Archive for April, 2011
In times past, businesses relied heavily on paper document filing systems and file cabinets to file and also to retrieve their documents when they choose to. However, times have changed and file cabinets are quickly becoming obsolete giving way to electronic business document management with the application of document management software.
There are many benefits associated with the use of electronic business document management over the old fashioned paper documentation systems which use the file cabinets. File cabinet document filing system requires more and more physical space with increase in the quantity of paper documents available for filing while electronic system requires just the bits and bytes of your computer and the electronic filing software for filing your business documents after scanning which will not compete with your employees for space.
The world is gradually going green in factually all things and lovers of the environmentally green concepts have argued in defence of the preservation of trees from which tens of thousands of sheets of papers were made for writing, office and contract documentation purposes. Think of it, when sheets of papers are discarded they turn into methane gas by chemical means which when burnt makes the environment unsafe for human habitation. However, by making use of the document management software process to file your business documents, you would through your business help to protect the forests and also help to protect the environment and keep it safe for human habitation.
The process of accessing and retrieving your data is another very important benefit of electronic business document management. It is much easier when compared to working with and filling paper documents. When more than one employee needs to work with a paper document, there is always the need to make copies of that document for easy accessibility by every employee concerned but with the use of document management software, the need to make copies becomes eliminated as employees authorised to have access to any document stored online can do so at any point in time and at the same time in different locations real time.
The security of your business documents are better guaranteed with electronic storage of files as most common business document management software available make use of the most reliable firewall technology security systems to protect your documents at all times and yet you are allowed the ease of access any time without any encumbrance from the security features since you and any other employees authorised by you will be given free access. In fact, your employees may also be restricted to the level of access you want them to have to your business documents once they have been scanned and stored with the aid of the document management software.
It is sure that the need to file business documents will always remain with us though methods of filing or managing information may change. It is then necessary to endeavour to go with the evolving trend in information management and the way to go when it comes to electronic document filing is the use of the business document management software.
Steve Breault “DocMeister”
Business document management software is fast becoming a magic wand for all businesses- both small and large companies alike-as the business world witness a major shift from the traditional paper filing to the all-inclusive electronic integration and preservation of business documents and files online. Fortunately, your business no matter its line of work, can now gain from the array of many benefits which the business document management software provides.
Here are the key benefits your business stands to gain as you integrate the document management software into your daily business operation and management.
Ease of access to your vital documents: Document management software offer you the ease of access to your vital documents when you need them most without any hassle. Though some brands of this software may give your members of staff minor learning curve depending on their ability to manipulate computer systems but the general experience of many users shows a desirable learning curve with the use of this computer software over the old fashioned way of doing everything by hand. The software therefore guarantees your business its document management efficiency that has no end.
Effective cost control: Business document management software offers you a cost effective approach to doing business mainly because it does not require upfront payments and neither do you have to buy any additional hardware to make it fully operational in compatibility with your computer systems. Moreover, the software offers your company its services on pay-as- you- go basis in most cases which is good to enable businesses budget accordingly.
Seamless integration with file scanning services: Document management software systems work seamlessly with computer file scanning systems so that all kinds of scanned files such as letters, receipts, designs and drawings, invoices, microfilm, and others can easily be stored online.
Reliable firewall security: Online business document management software systems use the best form of firewall computer technology to protect all your documents and ensure that you can always trust its security and reliability at all times- no wonder, important government organs like the Home Office and the Pentagon are top users of this important online document filing systems.
While the software guarantees adequate security provisions for your documents, your ease of access at any time to these documents is unfettered so that you are assured your documents are securely protected from any unauthorised access.
Guarantees business continuity: Once your business documents are kept online with the use of this software, your business continuity is enhanced. That means, in the eventuality that the worst disaster such as fire or flood happens, you can be very confident that your business files are secure.
Power of control and productivity: When you have your documents stored online by using the business document management software systems, you would have absolute control over things like who has the right to access your files and to what extent such right is permitted in relation to functions that can be carried out on your documents.
This online system of file storage also enables your employees to be more productive since accessing any document will always be a click away.
Decisions in any business are based on organizational knowledge. In today’s business environment, this knowledge rests not only with some top executives of an organization, but also with the databases and documents that an enterprise maintains. It’s the speed and accuracy with which information can be retrieved that the success of a business largely depends. Digital document management has made it possible to create and store information, and organize it for easy retrieval.
There are generally two types of documents that any organization handles, one that is produced by the organization and second, received from the outside. Most of this documentation in the form of financial statements and monthly or yearly reports come in handy for analysts to formulate future goals and assess current status of the business. Critical information is also received from the outside in the form of invoices, suggestions from clients or customers, letters of complaint and so on. This data comes in several formats, both electronic and paper.
Document capture forms an important part of recording every piece of information received by your organization. If you do not convert paper documents to digital format, it cannot be included in your analysis. This can be of great importance when making critical business decisions. Though scanning a document converts it into an image, it’s of no value without the corresponding metadata which makes it searchable and retrievable. Document management software provides a unique solution to this problem, as every data from a paper document can be captured and stored on the computer.
Document capture can be defined as a process that converts paper information into electronic format, which can then be processed and stored using various technologies. Some important components of the document capture process are:
Scanning or document capture: When a document is scanned it produces an image on the screen of the computer which can be stored on the computer like any other file. Several factors must be considered when choosing a scanner depending on requirement and average number of documents likely to be processed every day. For instance, size, quality of paper, volume is some factors that you must keep in mind. Scanners are extremely handy and can process a variety of documents, from business cards to engineering drawings.
Automatic document feeder: Optimum use of document management software can be made only if you have automatic document feeder. This device feeds paper automatically into the scanner and speeds up the process significantly. The device is quite useful for processing bulk documents such as invoices and forms.
Speed and accuracy: Speed with which documents are processed by document management software decides the quality of the document. Ideally, a standard sized scanner can process anywhere between 6 to 200 pages per minute. However, considering optimal performance, a processing speed of 20-30 pages per minute should suffice for everyday use.
Image cleanup: Most scanners come with enhanced technology to apply cleanup techniques to increase accuracy of data. Contrast adjustment, noise removal, rebuilding broken characters and cropping borders are some of the cleanup techniques used in scanners. This helps in capturing all the information in the original document without compromising on its accuracy.
Data extraction: As in the case of paper documents, digital document management too requires extraction, storage and appropriate indexing of useful information. Document management software normally has an indexing system which organizes documents in form that can be easily searched and retrieved when needed. As such, accurate extraction and storage of information is one of the most important features of any document capture solution.
A digital document management system must perform various tasks to make the scanned data readable and useful for the organization. As each type of document needs to be processed in a different manner, the document management software must be customizable to meet these requirements. New technology has provided a great tool in the form of document management systems to maximize productivity and increase profitability, and is one of the best investments that you can make for your business.
Steve Breault “DocMeister”
In today’s dynamic business world, there are a lot of expectations from a company in terms of administration and services offered. A company today is expected to offer world class services to its clients, increase profitability and keep costs to a minimum, all at the same time. Balancing these expectations is a huge task for a company, no matter what its size. In such a scenario document management software can be of great help as it offers a multitude of features that can be used for streamlining the document processing system.
Business document management can help resolve critical problems that an organization faces on a daily basis. Document management software enables an effective way of processing and distributing information throughout your organization. For instance, a digital documentation system eliminates many limitations of a paper based system such as misplaced original documents, inconvenience of retrieval from a remote location and slow distribution.
Apart from this, document management software has several features that make it possible to manage millions of documents and retrieve them within seconds. Being computer based, such a system also makes it easier to share and distribute documents through email, fax and other file sharing systems. Remote access also makes it possible to search and retrieve documents instantly while traveling or when in a meeting away from the office. Digital documents can also be backed up easily, making it easy to recover documents.
Choosing the right business document management system specific to your business requirements is extremely important. Following are the key features that you must look for when selecting a document management system:
Automatic data capture to incorporate documents into the system: The three critical features you must look for is scanning, import and conversion of electronic documents. Scanning allows you to convert paper documents into their digital version, which can then be stored on a computer. The indexing feature enables systematic storage of scanned documents which can be easily retrieved. Apart from this, a document management system allows you to import electronic files such as text, images, audio and video, and supports a variety of formats. Other files formats such as word documents and spreadsheets can also be converted into PDF and TIFF files and imported into a document management system.
Storage and archiving: Document management software offers easy storage, backup and retrieval system. Storage is a major hassle with paper based system, both in terms of space occupied and safety. On the other hand, a digital document is much easier to manage and store. For instance, copying an electronic document onto a storage medium such as a hard disk or CD is much easier compared to creating paper copies. Similarly, a virtual repository is easier to manage compared to a physical one, both from security and location points of view.
Sharing and distribution: Sharing of paper document is always prone to risks such as loss of document or accidental misplacement. Instances of time wasted looking for misplaced documents and recreating originals are many. A document management system can be accessed over a network, making it easier for you to share important documents. Employees need not pass a document from desk to desk or wait for a colleague to finish his work before he can access the file. With document management system it is possible for multiple users to access the same file at the same time. Similarly, electronic documents can be easily distributed through a network, fax, email, and so on.
Security: This is again a very big concern in paper documents. Not only are paper files prone to misplacement, they are also vulnerable to theft and physical damage. Although digital documents too are susceptible to physical damage, the easy backup and recovery eliminates this problem very effectively. Apart from this, the access control system in document management software allows only authorized personnel to access the files. Similarly, different levels of security can be set up depending on the requirement. For instance, a file may be read-only for a department, whereas modification or update rights can be given to higher management or others as needed.
There are many more benefits offered by a business document management system that helps create a more systematic approach to document processing. With the right solution for your office you can not only dedicate your staff towards achieving your business goals, but also empower them to make informed decisions.
Steve Breault “DocMeister”