Posts Tagged ‘business document management’
Companies, whether large or small process many documents and valuable information on daily basis in the course of their operations. In the event that any of these documents are lost, then that company or business, regardless of whether the loss is minor or major, may suffer a great loss of information especially at critical moments. More so, it can also be a nuisance to keep track of mountains of paperwork in your office. A while back, many companies and businesses used to suffer from this effect due to lack of a relevant open source document indexing software that could act as an alternative to provide information security.
With the advent and quick development of Document Management Software (DMS) in the market, this issue has now been greatly diminished. Today, there is a plethora of Open Source Document Management Software available in the market. Compared to the times when only the elite companies and multinationals could own these software, small and medium-sized businesses have the capacity to use DMS for information security. This is highly beneficial as it has enabled even those companies and businesses with limited financial power to put a smile on their faces with the realization of enhanced management of thousands of documents and information.
With the open source management software, it has become relatively easy to process documents even in bulk. In the early days, documents processing was done manually and this was not only tiring but also time-consuming. Other drawbacks associated with the use of this conventional method includes the fact that documents required and occupied big space, it was boring to process information and the results obtained were of poor quality. However, the use of DMS has radically changed the way documents and information is handled for good. Using this software, companies and businesses are able to process information faster, more accurately and with improved efficiency. Additionally, the software helps save much on space as files are compressed into a virtual system hence contributing to office tidiness.
Another reason that has contributed to the increased popularity of the DMS is the nature of its relation with employees. The content management software greatly helps boost staff morale by putting aside the boredom occasioned by processing documents manually. As such, it is a fact that this Document Management Software has helped put a smile on players across different levels in the consumer satisfaction chain.
The Open Source Document Management Software has various beneficial attributes which should help put a smile on your face if you’re dealing with bulky document and information. These are:
It facilitates accurate, quick and fast circulation of information among the various departments in an organization.
Allows the user to fully search and retrieve documents and files via meta-data, their names, author, comments or departments. As such, there is no external file indexing process which is required.
It provides users with open knowledge as it’s easy to access the forum of the software, create custom document properties which are in line with the needs of your company or business. The bottom-line is the fact that DMS is convenient and user-friendly.
For the open source document indexing software to work effectively, companies, organizations, and small businesses have to comply with the system need. Some of these requirements include Automatic Installer and Updater, Apache Server, Hypertext Processor 5 (PHP 5) or MySQL 5. Its only after this you are guaranteed of a smile on your face.
Computer systems were fused by many business firms and organizations with a vision to automate document processing and reduce administrative problems on their stuff. Nevertheless, with no certain types of software systems, electronic documents are nothing better than paper files. For example, even if all your documents are in a digital form, you may still end up searching for your files in many folders on your computer. Automated document indexing software offers the best solution to these problems.
With the availability of computerized systems many businesses started using electronic documents in every way possible. Though, many still handled paper documents created before the adoption of a digital system. Organizations regularly need older files such as agreements, contracts and other legal paperwork, information for clients, policies and financial documents. With the automated data capture component of the software, paper files can be converted easily into digital format. More so, such files are easier to save and store, thus eliminating the need for enormous storage required for archival files. In addition to this, digital files come easier to search and retrieve when needed.
The use of this software in an office environment brings a number of benefits which emanate in tangible and intangible ways. Some common features and capabilities of high quality document software are described below, and also how your business can benefit from it.
Capture: Best indexing system has capturing abilities that are incorporated into the standard client application, thus it is not necessary to run two distinct systems for the capturing and recovering of documents. Nice imaging software connects with a number of input devices through ISIS and TWAIN, and also virtually to any prevalent industry protocol.Integration: Most of the software can be integrated into any system setting of Microsoft Windows. Both SQL and Oracle database files, Windows Active Register and LDAP protection can be a key part of this. The software allows for the ideal integration into almost every type of company structure.
Security: Through comprising many superior transfer layer protection technologies, the foremost edge systems provide protection levels on parity with online banking systems, which guarantee that your documents are handled safely.
Indexing: In case there is no real reference structure for documents, searching for these documents can be hard. Quality software consists of a robust indexing structure that facilitates quick indexing and search. The indexing information can be imported either form other applications or have the full text tagging, so as to search for a document by its content.
Access: Employees are permitted to access very vital records from any location with the help of the system. Besides, complex secure access allows employees to see and modify only the documents that they got access to.
Search and View: Robust software has full search and view capabilities. Search devices can stipulate keywords, date ranges and wild cards, and certify that your search hardly takes more than one minute (based on size). The file viewer of the software allows you to show any type of file (MS Office, PDF, CAD, and any type of image).
Compliance: The preservation power, alteration power and audit trail are chief tools of the software and show that your document are securely stored and its possible to review and check them by any central bodies to attain compliance.
Customization: For the purpose of improving business competitiveness most entrepreneurs look into document management software applications. In case you have the idea of using such a product, ensure that you get the one that incorporates efficiently into your business organization. Document imaging system has amazing customization prospects, and can certainly be the product you may want it to be.
Automated document indexing software brings competitive advantage to your business. With much dedicated workforce, less cost, and mechanisms that are time efficient, you can provide effectual results to your market. You also get to increase your customers’ satisfaction when responding to their request in minimal time. In the long-run, this will lead to better products and services wrapped with specialists and accurate resources.
The days when we used pencils and foolscap to manage our projects are long gone. People now are using open source project management software to help them better manage their projects. There had been some resistance in embracing this software initially but now people are accepting it. It has been incorporated in many firms and is widely used. This has led to many companies having a large number of documents in their database. Finding and retrieving this documents at times may be quite a hurdle and it can take a lot of time.
The time spent in retrieving the documents may be too much. This could cause a lot of irritation on the part of the customer who will view the time spent waiting for the document as time wasted. It is therefore critical that companies which have a lot of documents in their database should try and use document management software in their systems. It will help improve customer satisfaction in a number of ways;
Accessing data and documents becomes easier.
It will be much easier to access documents whether past or present. Your customers will no longer have to stand in line as they await the document to be found. Within a couple of seconds you can find the document you are looking for even if it is a couple of years old. This is good as customers will feel that they have been served quickly and that their time has been well spent.
Improved security features.
When documents are stored online most people think that the information is now unsafe. Your customers may feel exposed and that their documents can be easily stolen. With document management software however, you can provide them with assurance that their data is well stored and safe. This simple assurance will go a long way in making them feel comfortable with the services that you offer and they will most definitely be satisfied with you.
There is quick and easy online sharing.
Customers tend to complain a lot when the product or service that you are offering them causes some inconvenience on their part. An example of this is when there are different departments in a firm. One of the departments may claim that they do not have the required document and that is with another department within the same firm. This is bound to arouse a lot of complaining and cursing. With document management software it is possible to share all the documents via an online work space and each department will have the documents that it may need. This is very good since the customer will not have to wait for the documents to be transferred from another department. They will be very contented and happy with the service that they have received.
Even those using open source project management software can experience the benefits associated with the document management software. The effect it has on improving customer satisfaction is quite considerable. You will now start receiving compliments instead of complaints.
Businesses today depend on software for a myriad of processes and that enable them to meet their objectives. This is a good thing, because software automates many processes that would take personnel a long time to compete, but in itself, the reliance on software alone is not the end solution. Business must still keep the software updated to take advantage of new features as well as avoid errors and eliminate mistakes.
Over the years, various software accidents caused huge financial losses when compromised by criminals, or they just become overwhelmed with their present usage such that they developed errors in their configuration. As business continue to embrace paperless office, it is becoming more crucial to choose annual software assurance plans to keep your software up to date. Such a plan insures your business against calamity in the following ways.
First, when you get a software assurance plan, you will be able to enhance the efficiency of your present software because the plan guarantees you 100 percent up-time. Your business will process more orders, and handle all the necessary documentation without risking software failure that may cause data integrity issues and unauthorized access to privileged information.
The plan also gives you access to regular updates. In some cases, vendors will allow you to upgrade to a newer version of the given software as long as you hold a valid license of the present one. In most arrangements, you only pay for the difference in price, and this implies that if the newer version is cheaper than your present one, then you get it free.
In the end, this arrangement saves your business a lot of money, where you only spend marginally on the subscription cost of the software assurance plan, and the marginal cost of upgrades. The package comes with a maintenance service option that lets you receive the same from the software vendor at not additional cost.
Since you will be relying on the software company for any maintenance and upgrading, you reduce your risks of incompatibility, and the introduction of malicious code that may tamper with the proper functioning of your office processes.
Increased ease of use
Subsequent software versions tend to reflect the growing concerns and preferences of the user base. They are easier to use, and a come with an array of additional functionality features. The same is also true for upgrades made to basic models. The only way to improve the workflow of your office without investing money in staff retraining is to go for the appropriate software solution that offers intuitive user interfaces as well as easy to understand and customize procedural options.
When you purchase software, you will get these benefits but over time they become obsolete and you can either spend a fortune on another similar investment or tweak the present one to reflect the growing needs. Tweaking is possible when you are under a software assurance plan that ensures your paperless office solutions can handle the critical tasks that you intended the software to do.
All organizations and companies heavily rely on document management procedures to stay efficient, and document imaging helps them save at least 40 percent of their document related costs. Paper documents are cumbersome to process and store. Processing them takes time and sometimes they get lost and bring issues of getting originals from offsite storage sites.
On the other hand, digital images are easy to process, they occupy a tiny storage area compared to paper documents, and they can undergo rapid manipulation that includes editing, storing, retrieving and creation. The following are some of the reasons that all organizations and businesses should look into to find out just how much they stand to benefit by opting for open source document management software.
The particular organization implementing the solution is able to respond to information requests immediately. Everything exists on an electronic database that is accessible at designated workstations as well as on an online platform that may exist on the internet or the organization’s intranet. In this regard, the organization will be able to comply with various regulations on reporting by availing documents when needed by auditors, and other inspectors. It will also eliminate the time taken to recreate lost documents because digital prints copy immediately.
The time and accuracy advantages that come with the use of dedicated imaging software allows firms to stay focused on their business operations and not suffer any hitch in productivity. The software creates a rapid transition of documents from their capture and importation through scanning or creating them in an electronic format. After that, the documents go to storage where they are put into orderly archives that are retrievable by date, as well as other details of the documents. Staffs of the organization need not commute to offsite locations or manually go through piles of paper to find what they are looking for; they just need to key in details in their query and get a copy of the document that they can print and use as intended.
Increases profitability and efficiency
When firms are able to respond rapidly to client and regulatory requirements as far as documentation go, they increase their operation efficiency. In addition, the reduced cost of managing documents also goes a long way in lowering the cost of doing business and building the profit of the company. In fact, open source software has no licenses fees and therefore does not cost the company any money for annual renewals as well as upgrades to the latest version.
Increase communication and collaboration
The use of the document imaging software enables firms to manage millions of document that change hands among employees in seconds. The staffs can share the documents with colleagues and customers in a confidential way and create backups that would allow business continuity when the main systems are not functioning.
It is clear that open source document management software facilitates automation of office processes so that firms can enjoy the benefits outlined above. The organization opting for digital document management must choose the right software and going for an open source alternative increases its customization options without causing an increase in the associated costs of purchase.
Document storage is one issue that both small and large organizations have in common, and with the emergence of latest technology, now many of them are interested in a paperless office, because this makes them more efficient, and also helps in reducing their operational cost. This is the reason why many companies have started using document management system to deal with all office issues. It is a computer based document management system that makes all the difference.
Most of the electronic document retrieval systems have built in feature that helps companies in managing their workflow process smoothly. They will be able to streamline their entire routine to ensure its smooth operation. The automated workflow processing of all vital documents also ensures that only right documents are right employees.
Let’s have a close look at some benefits of electronic document management system (EDMS):
* Less need of space for papers-Commercial space is expensive, and documents can just keep piling up with time. Think of al the money you spend on paper and huge cabinets to store them. You must also consider the commercial space you use to store them. This space can be used to install some equipment or to house more employees.
The implementation of electronic document management system removes all physical issues of managing the documents. In one stroke, you can remove rows and rows of cabinets, and hours spent in managing and retrieving the documents.
* Faster retrieval of documents-The electronic document management system ensures faster retrieval and storage of documents and other important files. All the company files, data, and information is stored in a central database, and is loaded onto the server, and is accessible to all departments and branch offices through network. Therefore, any employee with necessary access rights can retrieve the documents within seconds. Interdepartmental exchange of information is fast and more convenient.
* Savings on time and money-All important documents in a company are centralized using document management system. This makes it easy for employees to locate, retrieve, and edit them. Manual retrieval can take hours, and there is danger of documents getting in wrong hands. This is not so with document management software as only authorized people will be allowed to access the information.
An electronic document management system also means that companies can also comply with rules and regulations easily due to the faster movement of files. The amount of indexing, security control, archiving and audit trails make it easy for companies to comply with various regulatory measures.
Lost files can be a pain, especially if they are important for the operations of a company. All those who use electronic document management system would never suffer from this problem as all vital documents will be there on central database with backup.
* Cost reduction- Lastly, with electronic document management system, there is considerable reduction in the operational cost to the company as it helps companies in getting a clutter free paperless office. As files are now in electronic form, there won’t be any need for spending too much money on paper, toners or printers as there will be less need for printing documents.
In traditional model of an office structure, organizations generally allocate material, human and technology for taking care of the documents of the organization or the office. Most of these resources are tied down on tasks to deploy, configure, maintain and upgrade the documents of the organization, which usually does not provide much added value in the output. The idea of a paperless office has always been an attractive one and has drawn many business owners towards implementing it in their businesses. In the recent times, Cloud Computing has made many businessmen realize the idea of a paperless office. Cloud computing is a paradigm that provides computing services via the Internet.
Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of letting your business documents operate on the Cloud:
1. Little or no provisioning costs.
It is the most attractive advantage presented by cloud computing, and if not the most attractive at least the most obvious advantage of this technology. By leaving the responsibility of document viewing on the document viewing platform provided by the infrastructure provider, the client does not have to worry about buying computer equipment, training personnel for the setup and maintenance of the server.
With the business documents being on the cloud, the supplier is obliged to ensure that the service is always available to the client. Hence this translates into the documents being always accessible to the client.
3. Access from any location.
Applications designed on the paradigm of cloud computing can be accessed from any computer equipment in the world that is connected to the Internet. Access is usually done through a web browser, which enables the application to be used not only from a desktop computer or a laptop but goes even beyond, allowing the user to use the application even from mobile devices such as smartphones.
As a result of the aforementioned advantages, the business owner can focus more on other aspects of business requirements that have a direct impact on the business processes rather than managing piles of files and cupboards full of old records.
One major drawback generated by this technology is of data insecurity. With your business documents being on the cloud, small loophole or a technical glitch can result in big disasters like the confidential information and trade secrets being revealed to competitors.
While it is true that the availability is an advantage, it remains solely so till the time the service provider maintains the system properly. In the event of a system failure, all your documents go unavailable till the time system is restored.
3. Lack of control over resources.
By having all the infrastructure and even the documents on the servers located in the cloud, the client completely lacks control over resources and even on his own information once it is uploaded to the cloud.
In a solution based on cloud computing, the client becomes dependent not only on the service provider, but also on the internet connection because the user must be permanently connected to the internet to access that is in the cloud.
It might not always be easy to upload and access all your documents on the cloud. One must do a thorough study of the feasibility of such a venture being undertaken before going for it.
It is anybody’s guess that if used with caution and care, business documents of cloud can actually make a paperless office an appealing business prospect. However, these pros and cons of doing so need to be kept in mind in order to be able to best utilize the service.
Paperless office, as the name suggests, is just that, an office where no paper is used to store and communicate information and data. However, many offices are yet to achieve a complete 100% paperless environment. In fact, even after the arrival of computers and document management applications, the uses of papers has only increased and not decreased. There are various reasons behind it. The first is that most people still trust the paper more than the digital documents. Many have grown up with the paper documents and it is difficult for them to switch to computers that also requires going through some learning curve. However, the advantages of going paperless are too many to ignore.
Put simply, a paperless office environment is achieved in three ways. The first is to digitize existing paper documents by using document imaging and conversion options. The second step is to switch to using digital documents. It requires asking customers, clients, suppliers, resellers and employees to send, use and receive information and data only in digital format. The third option is to start using only the digital documents. It involves minimizing conversion of digital documents into paper documents. These three options are the basic and most effective methods to make an office achieve its goal of going paperless.
When it comes to the idea of a paperless office, many people only think of the advantage of an office that is clutter free. While that is a big advantage, there are other important benefits as well. A big advantage is that the business process speeds up and becomes more efficient and cost-effective. Documents can be stored and retrieved as and when needed. For example, a customer may enter the office and the deal may require fetching a document. Now, if the document has been kept in paper format then some time would be spent in searching the required document and fetching it from the storeroom. However, if the document was kept in digital format then it can be retrieved and viewed immediately with a few simple clicks. It is obvious, which option would be preferred and admired most by the customer.
Many business owners think that going paperless is expensive and risky. They think the job would involve hiring additional employees, hardware and software. They also believe that important documents must be kept on paper because documents stored in servers may get deleted. However, all these concerns are unfounded. It is especially clear from the success of companies that have gone paperless and in the process saved lots of money.
The fact is, in a paperless office, there is less need of employees and hardware. Documents can be stored, retrieved, edited and duplicated easily. A big advantage with the digital documents is that these documents can be sent and received immediately through the networked computers or Internet. The documents instantly become available to everyone across different locations and regions.
Documents are safer and more secure in a paperless office. The only thing is that each document must be backed up when it is received and after every instance of editing. This can be achieved easily by setting up a standard procedure for every employee. Initially, the cost of document imaging and document management software may seem expensive; however, when considered in the long term, digital documents are very cost-effective compared to the paper documents.
Technological advancement has introduced a whole new technique for companies to carry out business activities and has played a crucial role in developing paperless offices. One of the best ways to create a paperless office is by using document management software which changes paper documents into digital files.
A good document management system provides an increase in productivity, reducing cost of document storage and saving on retrieval time. Document manager software is designed for both single and multiple users and is appropriate with your established business programs including Microsoft. Document management systems allow you to check, route and safely store records.
Some of the features of Document Management software include:
- A centralized electronic storage program containing details in any format that duplicates your current or new filling arrangement
- The freedom to search and access records by content or using the program structure which can be customized to your needs, to view documents multiple or single format.
- The ability to configure document protection by allocating users and groups to different levels of accessibility ideal to their needs and benefits.
- Easy access to information from off-site services anywhere anytime in the world
A paperless office in general provides your business with the following benefits:
- Less cost of printing, sending, distribution, and document storage
- An increase in your client support efficiency as buyer details is much simpler to locate
- The security of never ever losing documents again regardless of any circumstances.
- Updating documents information becomes so much easier because once a document is updated in the document management program all versions are immediately available to all who have access to the program.
- Paper use is decreased drastically so you can promote your company as an environmental friendly business.
One major benefit of investing in paperless office software is that it considerably lowers labor cost. In a standard installation, staff make use of paper to share information. This includes photocopying data, processing records and other related tasks. According to research, 40 to 60 percent of an employee’s time in the workplace is spent handling papers.
Investing in document management program will reduce company,s expenditures. If documents are changed into electronic copies, staff quickly access a needed document, thus making it possible for them to get more information with less time and achieve more task for any given day. Paperless program like Vircosoft’s VFiler easily manages all documents that have been digitalized through its program, so if one employee unintentionally removes an important document, the company does not have to go through great lengths just to find it; instead, programs like vFiler quickly creates backup for all documents hence no document can be lost.
Another big benefit is that companies can quickly send or transfer their documents to their companies various offices, so shipping costs are reduced. They may even choose to spread responsibilities to their staff located all around the world and benefit from lower labor rates in other regions.
So, whether a business is just starting out or is already well-established introducing a paperless office will help in reducing expenditure and generating more revenue. In the end, while traditional methods are hard to let go, if they are turning out to be more expensive, then letting go for a more cost-effective but quicker method is clearly the better option.
The managing of documents in offices can be time-consuming and daunting. According to studies, employees use a significant portion of their work hours just trying to scour through information that is already available within the organization. This task includes searching, organizing, sorting, and creating and recreating documents that are sometimes redundant. The manipulation of paper files or documents is actually contributing to an organization’s inefficiencies and is costing millions of dollars of wasted hours and productivity. Using document management software can solve this issue.
A document management system (DMS) is a software that is utilized in storing and managing electronic documents and images of paper files or documents. This software allows organizations to create a central database or repository of all forms of electronic and paper documents. Listed below are advantages of using a Document Management Systems.
Reduced Storage – Scanning paper documents and integrating them into a DMS greatly reduces storage page within the organization.
Time and Money Savings – Sorting out documents and searching for them takes time. Using DMS reduces the costs associated with the storage of hardcopy documents including the cost of paper, printing, and archiving.
Flexible Retrieval – Retrieving hard copy documents takes time. Through DMS, electronic images of documents are created and stored centrally. A lesser amount of time is spent in locating documents as this task can be done even without leaving your desk. Access to documents through DMS can be over the internet on the company’s intranet.
Documents Security – Provide controlled access to your documents and folders. DMS can protect these files from being accessed or modified by unauthorized personnel or potential intruders. Access of the documents can be set on a user and password-based access and access rights can be assigned for both users and groups at the folder and/or document level. The use of DMS for the documents is way more secure that filing them in traditional file cabinets. Also, DMS has audit trail feature where you can view who last used the item and when. Obviously with the hard copy files, this is difficult to track.
Disaster Recovery – A document management system provides a convenient way of creating back-up documents for offsite storage and disaster recovery. Backing up documents the traditional way through paper is bulky and expensive. Also, it is prone to damage and vulnerable to flood, fire and theft.
No Lost Files – When paper documents are lost, it can be expensive and time-consuming to replace them. With DMS, image files of the documents remain stored when being viewed thus, it is never lost or misplaced. A full-text searching mechanism is a very useful feature of DMS which makes storing, finding and moving documents very easy.
Improved Regulatory Compliance – Comply with government regulations such as SOX (Sarbanes Oxley), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Food Safety Modernization Act, ISO, Medical device manufacturing (FDA), Healthcare (JCAHO), and Information technology (ITIL). Your documents which could include policy statements, workflow, procedures, and many other pertinent organizational documents should provide evidence of control. Failing to conform with this may mean legal repercussions including fines. DMS offers a combination of security control, audit trails, efficient archiving system and disaster recovery to guarantee that an organization can authenticate the validity of information stored in the system and demonstrate strict adherence to regulatory standards and requirements.
All in all, the use of Document Management Software in an organization or a business brings even more benefits other than the ones mentioned above. DMS can further improve internal operations and enhance customer service and satisfaction while bringing a competive edge to the business.