We live in a fast-paced virtual world, where document digitization is no longer optional for businesses. And even when business information is digitized, managing a high volume of files is not easy. An efficient EDMS cuts through the disorder and simplifies the document management process. Organizations acknowledge a clear and definite need for an electronic document management system (EDMS) that effectively manages their digital documents. Implementing an EDMS is critical for organizations today. Without the ability to create, process, manage, transfer, and share electronic documentation, they cannot remain competitive or react to dynamic marketplace changes. However, not all document management systems make the cut. Organizations must ensure that certain key features are present in the EDMS solution they deploy. Here's a look at some of these features:
File management and document organization
Your business documents contain your most valuable asset—information. The electronic DMS software you choose must help you get the most value out of that information.
Ideally, an EDMS enables inputs from the following sources: scanned images, emails, files from mobile devices, data captured via web forms, and manually-created digital files.
Efficient document search and retrieval is integral to an EDMS. Every time your staff members want to access a particular document, they must find it instantly and retrieve it without delay. For this, when a new file enters your system, it should be indexed, categorized, tagged with specific search terms, and stored in an organized manner. Indexing and classification are critical EDMS features, and fluidity in file organization saves countless hours and improves productivity.
Another crucial aspect of an EDMS is the ability to process information.
Typed documents or handwritten memos must be converted to digital format using scanners. But the scanned images still have information locked in them. Converting this valuable information into electronic text that is readable by the EDMS, is essential. The electronic data is then processed, indexed, and made available in the software's search functionality. Advanced OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) features automatically process information in the EDMS. This technology captures large quantities of printed or handwritten documents with high accuracy.
Data security and rights management
Data is valuable, and your EDMS must protect it at all costs. Security and access control or rights management are essential features of an EDMS. Data from IDC shows that global expenditure on cyber security is expected to reach about $151.2 billion by 2023, with a CAGR of 9.4% between 2019-2023.
Threats to data security are constant and omnipresent. An EDMS offers multiple layers of protection against data theft or loss due to accidental file deletion. Encryption protects against hacking. Strict access control features using secured logins and password encryption adds another layer of security. Rights management restricts access to only those users who need it and increases data security. Audit trails trace which users accessed or modified files in the system and help pinpoint accountability for information handling.
Your electronic document management system must be a key component of your digital security infrastructure. So choose wisely! Security is a top priority when selecting your EDMS.
Automated reporting and dashboards
If organizations are to thrive in a digitized world, they must respond to business challenges in real-time. An efficient electronic document management system supports this with automated reporting capabilities. Automated reporting dashboards pull real-time business data into the system to reflect operational processes as they happen. Instant alerts to notify key personnel about any issue with a document is another critical feature. Besides, the EDMS interface must be easy to navigate for everyone. Dashboards with automated alerts for scheduled follow-ups, chat transcripts, and an inbuilt calendar are highly desirable EDMS features and add value to the organization's information systems.
Workflow automation and Business Process Management (BPM)
Workflow automation refers to automating manual and time-consuming business processes. Contrary to popular belief, workflow automation is feasible, easy to deploy, and affordable.
Choose an electronic document management system with Business Process Management and workflow automation features.
Workflow automation processes incoming documents, routes them to the correct destination, and automatically updates records based on documents in the system.
How customizable is your EDMS? Every business is different so a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Pick an EDMS that adapts to the custom needs of your organization and meets your specific business requirements. Choose an EDMS that supports integrations with other existing IT systems and tools. It must allow for customized form fields, document attributes, and reporting dashboards to fit your team's needs.
Streamlined collaboration and communication
Collaboration is key to effectively create, manage, and use business documents. An EDMS supports these needs by actively enhancing communication with employees and business partners. The ability to post comments and provide a platform for open discussions is another highly desirable EDMS feature. Users simultaneously working on a document saves precious time for closely-knit teams. Strict version control is necessary when several users work on a file at the same time. Document versioning provides a simple way to check the edit history of a file, trace user modifications, and recover older versions. Collaborative features of an electronic document management system allow teams to view and edit shared documents in real-time, eliminating many tedious email interactions. Users and administrators can review the progress of documents as they are created, reused, or edited.
For any business, a focused approach to documenting information is vital for growth and profit. An efficient EDMS captures information quicker and searches and retrieves documents faster. It reduces costs and increases the rate of return on investment. Now that paperless offices are the new norm, investing in an efficient EDMS that suits your business requirements is essential.
Work with a reputed document management services provider like MES, and we'll help you pick the EDMS that's just right for your organization.
Contact us today for industry-leading document management software and support services.