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Why Document Management Software?

 

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There are many business scenarios that prompt companies to inquire into, and rollout, document management software solutions. Some companies are required by contract to implement a document management software solution to satisfy or serve a project for a particular client. Others are required to use a document management software application in order to comply with HIPPA, ISO 9000, or SOX. Unfortunately, one of the most common reason companies rollout a document management software solution is because of an extremely costly mistake that is determined to be due to outdated or inadequate document management tools.

In the last category, the client is usually managing documents in a Windows Explorer environment and maybe going as far as to attempt to track some indexed data in a separate spreadsheet. This approach, although sometimes effective with smaller businesses, becomes problematic once a company experiences growth or begins to handle multiple projects. Continuing this type of approach, once the level of documents, users or projects increases is no longer cost effective but an expensive accident waiting to happen. With increases in volume, clients experience an increase in tracking revisions, in the number of lost documents which is usually attributed to misplaced documents and loss of productivity with users spending excessive amounts of time looking for those documents

Many obvious problems are associated with this archaic document management approach. It is time consuming to search the spreadsheet and then navigate to the document you are trying to find. Also, once you find the document, there is no way to know if someone else has the document checked out. Even if you have a cell for tracking this, there is nothing to actually keep a person from taking the document. Think back to a time before electronic files when a “Librarian” would log documents in and out of a file room. There is no Librarian in Windows Explorer watching the users. Therefore, there is nothing to prevent two people from editing the same document simultaneously and someone’s edits are going to get overwritten as a result. The bigger problem comes when the file is ultimately distributed and no-one realizes it is the wrong file until it is too late.

Engineering construction companies have put the wrong drawings out for bid which resulted in construction immediately followed by demolition. Manufacturing companies have manufactured thousands of parts, even shipped them, before realizing the drawings they used to make the parts were not the current approved set. Companies have literally lost millions of dollars from distributing incorrect project documents. The price of a sound electronic document management software system can be a fraction of the cost compared to mistakes that come from poor tools. .

Imagine a company who has multiple projects going on and hundreds of people accessing documents across these projects. Regardless of the reasons a company decides to take the plunge into document management software, every company that acquires and implements professional document management software ends up obtaining benefits beyond their initial objectives. User friendliness and well thought out system implementations, with respect to your organizations business rules, can create uniformity in document storage, uniformity in how documents are revised and named, and speed up document retrieval exponentially. Clients can also benefit from immediate on-the fly reporting instead of spending hours generating reports manually.

 

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