Regardless of the type of business you run, keeping control of necessary information is the key to business success. For small businesses, this can be even more critical as many do not have the time or resources to waste searching for lost or misfiled data. What’s even worse is that data breaches have caused 58% of small businesses to lose time and/or money, with many paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover lost data.
What if there was a simple, cost-effective way to both control and protect your business data? The good news is that there is one: Document management solutions (DMS). DMS’ are designed to help you run your business more efficiently so you — and your employees — can spend more time devoted to tasks that directly impact your bottom line. Other benefits of a DMS include:
- The ability to scale systems easily as your company grows
- Increased data security and compliance through inherent security protocols
- Easier collaboration with partners, colleagues, and clients, regardless of geographic location
With a robust DMS as part of your infrastructure, your business can work faster, smarter, and more profitably. This article will provide guidance for helping you choose the right DMS for your specific business needs.
Your Guide to Choosing a Document Management Solution
A document management solution is software that will allow you to essentially establish an electronic filing system for all your data. Paper documents can be digitized through scanning and then organized, shared, edited, and secured. Choosing the right system starts with an assessment of your company’s needs, followed by a close look at the following:
Which Type of DMS is Best for You?
There are two basic types of DMS’s: Cloud-based and on-premises. With on-premises solutions, you will have to perform routine maintenance yourself and be responsible for the data security functions. This is typically not the best choice for smaller organizations that have few — or no — IT resources to spare. However, you do have more control over the system with this choice. These systems are typically the most expensive with a one-time setup fee and then a subscription rate that can be up to 20% of the initial cost.
Cloud-based DMS’s on the other hand are hosted by a provider that makes the system available to you online. You pay a small monthly fee which covers everything from routine maintenance to security and software updates and patches to troubleshooting. Cloud-based solutions remove the need for an in-house IT team while ensuring you have no “surprise” costs if something needs maintenance or repair.
What Features Do You Need?
While many document management systems have similar features, there are some that definitely offer key advantages. When working with a vendor, make sure to explore several possibilities and get a good idea of which features each system offers. Key features to look for include:
- A simple, intuitive file structure
- Several options for searching for files such as file type, date modified, and date created
- The ability to access the system via mobile phone or table
- Smooth integration with your current software and infrastructure
- Compatibility with scanners to allow smoother digitization
- Strong security with access control and permissions
Once you decide upon your system, make sure you get a copy of technical specifications and a quote for pricing in writing.
How Should You Manage Your DMS?
As you set up your system, you may want to implement specific rules of operation, such as:
- Designating one person to oversee the system and approve document addition and deletion
- Setting rules for the digitizing, storing, securing, and deletion of your files
- Being careful when deleting files
- Establishing rules for naming files to make search and recovery easier
Once you’ve created a template for DMS management, make sure your employees are properly notified and trained for best results.
Let Doing Better Business Help You Make the Right Choice
Choosing a document management solution for your small business is a big step — and one that can generate productivity gains that can improve bottom line results. But there are so many systems to consider that making the right choice can be very confusing.
At Doing Better Business, we have partnered with leaders in the field of document management technology such as Content Central, DocuWare, and LaserFiche to bring you the widest range of choices. Our experts can provide a professional assessment of your current infrastructure and document organization needs and recommend a system — or choice of systems — that is a perfect match for your business.
Gain the confidence to make the right choice among document management software. Contact a representative from Doing Better Business and let our document professionals help you out.