by Jesse Wood, CEO of eFileCabinet
Businesses that are tired of the tedium of data entry and wish there was a better way to digitize and organize their documents can rest assured — there is. A robust document management system (DMS) that takes care of tedious tasks for you, while ushering your office into the digital age with an entirely paperless workflow. You can think of a document management system as a data entry specialist, records manager, office assistant, and file clerk, all rolled into one, freeing up your team focus on what they were paid to do: high-level work. Here we explore how a document management system makes this automated workflow happen, and a few of the key benefits this remarkable office asset offers.
How the software works.
Document management systems streamline not only the process of digitizing your documents, but the process of finding, sharing and securely storing the valuable information they contain.
Scanning, reading and digitizing your documents.
A document management system (DMS) automatically reads your document field-by-field, capturing and entering each separate unit of content, such as names and numbers, into the system, so that you don’t have to. Documents do not have to be in a predefined format. It has the ease-of-use and sophistication to read, decipher and digitize even the most complex documents.
Example: property management
Suppose you are a property manager that has to keep track of the wealth of data contained within dozens, even hundreds, of lengthy property management agreements, with more added each week. In the past, you had two options: rely on a painfully inefficient paper-based filing system, or engage in the tedious, never-ending task of performing manual data entry to digitize each document. Either way, you would still struggle to organize and find your documents, whether they were housed in a metal file cabinet or on your server’s hard drive. Yet with a document management system, you have a third option. First, you can scan and read each property management agreement the system. This sophisticated software will isolate, capture and extract each key field in the agreement:
- Owner name
- Manager name
- Property address
- Start date
- End date
- Bar code
At this point, DMS goes far beyond securely storing a digital version of your property management agreement in the system. The DMS will also retain all the metadata it captured from the fields above in order to easily and intuitively organize and find your property management agreement in the future. For example, subject to your preferences, the system will automatically place the agreement at hand in the “drawer” (folder) associated with other agreements from the same city. Whenever you want to view your digitized agreement, you can either use the full-text search tool or navigate directly to its corresponding city drawer/folder. Once you click on the file, the entire scanned version of the agreement will appear with the key metadata above extracted, displayed and hyperlinked for quick reference and further navigation.
Key benefits of Document Management Systems.
Many small to medium-sized business (SMBs) want to join the digital age by going paperless, but struggle to make the transition. Thankfully a DMS simplifies the entire process, working seamlessly with your business-grade scanners to get the job done with minimal effort and maximum ROI.
Businesses taking advantage of a DMS no longer need to pay employees or contractors to perform tedious, costly data entry tasks in order to digitize and organize their documents. The system takes the load off your team and your payroll, resulting in sustained savings.
Software that anticipates your needs
Document management systems have the intelligence to identify your most frequently used documents, while anticipating where and when you will need them most. Don’t be surprised if the file you are looking for finds you first.
Document management systems go beyond scanning, reading and uploading your document, it also automatically organizes your digitized documents, making full use of the key metadata associated with them, such as dates, names, invoice numbers and even bar codes. This high level of organization makes it far easier to search your DMS and find exactly what you’re looking for instantly.
Many competing products make claims about the virtues of their software. In fact, they do little more than send a link asking for an e-signature. A document management system is far more robust. Sending a link asking for an e-signature, when necessary, is only the beginning, not the end, of our smart, automated, custom workflow. A top-rated DMS brings a high degree of sophistication to your office workflow with advanced features including secure cloud management; notifications; full-text search; role-based permissions; compliance features; and a streamlined mobile app that comes free with the service.
Designed for the digital age
With the power to quickly usher your office into the digital age, a robust DMS that takes care of tedious tasks for you while offering an entirely paperless, custom workflow. You can think a DMS as an entire team that you could never before afford, including a data entry specialist, a records manager, an office assistant, and a file clerk, all working around the clock without punishing your payroll.
Above we’ve explored how document management systems make this automated workflow happen. As you can see with the example of a property management company using a DMS to transform their workflow, the quickly digitizes documents, such as property management agreements, and automatically organizes them into drawers/folders for you, according to a robust metadata-driven system. Consequently, the document management system paves the way for a streamlined, paperless office workflow that anticipates your needs and provides remarkable cost savings, all in an affordable, top-rated package that clearly surpasses competitors offering little more than e-signature software.
Jesse Wood is the CEO of document management software vendor, eFileCabinet. Founded in 2001, eFileCabinet, Inc. began as a cutting-edge tool to digitally store records in accounting firms. As it grew in popularity, eFileCabinet developed into a full-fledged electronic document management solution designed to help organizations automate redundant processes, ensure security, and solve common office problems.