Money may not make the world go around, but papers do. Papers appear in the form of documents, images, contracts, checks, and dollar bills. Paper has a tremendous value. One signature can be worth billions of dollars, and one lost document can cost even more.
Companies that have a large value of paper documents understand the need for organization. Documents must be easily located. Files must be kept in a safe place. Filing may be a solution for a company that has a low volume of files, but for those that deal with hundreds to thousands of documents, filing is not an adequate solution.
The real solution is digitalization. Digitalization allows you to scan your document, index it in the right way for easy reference when needed, and save it on multiple servers. Both time and money are saved, and you have a system that is well organized and safe, with easy access to only those permitted to access the documents.
DMS is document management software that does all this. When you first start to research software with features, you will find that there are similar look-alike software programs, and it is important that you understand the mistakes you should avoid in choosing your best DMS software.
Mistake No. 1—Scanning Your Documents and Keeping Them as Images Only
The majority of papers in every business are documents and forms. Documents contain a great deal of different types of information, like customer and employee data, sales and contracts that have been closed during the year, etc. This data can be considered a goldmine to a business. You have information there on your customers’ preferences, trends, sale dates, etc. While a company may have electronic forms, when a customer fills out the form, the data stays as an image in a scanned document.
A smart DMS system will include an OCR (optical character recognition) feature that will convert the written word, including handwritten word, to a digital text. Some software includes the ability to predefine fields in specific areas of a document and store the data in a structure.
For example, let’s consider a customer club form. The form includes the customer’s name, address, phone number, email, and other specific information. The form is filled out in the store. The data is then typed, scanned or smart scanned, and stored. Later in the month, should the company send a newsletter with monthly promotions, the data will generate income. If the form was scanned as an image, there is no way to get the data.
Mistake No. 2—Saving Data Only Locally on a Computer in the Office
Some businesses scan each document. Contracts are scanned, saved, and separated into folders so that the office staff and management can easily pull the documents. Backups are performed each day on the system, creating more protection. But if these backups aren’t performed, you run the risk of a computer crashing a few months later, losing hundreds of customer contracts. This is a mistake that should never be made.
Data needs to be local, on a computer in the office. On the internet, this is known as a Cloud. This offers easy access to the documents that can even be accessed from a mobile device like a cell phone or tablet, so the document is accessible nearly anywhere at any time. Documents can be pulled quickly, information can be checked for accuracy, and everything can be updated without a complicated process.
Mistake No. 3—Keeping Only One Version of the Document
Consider the following scenario. A loyal customer purchases each month. The customer changes his address and fills out the customer club form once again. A simple scan of the form will no longer provide the accurate data.
If you save only the first form, you can see all the purchases the loyal customer has completed, but you will not have his current address. Now, on the other hand, if you keep just the last version of the form, you lose all the details of previous purchases made.
So, what is the right way to address this problem? You will need to save both versions of the form and have a system to know the most up-to-date form. It also needs to recognize not only the fields and the data but will also choose the right value of each field based on the date of the form.
Which DMS will help to avoid each of these mistakes?
There are plenty of software programs on the market. The one that is highly recommended, and one that I have chosen myself, is eFileCabinet. This software offers many advantages, including how to avoid the 3 mistakes we discussed.
eFileCabinet offers a way to save documents and the data, pull them up on multiple devices, and back up data online in the Cloud. It also has a feature that helps choose a certain area in a file and defines which field the value will be inserted into.
The information gathered is arranged in logical folders, and the documents can be pulled fast and easy using search queries that do not require your employees to be rocket scientists to understand the process.
The price is also affordable. eFileCabinet is software that will easily turn into your best DMS solution for both small and large businesses. To see how eFileCabinet can benefit you, fill out the form on this page for a 15-minute demo.