Business documents are the lifeblood of company processes. However, paper documentation is often the first hurdle that slows down management and administration. It hampers how quickly vital personnel can store, retrieve, and access documentation in an ever-growing digital world. The solution, in this case, is document management. It helps businesses to use computers and software to store, monitor, and manage documents digitally. Read on to discover which features a business should look for when shifting to a document management system.
Features to Look For in Document Management Software
Document management systems are frequently tailored to meet unique business needs and can have multitudes of features that make them lucrative to use. When looking for a provider-managed system, some features are a priority.
Although a document management system offers a handful of benefits to a business, it comes with its share of security risks.
Firstly, cyber criminals are always forging new ways to access business data, including financial records, customer data, employee records, and product information. Surprisingly, they target both small and large businesses, with more than half of small businesses reporting a data breach at some point. If someone gets access to critical information, they can cause financial losses for businesses and damage reputations.
Secondly, a document management system stores even a business’s sensitive files. Without well-defined access control, anyone in the organization can view such documents and modify them with malicious intentions.
To prevent this, a business should go for a document management system with security features such as:
- Data encryption: Encrypting data ensures no one can read it while in transit and storage without a decryption key.
- Access control: This helps a business set who can access which documents, depending on their roles and responsibilities.
- Multi-factor authentication: Requiring users to verify their identity in more than one way before using the system adds a layer of security.
- Audit trails: With audit trails, you can easily tell who logged in to the system, the documents they viewed, and the modifications they made.
- File locking to prevent viewers from modifying documents without permission.
When it comes to document management systems, there’s no one-size-fits-all. The reason is that businesses vary in size and have unique operation models. As such, a document management system should provide some level of customization. This makes it possible to modify it in alignment with business operations. Not only that, but it also helps to integrate the system seamlessly with the existing infrastructure.
Another thing is that as a business grows, its document management needs also change. It would not be financially practical to change the system over and over. A customizable document management system gives you the flexibility to adapt to the changes without additional costs.
A business stores hundreds of documents. If you were to search for a specific document manually, you would waste lots of time that you could otherwise use in other productive ways. To make document retrieval fast, accurate, and efficient, a document management system should have a search feature.
An ideal search feature is able to retrieve a document using simple keyword and full-text searches in titles or within the document. For more precise results, it should also have an advanced search feature to locate documents on criteria such as date, author, metadata, and other intricate attributes.
Having a search feature is one thing. But if it’s not easily identifiable, it would still lead to time wastage. Ensure the search feature interface for the system you choose is prominently displayed and easy to use.
Universal File Format Support
Businesses produce all kinds of document formats. Besides common file formats such as spreadsheets, PDFs, and .docs, they might create audio, video, CAD, or proprietary file types. So, the more file formats a document management system can accommodate, the better.
With a document management system that doesn’t support all file formats, you’ll have to maintain your documents in separate locations. Not only that, it’ll be impossible to collaborate with others. Worse still, it can disrupt workflow and delay project timelines.
Built-In Document Editor
Sometimes, the stored files might need editing to keep them updated. A document management system with editing features eliminates the need to download a file, open it in a different program to edit, and upload it again. However, the editing features should be consistent with the formats of the existing files to keep them professional.
In a collaborative environment, an editing feature in a document management system comes with its challenges. Anyone can modify the documents. To counter this, the system should have a document version control feature. With it, it’s easy to monitor who made changes to the document and when. The document control feature also stores all older versions of the file. So, in case of an error, you can always review previous documents.
Nowadays, people work from anywhere. If you’ve stored your documents on a remotely inaccessible site server, your work will have to pause until you are physically present. Fortunately, choosing a cloud document management storage can fix this.
It enables you to retrieve and work on documents from various devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones, from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. The other benefit of cloud storage is that in case your hardware gets spoilt, you can retrieve all your documents and continue working without disruption.
Benefits of Having a File Management System with the Right Features
Choosing a document management system with the right features might be daunting. However, it pays off handsomely in the long term in the following ways:
- Improving efficiency: When retrieving, searching, and carrying out other document-related tasks is efficient, you can save time and improve productivity.
- Adapting to business needs: The right document management system integrates seamlessly with the existing system. Also, as business needs change, it becomes easy to adapt it without incurring heavy costs.
- Securing documents: With the right document management system, you never have to worry about losing your documents or someone accessing them without permission.
Go for the Right Document Management System Features
Going for a document management system with features that cater to all business needs can save you time and money. It’ll ensure proper organization, fast retrieval and transmission, and secure storage. Most importantly, it makes your employees collaborate even when working remotely.
If you’re in New York, Totowa, Cherry Hill, Edison, Ft. Washington and looking for a document management solution, contact Docutrend. Our tailored solutions will help you organize your documents efficiently.