A document management system (DMS) can resolve most organizations’ major challenges. For example, it can increase storage, data security, efficiency, and creative collaboration.
If you’re new to this technology, data management systems are used to capture, store, track, and manage electronic versions of paper-based content, such as digital images, word processing files, and PDFs.
Businesses that forgo this innovative technology shouldn’t be surprised if they struggle with poor productivity, lost or stolen files, and litigation and compliance issues.
It doesn’t matter if you run a home-based business or a large, established brand; you must incorporate an efficient DMS into your operations.
Continue reading to learn why you need a document management system for your business.
- Integrating With a CRM
- Enhanced Data Security
- Dependable Disaster Recovery
- Up-To-Date Regulatory Compliance
- Swift Data Searches
- Smarter Collaborations
- Reduced Storage Space
- Lower Operational Costs
- Make an Informed Choice
Integrating With a CRM
There’s a difference between a document management system (DMS) and a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
A DMS enables companies to securely store and manage data in one location, and files can be accessed via a computer, tablet, laptop, or smartphone with a quick database search.
On the other hand, CRM software supports tracking every customer communication. As a result, it helps businesses nurture relationships, find prospective clients, and win back past customers. It prevents the need for endless spreadsheets and databases and can even provide beneficial integrations.
Despite their differences, it’s possible to integrate a CRM system with a DMS to store data in one organized location and improve business processes and data security. For example, you can pair a CRM with Salesforce proposal software to use the consolidated customer data to improve your company’s sales cycle.
Syncing these systems prevents the need for users to switch between software and makes data searches and document sharing a breeze.
Let’s now take a look at some of the benefits of document management systems.
Enhanced Data Security
Companies of every size experience data breaches daily, but the majority do not hit the headlines. Since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in 2018, EU countries have received almost €300 million in fines.
For this reason, a document management system is a must-have. The right DMS can prevent your business from encountering a malicious cyber threat or costly data breach, thus banishing the fear of lost or stolen data.
The role-based user permissions of a DMS increase clarity regarding who’s viewed, edited, accessed, or deleted documents while restricting specific staff from reading confidential information. Also, their digital archiving and backup solutions provide your business with clear audit trails.
Dependable Disaster Recovery
Company files can be lost or breached for various reasons and in many ways. Threats include cyber-attacks, human error, natural disasters, poor internet connectivity, deliberate destruction, and even fires. Additionally, a malware attack can affect websites, onsite data, and networks. It’s a business owner’s responsibility to have a dependable disaster recovery system in place.
Luckily, a document management system safeguards valuable documents and data around the clock, meaning you can rely on cloud backup of sensitive files to keep them protected. This means that DMSs can provide owners and management with peace of mind that they could quickly recover from accidental or deliberate data breaches.
Up-to-Date Regulatory Compliance
Any organization managing documentation needs a dependable document management system. As mentioned, handling information safely and ethically is a legal requirement.
If your customer data, receipts, and invoices aren’t stored securely and efficiently, your business may face serious legal repercussions.
No Business is Exempt from Liability
Neither your business’s size nor reputation will protect it from legal consequences if you don’t follow the rules. It doesn’t matter if you’re a start-up venture with a small following or a large organization with many loyal customers; your business could face an ICO and police investigations.
Once they’ve determined the cause of the breach and its perpetrators, investigators will decide a company’s legal and financial liability for breaching GDPR compliance on its website or with its data storage practices.
So, don’t leave your data out in the open for a cybercriminal, trespasser, or disgruntled employee to access. Protect it, and create a responsible audit trail with a secure document management system.
Swift Data Searches
Piles of files can make finding business-critical information more complicated than it needs to be. Rather than spending an hour searching for an important document, DMSs feature keyword search capabilities to help you locate these instantly.
If you can’t remember the specific name of a file, a DMS simplifies the search process by separating and storing data using variables such as categories, storage dates, file types, and more.
Manually sifting through files thus becomes a thing of the past with a DMS. Every document can be added to one or more categories to differentiate it from other files. The more specific and up-to-date the categories, the easier it is to find the desired data.
For example, if you’re a landlord or property management company, you can instantly find a rental property lease agreement template by searching within the correct category. Rather than learning how to write a contract for rental property from scratch, you’d use the template to quickly create an agreement to send to the prospective tenant.
Many businesses have turned to the cloud to free up storage space, improve collaborations, and simplify processes. Lots of entrepreneurs started to use a data room to facilitate communication with employees.
Companies of all sizes go to great lengths to find the best team task management software, yet they can underestimate the importance of a comprehensive document management system.
A cloud-based DMS enables businesses to create more flexible, secure, and collaborative workforces.
Sharing and joining forces on a document or process couldn’t be easier with this advanced software. Employees can edit files in real-time, and the DMS will accurately record usernames and times to create a reliable audit trail.
It doesn’t matter if your team is collaborating on a financial spreadsheet or an asset purchase agreement; a DMS will allow them to work in unison while preventing multiple versions of the same document from being created.
Reduced Storage Space
Storing paper documents can not only waste time and damage the planet but also require your business to use a considerable amount of space to store its many files.
Rather than filling your premises with filing cabinets, storage boxes, and rubbish bins, switch to a document management system.
This will free up floor space while protecting files, creating a more organized and spacious environment for you and your team to work out of. What’s more, companies can meet their environmental responsibilities more efficiently by running a paperless office. This can complement green energy hosting and remote working opportunities for employees.
A DMS can thus help companies of every size to improve their reputation and operational efficiencies.
Lower Operational Costs
Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of lowering overheads to maximize profitability.
Attracting new customers, loyalty schemes, and Excel forecasting can strengthen a company’s financial security. However, you must make it your ongoing mission to decrease operating costs long-term and build steady profit and growth.
A document management system is one of many solutions that can help slash your overheads. The publishing industry will be the first to tell you that paper costs have skyrocketed in recent years.
According to Printweek, two major paper manufacturers have raised their prices by eight and 15% this year. Ergo, a DMS is a more affordable, secure, and productive alternative to storing paper on-site.
Rather than spending a substantial sum on paper monthly, you can use this money to fund innovative software to transform your operations, data security, and finances.
Free-to-use image from Pexels
Make an Informed Choice
If you feel a cloud-based management system could be the right choice, there are lots available. Making an informed decision when selecting one for your company is essential.
You have three primary options available, but despite sharing many similarities, a DMS, CRM (mentioned previously), and CMS each differ in design and function.
What’s the Difference Between a DMS, CRM, and CMS?
Down to the nitty-gritty. A DMS focuses on storing and securing a broad set of paper-based data to improve organization, cybersecurity, and productivity, while a contract management system manages contract lifecycles, enabling users to track, edit, and review these at the click of a button. A CRM supports the tracking of customer communication and helps businesses nurture relationships, find prospective clients, and win back past customers.
It’s imperative to choose the software type that best suits the needs of your business. For example, a law firm or legal department might benefit from PandaDoc contract management software due to managing a high volume of contracts.
Interestingly, both CRMs and CMSs can be integrated into a DMS for improved efficiency, storage, and security.
Save your business time, money, and effort with a document management system. By doing so, you can say goodbye to expensive, time-consuming, and space-consuming physical files and hello to a more efficient, productive, and secure office.
Thanks to clear audit trails, cloud-based backups, and flexible integrations, you can trust that every document you need will be stored in a safe, organized, and private manner. This will ensure you protect your consumer data, safeguard business-critical files, and can enjoy peace of mind that your documents will be recoverable following a disaster.
Yauhen Zaremba – Director of Demand Generation
Yauhen is the Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc, an all-in-one document management tool for almost all types of documents including this home repair contract template. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years, and for the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, and document management markets. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips every year.