Browser-Based Document Management Systems with Imaging Technology for Small Businesses

There are a few reasons small businesses should consider the purchase of a document management system. Some of the more obvious reasons include businesses that are unnecessarily paying employees to organize, file, retrieve or deliver paper-based documentation, or businesses that have experienced set-backs that can be “traced” to paper disorganization or manual file mishaps. Another […]

There are a few reasons small businesses should consider the purchase of a document management system. Some of the more obvious reasons include businesses that are unnecessarily paying employees to organize, file, retrieve or deliver paper-based documentation, or businesses that have experienced set-backs that can be “traced” to paper disorganization or manual file mishaps. Another fairly obvious reason is that document management systems are one of the first steps small businesses can take to play the “big guys” on a more level playing field. Some of the less obvious reasons for smaller businesses to consider document management systems is to improve business processes and product quality overall. Nowadays document management systems can be equipped with so many features–and easily configured interfaces–that they can easily be classified as full-scale ECM systems, audit systems, training systems or even PLM systems. The great thing is that these types of systems are available to the small business sector.

Things to Consider
In the title of this article “imaging technology” is mentioned. Imaging technology is simply the technology that allows users to convert paper-based documents to electronic documents. This technology is obviously necessary for a company that is a first time buyer of a document management system but also comes in handy for companies that have been managing electronic documentation for years. Needless to say, there will always be a manual copy of some type of document that needs to be converted and stored (or revised and stored) in a business’s document management system.

Are You Convinced?
So if you’re convinced that your company is headed in the direction of a document management system here’s some of the document management system “basics” that every company, regardless of their industry should look for.

The Basics
Every document management system should provide a way for it’s users to file, locate and retrieve documentation quickly. This type of technology is fairly basic but may become more complex depending on your industry. Say for example that you’re a CRO for a large manufacturing organization. Over the years, you may collect so many documents in your system that more sophisticated retrieval technology may be required. Sophisticated options will include systems that provide for a greater range of meta-data, document word indexing, and/or more sophisticated search-retrieval techniques.

Document management systems should also be able to automate retention periods, distribute records, automate workflows and trace the “whos” “wheres” “whats” and “whys” of documentation.

Keeping Information Safe
Document management systems should also provide disaster recovery measures, user authentication and sufficient security.

Compliance
Compliance with governmental or additional quality standards is a big issue for some small businesses. Document management systems can literally untie the knots of many difficult compliance issues. Think about it! Most compliance is really about documentation and meeting documentation standards. Talk with the DMS vendors you’re considering if you’re concerned about compliance and see what they have to offer for your particular industry.

Conclusion
Small businesses really don’t have to store their information in a shoebox! Many document management systems are available for small businesses and provide a greater range of options than ever before.

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