Did you know that in 2021 people created a whopping 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily?
Now imagine this data in papers, documents, and files. The stack of paper your business generates every year can reach miles.
How can your business navigate this document management challenge without spending a fortune on storing these files in a physical space?
You require a document management system that strategically stores, manages, tracks, retrieves, and shares digital documents.
Before moving forward, let’s understand what a document management system is.
A document management system (DMS) provides centralized storage for all your documents.
Often confused with the content management system, a DMS is a component of an enterprise content management (ECM) that includes workflow systems, record management solutions, and digital asset management.
These systems allow you to keep all files in one location, not scattered at different locations or even buildings. Everyone in the company can seamlessly access all the files.
That primarily means you grant access to anyone in any part of the world, whether editorial or read-only.
With employees spending close to 1.8 hours daily trying to find and search for a document or information, a document management system is a welcome change for companies looking to make their operations more productive.
Apart from storing information in a centralized place, these systems provide a range of templates such as invoices, receipts, purchase orders, bills of sales, and contracts & agreements.
To access various templates, refer to Smallpdf’s form templates library and manage documents like never before.
Benefits of a document management system
Here are some benefits of implementing a document management system:
1. Reduces costs
As the cost of paper continues to increase, the cost of using paper-based solutions increases steadily.
A DMS reduces costs related to misfiled or lost documents, paper, regulatory violations, other resource waste, and shared data entry errors.
Modern companies that want to decrease operational costs move away from paper documents and implement a DMS to achieve this goal.
Besides reducing the cost, DMS ensures that companies never lose a document, protects documents, discovers documents faster, and shares documents between colleagues and external stakeholders.
Interesting statistics: The cost to file one document is $20, and $120 in labor to find a misfiled document.
2. Improves security
Another important advantage of using a DMS is creating a strong security architecture that secures digital documents.
When documents fall into the wrong hands, be destroyed, or are misplaced, it results in heavy business losses.
DMS allows you to make your documents password protected and limit the access of each document.
These systems handle the whole lifespan of digital documents, from creating encryptions to watermarking, thereby adding a layer of security.
Interesting statistics: The global DMS market will likely rise to $10.17 billion in 2025.
3. Ensures disaster recovery
A DMS helps preserve your company’s valuable data by providing advanced disaster recovery options. If servers get destroyed, these DMS ensure data recovery because the files get backed up and stored in the cloud.
With a DMS, you live with peace of mind, which helps you maintain business continuity even if the operations get disrupted.
Pro-tip: Companies only need a stable internet connection to ensure their files have a backup in the cloud.
4. Provides wider access to documents
A common problem with physical documents is that you place all of them in a single place but making copies is challenging because you have to search from a stash of papers.
If you invest in a DMS, everyone in your company gets access to the document without having to search for it manually.
Everyone who needs access to the document has it.
Interestingly, it becomes easier for team members to access documents from multiple devices, such as laptops, desktops, and even mobile phones.
Interesting statistics: 25% of poorly filed documents never get located in a company.
5. Ensures advanced search
When companies use a DMS, all essential documents get captured and saved in a digital CMS file in which content is archived and indexed with metadata.
This indexing ensures advanced searching capabilities. It greatly reduces the time you and others spend searching for relevant information.
You can even access complex searches within a few seconds, improving business efficiency.
Interesting statistics: 95% of corporate information exists on paper, making searching for information cumbersome.
6. Integrates with vital legacy systems
In today’s digital age, there are more software and apps that you can count on and bank upon.
With companies using different tools for each of their operations, you may be skeptical about
adopting another software solution.
But, adopting a good DMS that seamlessly integrates with already existing legacy systems is essential for avoiding disruptions.
When your accounting, human resources, finance, and marketing departments integrate the DMS with their applications, it becomes easy to complete everyday work duties.
Interesting statistics: Companies use an average of 976 applications; out of these, only 28% are integrated. Having a DMS that integrates with a vital legacy system could be a game-changer for your company.
7. Easier document retrieval
Searching and retrieving documents is a time-consuming and cumbersome process that employees hate to undergo. Employees spend a large part of their day searching for information on printed documents, whether willingly or unwillingly.
The amount of manual hours an employee spends searching for information restricts a company’s budget, limits growth potential, and hampers workplace productivity.
That’s where companies turn to DMS, which helps retrieve a file even using a single phrase or word.
Pro-tip: DMS allows you to access each document remotely, ensuring a hybrid work environment.
Top 4 document management systems
Here are four document management systems you can choose from:
Smallpdf is a company offering a suite of document management tools for work and home requirements.
What differentiates Smallpdf from others is that it provides 21 PDF tools that create, edit, and convert digitally signed documents in more than 20 languages.
Smallpdf offers tools such as conversion, compression, splitting, merging, editing, rotating, signing, and unlocking pdf documents to simplify the document conversion process.
It even allows you to convert pdf to different formats, such as PPT, JPEG, and Word documents.
Pricing: Offers a free plan with their paid plan starting at $9 per month for a single user.
DocuWare is one of the leading document management systems because it allows you to store, process, scan, and retrieve documents. It helps transfer paper-based and digital assets into collective and quantifiable resources.
With DocuWare, you seamlessly combine various documents, such as emails, contracts, invoices, and other business documents. The solution eliminates the cost associated with document filing.
As it seamlessly integrates with ERP, CRM, and email platforms, it minimizes operations disruption and helps employees because it indexes and stores documents, making document search and retrieval easy.
Pricing: Offers a free demo
PaperSave is a smart and friendly document management tool that empowers companies of all sizes to manage their documents.
It seamlessly integrates with an ERP and CRM system, allowing you to capture documents directly from the user interface.
It becomes convenient to retrieve information and documents whenever you need them.
What sets PaperSave as a leading choice is that it emphasizes data security, which allows users to monitor every change occurring to the document while empowering you to assign roles and responsibilities to other users.
It provides comprehensive data security, irrespective of the volume and capacity of data.
Pricing: Contact PaperSave for pricing details
Another leading online document management system is PandaDoc, which helps you create, deliver, and share information.
It supports PDFs, docs, and other pre-existing digital documents for faster paperless processes and transactions.
PandaDoc works with contracts, agreements, sales collaterals, and quotes and is a must-have tool for sales, marketing, finance, legal, operations, and HR departments.
This tool allows for unparalleled document and form creation, powerful analytics, and tracking tools. It helps streamline all your document workflows. It even helps secure electronic signatures and payment capture for secure transactions and legally binding contracts.
Pricing: Offers a free trial, and their paid plan starts at $19 per month per user.
Placing your documents in a secure environment
A good DMS is one that just works regardless of where you or your employees are.
As your documents underpin each aspect of your company, they’re the foundation of your company, promote workplace productivity, and deliver value to customers, making document management a must for every company.
Companies looking to streamline and automate their workflows focus on using a DMS to keep files organized and in line with industry standards while maintaining adequate security.