Not only does document management software offer a better way to store, sort, search and access records, it allows administrators to restrict certain files by permissions, ensuring only those who require access to those documents have it. Additionally, files can be repeatedly edited and updated. Most applications have a versioning feature so users can track the changes that have occurred throughout the life cycle of a document.
Bringing your business into the 21st century and digitizing your paper records might seem like a gargantuan task. With document management software, not only is it manageable, but it could vastly improve how your business operates. With most applications, you scan paper documents into digital versions, which are then stored on the platform. The best programs improve your team’s ability to collaborate remotely and around the clock.
When choosing a document management system, it’s important to know what you need. Are you looking for a digital archive that can be periodically updated, or do you require software that enables daily creation and editing of new documents? Do you prefer a locally hosted, on-premises solution, or do you prefer a cloud-based solution managed by your vendor partner or a third-party?
Document management systems offer tools to help you create and manage a paperless office. Rather than using multiple programs to handle the various stages of a paperless workflow, the software delivers all the functionality you need in a single interface.
Most applications include imaging tools that interface with your scanner, enabling you to scan and import documents directly into a central document repository. Many software programs include customizable document-creation templates and associated tools that automatically format newly scanned files to match formatting standards for your office or to comply with industry standards.
In addition to scanning paper documents, many systems let you import most types of digital documents: PDFs, word processing files, spreadsheets, image files and many other file formats. Once a document is imported into the system, it’s stored in a data repository that can be made accessible to others in your office and, in many cases, individuals outside your office.
The best software gives you the ability to grant access to individuals to specific documents in the repository as needed. With many applications, you store your documents in the cloud, allowing individuals with permission to access any file from anywhere in the world using a web browser and an internet connection.
Document management software can also provide an array of collaboration and workflow automation tools that make it easy to create, edit, review, and approve any and all documents necessary to keep your business running smoothly.