You have probably heard the term “document management” or “electronic document management” in continuing education classes, from colleagues, online articles, etc., but the concept can still seem a little vague. It’s important to understand that basics of electronic document management to fully appreciate the profound impact it can have in your office.

Fundamentals of Electronic Document Management

Document management is the process of capturing, storing, and retrieving documents. Your office most likely already has a document management process in place. You organize incoming mail and email, client forms, invoices, and more with some sort of filing system. Electronic document management streamlines your process so all documents are stored digitally. This system dramatically decreases the time your office spends capturing, storing, and retrieving files.

How Does an Electronic Document Management System Work?

Capturing Data

Documents come into your office either in paper or digital format. The goal of an electronic document management system is to capture both formats and store them in one central location. Supporting documents are stored together for easy retrieval and reference. Why is this better than the traditional filing cabinet method? The time, space, and money you save. No more storing large, bulky filing cabinets, spending inordinate amounts of money on paper, toner, file folders, etc. No more constant trips to the filing cabinet, either.

Storing Data

Documents can be stored into the system in several ways. Paper documents can be scanned, and electric documents can be dragged and dropped from your desktop or stored using the Save As function. eFileCabinet v5.0 also offers several other methods for storing your documents, making the process as painless as possible. Also, there is no limit to what file format you can store. This definitely beats creating a new folder, labeling it, figuring out where it goes in the filing cabinet, and then trying to make room for it.

Retrieving Data

An electronic document management solution also makes retrieving documents easy. Rather than walking over to the file cabinet and searching through drawers, folders, and files until you find the one item you need, you simply log in to the program, type in a keyword and the document is at your fingertips in seconds. From there you can view the file, email, fax, print, or take whatever action you need. And you don’t have to walk back to the filing cabinet to return the folder. This particularly comes in handy when a client calls up looking for a specific document and is more than a little anxious for it. You can log in while speaking to them and retrieve the file without even putting them on hold. You are able to offer better customer service and it gives you the opportunity to service more clients. It’s a win-win solution.