Document management software (DMS) has so many features and has had such a positive impact on the efficiency and flexibility of companies that use them, that users often don’t realize that they’re not taking full advantage of their systems. 2 of the most commonly overlooked features of eFileCabinet are the ability to create and use templates, and the ability to choose role-based user permissions. Companies that don’t fully utilize either or both of these features are seriously shortchanging themselves.
The Many Features of Document Management System Templates
The best document management systems allow you to create templates within your system, which then serve as the framework for documents you use frequently. Common template examples are invoices and letterheads. Blank templates or templates pre-filled with certain information can be created. For example, you may want to fill in your organization’s name and address but leave the rest of the document blank.
The main benefit of creating templates is to improve your workflow by reducing the number of files you must create from scratch each and every time you need them. However, these aren’t the only benefits. Other benefits include:
- Reduction in time. Not only will you be saving time by not having to create the same basic documents over and over again, they’ll remain consistent. Any company with more than a few employees understands that when each employee puts their own twist on a document, it can cause trouble and reduce uniformity.
- Reduction in errors. You might think that you’d be less likely to make errors on documents you make time and time again, but the opposite can actually be true. When you’re creating something new that you’ve never worked on before you’re much more likely to review it closely before sending it off. On the other hand, when you’re dealing with frequently used documents, you’re likely to go on autopilot and skip the all-important review step. When you create templates you can do it once and know it will remain accurate as long as the information provided remains valid.
- Reduction in risk. One of the main reasons companies turn to document management systems is to ensure their workflow and documents remain secure. However, it’s common for companies to retain paper copies of frequently used forms to serve as a guide. If these contain sensitive information, then they could be a security risk.
- Reduction in waste. Some companies that know they’ll be using the same document over and over again will invest in 1,000 or more copies to ensure they’re on hand and to reduce printing costs. However, if something changes, every copy will be invalid. Using templates in a document management system makes it free and easy to simply make minor or major changes as needed.
A Closer Look at Role-Based User Permissions
You’re simply not getting the most out of your DMS’s security features if you’re not utilizing role-based user permissions. Across all industries, the use of role-based access control (RBAC) is recognized as a best practice.
Essentially, RBAC allows you to set permissions for specific people as well as for people in a certain role. For example, a doctor’s office may give access to all employees for administrative files, but only physicians may get access to highly sensitive documents. Using RBAC allows users to set up their system with various roles so that it automatically gives all users designated as physicians access to higher levels of security. There are many advantages to this type of system:
- Reduced employee downtime. In a typical system where users must be given access to individual files, it takes time to get approvals through the various channels. This can be an inconvenience and a poor use of human capital, but it can also cause serious problems within a company. Using the physician example above, imagine that one specialist within a practice may not have access to the results of another specialist within their practice. They could then re-order tests that have already been done, or completely misdiagnose a patient simply because they don’t have all the relevant information they need.
- Efficient provisioning. When RBAC is in place, users know exactly which documents are relevant to them and which are within their area of expertise.
- More efficient access control policy administration. When individual approvals need to be given, the chance for error is great. In some cases the consequences could be minor, but in companies with compliance issues, highly sensitive documents being accessed by unauthorized users can be catastrophic.
Most organizations can benefit from either role-based user permissions or templates, and many organizations can benefit from both. Learning the basic features of DMS is essential for organizations just starting out, but learning these additional features assures they’re getting the most out of their investment.