for Private Persons?

A document management system (DMS) has become a must-have tool in the current digital world. Gone are the days when people used to wake up and find documents missing in their cabinets or mistakenly deleting them from their computers. Here are the special benefits of DMS to private persons.

Document Management System Helps you Stay Organized

How many times have you wasted precious time trying to search a document on your chat messages, computer, or email attachment? Other times, it might be searching through tens or hundreds of folders trying to locate a file whose name you already forgot. At times, it ends up being a mission impossible.

A document management system is designed to help you navigate away from this digital mess. It allows you to store your documents systematically so that at no time will you get worried about their accessibility and use. You want a document; it is only a click away. It is that easy and fast!

Reducing/ Eliminating Reliance on Paper

Do you still rely on paper documents? From your resume to certificates of merits, among others, many people keep them in paper formats in closets located in their bedrooms. But when you need them for purposes such as applying for a job, filling tender documents, or compliance with varying laws, a lot of money is needed for printing, copying, and scanning. A document management system is designed to help simplify this complex procedure.

A document management system does not just help you go paperless; it also makes it easy for you to access them from anywhere. If you need to access or use your documents, there is no need to rush home to get them – they are easily available to you online. What a convenient way to organize your documents!

Enhanced Security of Your Documents

You have important, very important documents, right? The best way to keep them securely is not in a closet in the living room, but in a digital document management system. Instead of simply keeping the documents in one location, such as a closet or your computer drive, a document management system stores your info securely in diverse locations. So, the notion of the documents getting lost becomes a thing of the past.

On security, your documents are protected with special encryptions and logins so that only you can access them. Using features such as access control and password control, you are sure that no one can access your documents without your knowledge.

Quick Search

If you do not have a document management system (DMS), pulling out the right document can be a herculean task. A good DMS system provides indexing and search capabilities so that you can locate the right document at lightning speed. Well, if you are in an interview room and the panel has just realized that you also did computer programming, pulling out the document to prove that will take a second. Quick document search will make document access easy, convenient, and fun. It is like always travelling with documents in a "pouch" so that you can use them instantly on-demand.

High Accuracy

When you install a document management system, it provides you with enhanced capability to edit and present them in the right format. The system comes with tools to create, edit, and even collaborate with specific people to reduce inaccuracies. For example, most document management systems come with version control, editing, and tracking capabilities.

Today, having a good DMS is an essential requirement if you want to keep your documents secure, free from interference, and make access convenient. Remember to check the document management system’s capabilities and features before picking it for private use.

How to Find the Right Document Management System for Your Company?

How to Find the Right Document Management System for Your Company?

In today's digital world, one of the most important tools for your company is a document management system (DMS). It makes it easy to securely store documents and access from any location by authorized people. With a good document management system, searching a document should only take seconds. Indeed, your customer support can pull out an array of documents as a client waits for a reply on a chat.

To enjoy more benefits that come with document management systems, first things first: you need to select the right software. So how do you go about it? Here is a detailed guide on how to select a good document management system for your company.

Establish Your Document Management Needs

Just like other types of programs, the first step to selecting a good DMS is determining own needs. You can only purchase the right tool if you know the problem at hand. Take a moment to evaluate the document management needs for your organization and then make a list of issues that the system needs to address. Here are some tips to help:

· Engage your employees to know the best solution that will work for them.

· Factor your company's projected growth. The selected DMS should effortlessly cater to the growth needs.

· Do you need to integrate the DMS with other online applications?

Here, the secret is looking at your organization holistically so that the selected DMS will cater for all its document management needs. You might also want to check at the DMS models that are used by top firms.

Only Pick a DMS from the Right Vendor

There is no shortcut on this: the seller you pick can make or break your experience. Therefore, you need to do your research well to identify reputable vendors to buy from. This can be tricky. You should avoid any vendor who promises one-fits-all type of software, or offers unbelievably low prices. Instead, here is what to look in a vendor:

· Should have years of proven experience offering document management systems.

· Past clients should have good feedback about the vendor. If there is a lot of negative feedback, please walk away because there is a danger of getting disappointed too.

· The vendor should provide assurance of regular updates with his software. This is critical for keeping your documents secure.

· The vendor should be a legit entity. This means that his firm follows strict protocols when dealing with clients and working with him comes with legal responsibilities such as security and backup that he must meet on his end.

Go for a DMS with a Straightforward Interface

When you install a DMS for your company, the goal is simplifying document capture, storage, and access. Therefore, it should have a good user interface that staff can easily use to navigate through. For example, a customer support staff replying to a customer query on the phone should be able to retrieve documents under consideration in seconds and give professional replies immediately.

Even if the document management system might still need some training to get your staff acquainted with it, it should be simple enough to use, diagnose, and guarantee top performance.

Go for a DMS Designed with Rich Features

What a document management system can do is mainly dependent on the embedded features. As such, you should comprehensively discuss with the seller about the technical specifications of the software. Here are some of the features to look for in a document management system:

· Scanning features that make it compatible with different scanners.

· Search features that make it easy to look and pull out documents.

· Integration features that allow you to link the program with other programs such as client management software.

· File structure features that provide an easy-to-use cabinet drawer approach for your staff.

· Administrative control features that allow you to limit access to authorized personnel.

When you set off looking for a document management system, the goal is identifying a reliable and secure program based on your company’s needs. Make sure to think ahead and look for a system that will cater to the business's growth needs.

What are the Features of a Document Management System?

What are the Features of a Document Management System?

Today’s companies are faced by more challenges than any other moment in the past. Dealing with a lot of documents, some originating from varying departments and others requiring handling by different users, can be complicated. If you think of using paper documents, it is a big NO since it’s expensive, wasteful, insecure, and inconvenient. This is why you need to have a Document management system (DMS).

DMS is a software solution for managing documents – creation, storing, editing, organizing, and accessing. It makes it easy to streamline your document capture and storage, including those that require harmonized flow and action by different users. You see, document management software is at the heart of enhancing the efficiency of your company operations. You can only avoid it at own peril!

To get more from a DMS, you need to get the model designed to meet your needs. Here, we are going to look at the specific features of a document management system that you should look for:

Document Storage

This feature is crucial for your DMS because it archives your documents in a vault for easy storage, retrieval, and sharing. The system should also have a bulk upload system that allows you to upload a lot of documents. With centralized document storage, accessibility is easy and fast - only a few clicks away.

User Dashboard (UI)

A UI is perhaps the most important component of a DMS because it provides you with access to the system and documents stored there. Further, it allows you to use other features of the software. The UI should be intuitive and allow users to do various actions such as pulling out documents with ease. A good UI should have multiple features, including the following:

  • Reporting dashboard.
  • Alerts and notifications.
  • Workflow inbox.
  • Document inbox.
  • Follow-ups.
  • Inbuilt calendar and SMS.

Security and Access Control

As a company, most of the documents that your company generates are only meant for specific users. Therefore, the right DMS should have good security and access control through role-based permissions for file entry. In some cases, it is possible to restrict IP addresses. This means that only the targeted users are granted the right to open, view, or modify specific files.

Version Control

When processing documents, especially those that need to undergo modifications, a document management system allows you to easily see all the copies without maintaining different versions. Indeed, some DMS come with alert systems that show you the latest version of the document in the system. To make sure you will always act on time, a DMS might also alert you when a document requiring your attention lands on your desk.

Indexing and Classification Features

When you procure a document management system, one of the expectations is that it should make document retrieval easy. To achieve this, a good DMS should have clear indexing and classification features. This allows you to categorize documents for easy access. A common method of classification is giving every document an identifier number so that each of them will always be unique. Further, the documents can be classified based on departments or time.

Audit Trail

Audit trail refers to the location of the document in its lifecycle. This feature allows users to pullout detailed reports of documents being worked on by different people in your company. The feature comes in handy when you want to know when a document was accessed, the nature of action taken, and checking comments made by the user.

When selecting a document management system, you should target the design that comes with rich features such as the ones we have listed above. But, the list is endless. You should also check for PDF editor, mobile apps, and file synchronization features. The more the features, the better!

Explanation of Document Processing Features of Document Management Systems

Explanation of Document Processing Features of Document Management Systems

A document management system (DMS) is a software-based solution that simplifies capturing, storing, retrieving, and security of documents. You will never again have to take hours searching for a document or risk losing them. To help grasp the applications of DMS and select the best for your organization, here are the key processing features and how they operate.

  • Version Management

Version management, also known as version control feature, is designed to help track and control changes to related entries in a DMS. It is one of the most used features for tracing and controlling changes made in DMS.

  • File-Type Conversion

As the name suggests, this feature is used for converting files to different formats. If that document stored in the DMS is in .dox format, you can easily convert it to other desirable formats such as PDF or .doc.

  • Universal Format Support

This is a file format that was designed by the Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDC) for standardizing transfer of data, especially between computer-aided test (CAT) software and computer aided design (CAD) software.

  • Workflow Individualization

Workflow individualization feature is used to streamline components of specific office systems by removing unnecessary tasks while automating the remaining ones. It is preferred in DMS for creating a single environment for managing complexities of multiple office automation.

  • Workflow Automation

Workflow automation feature in a document management system is the design, implementation, and automation of organization operations based on pre-defined rules.

  • Document Input (Scanner, Mail, Manual, Upload)

To use any document management system, the first step is capturing the documents under consideration. The document input is used to add your documents to the DMS. Some of the methods used for document input include scanner, mail, direct upload, and manual addition.

  • Document Storage

Once your data is captured in a document management system, it needs to be stored securely. Storage includes managing these documents, where they are kept, and hierarchical migration.

  • Document Archiving

This is a process where documents in a DMS are kept over long periods. Some of the reasons for archiving might be legal compliance or when information in the documents is likely to be used again.

  • Process Management

This feature is used for managing how you store, manage, and track the documents stored in the electronic format.

  • Optical Character Recognition

This feature is used for recognizing and converting handwritten, typed, or printed text into machine-encoded texts.

  • Indexing

This feature is used for associating the information with a specific file for searching and retrieval purposes.

  • Revise Documents

This feature is used to allow authorized people to access and revise documents in a management system using inbuilt documents editors.

  • Inbuilt Document Editors

This is one of the most important features in a DMS because it allows modifying documents by editing their content.

  • Online Forms / Forms Management

This feature is used for managing, distributing, completing, and processing forms in a paperless manner. An office in your organization can approve a document and pass to the next stage for further action in an electronic form.

  • Electronic Signature

An electronic signature is a feature used in document management to allow you to digitally sign documents.

Explanation of Collaboration Features of Document Management Systems

Explanation of Collaboration Features of Document Management Systems

One of the goals of installing document management systems is to make collaboration between different people in an organization seamless. The following are common features that are used for such collaboration.

  • Forward, Move, Share Documents

When working on active documents that need action from different people in an organization, each needs to have his/her turn with them. For example, a tender document might originate from the general manager's office, but require input and approvals from accounts, legal, and chief executive officer's offices. To make this easy, here are features that can be used for collaboration:

i) Forward or Move documents: This means pushing the documents that you have worked on to the next office. You can forward or simply move it to one person or multiple persons in the organization.

ii) Share documents: Another method of collaboration is sharing the documents with the targeted persons. This method is preferred because several people can work on the same document simultaneously.

  • Collaboration / Chat

Collaboration is a continuous process, right? So when you work on a tender document for supplies to the production unit and the accounts office want a clarification, the person in charge does not have to send back the document. Instead, he can use the collaboration features on the document management system to engage with different parties.

The collaboration tools such as chat allow for instant communication between different officers in an organization. Notably, the chat is not just used when working on documents, but also for wider consultations on other areas. See, no need to leave your office to talk to other officers. You could even chat with different people in the organization.

  • Task Management

When working in an organization, success can only be possible if you are properly organized. One of the best methods of achieving this is using the document management system to manage different tasks.

Depending on the DMS you have, it might be possible to schedule your work for more effective management. For example, you can queue the documents to work on in order of priority. You can also set the DMS to send signals when a document is taking too long in your stage.

  • Time Tracking

When running an organization, everything is set to run in a specific manner. For example, documents that are worked on every day have to originate somewhere and then flow through different departments getting approved or modified. For an organization that is dealing with different documents - from invoices to applications, the management can know where different documents have reached using time tracking.

Another use of time tracking is checking how documents are flowing to gauge the effectiveness of different employees. This means it is an important tool for evaluation to gauge the overall productivity of staff.

If a supplier calls enquiring whether the invoice has been cleared, the customer support will be able to check on DMS and say it has reached the accounts office and could be cleared in the next couple of days. This is only possible through time tracking.

No matter the type of document management system that you use, it is prudent to ensure it has strong collaboration features, including the time tracking, task management, chat, and document sharing.

Explanation of Availability Features of Document Management Systems

Explanation of Availability Features of Document Management Systems

Any good document management system should make it easy for staff in your organization to access different documents. If you have teams working from different locations, they should be able to access the documents and run different tasks. So, which are the different availability features in document management systems?

  • Offline Access

As the name suggests, offline access means that you can access documents when not connected to the internet or without WiFi connection. The method is mainly preferred because it allows you to work without worrying of data loss in case of network failure. Further, the risk of file integrity is low because you are not operating on the internet.

  • Own cloud / On Premise (Opposite of Cloud)

If you have a small organization or do not have branches in different locations, own cloud or on premise document storage and access would be preferable. When using own cloud, you can give different employees varying levels of permissions. For example, some staff such as customer care support employees can be given read-only permission while others at the higher managerial level can be allowed to modify the documents.

  • Reduced Physical Storage

Your company handles a lot of documents every day, from invoices to staff records. If you pool all the documents together for a couple of months and then years, storing those documents can be herculean. Online storage, such as cloud, is preferred for helping to reduce physical storage.

When selecting a document management system, it is advisable to go for the model that offers optimal storage space. It should also have a method of increasing storage if the need to store more documents arises.

  • Cloud Access

Cloud document storage and access is considered the ideal solution for document management systems. It is particularly recommended for organizations with people who need access to documents via multiple locations. For example, if your organization has branches in New York, New Jersey, and Miami, Cloud Access makes it easy for all members to operate in harmony. For example, all people can share, edit, and work on documents in real-time, just like people who are in the same office. Cloud access comes with unique benefits, including:

a) Easier collaboration between teams.

b) Faster scalability.

c) Synchronization is simpler.

d) Document access is easy and cheap.

  • Remote Document Access

Remote file access is pretty what the name suggests: being able to access, share, and work on files from anywhere. The system uses the internet to make files accessible to users on their laptops, desktops, and smartphones.

One of the most popular remote document access systems is the use of virtual private networks (VPNs). VPNs are preferred because they help to provide employees with better privacy when working online. Other methods of remote document access include desktop sharing, privileged access management, and vendor privileged access management.

When selecting a document management system, it is prudent to think about the documents availability and access. Go for the system that allows you to store more documents and also makes access, whether offline or remotely, easy.

Explanation of User Experience Features of Document Management Systems

Explanation of User Experience Features of Document Management Systems

After installing a document management system (DMS), you want to enjoy every minute using it. This means that accessing, sharing, and other file management operations should be seamless. So here is the explanation of the main user experience features of a DMS.

  • Drag & Drop

To make using document management systems easy, your staff should be able to add more documents to the system easily. Drag and drop is a user experience feature that allows you to easily add documents into the DMS repository. You simply need to have the document ready in a place such as desktop or my documents of your computer. Then, using your mouse, drag it and drop to the targeted point.

  • Gamification

Gamification borrows from video games operations where teams handle virtual challenges and contests together. Gamification is used by adding features that encourage and promote collaborations when working on documents. Individually, you can work on a good document, but when you collaborate as a team, the results will be awe-inspiring. Gamification can be applied in many parts and components of document management systems, including chats, emails, sharing, among others. You could even set rewards for good team players.

  • Document Automation/Assembly

This is a design of organization workflows for creating electronic documents. It can be a logic-based system that utilizes segments of pre-defined data to define new documents. With automated document automation, your organization can enjoy the following benefits:

a) Minimized data entry.

b) Reducing the time needed to proofread documents.

c) Reducing human error related risks.

d) Helps to save time and cost from reduced paper handling.

  • Search

Any document management system should come with simplified search capabilities. Search helps employees to easily identify individual records, whether for read-only purposes or other actions.

  • Customer Service

Like other types of software, it is not uncommon to have issues develop when using the document management system. Customer service is provided by the software developer to help users in case they get stuck or do not understand a component of DMS.

  • Onboarding Features

Onboarding are features designed to help new document management system users get used to it. These may include guides, tutorials, and videos showing how to use various components of the system.

  • User Interface Customization

Just like an email, the document management system's user interface can also allow for customization. This means you can set the UI to optimize your work. For example, a customer care staff can bookmark the search portal that she uses most of the time to pull documents and answer clients' questions.

  • Supports multiple languages

Having multiple language capability is crucial when dealing with people from diverse backgrounds. For example, if your enterprise is in tourism and handles data or deals with clients from various nationalities, it is prudent to have a system that allows users to select the preferred language. Make sure to set the languages based on targeted users.

  • Bulk Document Upload

Bulk document upload is used when you have many documents to add to the document management system. By using this feature, you use less time to upload the documents into the system.

  • Document content and meta data search

Document content and Meta data search are used to identify stored documents based on the information they contain. The common method used for document content and Meta data search is keywords, Meta tags, and descriptions.

Explanation of Security Features of Document Management Systems

Explanation of Security Features of Document Management Systems

One thing you must get right when working with document management systems (DMS) is security. You want the assurance that all documents will be safe all the time. To achieve this, here are the main security features of a document management system.

  • Simple Updating Process

To keep your system secure, one of the simple yet effective methods is ensuring you have the latest updates. Updates come with the latest security components that help to keep your documents and system secure. A simple updating process should allow users to update to the latest version of the DMS.

  • Data rescue

Data rescue is a feature used for recovering data in the event of a loss. This feature is very important for recovering documents that might have been deleted accidentally. Therefore, you can always relax knowing that no document, including those deleted from the system accidentally, is out of reach.

  • Automated Backups

Automated backups are used in document management systems to ensure you will never forget to backup the data. You can set the system always to backup the documents at a specific time of the day or week.

  • Document Security

Document security is a method of storing and backing documents, and preventing undetected access, alteration, or use by unauthorized people. To achieve this, the documents can be converted to read-only modes or access limited to specific people.

  • User Access Management / Permissions

In any organization, different people have varying roles in daily operations. User access management is used to enhance the security of the documents by ensuring that only the authorized people are allowed to access documents. This access can further be broken into two. One, you can provide permission to specific staff to simply access the documents. For example, a customer support staff might be given permission to simply access and read the information in a company's document management system.

The second type of permission is where staff is allowed to access and modify documents. This type of permission is crucial, especially when you have documents that originate from one point and require modification along the way. A good example is a tender document that might require input from the accounts office, operations department, and CEO’s office.

  • Supports SSL

Today, there is no denying that online operations put data into serious risk. But the security of the documents will be greatly enhanced if the document management system supports SSL (secure sockets layer). This is a standard security technology that creates an encrypted link between a server and client.

  • Reporting / Analytics

Reporting and analytics are intelligent features that are designed to note actions, threats, or malicious codes in your system. Then, they report so that the management can act immediately to address it. For example, if the system detects a hacker trying to get unauthorized access, it will notify the management.

The analytics is also used for evaluating the document management system for security lapses. This means that you can easily analyze the security system of your documents management system with a view of identifying gaps or improving it. It might also be useful for decision making: Is it time to look for a more secure document management system?

Explanation of Compliance Features of Document Management Systems

Explanation of Compliance Features of Document Management Systems

One of the benefits of using document management systems is helping organizations to operate in compliance with the law. For example, regulatory regimes like FACTA, Sarbanes Oxley and HIPAA are very strict on data handling. So here are some of the features for compliance on document management systems.

  • Tracking Compliance

Tracking compliance feature in a document management system is used for tracking and managing documents. The focus is on keeping track of records of different versions of documents, including the modifications. For example, when you buy a used car, it is easy to track all the people who had bought and sold the vehicle using the documents in the registry. Tracking compliance is critical, especially when dealing with some industries such as health, finance, and security.

  • GDPR/DSGVO Compliant

GDPR/DSGVO compliant is a compliance feature relating to data privacy. GDPR/DSGVO is a data protection law in Europe that applies to any data that is collected from clients anywhere in the globe. The law provides for citizens control over their personal data so that it cannot be used without their consent.

Being GDPR/DSGVO compliant means that your organization engages in lawful and transparent data processing, does not handle data outside its legitimate purpose, and the details are correct. This might include the need for correction, deletion, and transfers of personal data. The feature also records every data breach.

  • Compliant document retention

If you are in the health, legal, or financial industries, compliant document retention is very important. This compliance is used to address the ever-looming identity theft problem and helps you to comply with the following laws:

a) HIPAA: This law was passed in 1996 and is used to regulate personal health details. It requires every organization to install in place systems to protect patients’ records.

b) FACTA: The Fairness and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) is a legal requirement for all businesses that they shred personal details before throwing them away.

c) Red Flag law is used together with FACTA to assist in identifying and curbing identity theft.

d) GRAMM-LEACH BLILEY ACT: This law was passed in 1999 and requires businesses in the financial niche to give their clients written privacy notices that detail their info-sharing practices.

The compliant document retention feature is so important because it can help your organization avoid incurring hefty fines for non-compliance to the above laws.

  • Archive Documents

Depending on the industry that your business is operating in, archiving documents might be necessary. For example, in the financial and legal niches, the law defines how you should store the documents. Using the archive documents, you can easily comply with different laws on how to store an accumulation of historical records. For example, what records about your employees do you maintain in the organization’s lifetime?

Before starting an organization, it is important to think how you will comply with different laws. Using the right document management system with the above compliance features is one of the best ways to operate legally and avoid conflict with the law.