Written by Ricardo Álvarez, OpenKM USA staff member on 16 October 2020
Being an adult has its perks . . . and challenges. When you’re younger, you dream about the day you get to drive your own car, have your own house, and stay up as late as you want, but you never really think about the not-so-fun parts—like paying taxes, having a tooth pulled, or getting your driver’s license renewed. Oh, and what about figuring out how to safely organize all those important documents you’re supposed to hold on to? In the past, we would let these documents pile up over time, but with modern technology, we can store them, PAPERLESS, with OpenKM
First, you’ll want to categorize your documents clearly so you can easily find them. A document management system can improve efficiency for you and your staff by organizing all of your files and making them easy for anyone in the organization to find. The many benefits include:
If you are currently using a manual system, you are costing yourself HOURS that could otherwise be spent on other, more pressing business matters. A DMS automates many aspects of document management, taking that responsibility off your hands.
A document management system is more flexible than a traditional paper filing system. It easily accommodates your business's growth, and your indexing system can be adjusted with a few clicks. It may reduce the need for physical storage space for files and paper documents.
As the world shifts toward digital solutions, ensuring that your information (customer data, trade secret info, etc.) is secure is critical. Document management systems come with built-in security and access controls so you determine who can access certain documents. In addition, you can see all activity on any given document.
Compliance requirements for many business documents can be complex and demanding; a DMS can help you avoid fines, revoked licenses or even criminal liability by automating key documents within the requirements.
One of the most important elements of any software is usability. It could offer all the features in the world, but they won't do you any good if the system isn't user-friendly. Many document management systems offer free trials that allow you to test them before buying. If possible, allow your team to try out the software during the free trial period and offer their feedback on what they like and dislike about it.
Document management software is often home to files that require a manager's signature, such as purchase orders. Many document management systems integrate with an e-signature tool, such as DocuSign, to allow electronic signatures. You can often send a document to a recipient with a request for their signature through the software.
Workflow automation features move tasks along automatically. Take the purchase order above as an example: You could set up workflow automation so that once a purchase order is generated, it automatically goes to the appropriate manager for their signature. The manager will receive a notification, and when the task is complete, the next relevant team member (such as someone in the accounting department or the manager's supervisor) will be notified. If more action is necessary, you might be able to build that into the automated workflow as well. The best document management systems allow you to customize workflows to suit the way your teams work together.
An essential element of document management software is the ability for administrators to set individual user permissions. Permissions allow certain users to view or edit files, while others can be prevented from even seeing those documents in the system. Not only is this useful for efficiency purposes, but it is also an important security measure. The best document management software allows administrators to set permissions by specific groups, as well as to change permissions on the fly if you need to make an exception while keeping the default permissions settings the same.
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