As time goes by, and you think you have seen it all, along comes more incredible “stuff” to talk about. For example, what is electronic document management or EDM, really? Sounds simple enough, but so does riding a bicycle until you go to the bike store, and see all the new complicated bikes. Document management is just like that when you look deeply at it. In simple terms, it is the process of storing and tracking the information you deal with on a daily basis. This could mean emails, faxes, forms, invoices and tons more. But as you grow and develop more employees and more locations, things just seem to become more complex and trying to access and find that email or invoice becomes a struggle – maybe a former employees was not as good as others filing sensitive documents into the right “pew”.
There are many reasons that organizations need to manage documents. Simply put, if you can’t find it, it really doesn’t exist now does it? Lost or misplaced information can result in chaos and even legal problems.
A few benefits of a good Electronic Document Management System are:
- Access to document is shared among departments
- Privacy features allow you to control who has access to information
- Speed of retrieval gives you on-demand access to client and supplier records
- Retention of records assists in regulatory compliance
- Workflow improves through automatic document tracking
- Enables you to enforce control over document access rights at the user, cabinet, folder, and document levels
- Facilitates version control, retention
Let’s say you are currently storing all your files on a server. That is a good step forward from paper filing. Servers can be configured and accessed by all departments, and with some care can provide document-level access security. However, several pitfalls appear when growth and age expand the information need. When you store information on a server, you are relying on individuals to file the documents in an organized fashion. To do this, you have to establish a filing system, train your staff to follow that system and hope they do. This is very labor intensive, and there are no controls to assure uniformity. A document management system allows you to establish relationships with your data, creating metadata, giving you the flexibility to retrieve documents using a wide array of criteria. It also creates a means for indexing information, so you can easily retrieve it using images or customer numbers that are associated with a transaction. An example would be if you wanted to find all the invoices from a certain year, and a certain amount for several customers, the metadata associated with your EDMS would allow you to do that in minutes instead of hours.
American Document Securities partners with Cabinet Document Management Systems to provide our customers with the best solutions for your valuable information.