Optimizing Your Document Management System for Maximum Impact

That an enterprise document management system is your electronic savior against losing time, escalating costs, and in avoiding confusion over paper documents is an established fact. But implementing your DMS successfully to work for your company’s best interests is another thing altogether. Each of your business units, departments and employees need to work together as a whole for your DMS implementation to be successful in optimizing your business operations.

While tweaking workflows and processes to fit in your new DMS may be one of the obvious solutions, here are some other ideas to optimize your DMS for maximum impact:

DMS Expertise and Training: Oracle CEO Safra Catz has said that what’s difficult about digital transformation is not about technology. It is about a company adjusting to change.

That is why designating a team of employees to undergo complete DMS training before implementation is a good idea, to begin with. The trained personnel will, in turn, be the company’s DMS experts, going ahead.

Employees will find it easier and will be keener to learn from their trained colleagues, and thus your user adoption plan will have more chances of success. Training expenditure can thus be curtailed. From troubleshooting, dispensing tips on the best document management practices, to how to make the most of the knowledge repository, these experts will help bring employees on the same page faster through better collaboration.

Standard Document Filing SystemAccording to businesstocommunity.com, a DMS is one of the most integral and useful elements of a business automation platform. The way you store the documents plays a huge role in automation.  

Before you decide the DMS folder structure, feedback of employees working on the current document management process is important. Make a list of the document types, based on the feedback. Then, chalk out a clear structure to manage the collected documents.

A standardized file and folder naming convention enhance document search capabilities. For example, a broader, encompassing main folder name, followed by classified subfolders, will promote the use of lesser, clearly defined folders. Documents named after their business functions, consistent subdivision when required, an alphabetical or color-coded order, will promote easy and quick identification.

Multi-User SettingsEntrepreneur Seth Nichols has this to say about collaboration at work- “Working with others is, in my mind, the future of business. You have a larger audience, more ideas, shared risk, shared workload and you will be getting a portion of something greater than had you done it alone.”

Encourage collaboration among employees, enabling sharing of documents among users. Instead of creating multiple copies and eating up space, multi-user access allows every authorized user to work on the same file stored at a single source, the central repository. Productivity is dramatically boosted, work gets done faster.    

Untapped Knowledge RepositoryAn April 2017 article on zdnet.com talks about ‘corporate amnesia’. This is a term to describe collective corporate knowledge that is lost when an employee leaves the firm or due to a workforce scattered across organizations. The article suggests that a knowledge repository, built collaboratively, might be a solution to this problem. That is just one aspect of a knowledge repository.

Your DMS is a central knowledge repository of all the document transactions that your company has ever been a part of. Yet detailed analysis, detecting patterns and arriving at insightful conclusions, using the available data, is a DMS feature few companies have availed to their advantage.

Data Analytics: Management guru Peter Drucker sums up data analytics in a brief, insightful sentence- “What gets measured, gets managed.”

Integrating big data analytics tools will enable your company to make more sense of your documents. Arriving at pro-action, analysis-based conclusions will help enhance your DMS. Customer management can be a focused, more purposeful practice when the right data analysis tools are in place. Pie charts, bar graphs, and other visualization tools can be used to effectively convey analytics statistics.

Intra-Office Audits and AccountabilityDespite robust company procedures and policies, detecting and improving on document management errors can be tough.

Setting up an intra-office audit and accountability program will help you identify the merits and demerits of your DMS process. The auditing feature helps you track document users, right from accessing to editing documents. Subsequent improvements can then be made. By keeping a check of the internal workings, you will also end up complying with industry regulations and standards.

Looking at it the other way around, talking of business audits, as biztechmagazine.com puts it, without appropriate document management, audits can be a risky affair for companies.

Choosing the right vendor that can understand your business intricacies and unique requirements and offer a flexible, customizable DMS to gel with your business workflows is another major factor in the success of DMS adoption.

We hope the article has shed some light on how to carry out successful implementation and adoption of your document management system for your organization.

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