As you evaluate document management systems, you’ll no doubt have a list of “must-haves” and a list of “nice-to-haves.” If you’re having trouble determining which items go within the needs vs. the wants lists, consider first the goals of your transition from paper to digital processes. Which gaps are you trying to fill? Which paper-based errors have cost you the most as a business?
Need some advice? We can boil it down to four critical features that you can put straight into your “must-haves” list. These document management system features will significantly impact your bottom line and efficiencies.
Capturing documents right at the source
Regardless of format, look for a document management software that will capture your critical documents and data directly from the source. Once the information has been captured (by scanning, import, or extraction), the system should organize your documents into a single system with minimal human interaction. This feature alone will significantly reduce the time intensity of file organization and the element of human error during data entry.
You can capture both paper and electronic data and store everything within one comprehensive system. From there, you can easily access, extract, and classify information that impacts your business processes and teams.
The discussion around data security is particularly timely. Most recently, the buzz around the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been making waves outside of the EU. This legislation will significantly impact companies on a global scale.
Stricter legislation forces companies to react by locking down any potential threat of breach. Your company’s most sensitive documents need to be protected, and usually, that requires layers upon layers of security.
In saying that, your electronic document management system must be the critical component of your digital security infrastructure. A proper document management software platform does this by encrypting your critical data when it’s at rest, in motion, and being accessed.
This level of encryption supports standards like PCI and DSS compliance. It effectively simplifies administration of your security policies while providing control over exactly who can access information and what they can do with it.
One key to success in the ever-competitive digital marketplace is your ability to take on any business challenge in real time. That means:
- Thinking ahead
- Forecasting quickly and accurately
- Making insightful decisions using data
To do this, you’ll need robust electronic reporting capabilities. Automated reporting and alerts will give you that extra step. You’ll see critical data and analysis at a glance and be fully equipped with the insights to take on the issue at hand.
Look for software that provides you with real-time insights into the status of your processes, the completeness of your records, and the overall health of your system.
Simplified file management
One electronic document management system feature that can make the most immediate impact is file management simplification. In fact, many will say it’s the primary reason to make the transition from manual to digital.
So right at the top of your “must-have” list should be a user-friendly content management interface that allows you to easily upload, access, update, and share your documents. It should be that simple.
Additionally, consider the way your employees will use and access the system. The system should make your content easily accessible from almost any device or application—wherever and whenever it’s needed.If you have employees using the system from the field or remotely, ease of access should be a critical factor in your evaluation.
Always frame your document management system feature requirements around the way your business needs and long-term goals.
Security features may be on the very top of your list if you operate in a highly regulated industry or governing body. Ease of access may be the number one priority if the majority of your operations takes place remotely or in the field. The features you need will ultimately depend on the problems within your organization you are determined to fix.