The Business Dictionary defines document management as the control and coordination of all the processes involved in the flow of paper and electronic documents to ensure that the authorized personnel has a secure and efficient access to the documents whenever the need arises. The processes involved in the flow of a document include document capture, storage, indexing, routing, distribution, and retrieval.
So, what is document management? In the most basic terms, document management is how a company organizes, stores, tracks, and manages its documents in either paper or electronic format.
Every company or organization has some form of document management that involves capturing, storing, and retrieving documents in its day to day operations. The problem is that the process is often time consuming for most organizations and hardly given the attention it deserves. This is why it is imperative to have an efficient document management system in place for a time-saving management of your company’s documents. Today’s document management systems rely on computer systems or cloud software to store and manage electronic documents.
What are Document Management Systems and How are They Used?
Document management systems are used to capture and organize all types of documents into an electronic form that is easy to find and retrieve when needed. A document in this case, as defined by the ISO 12651-2, is any recorded object or information that is considered a unit of data. A paper document, such as an invoice, is first scanned and integrated into the document management system in electronic format for future retrieval.
The document is then indexed by categories such as department, order number, vendor, or any other identifiable concept relevant to your business. Unlike the traditional file cabinet folders, a document management system stores documents in an electronic format that is easier to be accessed by authorized personnel and customers.
With one secure central electronic repository, such as cloud document storage and management software provided by Folderit, you no longer have to suffer the constant headache of searching for lost or hard to find documents. You can now easily search and retrieve any document in your organization in a matter of seconds. Fast retrieval of documents enhances productivity by shifting focus from searching for a hard to find document to solving the problem at hand.
Key Components of a Document Management System
The key components of a document management system include document capture, storage, metadata, versioning, security, indexing, and retrieval features.
Let’s take a quick look at each of them:
Each document is usually stored along with its metadata, such as the date of storage and the identity of the person storing the document. The system can take metadata or request the user to provide metadata. At Folderit, you can add a wide range of metadata including tags, notes, signers, data or due date, and much more to help keep your documents well organized and easy to access. You can even add your preferred data fields.
Capture in document management refers to the processing of paper documents through scanning to enable storage in electronic format. Some systems use optical character recognition software (OCR) to convert digital images into readable text. Capture also involves accepting documents in electronic format and other computer-based files into the system.
Indexing helps to track electronic documents stored in the system. It can be as simple as tracking document identifiers throughout the system or as complex as providing a specific classification for each document based on metadata or word indexes taken from the content of each document. Indexing is an important component of a document management system. It helps to make the retrieval process faster, efficient, and more accurate.
Storage is all about how the document is stored in a central repository for later retrieval. Storage includes specific locations where each document is stored within the system, how long it is stored, migration of documents through different storage media, and the eventual destruction of a document.
Retrieval is a key element of every document management system. It is all about how a document is retrieved from the central storage. It is a complex process that regulates permissions and access to each document. It allows users to access documents by identifying unique identifiers of the document, such as metadata and specific search terms.
Versioning is basically a process through which a document is checked in or out of the system, giving users access to current or previous versions of the document. Documents change or are updated over time, which is where versioning comes in to ensure users can still access previous copies as reference. Folderit provides better and easier version control of your documents. You can upload a new version of any document stored in the system while still preserving the earlier version and existing metadata. The system’s highly efficient check-in and check-out feature allows you to even lock access to a document by other users when you are editing it.
Searching allows users to find specific documents and folders using template attributes or via a full-text search. Folderit has a powerful search that allows you to search for any document stored in the system via a wide range of attributes including the document’s title and other metadata such as tags and signers.
Sharing or Distribution of Documents
An efficient document management system such as Folderit allows the regulated sharing and distribution of documents, sections of documents, folders, or even the entire account with any authorized person. The system has “View” permissions where the user can only see the document and “Edit” permissions where the user is allowed to edit metadata.
The importance of document security is vital in any document management system. With the emergence of advanced security threats such as the crypto-ransom malware, it is now mandatory to ensure that your documents are stored in a safe and secure central repository.
So what is document management security? A good example of document management security can be seen at Folderit where your documents and the information that they carry are 256-bit AES encrypted in the cloud for safer storage. They are also sent through a secure SSL connection.
What is Document Management Back Up?
Backing up your documents is an important component of any document management system. Without a backup, your business may end up with huge losses in the unfortunate event of a hacker or virus attack or even fire or a natural disaster that can completely damage all your existing files. Folderit keeps all your documents safely stored in a secure cloud. However, if you want to, you can download individual files or even the whole account and save the documents in your hard drive as local backup. You’ll still retain your copies of documents stored in the cloud.
The Best Cloud Document Management System for Small and Medium Businesses
As demonstrated above, document management is a complex task, especially for small and medium businesses. Folderit provides affordable and highly efficient cloud document management system software that small businesses can use to store, share, and manage the flow of important documents among employees and customers. It is a cloud document management system that’s extremely easy to use.
Using a document management system (DMS), also called document management software, is becoming increasingly popular in the business sector for several good reasons!
Document management involves the use of a computer system and software for the purpose of storing, organizing, tracking, and handling electronically-created information and media.
The information may have been created through a computer or mobile device, or it may have been converted from paper copies to digital format by use of a document scanner or simply by taking a photo of the document, even with your phone’s camera. Regardless of its origin, one thing is certain: its owner wants to ensure that is will be safe and easy-to-use in the future. Not only for the owner, but that it is also made accessible to all the relevant people, with right permissions assigned to each of them.
Traditionally, attempts at “document management” began in a tall, bulky filing cabinet in the corner of the office. As the business grew, the collection of filing cabinets grew as well – as did the potential for chaos and compromise. Documents that needed to be shared with colleagues or clients had to be manually retrieved and then re-filed, running up personnel hours and inflating the payroll.
However, an efficient electronic document management software (like Folderit!) makes your data secure, easily-accessible, findable, and adaptable. It gives you features like approval workflows, reminders and lets you add metadata to files that have little hope to be found, put in context or understood at all without it. Thanks for stopping by today. While you’re here, why not learn more about our special management features? You can begin by registering for free!