At first glance, going paperless presents a major challenge that is easier to surmount when maintaining paper records – bringing together files in a wide range of formats. A paper-based setup means that, regardless of document size, scope or type, it can generally be stored in a fairly accessible format and accessed alongside other files. However, bringing together, for example, invoices logged in a financial system and receipts from vendors using a separate application can prove difficult in the digital world. While this presents a challenge, it is an issue that modern document management systems are overcoming through an emphasis on integration.
"Easy access to a wide range of files drives collaboration gains."
Considering the importance of integration
Document management systems are valuable because they bring employees together under a common ecosystem. When a worker in accounting needs access to a file from sales to confirm a figure, that employee doesn't have to make a few phone calls, travel to a branch office location or dig through a file cabinet to access the document. Instead, the accountant need only hop into the document management system, request permission to view the file – unless such an authorization is already present – and get the information needed. This type of easy access to a wide range of files is critical, and it can drive the collaboration gains offered by a document management platform.
A ByteStart report echoed this point, explaining that real-time collaboration and synchronization are among the primary benefits associated with a move to electronic document management. However, it also pointed out that having an all-in-one solution is key to achieving this gain. Essentially, it isn't going to be useful if the document management system can only handle a few types of documents or works within business silos. Instead, it is vital to be able to bring together files from across diverse lines of the business.
"Today's document management systems automate integration."
Establishing an integrated document management environment
Leading document management systems will incorporate backend architectures that allow the solution to grab files from a variety of sources and filter them into the environment. For example, something as simple as pulling an attachment out of an email and automatically adding it into the document management software can be invaluable. With the software able to not just grab the file, but also convert it so it will be editable within the application – on an as needed basis, of course – organizations can ensure that files can be incorporated into the platform even if they come from an external source.
Document scanning and similar tools are also useful, but today's solutions aren't just helping with basic document integration, they are automating the process so that users don't have to deal with tedious operations. This simultaneously makes life a bit simpler for document management teams, it also eliminates the potential for error as workflows can be built to grab files from different sources without requiring human input.
For example, PaperSave offers a robust Microsoft Dynamics integration system that allows organizations to bring together documents from a diverse array of sources into their central platform. This allows for one-click access during file sharing, a form recapture function and the ability to automatically match documents created in sales and purchase orders. PaperSave also offers integration for Blackbaud and Intacct.
Document management innovation centers around the need to help people work together more efficiently. This goal can't be achieved if users are spending their time printing, copying, scanning and manually updating files so they can keep records within the document management system up to date. Instead, organizations must consider the ability to integrate files from diverse sources as they work to maximize the value of their investments.
To learn how PaperSave can help your business capture, integrate and automate your business processes, please watch our personalized demonstration or visit our case studies page to read about our clients' success stories.