This quick buyers guide to document management systems is not as intensive as our what is DMS? page. Visit that location for more details.

Are you are looking for a DMS for your business? Are you wondering whether purchasing a document management system and going paperless is even the right choice for your office? What features do you want to make sure is included in the DMS you end up implementing across your enterprise?

If you’ve been asking any of those questions recently, then you’ve come to the right place. Initially, only bigger enterprises were making the leap to electronic document management, whether in pursuit of government compliance or just because they wanted to cut down on paper usage.

As DMS programs have become more sophisticated and commonplace, though, small businesses have begun making the move to digital document management as well. Today, physical filing cabinets are on the verge of becoming obsolete, because DMS is so much more convenient for businesses.


Why Does Your Business Need a DMS?

If you are trying to determine whether or not your company needs an electronic document management system, start by thinking about your week-to-week paperwork requirements.

One of the reasons that many businesses eventually decided to make the leap to DMS was because they were getting paperwork (invoices, forms, receipts, customer information, employee records, emails, etc.) both digitally and physically.

Quite rapidly, it can become nearly impossible for a business to organize all of these files in an efficient fashion. The physical documents go into folders, which go into a filing cabinet, but the age-old problem with physical files remains: you have to find everything manually, which takes time and effort.

Digital files, while generally more searchable than physical files, are difficult to organize because of how they can be spread out over so many locations. Some files are in your email inbox, some stored with online storage platforms like Google Docs and Dropbox, while others are in the documents folder on your computer or sitting on your desktop.

Expanded across an entire organization, this scattershot non-organization of digital files can actually pose a security risk. Information about your company is in so many different places, many of them not protected by security or encryption, that preventing leaks or data theft becomes almost impossible.


The Key Features of Document Management Systems

Before purchasing a DMS, relying on a buyers guide to document management systems is a step that many companies will take to simplify the scenario described above.

Ideally, DMS software for businesses will provide you with a place to store, secure, and search all of your documents into one comprehensive filing system.

Indeed, the best document management systems come with scanning capability, using a function called OCR (optical character recognition) to create digital, searchable versions of your physical print documents. Of course, you’ll have to take some time digitizing all of your old paper files, but the time you will save by not having to dig manually through filing cabinets anymore is most definitely worth it.

Some other features that form part of most document management systems include the following:

  • Seamless File Organization. How can a program help make your switch from a physical filing system to a digital one feel as seamless as possible? By allowing you to design a file hierarchy that mimics a physical filing system; document management systems like eFileCabinet allow you to organize your files into virtual files, folders, and filing cabinets—so you can recreate your old filing system in a digital format.
  • Text Search. Being able to find any file with a quick flourish of keyboard keys is one of the core benefits of going paperless and purchasing a DMS. With a text-based search function, your DMS will search the text of every single document in your system, quickly locating the file you need.
  • Collaboration. Document management systems aren’t just for file storage; on the contrary, with a good DMS, you will be able to collaborate on files across your organizations. Different users will be able to share, access, and edit files.
  • Remote Access. Most DMS software will back-up your files to the Cloud, making them easy to access from anywhere—even if you are outside the office. For instance, eFileCabinet even has a mobile app, to expand file accessibility beyond just computers to smart phones and tablets as well.
  • Built-in Compliance. There are many open-source options for DMS software available. One of the top reasons to choose paid software for your enterprise, though, is that its development has government compliance in mind. eFileCabinet is compliant with FINRA, HIPAA, and SEC regulations.


These features only reflect a fraction of the critical functions that the best document management solutions can serve.

File versioning, audit trails, encryption and other security features, redundant storage and disaster recovery, user-based access permissions, automation of file retention, and considerable storage space are just a few other things to look for in a DMS.

eFileCabinet has all of these features and more, and the product itself is usable enough to qualify as a buyers guide to document management systems.

Interested in learning more about DMS for businesses, why you need one, and how you can choose the right product? Check out this helpful buying guide from Business News Daily.