September has now started, the summer break is over and it is time to get back to business. Why not start this new season with some good resolutions such as making your documentation more organized and efficient?
Having its documentation right is critical for any business, especially when it comes to certifications or complaints management. While some will prefer the good old paper system with folders, filing cabinets and the smell of dust when they come in the documentation room. Others will prefer the comfort of an online document management presenting all the benefits of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) such as being available 24/7 from anywhere in the world (with an internet connection, naturally) but also other benefits specific to document management.
Let’s start with the basics and define exactly what a document management system is before listing the 7 benefits of using a digital document management.
What is document management system?
According to businessdictionary.com, a Document Management System (also known as DMS) is a digital system “designed to organize and manage documents [...] providing the user with the ability to access, modify and centrally store the documents”. The use of a DMS generally helps reducing the time and money spent on each document but also to enjoy the following benefits
1- Central documentation and knowledge management
By using a DMS, all your documents are stored at the same place. Supplier documentation, product documents, complaints, questionnaires, contracts: all running and archived documents are online and organized. Tags systems even give the possibility to run several organization methods simultaneously such as a grouping by suppliers and a grouping by products. Even better, you can directly look for a specific document and find it in no time thanks to filter systems and text search. A task taking up to several minutes is now done in a few seconds.
2- Improved collaboration
As for most of the SaaS, collaboration is at the heart of digital document management. By using such a tool, you can easily share and work together with other colleagues or different teams at the same time on a document. A digital system also let aside all possible mistakes by only showing the most recent version of each document and archiving automatically every other variants. By doing so, you and your colleagues are always sure to have the right data, ready to share at any time.
3- Automation process
Some documents used by companies are only available for a defined period of time and need to be regularly updated. Document management system allows you to automate part of this document request. Indeed, they generally offer you the possibility to set deadlines and automatically reminds you when you need to ask for the most recent version of a document (or even directly request the document for you). It helps you saving time and always being audit ready all year long.
4- Better consistency
The more documents and external companies you have to manage and deal with, the biggest variety of documents you will have with different formats, languages, layouts, etc. Using a Document Management System helps you have some consistency in your system by setting yourself your templates, easy to share with your business partners and by setting formats readable by every devices such as PDFs.
5- More Security
Security is a major topic when talking about document management. Sensible data need to be well protected at any time from intruders and from colleagues which should not have access to it. Document Management Systems generally offer Role Based Access Control (RBAC). Each user has an access to the data and documents he/she needs but no more. The administrator can manage all those access and decide if the document can be viewed, edited or invisible to this user. Furthermore, tracking systems allows the administrator to see the full history of each data and documents and to know who viewed or modified this documents. Your documents and data have never been so safe!
6- Better integration
Most of the document management system generally can adapt to the current systems used by companies thanks to an API. Thanks to this system, all documents and data will automatically be sent to the DMS, saving you precious time and efforts.
7- Data backup
Paper document management has several major flaws: it can easily take a lot of space and can unfortunately be destroyed by fire or floods. Digital document management offers you a data backup to always have those documents and be ready to work when the worst has happened. Also, it helps you save office space and let you use this extra office for new employees for example.
A document management system helps you and your company better manage risks, save time, money and the environment on a daily basis. Are you ready to go paper-free?
ecratum is a web-based supplier relationship management software supporting SMEs to deal with their suppliers and product documents. By involving your business partners in the documents exchanges, it helps you save time and money but also improve your relationship with your supplier. For more information about ecratum and our SRM tool, request here an online-demonstration.