It is well known that employees can spend a lot of their time filing paperwork or searching for files, time that would be put to better use by focusing more on other important aspects of their daily work load. Additionally, many organizations lose important documents through misfiling, misplacement or through accidental file damage.
Due to this, more companies are striving to banish paper from their offices. This would automatically eliminate the arduous process involved in printing, copying, delivering, filing and retrieving paper documents.
However, a solution is at had - companies can simply go paperless by installing data management software.
Data management software or a document management system (DMS) is specially designed computer software that allows businesses to organize, edit, store and manage all of their paperwork in digital or electronic format. The DMS enables users to scan documents, store them in a database and easily retrieve them when needed. They are the perfect solution for businesses looking to increase their efficiency while improving staff productivity and saving on costs and time.
Functions of data management software
The right data management software lets businesses combine their paper and digital documents into a single cohesive unit. This innovative software is mainly used for the following functions:
- Scanning, capture and conversion of documents - The DMS usually comes equipped with a scanner to capture and convert emails, invoices, PDFs, pictures and other documents to a digital format. This is helpful for businesses since electronic information consumes less space compared to paper documents.
- Secure storage of business documents - Once documents are scanned and uploaded into the DMS, employees can assign unique file names, keywords or other tracking codes before they are stored on the company database. These can be password-protected to only allow access to authorized employees.
- Organization and integration of data - The DMS provides a simple way to organize and integrate all business documentation into one system. This way, there is less chance of misplacing or losing important files.
- Easy access to company information - When the DMS is installed all business information is stored in a centralized repository. This makes it easier for employees to access the information anytime, wherever they are. The documents can be viewed, accessed, modified and shared among different employees within the organization, increasing productivity and efficiency.
- Provision of data backup - The database can be stored and backed up on in-house or off-site servers eliminating the risk of losing key business information.
Implementing a document management system
When installing a DMS, it is important to select software that meets the unique needs of the business. For a smooth implementation, the following should be taken into account:
- The software’s storage capacity - Before installing a DMS, business owners should be aware of the system’s storage capacity and they should match this to the size of the organization. Larger companies typically produce more paperwork and require large storage space.
- Features of the DMS - The features of the DMS should suit business needs. A basic document management system ought to have the ability to capture different file types. Additionally, it should have optical character recognition capability for hassle free file retrieval.
- System backup and security - Businesses ought to go for software that provides maximum security for their documents. Password-protection, user identification and data encryption functions all ensure that sensitive company information does not fall into the wrong hands.
- Integration into the business structure - For a problem-free implementation, the software package should be compatible with the firm’s pre-existing infrastructure. The system must be accessible from all other existing business applications such as fax software or email.
- Convenience of use - For a seamless adoption among employees, the software should be user friendly with a comprehensible user interface.
- Company’s IT environment - Business owners ought to put their firms’ IT environment into consideration. It is important to know if the company has the right staff to manage the system and to provide technical support.
- The company’s budget - A business will also need enough finances to cover the cost of software installation and maintenance plus the purchase of user licenses, among other expenses.
Advantages of data management software
Businesses can achieve these benefits through the implementation of a good DMS:
- Savings on time and cost - The software eliminates the need for paperwork, enabling companies to save on printing or copying costs as well as storage space. Moreover, the search for documents will only take seconds, saving valuable time.
- Enhanced data security - Crucial business information is securely stored in the company database and passwords can be used to ensure that only specific employees have access to the information.
- Easy data access and retrieval - The system allows staff members to retrieve, audit and disseminate documents with minimum difficulties. It is also possible to access the database remotely from different locations.
- Data backup and recovery - Since the database can be backed up on off-site servers, business information can be recovered and restored in case of accidental document loss.
Data management systems will help a company’s employees save time, money and increase efficiency by erasing mistakes.