Documents are central to how organizations collaborate, communicate and maintain records. This has been the case since the earliest forms of writing were invented millennia ago. However, today, the demands of today’s businesses are greater than ever. To ensure the organizational and collaborative success of your team, you need the right document management system.
What Is a Document Management System?
A DMS is a set of tools, practices and policies used to create, transmit, store and manage documents. The primary goal of a DMS is to ensure that the right people have the right version of the right document at the right time. Simply put, a document management system helps keep documents organized within a group.
Historically, these systems were almost entirely paper-based. They helped teams that dealt with a lot of paper to ensure that records were properly kept and were easily retrievable. As businesses have become increasingly paperless, they have turned to digital document management. Most modern systems strive to eliminate as much paper as possible, increasing efficiency and reducing waste.
Document management software typically stores documents, manages versions, enables sharing and collaboration, provides security, and improves organization. Usually, it refers to platforms that can accept and manage documents from multiple sources. This separates DMS software from cloud document control provided by document creation software. For most teams, using a DMS is more flexible and practical.
What Are the Advantages of Cloud Document Management Software?
Keeping your documents organized is an essential part of finding success as a team. It can help you operate more effectively. These are some of the advantages of using DMS software:
- Easier Collaboration: When people have the documents they need, they can work together more efficiently. Document management helps ensure that those documents can be created, reviewed, edited and more by multiple people collaborating on a project. In other words, document management enhances the heart of teamwork.
- More Organized Workflows: Teams that have juggled multiple document systems are familiar with the struggles of organization in digital workflows. Centralizing all documents into a singular and easy-to-use system helps make workflows more organized and timelier. Furthermore, with cloud solutions, teams can quickly access the documents they need any time and from anywhere.
- Fewer Errors: People make mistakes and misunderstand each other when they are out-of-sync on the document version they are using. Similarly, people sometimes overwrite each other’s work when trying to co-author documents. The right document management control system can help reduce these errors.
- Increased Efficiency: All the above adds up to more efficient work. With digital document management, people are more organized and productive. They spend less time finding the documents they need and more time getting results. For an organization, that translates to bottom-line benefits.
- Easier Record-Keeping: Keeping track of all the ideas and information belonging to an organization can be difficult. The right system can help centralize all records and ensure that they are properly protected and versioned. If your organization has ever struggled with keeping track of records, this may be the answer.
In other words, using document control software can help you to be more efficient and effective at many of the processes you already perform. It can integrate into everything from co-authoring a document to reviewing and approving work to ensuring that a checklist has been completed.
What Should You Look for in Document Management Tools?
If you are searching for the right document management software, you will need to find the solution that suits your team’s unique needs. Nonetheless, there are some characteristics that almost every business can benefit from:
- Screen Agnostic Tools: Many workflows are better supported when the participants can use mobile devices. For example, if your team is implementing an engineering project, some people will likely need to be on-site. Similarly, a technology project may require someone working in a server room. Letting people on the move use their mobile devices makes document management better.
- Easy Sharing and Collaboration: Ultimately, the main purpose of document management is to let people work together on their documents. If the sharing and collaboration features are not user-friendly and efficient, then the cloud document management solution is not up to par.
- Form Functionality: Forms are often overlooked as important workplace documents. Having a DMS with form functionality can significantly expand its usefulness. For example, when a project is being implemented, the necessary paperwork to sign off on each stage can be completed using the DMS. This can accelerate those workflows.
- Review and Approval Features: Often, documents need to pass in front of multiple sets of eyes. For example, a new marketing plan may be created by specialists and associated but will also need to be seen by managers and executives. The DMS should support this review, editing and approval process.
- Automation: Ideally, your DMS should allow you to automate some of your document processes. This can help to significantly improve efficiency while containing costs. Repeatable processes are especially important for larger organizations.
What Are Some Examples of Document Management Workflows?
Document management is used in many industries. For example, engineering fields such as energy and construction can benefit from using this type of system to empower the construction of new sites. A DMS solution can also be extremely valuable for helping to ensure compliance with relevant regulations such as building codes and safety protocols.
Similarly, industries that rely heavily on research and development can use document management solutions. For example, pharmaceuticals may use a system to keep track of the many iterations, tests and results necessary to create a new medicine. The transportation field can use document management to share plans for new products. In short, having a DMS can support a diverse range of workflows.
Improve Your Document Workflows With Fluix
If you are looking for the right document management system for your business, consider Fluix. Our powerful system can help with collaboration, e-signing, form completion, data collection, reporting and more. Learn how different industries take advantage of Fluix to accelerate their workflows. When you are ready to enhance your organization’s document management, get started with Fluix.