In any industry, there will always be competing claims about who can offer which solutions and which company can give users what they truly need the most. These claims have long been a part of the constant fight to win business, but they unfortunately often leave customers and users with real needs in the dark about what to believe. Are some solutions better suited specifically for them than others? Does one brand offer something more simply because they say they offer something more? When it comes to document management systems, we want to attempt to clear the air about whether DMS targeted toward specific industries are truly more effective or whether you’re better off with a more wide-ranging solution to suit your many needs.
Industry-Targeted DMS: What Are They?
If you’re reading this article, you likely already know the basics of what exactly a document management system is and what surface-level services they provide. To be brief, a DMS is an online filing cabinet, one where documents can be securely saved, edited and shared. Most DMS software offers more advanced features, including secure encryption and text-recognition scanning, but they all are built to service the same essential need— online document management.
Some DMS companies profess to cater to a specific industry user. For example, DocStar claims to be the document management system that caters directly to the real estate energy. According to their literature and marketing, their DMS is tailored to offer features that will be of particular use to real estate agents and industry specialists in order to make their jobs easier and more effective.
As a case study, let’s take a look at some of the features that DocStar markets as real-estate centric and see how they compare to a less industry-specific system like eFileCabinet.
Digital Document Scanning
This is one of the most basic features of a DMS— the ability to scan physical documents into the form of a digital file. Any effective document management system will offer this feature, and the most powerful will also offer text-recognition scanning, which recognizes letter and symbols in scanned documents in order to make them easily searchable once digitized. eFileCabinet offers this critical feature.
One significant selling point for industry-specific DMS companies is their ability to help businesses become compliant with their industry’s unique rules, regulations and tax fees. Unfortunately, this increased ability to become compliant is a result of the basic organizational power of a DMS. Document management systems offer a higher level of digital filing cabinet, so that the documents necessary to constantly remain compliant are always stored, secure and readily accessible. The claim that an industry-specific DMS will help with compliance, while true, is also true about most effective DMS programs.
One key selling point of DocuStar’s real estate-centric DMS is the ability to use electronic signatures for transactions and agreements. This is a tool meant to replace the tedium of constantly sending paper documents back and forth to be physically signed. Electronic signatures are a more modern, equally secure method of ensuring authenticity. However, catch-all DMS like eFileCabinet also offer e-signature capabilities.
Storage of Payroll and HR Records
Many industry-targeted DMS will profess their ability to store and edit work-related documents like payroll records and human resources documents. But again, this feature is available with more far-reaching document management systems. eFileCabinet, for example, allows users to not only upload all types of documents but also pick and choose who has what level of access for those documents. Employees can be allowed to view payroll information while higher-level members of the organization can be granted the ability to make edits and share that information.
While the idea of a DMS targeted toward your specific industry may initially seem appealing, there are several shortcomings inherent with this type of targeted software. The most obvious issue is that most other DMS will offer those same features that are supposedly catered to your industry.
A more significant and very real issue that often arises with these niche-centric systems is that in attempting to hone in on a specific target market, they fail to adress some of the diverse issues that can arise in any industry. In that way, they end up failing to serve the very industry they’re most focused on assisting.
Our conclusion is that your safest bet is to implement a document management system that offers a wide spectrum of robust features and that has been proven to be effective across a diverse range of industries.
To find out more about how an effective DMS like eFileCabinet can serve your unique needs, fill out the form on this page to receive a free 15-minute demo.