Choosing the Right DMS: General Guidelines

Choosing the right DMS isn’t like shopping for groceries. It takes deliberate and careful thought about the objectives of your organization, and whether prospective DMS technologies are suitable for accomplishing those objectives.

Almost without exception, the time it takes an organization to profit from a selected document management software (DMS) hinges more heavily on how users interact with and plan for the DMS launch than it does the DMS technology itself. All DMS options give organizations value. However, the question is which solution provides the most value, and how can the potential buyer (you) figure out which DMS vendor to trust?

Although DMS vendors have personnel to install the solutions on your server or to enable hosting in the cloud, successful implementation still requires consideration and planning on the buyer’s end. Choosing the Right DMS doesn’t demand careful thought–it necessitates it.

Although it may seem logical and even tempting to assess a DMS’s functionality for an organization based on free or low-cost trial product versions, a better practice is to discuss the product one-on-one with a DMS vendor’s sales engineer, and ask questions relevant to the organization and its goals for enterprise software.

Because trial products, on average and particularly without assistance from the vendor’s tech support, do not accurately replicate the power of DMS’s features in their entirety. Furthermore, they do not create inlets to the questions necessary in choosing the right DMS from the right vendor.

In order to implement the best DMS solution for an organization, it is important to consider the prospect of organizational change, and whether the features of DMS candidates are adaptive enough to be augmented in tandem with other technologies and variables over an organization’s typical growth cycle.

It is especially important to understand how well the DMS will sustain an organization’s processes and information amid the changes organizational growth and amendments to information governance laws impose. Although regulatory authorities issue standards from the top-down, they tighten their standards based on the technology available for solving compliance issues, and the cost of these solutions.

Choosing the right DMS can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

Often the barriers to adoption are more about dependence on faulty processes than they are reluctance to find a better way of doing business.

In addition to understanding what DMS is, the most important part of ensuring a DMS’s sustainability amid organizational change entails steering clear of vendors selling niche, industry-specific DMS products, as these vendors are less likely to have features in their DMS that A) streamline organizational processes in their entirety, and B) can account for future changes and nuances in innovation across industries.

Their in-depth knowledge of industry-specific features, although alluring, creates nearsightedness and myopia in buyers—rendering them to focus on an industry-specific, niche DMS vendor’s one or two great features at the expense of the more widely applicable features other DMS vendors offer.

The many hidden costs of paper-dependent offices can convince DMS buyers to hone in on the benefits of reaping only one or two features, ignoring which DMS vendor is best able to resolve specific hidden costs. This is why it’s crucial to have a conversation with the vendor at the beginning of the choosing the right DMS search.

DMS buyers may also be more inclined to purchase niche, industry-specific DMS products because they are generally easier to learn.

A DMS solution with fewer features and applications may be easier to use initially, but a mere receipt- and expense report-formulating DMS is likely one failing to account for other features, many of which ensure compliance to general regulating bodies’ legislation, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Essentially, it’s best to invest more heavily in a DMS than it is to sell oneself short.

Furthermore, highly specified DMS solutions with only one or two high-powered, industry specific functions also tend to have greater hardware dependency, meaning they only function with certain computers’ software.

The more hardware dependent a DMS solution, the less incentive software providers like Microsoft, and the ones that may follow in their footsteps, will have to integrate their technologies with a specific DMS solution. Selecting the right solution will not just depend on hardware, but also the software integrations offered by the document management vendor.

This limits the potential and actual utility of the DMS solution from a software integration perspective as well. A DMS with an open and robust application programming interface will facilitate integration with multitudes of software, and is the gold standard for any organization irrespective of industry.

It’s crucial to find a DMS that works with your current CRM, and that an organization’s Microsoft Office products and other third-party software are recent enough to sync with the selected DMS.

If an organization has an older DMS that has been discontinued or is yet to be revamped to an organization’s liking, implementation for a new, more adaptive DMS will be faster than installing a DMS in an organization with no document management technology experience, because the prior of these two scenarios usually entails a simple data conversion and/or migration process, not a paper to electronic conversion process.

If an organization undergoes an external audit, the right DMS solution should facilitate compliance intuitively with built-in security to simplify compliance, requiring little if any effort on the end user’s part.

A significant portion of compliance will entail the DMS’s ability to run internal audits and/or reports on actions occurring within the DMS solution, whether auditing entire cabinets of information or individual files.

In conclusion of important initial considerations, DMS should not just manage archival documents, but also current ones requiring continual collaboration and workflow effort.

This way, DMS administrators ensure the correct documents are collaborated and worked on, eliminating dual entry errors and preventing employees from working on separate, mistaken documents.

Choosing the Right DMS requires going with a vendor that has a track record of performance in your industry, and in following the standards for innovation and advancement regarding document processes.

eFileCabinet is one of the simplest ways to solve the most common office problems running rampant in modern offices. From the manufacturing industry’s automation challenges to the customer service issues faced in the services industry, our document management solution (DMS) touches every aspect of the business process you choose.

By | 2017-05-18T08:58:20+00:00 September 6th, 2016|
Subscribe to the Blog That Solves Office Problems

Free Demo

Request a Demo

Discover eFileCabinet

Chat with us about your needs and we’ll create a free guided test drive just for you.

Demo Form Arrow