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5 Steps to Successfully Implement a Document Management System

Document management Systems are crucial for every organization that aims to reduce workload and improve productivity in handling electronic files in a paperless environment. They work to safeguard and streamline business processes as they establish an automatic workflow, provide security, and enable auditing. Having said that, it’s important to know that just having a document management system in place does not ensure that it’s being used optimally.

Successful implementation of a document management system should entail style guides for dates and time stamping, file naming conventions, review and updating guidelines, storage, as well as sharing and collaboration procedures. The efficiency and consistency of document circulation in an organization can help the business scale new heights if done right. So, if you’d like to get the most out of your document management system, follow these 5 steps.

Step 1: Understand the business need and processes

Like we mentioned earlier, electronic document management (EDM) is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ system. You have to understand exactly how your business processes functions, what the workflow is like and how electronic files and documents flow through those processes. You also need to know how to track every move of a document, figure out the problem areas and implement the EDM system in a way that it improves efficiency.

Also Read: Why Do You Need a Workflow Solution?

Step 2: Define user types and their authorities

An EDM system can be successfully implemented if you use a phased approach based on user types, their authority and need. High-need users need to be given first priority. Observe how one department interacts with another and how the EDM system could improve overall efficiency. The system should be able to create a secure and authenticated environment for users with appropriate permissions to access and view important documents.

Step 3: Select relevant features only

Document management systems have different features, and you should pick one that is best suited to your organization. Some standard EDM features are:

  • Search
  • Workflow
  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Document management functionality
  • Usability
  • Integrations
  • Plug-Ins

Step 4: Automate (and simplify) the process

Improve efficiency by automating and simplifying business processes that are repetitive when it comes to movement of files or documents. Your EDM system needs to be powerful and flexible enough to mirror these processes. It should give you the freedom to edit and create your own workflows independently without technical assistance. The hierarchy for decision-making and authorization should be clear. You should be able to easily search and audit all transactions within the processes.

Also Read: 9 Benefits of Process Automation

Step 5: Integrate with all software and hardware

The EDM system you choose needs to be easily and securely integrated with other business applications and software to speed up user adoption, increase productivity and lower costs. All software and hardware integration helps your business leverage the technology used business-wide – ultimately creating seamless and secure access to business information, and saving a lot of time and money.

By following these 5 steps, you will be able to successfully implement a document management system in your organization. However, do remember that nature and needs of every business is varied, and it’s essential for you to completely understand the particular requirements for your business before deciding on one for yourself. Ultimately, it should be a system that will help you save time and money, improve productivity and boost the overall efficiency of your organization.

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