Document management (DM) is an integral part of your company’s workflow. If something is wrong with the way you manage documentation, be sure your business will lose out. When your employees waste their time digging through hundreds of files, it means they unintentionally postpone other tasks. Imagine how much time they could save being able to find any document version more easily and in a timely manner.
Losing track of file versions is not the only problem of electronic document management. What are the other issues hampering your company’s document flow, and how to effectively handle them?
Wrong attitude to document management
The digital transformation of your business requires a change in the approach to document management. At present, traditional DM implies working with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF files. However, businesses can replace multiple separate files with a document-free environment.
It’s a rare case when only one person works over a document. Demanding tasks require collaborative work when the whole team is toiling away at the same document. This process consists of communication, editing, comments monitoring, reviewing and version control. All these operations barely fit into word processors. Some DM solutions offer the usage of various applications that provide full-fledged editing tools. Off-the-shelf DM solutions do not have enough convenient tools for collaborative works. There are no electronic document management systems now that combine instant messaging for document reviewing and communication via e-mail. In case you need those features you will have to apply to a software provider. IT professionals are able to create a custom document management solution that perfectly fits your company’s workflow.
E-signature support offers legal access and allows working with documents. However, this feature requires conformance with local legislation. The rules governing e-signature issues often vary even within one country. DM system should also support different mobile devices and software platforms, e.g., Windows, OS X, Linux, etc. Users will be glad to sign electronic documents not only in the application window. A full e-signature service in desktop or mobile browsers will add more “points” to the DM solution. There is also an option of using third-party’s e-signature services. These services will give you the required flexibility and versatility. Don’t forget about the free opportunities of user authorization and authentication provided by social networks.
An effective corporate search is one of the most sought-after components of a DM system. Therefore, you should make sure the corporate search system meets the following criteria:
• Total index coverage for local, network, and remote storages
• Natural language support
• Spell checking and spelling suggestions
• Сategorization and clustering of search results
Question answering systems based on semantic and linguistic analyses technologies have replaced search modules. These systems don’t only find information, but also choose the most relevant answer to a user’s question in a natural language.
Electronic document management system (EDMS) customization
You run your business in a competitive and dynamic business environment. On the one hand, you have to regularly update and adjust business processes to a situation in the market or within the company. On the other, it’s not easy to update these processes within the system, i.e., document live circle, paper flow, content approval, and review. This situation means that a modern EDMS is hard to adapt to the changing business environment. It becomes the reason why employees can start ignoring system usage. Be sure to provide the possibility for the easy and quick upgrade of the system before designing your future EDMS. Users should be able to quickly adapt the document flow to the changing circumstances.
Numerous corporate document management issues arise from the process of information distributed across various applications, such as email, messengers, local documents storages, and corporate document databases. It is more convenient to unite all your company’s data into a single directory. Different ways of information transfer, e.g., by email, through cloud drives, and by various messengers, do not allow tracking all document versions, indexing, search and information actualization activities.
Corporate documents management practice shows that even in case you already have a complex corporate EDMS, a part of valuable information still will be stored outside the system. Pay attention to this problem and set a task for business analysts to make sure your employees will willingly utilize the system’s native tools. Implement a user-friendly off-the-shelf EDMS under the supervision of experienced IT experts. Professional assistance will increase the efficiency of a document management process. A perfect option is the development of a custom DM system meeting your company’s requirements and considering the issues described in the article.