5 Crucial Questions to Ask When Looking For a Document Management System

5 Crucial Questions to Ask When Looking For a Document Management System

When desks are flooded with reams of paper and file cabinets are taking up too much space, it’s high time you install a document management system (DMS). But be careful, not all DMSs are the same. Make a hasty decision and you could end up with software that doesn’t solve your company’s issues.

Just like considering any kind of business investment, selecting a DMS requires research. To get you started, here are some things you should think about.

Does it have flexible document capture features?

The best DMS is the one that allows you to capture documents from anywhere, including desktop scanners, emails, and other business software. Ideally, you’ll want a DMS that scans and processes documents in bulk and automatically stores them in the correct folders.

The same goes for electronic files. A good DMS should allow you to drag and drop any type of electronic file -- from JPEGs and PNGs to PDFs and Docs -- to your database, automatically indexed and organized into folders however you like.

Barcode scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) features are also a huge plus since these will allow you to convert scanned documents into electronic information, making it easy to search and retrieve files.

How will it retrieve documents?

A high-quality DMS should boast a robust search function capable of retrieving files quickly. With Papersave’s Full Text Search feature, for example, typing in keywords like “Invoice March 2018” on the search bar will fetch all files that contain those keywords, saving you from sifting through various folders.

Can it integrate with other software?

Aside from the core features, consider looking into integration capabilities. If a potential DMS has built-in workflow automation features, you’ll be able to automatically route files to the right department or person. As soon as an invoice is scanned in, for instance, the DMS can instantly store the file in the accounting database and send it to the appropriate accounts payable manager for approval.

There are even more efficiency gains to be had when you integrate business software like Dynamics GP or Intacct with document management, so make sure you pick a flexible and adaptable DMS.

Does it help with compliance?

If your industry requires you to adhere to strict data regulations like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, you’ll need a DMS that will help you stay compliant. While data regulations vary between industries, you’ll typically want one that secures the privacy, integrity, and availability of your files.

Opting for a cloud-based DMS will give you a huge advantage since your files will be stored in multiple, super-secure servers that can be accessed with an internet connection. Besides that, make sure it allows you to restrict access to files based on user roles and offers end-to-end encryption to prevent unauthorized parties from viewing or tampering with your files.

Is it user-friendly?

When selecting a DMS, the overall user experience may be even more important than the features and functions. After all, having the best features isn’t worth much if they’re hidden behind unintuitive menus. To get the most from your DMS, everyone -- from executives to front-of-house staff -- should be able to pick up the software quickly.

So before you settle on a DMS, it’s a good idea to ask the software vendor for a free demo or trial version of the software. Then, get your staff to play around with it for a week or two and get their feedback. Ask them: Is the software easy to navigate? How long did it take to get acquainted with all the features? Were there any helpful tutorials and tool tips?

Afterwards, have your employees rate the intuitiveness of the DMS out of 10, collect the scores, and compare them with the other software in your list.

Still having trouble deciding? Check out our whitepaper: The benefits of going paperless with Papersave to find out whether our DMS is the perfect solution for you!