A Guide to Document Management for Your Small Business

What is a document management system?

What is a document management system (DMS)? Simply put, a document management system is an automated solution for organizing, warranty terms, capturing, scanning, tagging, approving, and performing tasks on your business files. Although most document management systems store data in the cloud, a DMS is more than just cloud storage. Because advanced document management systems like eFileCabinet process the large volumes of paper that enter your business for you, you can spend your time doing the work you love.

Migrating online document and file management for your small business is just one important step that comes with important best practices.

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Presentation: What is business document management?

With Business Document Management, YOU can save, edit, manage, send and track electronic documents, from invoices to contracts to personnel records, in a cloud-based system. Business Document Management is the digital answer to paper storage.

Step 1: Plan for the creation and retention of documents

The first step is to put your plan on paper. Before you can take action, you need the full picture.

Planning for document creation: YOU have a long list of business documents, including quotes, master documents, contracts, and more. You won’t just upload existing documents

transferred to the system, but once installed, your document storage system will be where you create new files. New questions arise, e.g. B. Should you create new models or use an existing framework? Write them down so that you can ask questions about them as you implement step two.

How to share documents: Document sharing is an important part of electronic document management. Before you click Submit, you’ll need to set a document sensitivity rating. All documents that you share internally and externally should have security settings. Will you be using email verification? Password protection? When working internally, you should have different authorization settings for different purposes.

Document Storage Location: Since most system options are customizable based on storage, you should have a rough idea of ​​how much space you will need to stay within your budget. Also, decide how you want to categorize the files: by group, by department, or by size?

Step 2: choose a system

Once you know what you need and want, your next step is to choose the file organization system. You should consider features, integrations, and features before choosing a winner.

User-friendly interface: Software that must be adopted by your entire team and used on a daily basis should be easy to use. The configuration in the backend should be just as fluid as the user experience in the frontend.

Offline and desktop use: the easier a storage system is to use, the more it is used. Instead of having to open and use a separate system, there should be an offline (or app-less) sync feature that lets you edit documents on your desktop and automatically sync them with files stored online.

Easy to integrate: Just as using the system should be seamless with your daily tasks, it should also integrate with your desktop software. By integrating with your existing framework and making minimal changes to habits, a good document management system synchronizes with current schedules, emails, web usage and more.

Step 3: implementation

Once you’ve done the prep, it’s time to set things up in the office, from transferring files to syncing the system with your current tools.

Define permissions and rules: When you set up users and structure the system, you assign permissions and access levels. Although usage rules vary by software, you need to structure the hierarchy around how you view, edit, create, and own documents. Make sure that everyone who accesses documents and folders follows the rules for consistent naming conventions, storage, sharing settings, and so on.

Make sure your systems fit together: The transition from paper to digital should be a structured process so you don’t lose or leave anything important. However, if you are in the process of storing and categorizing your documents, you will likely want to refer to this system when submitting them electronically. By maintaining similar organizational styles, the risk of information loss is eliminated.

Step 4: configure storage

Once your system is set up, YOU can download, save and share files. It’s important to keep things organized. The same care and order that you used when transferring files should be maintained at all times.

Set up subcategories: A multilevel organizational level is a great way to make it easy to navigate and find. Setting up larger folders or categories such as general departments or types of documents (marketing materials, contracts, receipts, etc.) and then setting up other smaller categories can help. .

Naming Rules: It’s also important to follow naming conventions to make files easier to find. The use of practices such as file type first or ending with creation date makes categorization much easier.

Step 5: follow-up maintenance

Ignoring maintenance and repairs creates a mess. You will need regular maintenance to make sure everything is working properly.

Check Your System Regularly: Take the time to check your system every month or quarter. Regular integrity checks ensure that there are no duplicates and that documents follow the correct naming conventions and are properly saved.

Document archiving: Archive old files created as part of maintenance that are no longer used or referenced. This strategy keeps the user interface free from clutter. Because you are only archiving items, not deleting them, you won’t lose any data that you might need to refer to later.

Also Read: What Are The Online Project Management Tool?


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