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Important Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Document Management System

Posted on: April 18th, 2014 by Walid Abou-Halloun
Categories: Business and SharePoint. Tags: Business Processes, DMS, and Document Management System.

Important Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Document Management System

Did you know that 7.5% of all documents in an organization get lost? That’s right! They just… disappear. The right Document Management System will prevent your staff from losing, misfiling, overwriting or accidentally deleting files – but how do you know which online data storage system is the right one?

What is a Document Management System?

A Document Management System (or DMS) is a computer system and software that allows you to store, manage and track electronic documents and images of paper-based data captured via a document scanner.
A DMS enables you to store any type of document, quickly search for needed information and to easily share information between staff members.

Why do I need a Document Management System?

According to Gartner Group and Laserfiche, 7.5% of all documents in an organisation get lost. Additionally, most company documents are shuffled so that employees spend a lot of time just looking for a file. Ironically, employees spend only 5 to 15% of their time reading the information that they need.
A DMS can give you back those hundreds of wasted hours spent in distributing paper files and looking for required information that gets lost in the shuffle. Online cloud storage through a DMS is your best solution to get your workplace efficient.

So what do you need to know before you head out to install a DMS into your office? Here we give you the run down…

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Document Management System

  • The DMS should be able to capture different file types
    When Microsoft introduced the docx format for MS Word, some document management systems could not recognize this basic format. Such systems became a nuisance to businesses that owned them as their DMS became limited.
    You need to make sure that your DMS is capable of capturing a variety of file types and is regularly updated by the developer.
  • A good DMS can automatically identify Metadata
    Metadata is a heading or title that provides a short description of the scanned document. A good DMS can automatically store metadata in its database. This will allow employees to retrieve specific documents by searching for the keywords indicated in the Metadata. This will help save hours of looking for specific paper files.
  • Make sure no legal problems will result from using a DMS
    The use of documents by a Document Management System is regulated. You can use validation and quality endorsed applications to distribute any copy of an original document. As a security measure, you can also circulate read-only content, wherever applicable. This will limit access to other users.

    In order to avoid costly litigation, you should review rules set by the Records Management Association of Australia (RMAA). For free legal assistance, Australian companies can go to the National Archives of Australia.

  • Be sure that your employees are trustworthy
    All your employees should be made aware of legal policies on how to manage sensitive documents. They should understand procedures on how they should handle critical information made available to them via online storage. Ensure that your instructions are simple enough to understand.
  • Provide Training
    This may seem like common sense but many managers overlook the importance of training their staff to use the various automated functions of the DMS. As a result, they have a very efficient platform but nobody is able to use it. Experts believe that failure to implement large scale document management systems is the result of users’ lack of training.
  • Link your records to your business processes
    The main purpose of a DMS is to make your business process more efficient by enabling users to access the required document when needed. Setting up files so that they follow the natural flow of your work practices will ensure you get the most out of your DMS.
  • A periodic review of your storage should be conducted
    Another purpose for maintaining a DMS is storage of your data. However, there will come a time when you will have to reduce what is stored in your system. You need to conduct a periodic review of your storage capacity.

    You need to decide what information should be stored and what should be archived. In some situations you may decide to destroy documents. Schedule in a regular review of your DMS, once a year.

A DMS can help you organize and manage internal and external flow of information efficiently. Having a DMS enables you to free up space in your office because it gives you online file storage and it provides you a channel for secure online file sharing.
If you need more information on Document Management Systems, contact Complete Cloud today. At Complete Cloud, we provide best online storage, cloud backup, as well as a host of other IT services.

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