What is Document Management?

No matter what kind of business you operate, your office must manage many different file types and collaborate across a number of platforms. 

In addition, with the increase in remote work and work-from-home situations, office must now contend with a number of other variables, including mobile applications, varying internet access points, unknown security risks, and more.

As any company with a geographically distributed workforce knows, collaboration is the key to effective communication. And communication is what keeps a company on target, moving them forward even in a crisis.

Employees that are scattered among satellite offices, far-flung geographies, or remote workspaces must have seamless access to information so that effective — and secure — collaboration can occur. 

To do this, they need the kind of technology that allows them to communicate securely across platforms. They need document management.

Document Management for the Modern Workforce

At its simplest, document management or document management systems (DMS) refers to a computer system that can capture, manage, and store digitized images of paper-based documents. 

Technically, document management refers to the software that captures and organizes these documents from capture, through workflow, to document repositories or enterprise content management (ECM) systems, and information retrieval.

Typical Features of a DMS

While DMS can vary from provider to provider, most involve several key features, such as:

  • Version control so an editor can clearly see the evolution of the document
  • Allowing simultaneous editing of a document with a check-in/out system that eliminates the chance of overwriting
  • Document roll-back features so a prior version can be restored in the event of errors
  • An audit trail that allows document reconstruction during its lifecycle
  • Stamps and annotation

These are the basic building blocks of what can be a very complex, yet simple-to-use system for managing information.

The Document Management Lifecycle

There are seven basic steps in the lifecycle of any document:

  • Capture 
  • Intake
  • Sharing
  • Processing
  • Output
  • Archiving
  • Destruction

Document management software supports this workflow across your entire organization to streamline business processes and make it easier for remote staff to stay in the flow of information.

Going A Step Further

DMS allows companies to design web-based forms to capture and route data or scan and capture data that can then be processed into an existing workflow, system, or storage location.

Faxed information can be sent through secure transfer, a process that can transform existing fax documents into a digital workflow.

Further, a DMS allows for secure print and access control so even your mobile workforce can safely print and access data from wireless devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. 

Additional security and cost control are provided through secure release workflows, print tracking, and cost recovery using special pop-ups designed to influence end-user behavior to cut down on unnecessary printing.

Documents are securely archived but can easily be searched and accessed using intelligent indexing by keywords, key phrases, or any number of variables.

A Word on ECM

Enterprise content management (ECM) dovetails perfectly with a DMS. When compared to an ECM, a DMS is more of an archiving instrument, while an ECM works at digitizing and streamlining workflows for great organizational efficiency.

Automated solutions are a large part of a functional ECM and assist organizations in transforming business processes by supporting automated document management processes from creation to deletion.

An ECM provider will expertly assess your current workflows and design an ECM to focus on minimizing manual processes and reducing duplicative efforts. They increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve compliance to provide secure, accessible, on-demand information to decision-makers when they need it.

Trust James Imaging for Your Document Management Needs

At James Imaging, we have developed cutting-edge solutions to help our clients more efficiently manage the reams of information that flow through their businesses.

As more businesses adjust to the strains of a scattered workforce, we provide solid, actionable ways to keep employees connected and productive — no matter where they are geographically located.

Even if your staff is one-hundred-percent in-house, our document management and enterprise content management solutions are dedicated to optimizing workflows that support your processes and goals, while providing unparalleled data security, privacy, and protection.

Modernize your approach to information. Reach out to a professional at James Imaging Systems and discover how our document management solutions can help your company skyrocket efficiency through better, faster workflows.