Intelligent capture, document management, and related solutions help organizations find new ways to improve document-related processes. Not only are they transforming the modern workplace, but they are seeing rapid adoption. This insight piece will focus on document management solutions, which help users work collaboratively as well as aggregate and share content.
Document management: How does it work?
Document management platforms can be boiled down to two primary function. First, they help users capture documents into an electronic system. Secondly, they are designed to capture the most pertinent information needed for processing, classifying, and eventually accessing documents.
1. Search and sort
Many systems include a full document capture utility (also called a scan client) to digitize hardcopy documents and bring them into the repository. For documents that already exist electronically, systems typically support hot folders (also called watched folders) where users can place files for automatic import. Once content is in the system, it must be organized in order for it to be useful.
Every document is tagged with index (also called metadata) fields that classify the contents. This involves a configuration step when the system is first deployed, where the customer will indicate which index fields are required for each type of document. The leading document management platforms also employ powerful, granular search features to help users find their documents quickly.
2. Version control and process automation
From there, the leading document management systems offer robust collaboration features. Typically, multiple users will need to see and work on a document in its lifecycle. A main function of a document management solutions is to manage such access so multiple versions of a file are not being emailed around or stored on network or local folders.
Most platforms include check-in/check-out functions that allow users to lock the file, preventing multiple users from making changes simultaneously. Document versioning, where the system saves multiple versions of a document, can help keep track of who accesses a document, when, and so on.
Document management solutions allow users to automate time-consuming document-centric processes. A growing number of these solutions have automation features that move files along a path set by programmed workflows.
Most solutions deliver a drag-and-drop user interface where steps, paths, and logic can be assembled from pre-programmed workflow elements. In some cases, workflows can even contain advanced abilities like branching logic, alerts, and more. Contact us to learn how Document Management Solutions make collaborative work easier and streamline user workflows.