Documents have existed for centuries. But the best technologies for improving document processes have only existed for several years. In result, many prospective users understandably have fundamental questions about the nature, purpose, and scope of document management systems’ capacity. The following document management FAQs are most common among prospective users.


What Does Document Management Mean?

This is among the most common document management FAQs we receive. Ironically, when put in the software context, “document management” means much more than the management of documents, and this additional meaning can be attributed to the business objectives a document management system helps businesses meet.

The intangible benefits of document management software, including convenience, peace of mind, profitability, and freedom, are all the result of far more than managing documents through software. If a typical document management system only let its users manage documents, it would be no more sophisticated than a Windows folder structure.

Rather, a document management system solves the most common office problems by automating redundant processes, saving time on documentation tasks, freeing up office space, and improving efficiency.


When Should I Use a Document Management System?

A document management system should be used to remove any paper-dependent processes in industries with paperwork-intensive processes or document-embedded routines.

Most eFileCabinet customers decided to take the leap to a paperless office when the paperwork exceeded the capital to manage it effectively.

By taking documents into a secure, digital context, a fewer number of employees can complete a greater number of document-related tasks and projects—hence the value in a document management system.


What Document Management Platforms and Mediums Are Available?

There are two main platforms for document management system use: cloud (online) or desktop (on-premises). Although several ECM vendors adjoin these two platforms in hybrid delivery platforms, document management system vendors like eFileCabinet keep the two platforms separate, although our Cloud view solution can back up on-premises data in the cloud.

Although the cloud has bred usability fear in some prospective users, it’s just as easy to navigate in as a web page, but eFileCabinet does offer an out-of-browser cloud option, too.

If you’re looking for low operating costs, vendor upkeep, accessibility of information, and a way to continue outsourcing effectively, a cloud solution will work best. If you want greater bandwidth and have an internal IT team to handle configuration and maintenance, an on-premises solution will work best for your organization.


How Do I Use a Document Management System?

This is one of the document management FAQS that many prospective users overlook, but existing users tend to ask.

Although the answer depends largely on the platform you choose for your system (see previous entry), the answer to this question hinges largely on behavioral considerations more than technological ones.

The usability of most document management systems today, including the exemplary support teams and user manuals, make leveraging the features of these solutions easier than ever. The behavioral components, including post-implementation training for new hires, prevent throughput continuity and long-term ROI.

For instance, ensuring buy-in to go paperless from an executive team, incentivizing employees to change paper-dependent behavior, and properly assigning permissions within the document management system itself will prove useful in scaling the solution’s efficacy. Once these factors have been achieved, generating ROI on a document management system is practically immediate.


Why Do Some Document Management Projects Fail?

Sometimes a lack of proper add-ons, such as adjustable, field-level Zonal OCR, make going and staying paperless difficult. However, with the Zonal OCR add-on, which automates document routing and classification, going back to the old, paper-dependent way of conducting business will quite literally seem ridiculous.

Another common error is selecting a vendor that does not integrate with software the buyer already uses. Salesforce and Microsoft Office are the most important integrations. Although there are more document management FAQs regarding specific types of integrations outside Salesforce and Microsoft Office, they pertain more to advanced functionality than basic set up.


Why Is Document Management Important?

On a macroeconomic level, document management, if adopted in mass, is one of the few technologies that can increase GDP without causing environmental harm. In fact, the entire accounting industry has added value to its profession by augmenting the skill set of its practitioners through the efficiency that document management systems provide.

Additionally, as security breach threats are on the rise, document management systems play an important role in simplifying compliance and safeguarding client and customer information through secure file sharing and role-based permissions.

Although paper documents may seem safer because they are tangible, this simply isn’t the case as they expose an entirely different avenue for breach—the traditional office break-in.

Aside from the gains businesses achieve in return on investment, simplified compliance, and streamlined processes, document management system adoption in mass will be beneficial for the environment.

As organizations hang their hats on environmental conscientiousness in increasing numbers, document management solutions are important in preserving both the environment and the trust consumers place in businesses.


How Does a Document Management System Reduce Costs?

A document management system reduces operating expenses and the costs of noncompliance. When you couple the eliminating of trips back and forth to printers and fax machines with the elimination of time spent searching for paper-dependent information (or losing) paper-dependent information and needlessly re-creating it, the annual savings usually surpasses $10,000 for even small, 1 to 5-employee businesses.


Which Industries and Business Types Need Document Management Most?

Since the accounting industry has been saturated by document management system use, the industries in which the greatest competitive advantages are to be gained from using document management systems are construction, services, technology, real estate, finance, insurance, property management, healthcare, and consulting services.

However, as mentioned earlier, organizations with a low capital resources to expectations ratio will also be prime candidates for document management system use, and these circumstances are typical in small to mid-sized businesses with 1 to 5 employees.


How Do I Choose the Right Document Management Vendor?

Choosing a vendor that will offering an enduring legacy solution in the form of document management will be most beneficial. To establish whether this is the case, research each vendor’s track record for performance on review sites, including the reviews of the product given by existing customers.

Another good yardstick is to review the vendor’s longevity. Does the vendor have a track record of adapting to new document management demands and releasing innovative products? Have they carved out a respectable niche within the industry you work in? These are solid questions to ask when prospecting.


What If Document Management Is Too Expensive?

Although up-front costs of document management systems are minor compared to the ROI they can generate long term, many vendors have moved to a subscription-based model, meaning low up-front costs for use.

What’s more, eFileCabinet offers a document management option for single-room offices, for as little as $9.95 per month. This includes HIPAA compliance features, encrypted file sharing, and other document management features—bringing document management functionality to an increasingly decentralized and independent workforce.

Many prospective buyers who think document management is too expensive are confusing it with enterprise content management (ECM). ECM is more expensive than DMS, and more commonly used in very large organizations with multiple office locations.

To receive more answers to document management FAQs, visit our What is DMS? page.