Document Management System: What must a DMS be able to do?

In a digital world where a flood of information is produced daily, managing documents effectively has become a necessary skill. A document management system (DMS) can help companies organize, store and manage their information overload.

Learn more in this blog article:

  • How to find a DMS that fits your business.
  • How to automate processes and workflows.
  • Important: Additionally, read everything about data protection regulations and effective extensions of the DMS.

What is a Document Management System?

A Document Management System (DMS) is a software application used to organize, store, and manage documents and information in a digital format. A DMS can manage and index documents such as text documents, spreadsheets, images, videos, and emails, making them easier to find and retrieve.

The importance of a DMS is that it helps organizations manage their documents more efficiently, resulting in higher productivity and improved collaboration. By storing documents centrally, employees can more easily access and share information, which improves collaboration and decision-making. In addition, a DMS can improve document security by controlling access rights and versioning. This can help prevent loss or theft of confidential information.

7 advantages of a document management system for your company

The following are some of the benefits that companies can expect from using DMS:

  1. Increase efficiency: DMS enables companies to store and organize documents in a central repository. Employees can more easily access the documents they need. Documents no longer have to be searched for manually, which saves time and reduces the risk of errors.
  2. Time saving: A DMS organizes documents automatically and indexes them. This makes searching for documents much easier, as employees no longer have to search for files manually.
  3. Improved collaboration: A DMS enables multiple users to access and edit documents simultaneously. This promotes collaboration and improves communication within the company.
  4. Security: A DMS ensures that confidential documents are kept secure and that only authorized people can access them. By implementing security protocols and access rights, organizations can ensure that their documents are secure.
  5. Cost savings: Organizations spend less time and resources manually managing documents. This reduces paper costs and the space needed to store paper documents.
  6. Compliance: Many companies must comply with certain legal or regulatory requirements. A DMS can help ensure that companies comply with these regulations by ensuring that documents are stored and archived appropriately.
  7. Scalability: DMS is a scalable solution that allows companies to adapt their document management to the changing needs of their business. Companies can easily expand their DMS solution if they need more storage space or additional functions.

Checklist for the selection of a DMS

To determine if a platform is the right choice, it is important to pay attention to certain document management system tools.

  1. Cloud access and permissions: Cloud access allows all documents to be accessed from any device. It also helps mitigate the risk of data being lost or deleted, while permissions are a good way to enable or restrict document access for different people.
  2. Efficient document input from multiple sources: A DMS should enable document input from multiple sources such as email, scanners, apps, and bulk uploads.
  3. Work on documents as a team with version control: With version histories, teams coordinate changes when collaborating on documents, so everyone is up to date and there are fewer communication problems.
  4. Security: Look for 256-bit document encryption, automatic data backup, secure audit trails, rights- and role-level document access, and automatic document indexing and built-in protection against viruses and malware.
  5. Smart organization: The more documents users add to the database, the more complex their management becomes. Pay attention to the tagging, rating, and other categorization features. These help users find the files they need more efficiently.
  6. Advanced indexing: Document indexing improves document discovery, access control, and reporting. The most popular DMS features for document indexing include metadata indexing and content discovery and indexing. Version and revision indexing and automatic document numbering are also important.
  7. Pull printing: For highly regulated organizations, bull printing makes sense, where users cannot print documents until they have authenticated themselves to the device. This helps companies prevent documents from being stolen or crowding around the device.
  8. Ease of use: Look for definable search filters, drag-and-drop import of documents, and excellent customer support.

Automated processes and workflows through AI

A document management system (DMS) is an important component for companies to effectively organize and manage their documents. However, there are challenges in handling documents that a DMS alone cannot solve. That's where Konfuzio comes in, a data extraction company that helps by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can complement and enhance a DMS:

  • Simple File and search documents: Konfuzio classifies and tags documents automatically. This means that users can find documents quickly and easily by searching for specific tags or categories.
  • Document archiving: Konfuzio automatically categorizes and archives documents in a GoBD-compliant manner. This means that users can create workflows that allow documents to be processed automatically based on rules and procedures.
  • Joint document processing: Using optical character recognition (OCR), Konfuzio can automatically identify and extract relevant data. This allows companies to automatically correct documents to eliminate errors and improve document quality.
  • Mapping digital business processes with workflows: Konfuzio can automatically create workflows to process documents automatically based on rules and procedures. This saves time and increases efficiency.
  • Process optimization with DMS: By using machine learning and AI, Konfuzio improves document quality and reduces processing time. This enables automated processing of documents, which in turn leads to greater efficiency and productivity.
  • Low-code email automation: Automatically extract and classify data from emails. So you never have to search for emails manually again.
  • Data Privacy: Automatically identify and classify sensitive data so that it is protected and stored.

6 tips for data protection in your document management system

In 2019, the General Data Protection Regulation has tightened data protection legislation across Europe. Information about people's health, sexual orientation, religion, creditworthiness, criminal record and political views is particularly worthy of protection.

The GoBD, in turn, places high demands on the processing of documents and tax data. Legally compliant archiving means that documents are stored in a loss-proof and traceable manner, i.e. with reference to the business transaction. You can meet these compliance requirements more effectively with a DMS.

Tip 1: Use legally compliant encryption

If your company is located in the DACH region, you should use a German DMS. Especially cloud solutions that migrate across the pond often do not meet the requirements of GoBD and DSGVO. This is because US authorities secure access to all data hosted in the USA by law.

In addition to encrypting documents in the DMS, it is important that the software logs all document processes in the background. This makes changes traceable, versions recoverable and ensures the integrity of the data. It is ideal if your DMS is integrated in the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). This allows you to work faster and across processes.

Tip 2: Tag and classify your data

Since data subjects sometimes request the surrender or deletion of their data, you should create documents in a document management system with the data subject's name TAGGED. In addition, the reference to business transactions, earmarks and consents can be established. After classification, your data is available at different protection levels. This allows you to quickly find data that is particularly worthy of protection.

Tip 3: Set up permissions for different employee groups

Employees should have as much access as necessary and as little as possible. Access profiles for user groups are useful here, so that a separate profile does not have to be created for each employee. For example, HR staff need write access to HR master data, while read-only access is sufficient for trainees.

Tip 4: Create a secure concept with your data protection officer

There you should define who has access to sensitive data, who is allowed to delete or modify it, or when the purpose of processing ceases to apply and data should be deleted. You should also define processes around the storage and processing of personal data.

Tip 5: Scan paper-based documents GoBD-compliant

Modern software such as Lexware offers support for GoBD compliance specifically for incoming invoices. Scan Invoicescontracts and receipts and protect them against unintentional deletion. This also makes your documents audit-proof. This means that the information can be found again, is traceable, cannot be changed and is archived in a tamper-proof manner.

Tip 6: Set up workflows for quality assurance

Some DMS software allows certain document types to go through a processing flow. For example, you can have document recipients confirm that they have read and understood the safety briefing. This gives you a quality-assured process with evidentiary value.

Add-in extensions for document management systems

Here are some apps that can complement a DMS:

  1. DocuSign: A quick and easy way to sign and approve documents electronically. It is usually integrated with a DMS to seamlessly integrate electronic signature processes into the document workflow.
  2. Konfuzio, ABBYY FlexiCapture, Kofax or similar IDP solutions: This software allows users to automatically extract data from paper documents or scanned documents and convert them to digital formats. The extracted data can then be imported into the DMS and automatically categorized.
  3. Microsoft Teams: A secure and collaborative platform for teams to share documents, work together on documents, and have real-time discussions.
  4. Slack: A communication tool that helps teams quickly and easily share documents and information and collaborate on projects.
  5. Trello: A visual project management tool that helps teams manage tasks, set deadlines and track progress.
  6. Evernote: A note-taking tool that helps users organize and store notes, ideas, and information.

These apps can help extend the functionality of a DMS and improve user collaboration and productivity. Integrating these apps with a DMS provides a seamless and efficient way to share, edit, and manage documents.

What is document management?

Document management is a system or process for capturing, tracking, and storing electronic documents such as PDF files, word processing files, and digital images of paper content. Document management can save you time and money. It provides document security, access control, centralized storage, audit trails, and streamlined search and retrieval capabilities.

Why document management?

A document management system stores all documents in one place so that all employees work with the same information. This central location for important documents can serve as a "source of truth" throughout the organization.

What belongs to document management?

Key components of a document management system include document capture and storage, metadata, version control, security, indexing, and query capabilities.

Christoph Schleicher Avatar

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