An electronic-document management system (EDMS) is an off-the-shelf software with a document management portal and repository to manage electronic information within an enterprise.
The benefits of EDMS are numerous, just to name a few:
- Reduced paper storage and filing requirements.
- Improved document workflow within the organization.
- Faster search and document retrieval capacity.
- Improved redundancy and disaster recovery.
From a conceptual perspective, an EDMS consists of different features:
- Document capture: This is the point of entry into the EDMS, such as scanners, fax, emails, email attachments, file uploads etc.
- Document types: The different types of documents that have to be created, updated, and maintained throughout the documents life-cycles.
- Document workflow: This is the process documents follow from one department (or employee) to another. It also determines the different flags that can be associated with documents at each stage; and consequently dictate the flow of the document.
- Document policies and control: This process provides different user and document access and control levels according to user and/or company policies.
When it comes to choosing and implementing the right EDMS for your business, you need to consider the following factors:
- User adoption: This is probably the biggest implementation challenge. If your employees do not buy into the value and implementation of the chosen EDMS, then it’s of no value. When considering EDMS packages, audit your existing processes and systems in order to understand how an EDMS can help you.
- Integration: Some EDMS will integrate with your existing CRM and accounting applications and some won’t. Integrated EDMS are of course better, because they reduce information silos, provide a better user experience, and they easily integrate with existing workflows.
- Cost: This goes without saying, depending on the scope of the project, the cost can substantially vary especially when you factor in soft costs, such as implementation and training.
- Compliance: You must ensure that your EDMS meets, if not exceeds, your existing paper-based compliance and regulatory requirements.
Any EDMS implementation starts with a well-planned strategy. That is why it’s essential for you to seek the advice of an IT expert that will help you analyze, plan, and implement the EDMS that is right for your business. Give us a call and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.
|EDMS Benefits and Challenges||Commercial and open Source EDMS Software|
|The term "paperless office" was coined more than thirty years ago. Yet, somehow that world, where efficiency and productivity can be maximized, has failed to become a reality. An efficient electronic document management system (EDMS) can help you minimize, if not eliminate, the traditional filing cabinets and systems used to store paper records. Office space is reclaimed and productivity is enhanced.Challenges
Some EDMS challenges depend on your organizational culture. If the culture is such that three dozen people must ratify documents before release, the EDMS will not help. You'll first need to sort out your processes.An EDMS will, however, help with the mechanics of getting documents to the right people, with the appropriate access level to edit and release documents. Most systems can be set up to issue alerts when a document is about to expire. Investing time to set the system right in the early days of EDMS adoption can save you weeks, if not months, in the medium to long term.Disk space can be another EDMS challenge: electronic documents don't take up physical space, but they still need sufficient secure space on a server for frequent retrieval, indexing, and meta-tagging. An EDMS also brings with it the need to learn yet another system.
Another benefit is that you will be able to store years of archived material easily and be confident that you and your team are viewing the most up-to-date version of a document; and you will clearly know if it is a draft.
Good EDMS clearly show the latest document update and the review dates details. Most systems will also create documents in PDF, which is the most compact and secure general electronic file format currently available. You'll never lose a document or invoice again.
The major benefit of EDMS; however, is the enhanced efficiency and productivity they bring, allowing you to run a more effective business.
|This is just a small sample of what’s available both commercially and as open source:Commercial Software
Open Source Software
* Some content used with permission from:
Managed Newsletters. “January Edition” 30 December 2012 <http://managednewsletters.com/>