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How does a Document Management System work?

Capture

Distribute

Edit

Archive

The information store of a company

By means of a Document Management System it is possible to have the right information at the right time in the right place. This provides the basis for decision-making and thus the triggering of business processes. The sooner relevant information are available, the sooner decisions can be made.

Nowadays information is often already available in electronic form - such as e-mails or Word files. Even so the classic paper-based form still exists. Digital archiving by means of a document management software stores these documents in a central archive, which is accessible to everyone via the network. Every piece of information concerning the documents is stored in a database, ranging from creation date via type of document and stored tags to the entire text content.

Based on these saved information the document management software subsequently retrieves every archived document at any time. In contrast to searching conventional folders and files this process takes only a few seconds if using a document management system.

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Faster information access and transport

Documents may be distributed by electronic means as well. The workflow system of a Document Management System can supply corresponding caseworkers or groups within the company (or externally) with documents, based on specific parameters, like the category, the project number, the client etc. Depending on how and when they finish editing the documents, further workflow steps are triggered. A workflow should not be understood as a rigid construct since semi-automatic and manual workflows might be established just as well. Anyway, workflow management reduces process time of editing documents and increases transparency. Furthermore, it is still possible to find a document in the DMS, even if you are not personally involved in the workflow. Namely because the document itself is always staying at the same place in the archive even while being edited. A Dms enables thus to join a shared database and distribution copies are a thing of the past.

Early document capture ensures transparency and prevents loss

If paper documents are captured as soon as they arrive in the company, loss of individual pages or even of the entire document can be prevented. By means of a modern DMS Document processing in different departments can take place entirely electronical. Each step of the procedure is documented and thus facilitates the comprehensibility of processes. If it comes to controlling, the DMS offers important tools to analyse the entire metadata of a document.

Modern Document Management software also provides an audit-proof archiving function, which saves files and documents immutably in a write-protected storage space. The documents stored that way have complete document status for the tax authorities and paper documents become superfluous for a tax audit. Lower space requirements are the advantage here, whereby not all originals should be destroyed: signed contracts, for instance, are still required in paper form as proof in the case of civil disputes.

The right time for electronic Document Management - the time is now!

Digital archiving systems have been around since the beginning of the 1990s. At that time the costs (for licences, servers, scanners, jukeboxes etc.) were so high that digital archiving was only used in corporations. Additionally working with the digital archive was very complex because all documents had to be indexed manually in order to retrieve them subsequently via index screens.

The rapid development of information technology provides high server performance and large mass storage space nowadays. Components, which had been as expensive as a private residential building ten years ago, are available at a reasonable price these days. Furthermore, text recognition components (OCR), which are able to recognize documents digitally with high accuracy, have been available for only a couple of years. All in all, this allows a paradigm shift, which makes document capture and later reliable retrieval possible without user interference.

bitfarm-Archiv DMS, as a representative of the new generation of Document Management Systems, uses these technologies. Through these developments – especially on the field of Open Source (e.g. database MySQL) – digital archiving and electronic Document Management can be realised very comfortably and at low cost in businesses today. Now is the time.