Document management refers to the processes and resources required to organize, store, and retrieve documents and automate workflows within a company or organization. Documents can be in hardcopy or digital format and include contracts, forms, invoices, job applications, benefits enrolment information and many other records.
Keep reading to get more answers to what document management is including the key features of effective systems and how they work.
Importance of strong document management
On average, businesses without efficient document management processes waste around $20,000 due to document-related issues. In one survey, employees noted that they spent around 18 minutes on average looking for the documents or paperwork they needed to complete a task.
As part of a digital transformation, an effective document management system (DMS) lets employees organize files to:
- Ensure staff can find the documents they need immediately in real-time
- Protect security and confidentiality with access rights, encryption, and other modern safeguards
- Replace repetitive manual tasks with automated workflows
- Create more sustainable processes that aren’t reliant on paper
Key features of an effective document management system
Making document management work for the benefit of your business requires a truly effective DMS system. Simply scanning everything from your filing cabinet to your Google drive only moves the same problems from paper to digital files. Instead, consider looking for document management software that supports important functionality such as that below.
- Indexing for powerful search
Document management solutions let you index and categorize business documents so they are easier to find. First, figure out what matters to your organization. Do you want to be able to pull up all documents related to a certain date or customer number? Will you ever need to find documents of a certain type? These are all examples of potential index fields you can create for maximum searchability. Document management should also enable keyword and full text searches.
The most robust DMS systems enable you to automate indexing so your staff does not have to manually tag every item. For example, if a medical supplier receives a batch of doctor’s orders from Dr. Smith, those orders can be indexed automatically with, for example, the date, document type “doctor’s orders” and Dr. Smith’s information. In the future, staff can easily pull up those documents by searching any of the related index terms.
- Automated workflow
Digital workflows create a logical process flow, assign tasks, and appoint substitutes in case an employee is not available. Workflow management also specifies which processes start a workflow; for example, storing an incoming invoice or other documents.
Certain deadlines or a change in the status of a document in the document management system can also kick off workflows. A workflow management system controls and monitors workflows so that managers and employees can see each step in a process. Workflows that are good candidates to begin with often contain numerous, recurring tasks and steps that can be defined easily.
Employee records management, invoice processing and contract management are great places to start because automating them will result in high productivity increases and measurable cost savings. For example, automated workflow integrated with HR software can check whether documents, such as employment contracts, performance reviews and other important documents, have been correctly forwarded, completed, signed, and saved.
- Integration capabilities with RPA
You can get even more value from your document management software if you integrate it with other software, you already use. EZOFIS by Quantic Solutions has been successfully integrated with 500+ different applications using EZBOT RPA. For example, you can transfer invoice processing data from the document management system to Sage, QuickBooks, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, and other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
Digital records, forms and workflows can also be used by your human resources management and payroll systems. And with email integration, you are no longer working on projects from your inbox which leads to long, frustrating searches for information. Emails and attachments can be indexed and stored in the correct project file directly from your inbox.
Find out more about EZOFIS document management capabilities. Check out our guide to creating a paperless office in just 90 days and reach out today to schedule a demo and learn more about why EZOFIS is right for your company. Write to us at email@example.com for a free demo today.