Adopting a document management system in your business or organization is a large undertaking. The right DMS can keep your business organized and in compliance with government, legal, and other regulations. It can save money on storage and boost productivity.
With so many options available, finding the right solution for your company takes time. The new document management system will affect every department, and possibly every employee. Consider each solution from multiple angles, including the suggestions below, to implement the DMS that aligns best with your company’s retention needs.
Research the vendor
Your company retains many records for years and some records permanently. Check the track record and financial stability of each DMS company you consider. Search online for reviews and customer complaints. Look for recommendations specific to your industry and company size.
Know what you need
Have a solid understanding of the “must-haves” and the “nice-to-haves” to keep your DMS in line with your budget. Work with employees in different departments to learn how they store and retrieve documents. If your company has internal compliance officers and legal associates, invite them to DMS sales presentations so they can speak to security and regulatory requirements.
Understand the costs
A new document management system involves up-front costs to set up the system, add dedicated servers or other hardware, and train employees. Ongoing costs can include fees for licensing, support, maintenance, and upgrades. Be aware that DMS companies structure licensing fees differently, such as charging per person or per server. Make sure you understand all of the costs involved before you purchase a solution.
Look for flexibility
TIFFs, JPGs, and PDFs are common file extensions for record management today. Tomorrow, a new format could transform everything. Find an open-file DMS solution that can easily adapt to changes your company may need to implement.
Ask about remote access
Many document management systems allow users to access data by mobile device or social media tools. Talk to vendors about their remote-access offerings, including which devices are supported, upload and download speed, and security features.
Consider your current workflow system
Some companies find it more efficient to manage and store documents as they are being created, approved, distributed or published. If your company wants to add DMS to an existing workflow system, look for document management solutions that include this functionality.
Ask about business interruption
A weather emergency, fire, or other disaster can damage important documents and derail business as usual for months. Talk to DMS vendors about their solutions for document backup, recovery, and remote access in an emergency.
Whatever document management system you purchase, talk to Polygon about document retention and recovery. Polygon has more than 25 years of experience providing records restoration to libraries, museums, government agencies, medical offices, and other record-storing facilities. These organizations trust Polygon to treat sensitive information in a professional manner. Register for Polygon’s free Document Code Blue® service for 24/7 access to their emergency response teams.
[Photo from Archives New Zealand via CC License 2.0]