Document management systems can be sprawling and complex. If you’re still not sure where to start, consider these answers to frequently asked questions. Are document management systems valuable only to large organizations, or can small businesses benefit from them too?
Although they may not have the extensive number of files that larger organizations do, small businesses can still benefit from document management systems, especially ones that deal with a lot of paperwork or create a lot of content.
I often see references to document management systems, document management software and document management solutions. What are the differences?
Despite the different names, they all accomplish the same tasks. The terms can be used interchangeably to describe the same platforms.
What’s the difference between cloud storage and cloud-based document management systems?
Cloud storage serves simply as a place to house documents in the cloud. Cloud-based document management systems are much more robust solutions to help businesses manage their important documents.
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How do you store documents in the system?
There are several ways to add files. You can upload them from your computer, import them from an integrated solution, or scan paper documents directly into the system.
How do you find documents in the system after they’re filed away?
These systems offer many ways to locate documents quickly, including by searching the file’s title, the name of the author and when it was added into the system. Many of these solutions also allow you to search for content within each file or by file type. Similarly, you can add metadata and tags to each document to aid in retrieval.
Do document management systems work with other programs I am already using?
Most systems feature integrations for Microsoft Office, Salesforce, DocuSign, QuickBooks and several other popular programs. Some also include an application programming interface (API) that allows custom integrations.
Besides keeping you more organized, can document management systems help you get work done in other ways?
Yes, and one way is with workflow tools, which help businesses keep assignments and projects on track and are included in some systems. These tools notify employees when it’s their time to work on certain assignments and help ensure that tasks never get lost in an employee’s inbox. Additionally, versioning tools allow users to view and collaborate on edits in real time, much like in Google Docs. The versioning function keeps track of changes over time and allows users to call up older versions of documents if needed.