There is no dispute that “going paperless” increases efficiencies and saves money. But most people don’t realize there is a difference between Document Imaging and Document Management. Once you understand, you’ll change your view on what your organization needs to efficiently store and retrieve vital information.
Most Document Imaging systems are simply electronic repositories for the documents. They documents are stored at the same point in the process as a paper version would have been filed. The process is not changed much at all. That’s not to say Document Imaging doesn’t have its benefits! You save on the front end (filing process) through minimizing the need for sorting and organizing, taking advantage of any auto-filing capabilities, and reducing the physical movements needed to file a document. You also save on the back end (retrieval) by not having to leave your desk, locate a file, and find the individual document. Especially if you have full-text search, your retrieval time can drop to mere seconds.
Document Management, however, can free up an exponential amount of time and money when compared to Document Imaging. It is much more powerful than being a digital warehouse for scanned images. It will enable storing of any kind of information that will create a complete file. This includes word or text documents, pictures, spreadsheets and even custom data capture through digital forms. It creates a single portal through which your team members can access information, collaborate, track progress and minimize handoffs.
Document Management systems are designed to eliminate the paper altogether. This means paper does not get scanned at the point it would have been physically filed, but gets scanned at the point it is received by the organization. You eliminate having to move physical paper through the workflow process as different people or processes are needed to work with or reference the document. You empower your people to be able to get their work done, according to standards, with all the information they need at the click of a button.
With true Document Management you don’t just change and improve how information is stored, you change and improve how the work gets done.
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