Document Management Software

Document Management Software

Enterprises that aspire to operate at a superior level of efficiency should deploy comprehensive document management software that vastly improves their document filing strategies. Without a document management framework, businesses may waste time on unproductive activities, face losses due to misplaced documents, and overburden employees with mundane tasks.  Modern documentation management software solutions are integrated with modules for data theft protection, automatic backup, file recovery, and access controls, making them a valuable asset for managing companies’ document resources. 

What is a Document Management Software?

Document management software is a set of application suites that equips businesses with all tools required to manage their digital documents. From storing, indexing, organizing, retrieving, and exporting to importing, renaming, authorizing, and comparing documents, the document management system software creates a substantial mechanism for managing electronic documents. These solutions keep the digital document vaults up-to-date, structured, and easily accessible. Businesses can take full control over their important files and folders.

How Critical is Document Management Software for Your Business?

Data tampering, employee errors, unauthorized access to sensitive files, firewall breaches, and data theft are the critical issues that organizations face in the paperless work environment. Access violations and lost files have damaging consequences on companies. Document management systems protect businesses that are vulnerable to information breaches. Audit trail features of the file management software can trace anyone who has edited, deleted, or copied content without permission through the log history of users and their activities.

How to Select the Best Document Management Software for Your Business?

Implementing a robust document management solution should be cost-effective, simple, and easy to deploy. GoodFirms’ research team consists of seasoned software experts who have designed a structured methodology for uncovering the best document management software applications from the pool of file-handling solutions. Select the top document management software from the list curated by the experts at GoodFirms to amplify your business performance. You can also check reviews, apply filters, and segregate the software for further analysis.

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List of the Best Document Management System

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List of the Best Document Management System

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Buyer’s Guide

Introduction to buyer's guide for Document Management Software

The view of a traditional office often consists of filing cabinets, microfiche systems, drawing cabinets, folders, and shelves,often meant to store valuable information about the business like accounts, business contracts, employee’s payroll, security compliances, and policies, etc. The documentation type varies as per industry.

For any business, documentation is an integral part of their routine activities. Some documents also carry the legal weight, so it is essential to store them safely. Any error in filing the document or misplacing vital documents can incur a big financial loss to the business. Also, it consumes a lot of time to re-process and re-generate the lost documents. This is where Document Management Software plays an important role.

The traditional method of document management involves filing paper bills, receipts, employee details, manually. The formula has worked for all types of business, but there are some serious risks associated with manual document management.   

What are the most common challenges in manual documentation?

  • Takes a lot of space: The manual document filing takes a large amount of space. Once a business owner starts growing his business, it becomes a big headache for business owners. It is even frustrating when someone has to hunt down a file from this heap of files.
  • Risk of damage and misplacement: The risk of damage and misplacement of paper documents can’t be ignored with the manual documentation process. Regardless of robust manual documentation practice, the paper documents are prone to damage and misplacement.
  • Time-consuming: It is the biggest obstacle in manual documentation. The employees have to suffer their present work and have to focus on filing or finding documents manually. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to hours to hunt down a single file, which may consume an employee's valuable time.
  • Difficult to make changes: It is hard to implement changes with paper documents. So every time someone wants to make a change, they have to make a copy without destroying the original copy. It means there are more documents and more filing processes.
  • Low Security: A confidential file in the cabinet can be easily accessed. If there is no duplicate copy of the file, gathering all documents from different sources could be a mammoth task.

It is for the above reasons, businesses of all sizes and types can invest in a document management software.

What is Document Management Software?

A document management software (DMS) is a system that helps to track, manage, and store documents and minimize the usage of papers. Most are efficient in maintaining a record of the various versions created and modified by different users. The document management system is also referred to as an electronic filing cabinet. The software works in tandem with scanners; it converts paper documents into digital versions. It helps with the capture, storage, retrieval, control, sharing, and tracking documents, no matter whether those documents are in paper or digital format. . 

Besides offering the advantage of going paperless, the features and functionalities of document management software are critical to effectively running a business. A document management solution also behaves as a collaboration tool that allows team members to communicate through a single platform.

What are the advantages of Document Management Software?

  • Easy to locate: The paper document stored in multiple locations is often time consuming and costly to track.  With document management solution, it is easy to find the document with their name, category or allocated number
  • Better collaboration: When multiple people are working on a single document, and editing is continuously happening, the document management software ensures they always work on the latest copy. It eliminates the scope of conflict among workers as they all share the common document. 
  • Better security: Security is an added advantage with a document management system (DMS). The documents are password protected and come with other security features. Besides that, it controls the document access, like who can view or edit the document. This feature keeps unauthorized access away from the confidential file.
  • File recovery: The centralized data management and backup feature allow the user to recover documents anytime they want, especially when there is damage to the document due to disaster.
  • Easy auditing and indexing. The document management solution facilitates the seamless auditing and indexing of documents. The software users can access previous versions of the files and rectify the error. In comparison to auditing physical copies, it becomes quite comfortable with the electronic records.
  • Integration with other tools: The software also allows third-party integrations. Usually, the document management software (DMS) is used as a standalone program. However, there are a few software like mailing tools or reporting tools that can be used along with the DMS.  
  • Access data anytime and anywhere ( Cloud): The software can also be deployed on the cloud. It gives liberty to access the file from anywhere and at any time. It can be integrated with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. So users also don’t need desiccated facilities to access the data.
  • Centralized data management: The centralized location makes users access them more easily, quickly, and comfortably.

How does a Document Management System work?

Invoices, balance sheets, sales brochures, payment reminder letters, email, spreadsheets, reports—all businesses create a variety of documents during the course of business.

Step 1) Template for the folder structure

Users create templates for folder structures standardized throughout the system. Then apply a list of predefined document names to files uploaded to the folder.

Step 2) Capture the document

Document management software should be able to capture data from the source. It means the user can find any document anytime or any day. Usually, a high-speed scanner is used to capture paper documents from the source. This document is later indexed based on the user's requirement. The indexing can be done through ERP screen integration,  barcoding, or zone optical character recognition (OCR). The data capture from different sources may involve paper documents, emails, system-generated reports, or any other applications like CRM or ERP.

Step 3) Central document storage

Central document storage is vital for managing and retaining documents that come from different sources. The central document storage can be used for storing both dynamic and static content. 

Step 4) Document retrieval and distribution

The critical step of a document management system is document retrieval and distribution. Document retrieval needs to be fast and easy. The document management system comes with the search features to retrieve a document on any keyword search. The secret to quick document retrieval lies with how well the document indexing is done.

Another aspect of DMS software is document distribution. The software should route the document to a responsible person, like sending documents to customers, vendors, and employees. It should allow users to send documents any way they want to, like email and FTP.  The modern-day software allows us to automate the entire workflow.  For instance, when an order appears in your ERP system, it automatically triggers a workflow in your document management system.

Step 5) Document security

Make sure the document management software is laced with all necessary security set-up to block unauthorized access to the document.

What are the essential features to look for in a Document Management Software?

  • Document assembly
  • File recovery
  • Document storage, retention, and sharing
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Compatible with a wide variety of scanners
  • Version Control
  • Document indexing
  • Offline access
  • Electronic signature
  • Document event log history
  • Merge multiple documents into single PDFs
  • Bulk file upload
  • File routing and approval
  • Customizable dashboard
  • Automated business process workflows
  • Access files securely anytime or anywhere
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Convenient and reliable search engine
  • Controlling who can view documents and when
  • Accessible via smartphone devices and tablets
  • Easily integrate with the other application or tool like email automation tool or customer relationship management software
  • Restricting access to documents
  • Regular notification on software upgrades and maintenance
  • Allow to import content from XML and MD and export to HTML MD AND PDF and so on.
  • Control over the number of users log in or access
  • Document creating templates
  • Supports multiple languages
  • Remote access ( cloud storage)
  • Metadata management
  • Monitoring and audit trail tools to view changes made to documents
  • Data protection and scalability
  • OCR ( Optical Character Recognition) conversion capability
  • Audit logging
  • API integration access
  • E-signature integration
  • Upload documents in bulk

How to implement a Document Management Software?

Depending on the type of DMS, the implementation process may vary. The user can hire a document manager to ensure the entire implementation process is upbeat and software performs well after implementation.

Step 1) Research the product

Users should research various document software available in the market, and check the compatibility of the company’s requirements with the new document software. The user can search for reviews about the software vendor and services related to the implementation of document management programs. In case the user is moving from old to the new system then he should see the data migration takes place seamlessly.

Step 2) Discuss with the team members

The software user needs to feel involved in the process. If the software is going to be used by a group of people, then ensure the team members using the new software understand the reason behind implementing it and how it can  benefit the company.

Step 3) Conduct the training

If the document management software is used by the team members, then conduct a training session or share videos with them on how to use the software.

Step 4) Installation and configuration

Install the software and proceed to configure those features that can be immediately accessible. The user can determine the rules on granting permission to certain documents. Also, perform necessary steps like connecting and integrating document management app with mobile devices. 

Unlike on-premise software, the cloud management service may not require installation and maintenance.  The cloud document management system is the best option for organizations that do not prefer investing in resources for maintaining an internal data center with complicated firewall protocols and backup procedures.

Step 5) Dashboard reporting

Most document management platforms or software nowadays include data dashboards. Ensure the dashboard reflects necessary information related to document filing and storing. It can also be useful to monitor the success of software as well.

What types of business can benefit from Document Management Software?

Everyone can take advantage of a DMS system, no matter the company size or industry. A small business could use to collect a variety of electronic documents like images, PDF, media files, or an enterprise-level company managing invoices. 

The businesses that may use file management software include,

  • Logistics      
  • Education
  • Healthcare 
  • Government       
  • Accounting
  • Retail
  • Banking
  • Legal firms
  • IT
  • Real estate and Construction
  • Hospital
  • Academics and educational institution
  • Production and Manufacturing

How secure is a Document Management System?

Yes, the document management system software is secure to use with necessary security measures in practice like SSL technologies, TLS protocols, two-factor authentication, strong login password, regulatory compliance, and directory authentications. 

On top of that, the dashboard reports can help managers and administrators keep watch on user activities. The email notifications and advanced audit trail further strengthen the managers and administrators to control the data. The security templates in DMS with predefined security can be quickly applied to different areas. Besides that, the data backup option allows the user to retrieve any information they lost during the operation.

What are the best practices for Document Management Software?

  • Include Automation: To improve the efficiency, the document management solutions automates as many processes as possible, especially those that are repetitive.
  • Periodically review storage: The document management system handles large quantities of data, and the user should conduct periodic review storage. The periodic review allows a company to organize its database for optimum usability.
  • Maintain consistency:Maintain consistency in naming the files and folders uploaded or created within the DMS. It is a good practice to implement consistent workflow paths for all the documents
  • Regulatory compliance: It is essential that electronic document management systems meet all regulatory compliance requirements.
  • End-to-end configuration: The document control software should be easily configured, updated, and maintained, to avoid reliance on costly consultants, programmers, and specialized IT resources.
  • Align DMS with automation process:Business processes implement automation processes for organization’s success. Companies should ensure that their automation strategies are falling in line with the document management system.
  • Implement security measures: Administrators should implement additional security measures. For example,  distributing read-only content, wherever applicable and there is no back-door to access/tamper documents at a server level.
  • Establish DMS ownership: It is essential that a responsible person or document manager is assigned for necessary approval or streamline any necessary workflow. Also, during any software issue, the team members can turn to the document manager.

What is the approximate cost of Document management software?

The cost of Document Management Software like Greenbox could be as low as $5/month, while high-end software like Fluix can be anywhere around $200/month.  The electronic document management system may be used as a standalone solution, or maybe it comes as an add-on feature with the workflow management software.  The businesses that have limited use and are looking for a budget-friendly document management tool, then samepage, and pdfFiller are some good alternatives. For those who wish to have only the basic features, then they can go for software like; Planio, ShareDocs Enterpriser or SAM9000 APM. However, enterprise level companies handling massive documents on a daily basis may prefer enterprise document management software like Fluix or Clausebase

The flexible pricing of document management systems allows users to try the software without worrying about the financial restriction. The free and open source document management software solutions are always up to reduce the burden of additional expenses over the company.  

Why refer to GoodFirms’ list of top Document Management Software?

GoodFirms surfaces the best IT solutions through its review and rating platform. It assists the companies or individuals in making the best decisions on software selection and streamlining their business operations. Well, whether it’s an in-depth analysis of software features or getting a range of pricing options on the software solution, the platforms scan all important details for consumers in the most comprehensive format.

More and more companies are adopting paperless concepts, and the document management solutions are giving wings to it. It helps to speed up the manual documentation task and boost the overall efficiency of the business process. The document management software is applicable in almost all areas. The choice differs from the business point of view and budget. The Goodfirms suggest that you verify the complete list of best document management software that spans various business segments regardless of their business size and budget. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Best Document Management Software?

    The best document management software can enable your business to deal with its documents, from sharing to curating important records. It is critical to pick the best document management system to enhance work process productivity and monitor archives. At GoodFirms, we have listed some of the best document management software in order to aid business administration. The best document management system solutions have an assortment of documentation and curation solutions for a myriad of business sizes and ventures. Some of the best document management software solutions include SAM900 APM, PandaDoc, Zoho Docs, and more. 

  • What are the Major Benefits of Document Management Software?

    • Eliminates file storage and material costs for paper, folders, printing, stationery, etc.
    • Safety of documents with password-protected access, encryptions, and anti-theft mechanisms in place
    • Reduces time for finding, importing, and extracting documents
    • Increases productivity with a quick movement of documents
    • Protects privacy, confidentiality, and security of documents
    • Helps in keeping documents organized for compliance and regulatory needs
    • Reduces bottlenecks such as the slow distribution of documents

  • How to Evaluate and select the best Document Management Software?

    If you want to evaluate and select the best document management system, then look for the following critical components:

    1. Tools for capturing and scanning documents: The system must be able to import, scan and convert files to bring them to the storage vaults
    2. Tools for Storage and Archiving: The system must be able to store documents, index, and archive them for future use. Storage capacity should be evaluated as per your individual need. 
    3. Tools for Retrieval: There should be tools for locating, exporting, and retrieving files
    4. Tools for Sharing and Collaboration: The system should allow easy sharing and collaboration  of documents
    5. Tools for Security: The software should deploy stringent security measures, audit trails, password protection, access controls, and more.

    A document and record management system with the above essential features should be a preferred one

  • What Types of Deployment Are Available with DMS?

    Today most organizations prefer cloud-based solutions to save installation and hardware costs. Cloud-based solutions eliminate the need for maintenance, upgrades, and troubleshooting. With on-premise solutions, your IT staff has to monitor everything. However, if you prefer to keep, store, and manage data locally, deployment of an on-premise solution such as the open source document software is apt for you. You can also choose to deploy an online or web-based document management software. It can be accessed with internet connectivity; however, data wouldn't be stored in cloud servers. Your vendor would store it locally for you. 

  • What Is the Cost of Document Management Software?

    The cost of Document Management Software like Greenbox could be as low as $5/month, while high-end software like Fluix can be anywhere around $200/month. You can also use free and open source document management software such as OpenDocMan or LibreOffice, or free document management software such as Zoho Docs, SeedDMS, etc. 

  • What is HIPAA Compliant Document Management?

    Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a guideline issued for the healthcare industry for protecting sensitive data and file-handling procedures. HIPAA compliant document management is a set benchmark for best medical practices. The healthcare industry can deploy a HIPAA compliant document management software such as PandaDoc.

  • What Are the Integrations You should Look for in Document Management Software?

    One should look for Document management software that integrates with other third-party applications such as Email software, Information Systems, backup and recovery software, CRM tools, helpdesk software, analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Chatbots, and more.

Resources for Document Management Software