How To Create An Efficient Document Management System

Document Management System
Humans have been storing records for all mediums and formats for many years. The earliest records keeping can be traced back to ancient civilizations when people recorded childbirth, law, money tax, and more. However, the practice of keeping records has changed significantly over the years.

Technological advancement has played a huge role in revolutionizing the process of record keeping. New methods and formats for keeping and managing documents have been introduced in the modern era, but new security threats come with them. However, there is always room for improvement within the modern document management system (DMS).

The following article gives a quick rundown of what you need to know about document management systems. You'll learn what DMS is, how you can develop an efficient system to improve your workflow, and more. Keep reading.

What Is A Document Management System?

Document management refers to handling documents in such a way that the information can be stored, shared, and retrieved efficiently and appropriately for optimum utilization. It ensures the data is available whenever needed, improving your production line.

On the other hand, DMS refers to software that helps business owners classify, organize, and manage a firm's data in a secure and easily accessible method. As a business owner, most likely, you're dealing with high-stakes information that needs to be protected and easily accessible to improve your competitive advantage. For this reason, developing an efficient DMS will go a long way in ensuring you maintain an upper hand in this competitive marketplace.

Why Is Document Management So Important?

Before you learn how to develop an efficient system, it's crucial to understand its benefits. Some of the benefits include:
  • Improves Workflows

Gone are the days when you had to go through a wide range of documents before you could access the necessary document. It led to a wastage of valuable time, affecting your workflow. The document management software is a centralized repository making it easier for team members to access and share documents. The easy-to-use document saves them a considerable amount of time, which they can utilize in core business activities.
  • Security

Illegal access to sensitive data can affect your competitive advantage and may lead to fines and convictions in case of lawsuits. Traditional document keeping exposes your business data to theft and other manipulation.

With DMS, you can easily protect your data from unauthorized access, improving your data integrity. Modern solutions such as cloud computing and multi-factor authentication play a huge role in protecting your business data. Before implementing a DMS into your workflow, ensure you understand its security measures.
  • Better Backup

Over the years, many companies have lost important documents due to natural calamities, theft, and more. The loss of such sensitive documents will affect your production line and might damage your reputation.

DMS has features such as cloud services, archiving, and digitization, which provide better backup and recovery plans. It guarantees you can still access your document in case of any unprecedented occurrence.

Document Management System
How To Develop An Optimized Document Management System?

You might consider the following factors to ensure you develop an efficient DMS and they include:

1. Determine Your Needs

Although installing a DMS is certainly an initial step in the right direction, a poorly managed system may lead to several issues. Thus, to develop an efficient system, it's necessary to understand your needs and the issues you're experiencing with your current system. It's easier to take on such a project knowing what you want to achieve and why. Some of the common DMS needs and issues include:
  • Legal And Regulatory Noncompliance

When handling business and customer documents, there are several rules and regulations you should adhere to. Failure to comply with these rules may lead to convictions and fines. If your current DMS doesn't simplify the process of regulatory compliance, it's time to update your system to bring new additions and features to the information management legislature.
  • Security Risks

If you don't have a well-documented and adhered-to-system, your company is at a higher risk of manipulation and other related threats. Common security risks include inventory overloads, ignorance, lack of skills, and more. Conduct regular audits to determine the security level of your system.

You can hire an IT consultant to minimize security risks, conduct team member screening, 24-hour surveillance, cloud computing, and others. Although most of these security measures have a higher upfront cost, they might save you some bucks in the long run.

2. Entitle A Document Management team

It's another step you should take when developing your DMS. It might be hard to manage all the documentation and associated processes in your production line as a business owner. Setting up a team will ensure that you have enough time to focus on other important things such as administration and creating accountability, guaranteeing the project gets done.

The team members can:
  • Examine your current process- 

The team will conduct an extensive audit to determine your current documentation process. This crucial information will give you a clear idea of the direction you need to take when creating your optimized document management system.

An effective audit of your current process should study the existing document management elements. Pay close attention to how a document is created, shared, secured, stored, and deleted. These document touchpoints will help you understand where things are running smoothly and when you might need to make adjustments.
  • Create An inventory Of Your Current Documents- 

As you're examining your documentation process, it's also important to understand what documents are supporting your business. The team will go through all the documents in your organization, determining whose responsibility they are and how they can be categorized in your DMS. This will help you determine your current paper and digital documentation and how you can reduce your paper documentation, improving workflow efficiency.

3. Train Your Team Members

It's another way you can utilize to ensure you develop an efficient system. You can either offer in-house training or hire a third-party provider to train your workforce. However, it would be best to choose a service provider offering training programs, either free of charge or at a fee.

Training your team members will ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills and know-how to utilize the system, improving your productivity. A skilled workforce will adhere to the set rules and regulations, improving your public image.

Bottom Line

DMS will go a long way in improving your workflow efficiency. Conduct extensive research to understand your needs and how DMS integration can help improve collaboration and productivity in your business.