Typically due to the size of your business, you may be operating with a combination of paper and digital files, but in many cases there is more paper than necessary. Successful small businesses are operating within finite resource constraints so you may be thinking that you shouldn’t or can’t invest in a document management system (ECM). An effective ECM system combines your digital and paper documents providing the ability to reduce costs while increasing your office productivity. Let's review 4 things that you need to know about document management for your small business.
A Simple Explanation of Document Management
In its most simplistic form ECM is the use of a computer system and software to store, manage and track a combination of electronic documents and digitized paper based information (that has been captured through a document scanner). ECM organizes your electronic documents while incorporating documents and content captured with other information retrieval systems. In their most basic form ECM systems are used to store and control documents, which are crucial within small businesses in today’s rapidly changing digital environment.
What you need to know...
You’re not too small to benefit from a document management system (ECM)
ECM is a common feature in big businesses so choosing not to participate; your business is falling behind by not utilizing technology as weapon against complacency. The most common risk of not having some type of system in place is the failure to access needed information in a manageable timeframe. Observe the current landscape around your office: Are you storing significant quantities of paper documents? Do you or your staff have time to search through these papers to find documents that are vital to the success of the business? Running a successful business is not an easy task- don’t complicate that task by thinking you’re too small to streamline your paper use with an ECM solution.
Increase productivity and reduce costs
By developing a document strategy beginning with scanning your documents, you are reducing paper management challenges while also protecting yourself from the risk of document loss. A safe/secure repository of documents, which are easily accessible, is essential for the success of your small business. The ECM system eliminates manually searching through paper files and cabinets. Documents are now scanned and converted into a digital format enabling users to utilize a full text search to retrieve specific documents in minutes or even seconds!
The Final Analysis
Today organizations operate in a very competitive, customer oriented world and need to be able to respond quickly and accurately to consumer inquiries. A key to being able to aptly service your customers is being highly organized and efficiently structured.
Document management and administration tasks are often undervalued, but here we have illustrated the value and absolute necessity of a well-organized document management system, or ECM solution.
If you are a small business owner considering tackling the abundance of paper in your office, a document management system can provide you with a more efficient approach. Document management can help you prepare for the growing digital and technological demands, but proceed in small amounts, don’t dive right into those overflowing cabinets!
Document management systems come in all shapes in sizes. You can find basic packages with minimal features, or extremely complex softwares that provide hundreds of unique services.
Basic Features of a DMS
- Search functionality
- Version control
- Access control
- Integration with existing software
Extra Features of a DMS
- Customization controls
- Enhanced search functionality
- Conversion and integration of multiple file types
- Redactions and document editing
- Optical character recognition (OCR)
- Workflow automation
- Website portals
- Mobile applications
- Cloud based services