Some Considerations Before Choosing Document Management Software

Cordage Team
Mar 27, 2020

A document management system is an electronic system that helps you create files, feed data in the files, and store and organize these files on a digital system. These digital systems can be a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or even a mobile phone. An organization needs to capture, automate classification, and reduce manual sorting and processing. They need to securely distribute and access control to company documents.

Are you planning to use Document Management Software as part of your Quality Management System?

This isn’t ‘one size fits all’ solution

While there are abundant benefits to choosing to switch to a Document Management Software, you need to select one very carefully. Not all can suit the processes and employees of your business, and thus, the purchase of one requires a bit of homework.

Size of the company

If you have many employees, all of whom will need to access the Document Management Software, you need to select one that can not just handle a large amount of data but also has space for a large number of users. Every one of your employees needs to be able to access the software without glitches, so look for a Document Management Software that offers good storage.

Technical skills of your employees

Not everyone is equally comfortable with using technology at work. This is why you need to keep in mind the overall technical skills of all your employees. A good way to deal with this issue is by selecting a Document Management Software that has a simple and straightforward user interface. A confusing UI frustrates employees, making everyday work in the office very tough.

The industry you operate in

The industry you operate in matters a lot when you are considering switching to a document management software. There are some industries that cannot take the risk of human errors that come with manual entries or unauthorized personnel accessing sensitive data. You also cannot afford to put the data at risk of robbery, damage via natural disasters, or mismanagement of paperwork when it comes to document control and regulation compliance. This is especially true for companies operating in Manufacturing, Automotive Industry, and Pharmaceutical.

Essential features

Workflow automation

The entire point of introducing a digital or cloud-based document management software is to allow you to become agile and efficient. Challenges with access to documents account for 21.3% loss in productivity. The document management software should be able to fit easily in your processes and channels. It will allow you to automate the flow of information from not just top to bottom but also bottom-up and to several different horizontal and vertical channels. More or less, it should allow you to automate the process of Document Approval, Notification Escalation, and ID generation.

Distribution control

Not all information can be shared with all your employees. While some employees can be offered read-only access, higher-level employees might need access to edit files or even create new ones. This is why you need a Document Management System that has administrative control. You, as the owner of the account, should be able to change permissions for every user using the management system. This way, you give different types of access permissions to only those employees that need specific access. This enhances the security of your data as well.

Print management

Establishing the number of printed copies is essential. A document management software will more or less make sure that you do not need numerous printed copies of any file. Everything will be maintained in digital file formats, and all documents will be protected with watermarks. This will allow you to identify any duplicate content.

Version control

Maintaining data on paper can reduce visibility into all records to a large extent. You cannot have complete control over what information is being accessed, what is being duplicated, what is being edited, changed, or updated, and who is accessing said information. A digital document management software tracks all changes and evolution in the files and allows you complete visibility on the distribution and access list of the data.

Compliance

Depending upon the industry of your operations, you will need to comply with some state, country, and international compliance regulations and policies. Businesses should make sure that the document management software that they choose to incorporate into the processes of their daily operations should comply with regulations like CFR 21 Part 11. This allows you to complete document control and allows you to regulate and strictly adhere to policies and regulations.

Integrations

It is not necessary that all domains of your workplace are not built upon digital technologies. You must be using other technologies for communication, scheduling, project management, and more. When you plan on bringing a Document Management Software into the processes as well, you need to make sure that you are choosing one that fully integrates with all existing technologies. This ensures that you and your employees do not have to keep switching between multiple apps and technologies to complete a single task.

Not essential but important

File support – The data you store can be in numerous file formats. You need to make sure that the document management software you are using has a viewer for the file extensions you use, such as Video, 3D Models, Audio, Docx, PDF, Word, JPEG, PNG, and so on.

Whitelabel – Check if the document management software you choose has the ability to create brand affinity inside your organization.

Critical features

Security

You need to look for a Document Management System that can provide you effective damage and disaster control. Look for management systems that offer backups on a long-term basis. It should also be able to protect itself from numerous phishing attacks, malware, and so on. Systems with two-factor authentication and firewalls are a good option to look into if the security of data is your top concern.

Configurability

To get all your issues handled and fixed, you need to go for a Document Management System whose vendor offers 24×7 support. Also, make sure that you choose a software that allows you hands-on configuration features that you can implement yourself.

Some risks

Lack of preparation

Digital transformation in the shape of a Document Management Software is crucial with changing times. While making the right choice can be a challenge, if you put in a little effort, do your homework, ask for references, and sit for product demos before you purchase the product, you can choose a Document Management System that works best for all your employees.

Hidden costs

There are many vendors in the market that offer services at hiked prices. If you particularly like a vendor but are finding their pricing plans to be beyond your budget, ask them why they have priced their product at such a rate. Make sure they are able to justify their prices. Also, make space for any hidden costs that may creep up.

The total cost of ownership

Take your complete budget into consideration. The initial cost of implementation of the document management software can be high, but the subsequent usage and management costs are relatively low. However, you need to make sure that you are covered from every side and are not suddenly faced with the dilemma of not wanting to trust a vendor with your sensitive data.

FAQs

What is Document Management Software?

A document management system is an electronic system that helps you create files, feed data in the files, and store and organize these files on a digital system. These digital systems can be a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or even a mobile phone.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation enables the integration of digital technology into numerous business domains to change how it currently operates and deliver higher value to customers.

What are some risks associated with DMS?

The risks, while few, need to be analyzed properly. These include lack of preparation, hidden costs, and total cost of ownership.

Conclusion

As your business grows, you can no longer manage and organize the humongous amount of data on paper. Document Management Software will have an impact on your business, and when you pick a solution, you will need to onboard your organization. While the switching cost will be considerable, it is important to understand the long-term benefits of making the switch and how it can enable your company to grow and scale in an agile and structured manner.