Papers has long been a tedious part of every office workflow. From handing them from department to department, archiving through their revisions, and storing them for records-keeping – working with documents and files is a time-consuming, space-invading activity. If only they can be eliminated in the office workflow, right? Imagine the improved efficiency your office can have once the time and space you’ve spent on handling papers were instead utilized on more relevant things.
The drive towards a paperless workspace has been the direction of every office. Not only will this improve your office’s efficiency, but it will also reduce your operational costs on paper and staffing.
The paperless office has already been the dream workplace as early as in the 80s. And nowadays it has already become possible with the document management software, or DMS.
A DMS can provide you with a document imaging tool, storage tool and organizational tool. The document imaging tool allows you to scan hardcopy documents, or import softcopy files, and translate them into readable documents. Meanwhile, the storage and organizational tools let you create your very own searchable database. Overall, this enables its users to better handle their files and documents.
Now, before you start placing an order for the best document management software Google search offers you, here are five questions you might want to consider :
Do you really need it?
Yes, you read it right. As much as we’d want to modernize our offices, not all workplaces require having their own DMS. If your office workflow requires paperwork, whether you’re a startup business or an established company, then a DMS will be of service to you. However, if documents and files are minimal, then maybe you can consider delaying the purchase of a DMS. Although yes we’d want to increase your office’s efficiency, on the other end, we also want to maximize your return of investment from a DMS.
Where do you need it for?
At present, the market can offer you a tailor-fit DMS, depending on your business type and your workflow management. There are those which are designed to fit the workflow in a home-based office, those fit for an accounting firm and those fit plainly for records-keeping. It is best to line down first where will you be needing the system improvement.
Is confidentiality and security a major concern?
You might think that this question deserves a “duh” response, but this is also important to reiterate. Determine what level of security measures you would want. Most measures include the limited user access to the software, and traceable access to your files. But, if you have highly confidential materials, opt for the one which offers higher security measures.
What means of accessibility will you be needing?
Offices with a high level of confidentiality usually don’t allow out-of-office access to their files. With this, an office-based DMS can already be enough for you. Other offices, on the other hand, require remote access. This can include those whose employees are usually on business trips, or those with office branches. If this is the case for you, then opt for a cloud-based DMS. This will allow access to your employees even when they’re outside.
How much are you willing to spend?
As pointed out earlier, by improving our document management system, we want to increase our office efficiency and maximize our return of investment. If you are low on budget, start with those offered for free. Though they may not have sophisticated design, this can still be a good starting point towards a paperless office. What is an improved efficiency anyway if it will cost you financial setbacks in the long run? But if you can afford to purchase one, then go for it. Some providers may charge you with monthly fees for the storage you’ll be using. But the gains in efficiency will surpass the opportunity cost.