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Strategic Paperless Implementation of Your Document Management System

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The phrase “Document Management” is frequently heard in professional settings. This word, along with “Electronic Document Management System,” is often used as if they meant the same thing when referring to a system for organizing and retrieving documents. The reality is that they do not.

Both involve keeping track of official company records, but only an EDMS can do it in real time and across all document lifecycle stages. The two are very different from one another.

“Electronic Document Management System” (EDMS) refers to a comprehensive and integrated set of software, hardware, and predetermined processes that oversee the document lifecycle from inception to destruction.

This is very different from traditional Document Management (DM), which may use some EDMS features in an application setting but does not often coordinate the many tools and techniques employed in the management of documents.

The EDMS server doubles as the system’s central repository, or you can outsource your data storage needs to a service provider. No of the format, papers are kept in a single location. Misunderstanding the processes at play is the most typical source of confusion between the two. Capturing, indexing, accessing, retrieving, working, distributing, storing, and retaining documents are all components of an EDMS.

An EDMS should be more than just a centralized server for managing documents. This would be the case only if the central server could handle document management throughout the whole document lifetime, beginning with creation.

Most “Document Management” programs aren’t even close to being a proper Electronic Documents Management System, despite the name (EDMS). Copier, scanner, and MFP (multifunction printer) manufacturers often falsely advertise their products as electronic document management systems (EDMSs). Although copy machines may play a part in an enterprise document management system (EDMS) due to their document storage and retrieval features, they are not designed to be used as such.

Knowing what an EDMS is not will help you better grasp it. Whether the data is stored in a centralized repository, a website, or a combination, EDMS encompasses the entire process from capture to indexing to access to retrieval to workflow to dissemination to storage to retention.

The term “document management” refers to a company’s system for filing and retrieving papers. Remember that an EDMS may track and store documents in whichever format they were initially created in, be it a Microsoft Office file, an audio file, a video file, or any other type of file.

Among the many things that an electronic document management system can do are the following:

An EDMS includes authentication features to ensure that only authorized users have access to a company’s archived files.

o Capture – The EDMS can take digital images of documents or push digital data directly into a repository or multiple repositories without converting them (s).

o Indexing – The EDMS can be set up to carry out a process known as “indexing,” whereby a single document or a batch of them are assigned categories and moved to their proper locations in a repository.

Workflow describes the process by which papers move through an organization. In addition to establishing and managing document routing rules, the EDMS can also give a road map of a document’s progress through the workflow process.

Essential factors to consider while implementing an EDMS are: o Retrieval – How documents are retrieved and by whom. Documents that need to be entered into and recovered from the repository may be affected by laws like HIPPA and Sarbanes Oxley.

o Archiving (storage) – Depending on the EDMS, the documents may be saved locally on a storage server, a Web server, or remotely with a third-party service provider.

When a calamity strikes at work, the EDMS is the first line of defense for retrieving vital records. With all these features built into the EDMS, it’s easy to see why a regular Document Management system often falls short of its intended purpose (EDMS).

Document management (DM) is typically offered as a program that may be installed on a computer or server. EDMS-like applications might include ones that name folders to provide the impression of a more robust system. There may be other DM options for your company that are more suited to archiving photographs. An EDMS can handle nearly any file format used to store documents. So, how would you go about establishing an EDMS for your organization?

A detailed 10-step plan for EDMS creation and deployment is provided below.

1) Meet with upper management and the company’s document experts. During this discussion, give concrete examples of the types of documents and the preferred forms in which these documents are to be maintained, and stress the importance of this task to the work of every division in the company.

The second step is to create EDMS needs. Create a list of the EDMS’s hardware and software needs, considering all document processing and retrieval aspects, using information gained from the initial meeting. Get expert advice if you need it to ensure your retention schedules align with all applicable laws and regulations.

Third, analyze how the document capture, indexing, workflow, distribution, storage retention schedules, and desired folder layout of an EDMS might work for your business. At each stage, you should think about the tools, software, and education that will be required.

4) Talk to your supplier about the necessary gear and software. Give customers an idea of what to expect from the EDMS procedure at your organization. They know how to optimize the performance of your EDMS and may help you save time and money.

Fifthly, analyze your company’s document storage setup regarding where files are kept, who has access to them, what security measures are in place, and what departments are involved. When the time comes, this will be useful in introducing the new EDMS at your organization. Get your management team and document specialists on the same page with these results, this time on upcoming adjustments and the new system’s functionality.

Construct a Full-Circle Action Strategy for Deployment. Management must decide how best to implement the new system now that it knows its requirements and how it will operate. The success of your EDMS rollout depends on how well you document your strategy. Spend some time drawing up the EDMS in Visio (or expanding upon an existing one).

Seven) Set up the EDMS. Introduce the EDMS, preferably to a pilot set of users and in a single, consolidated location. Before rolling out the EDMS throughout the organization, get your staff comfortable in a smaller setting. This may be a single department or office.

Capture, workflow, storage, and retrieval should all be tested in the EDMS. With a dedicated server, extensive testing may be performed with minimum impact on daily operations.

9) Invest in extensive staff training on the best practices for document capture, indexing, access, retrieval, and storage in and out of the repository.

Ten) After that, look for ways to enhance your EDMS system regularly. As your team gains experience with the EDMS, they will naturally look for methods to improve its functionality.

If you follow these guidelines, your firm can implement an EDMS far superior to the rudimentary capabilities of even the best Document Management software.

If your firm is considering using an EDMS, you should seek the advice of professionals in the area. Professionals with relevant experience can give you an objective assessment of the needs of your company’s various divisions.

From the minute a document is taken and uploaded to the repository, your business will have a proper system that manages, monitors, and restricts access to all documents. Records can never be lost, stolen, or changed without permission again, thanks to reliable backups. A genuine EDMS can give you and your business peace of mind and cost savings.

An EDMS will be valuable to your company. In addition to improving the efficiency of your essential business processes, having such a system would allow authorized workers to access nearly any document stored. Remember that there is a significant gap between an EDMS and traditional Document Management (DM).

Michael G. Perry has been a professional writer for over two decades, specializing in business process, policy, and procedure documentation.

To know more, you can contact Michael by visiting [http://sisnv.net/].

The author, Michael G. Perry, disclaims responsibility for any adverse effects arising from following the advice or applying the information in this article.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2008 Coprofit. copyscape.com must use. M. Perry, Michael

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