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What to Look for In a DMS

Written by Guido Lara, OpenKM USA staff member on 27 November 2020

As we have explained in earlier blog posts, a proper document management system is worth the time AND the money. If you decide to invest in a document management system (DMS), a whole new problem arises – What does such a system even need?

With that in mind, we want to give you our top tips for what to look for in a DMS to help you decide which system is best for your business.

 Cloud storage and connectivity

There is no proper DMS out there that does not provide cloud storage to function as your central hub to upload files. However, where many differ is in the amount of connectivity to this central hub. It is essential to consider how, where, and when you can access the DMS.

Some systems have a mix of browser access and a separate app to give you numerous ways to access the central hub, while others only provide one of the two. Some systems have limiters on where you can upload files and which files you can upload. These features, or sometimes lack of, are essential to consider when deciding which system will work for your business.

Scanning capabilities

If you have many documents still sitting in paper format, many good DMS come with scanning  software that will allow you to get all your important documents moved onto the central hub. This feature can also be handy if your business attends or hosts many events where paper documents are exchanged to ensure that information is not lost. When considering this feature, it is crucial to determine which technology is used for the scanning function.

Search and Metadata function

Your DMS must have a robust search function. This feature will allow you to find your documents much faster and easier.

With this function, you need to pay close attention to the metadata function. A proper metadata feature should allow you to create a background ID for everything in your central hub. A robust search capability, backed up by a reliable metadata function, will enable you to find the right document at the right time, every time.

Built-in document editor/creator

A great feature to look for in a DMS is a built-in or integrated document editor/creator. It allows you to make corrections and revisions. OpenKM provides two different ways to edit documents. One of them is the powerful Live-edit, and the other one is the versatile Microsoft Office plugin.

Document version controls

A core feature that your DMS must have is document version control. This would include a list of who had made changes to a document and what and when these changes were done, allowing you to have a complete overview of how it has progressed over time.

This function produces either a complete or curated list of older versions of the document to ensure that you do not lose vital information in case of an error.

Permission controls

Another vital feature for your DMS is the ability to manage permissions within the system. The ability to control the users' actions guarantees the system maintains data integrity and ensures that files are not moved, downloaded, or deleted by accident.

Universal format support

In almost every business, it is not only Excel spreadsheets and Word documents that are being produced. Videos, website scripts, images, etc., are just examples of files that need to be stored, managed, and found when necessary. Therefore, your DMS should support various file formats, so you do not end up having files saved in separate places again.

 OpenKM is a document management solution that allows businesses to control the production, storage, management, and distribution of electronic documents and control documents' flow. Our software integrates all essential document management, collaboration, and advanced search functionality into one easy-to-use solution. The system also includes administration tools to define various users' roles, access control, user quota, document security level, detailed logs of activity, and automation setup. Request a FREE demo today!

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