Whether you are thinking about implementing document management software within your organization for the first time or are wondering how you can get more out of your DMS, knowing the key DMS features is important. Of course, some of those features are obvious. The storage, organization, and full-text search functions of DMS are what draw many businesses to the software in the first place. Going paperless is an option that becomes attractive because the interface of a good DMS program makes it so easy to find what you are looking for within just a few clicks.
However, at eFileCabinet, we’ve also noticed that some of the most important features of our document management software are underutilized. This blog post is meant to help your organization discover and start using some of the key DMS features that tend to go overlooked.
DMS Features Your Business Should Be Using
The most underutilized feature in eFileCabinet (and probably in other document management software as well) is workflow. A big part of the reason for this relative obscurity is that a lot of users simply don’t understand exactly what the workflow feature is meant to do. Indeed, the term “workflow” is tossed around quite often as a 21st-century business buzzword, a term that is generally defined as “the sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.” Sounds useful, right? But how exactly does it figure into DMS?
Essentially, the workflow feature on eFileCabinet allows you to automate the business process or chain of command in regard to different projects or documents. Say a team within your organization is working on a new contract for a client. With the workflow feature, you can design a chain of channels that the document has to pass through before it is sent to the client.
Perhaps the chain takes the file from the employee who produced it, to their manager, and then finally on to the president or vice president of the company. Workflow allows you to automate this chain, thereby making sure that different files go precisely where they need to go when they need to go there. You can also set up as many workflows as you want, making it easy to automate the processing of different types of documents or projects.
Bottom line, a lot of companies adopt document management software in part because of the automation capabilities. Being able to tell the system when a file needs to be archived or deleted, based on document retention policies, saves time and helps ensure compliance with government or industrial regulations. Workflow is just another type of automation that can improve efficiency, accuracy, and quality of a work product.
- Role-Based Permissions
In the wake of recent events, many organizations are doubling down on cyber security, aiming to prevent hacks or other data breaches. But while most businesses are concerned about external threats first and foremost, internal information breaches are actually more common. Whether on purpose or by accident, employees are often the biggest threats for leaking company documents or information.
Because of these internal threats, document management programs like eFileCabinet tend to have multi-faceted cyber security features: advanced encryption to block out external threats and role-based permissions to cut down on internal breaches. Unfortunately, many organizations aren’t making use of the latter feature, and it’s not difficult to see why. A big benefit of adopting a DMS is giving everyone easy access to the files they need to do their job, from anywhere. If you are limiting which files or folders your employees can access, aren’t you torpedoing those benefits?
Once businesses understand how many leaks and information breaches come from within, though, they start to understand why user-based permissions are important. By keeping tighter control over who can access, edit, or approve files, or over who can give permissions to external auditors, you keep your company’s files—from valuable intellectual property to sensitive client information—safer and more secure.
- Going Paperless
As mentioned previously, the idea of “going paperless” is one of the top motivations for many businesses to adopt document management software in the first place. Remarkably, though, many companies that are using DMS haven’t gone entirely paperless.
These not-quite-paperless organizations tend to do one of two things: either they don’t go back to digitize old documents, or they still hang onto all of their paper files even after everything has been scanned and uploaded into the DMS. Obviously, the former option is the most damaging one. The goal with document management software is to make the office more efficient and more organized. But when you have all files before a certain date in paper format and all files after a certain date in digital format, it can become more difficult to find the files you are looking for at any given moment.
Keeping paper files after everything has been digitized has its own problems, though. Organizations that do this are wasting space on files that they will never need—either for backup purposes or legal reasons. A great thing about DMS is that, after you’ve scanned everything into your database, you can have your paper files moved out of the office and destroyed—thereby freeing up that space for more beneficial purposes.
Explore these and other key DMS features today, by giving eFileCabinet a spin! You can try out a free 15-minute preview of our software by heading to our homepage and clicking the “Free Demo” tab on the left-hand side of the screen.