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Investing in a document management system will improve the everyday efficiency of your business, reduce team frustration, and ensure you meet compliance.
By Gabriela Guerra - Marketing Manager
Modern business runs on laptops, smartphones, USB drives and web hosting. There is an increasing need to manage information of all kinds and file formats, including text, images, audio and video, spread across multiple devices. If not done correctly, information can be lost, document versions confused and even leave you vulnerable to hacking.
What is a document management system?
Document Management is the use of technology to store, track and organise digital documents. It covers content creation, workflow management, file repositories, document version control, information retrieval, security and auditing.
Why does my business need a document management system?
Without a formal document management system (DMS), content is often stored in a chaotic and disorganised manner, with files scattered over multiple locations. This makes it difficult, or even impossible, for your team to share and collaborate effectively.
The growing prevalence of digital fraud, hacking and security breaches have also emphasised the need for effective data governance to safeguard the reputation of your business. But for many organisations, document management can seem like a complex and time-consuming task.
In reality, a DMS isn’t too difficult to set up when you engage an expert, and Microsoft produces a powerful application that helps make the transition easy.
Microsoft SharePoint – A complete document management solution
Microsoft’s SharePoint platform solves your organisation’s document management needs by delivering a comprehensive suite of content management features. SharePoint equips you to:
- Store, organise and retrieve documents
- Guarantee the consistency of your files
- Automate workflows for document approvals
- Secure sensitive information from unauthorised access
- Manage and control docs and files for auditing purposes
- Perform all of the above in or out of the office – complete mobility!
The new approach to storing, saving and sharing files
Traditionally, documents are stored in folders on employee’s hard drives or on shared servers, but this makes files difficult to locate, especially when saved using obscure file names and buried within chains of sub-folders.
With SharePoint, instead of saving into simple folders, documents are instead stored in a central repository and categorised based on selected classifications such as project, contract, client or file type. For example:
TThese tags are pre-defined and customisable, so users can simply select the appropriate category from a list. SharePoint’s Document Information Panel also lets users browse and edit document properties and metadata, making it quick and easy to find relevant content in the future.
SharePoint enables you to achieve consistency
There are two main SharePoint features that focus on guaranteeing document consistency: co-authoring and document version control. SharePoint co-authoring enables two or more team members to edit a document at the same time. Users can see each other’s work in real time, although any paragraph being edited is locked to the relevant user at the time. In addition, users can easily send document links so that colleagues can review or edit documents in their original storage location.
Document version control allows your team members to track changes to documents and have access to previous file revisions.
When combined, these two features enable your team members to work from the same file, in the same location and with the SharePoint document revision feature, all document versions are made available centrally.
SharePoint offers an easy way to track, automate and approve files
SharePoint introduces custom document workflows, allowing your business to establish a series of rules to automate actions. For example, when a project moves from tender to production, a workflow rule can automatically restructure the tender files for production and import relevant templates for the production stage. Another workflow rule could automatically create a task for the project manager to update the project plan.
If your business needs some simple and quick workflows, SharePoint also has some basic built-in workflows, such as document approvals or collection of signatures and feedback, for example:
Protect your files
SharePoint offers extensive archiving and retention capabilities, protecting your documents and ensuring files are accessible at a later date. This also supports future audit or discovery requirements and mitigates the risk of litigation.
Connect your business
Foster a culture of collaboration and creativity by promoting effective staff interaction via a central portal.
SharePoint is also a hub that makes a company’s goals and metrics visible to all employees, offering a common space to initiate discussions through forums and discussion boards.
Your document management system with you anywhere you go
Finally, SharePoint allows you to perform all of the above in or out of the office. SharePoint encourages full mobility, remote access and bring-your-own-device initiatives by providing your staff with instant access to critical business information, from any location, at any time. This means your users can open, review and edit documents at any time and on any device that is convenient for them.
Microsoft SharePoint is designed to help you control your business’ content from document creation to archive. With SharePoint, you can seamlessly integrate enterprise content management into your business processes, eliminating ad hoc activities and protecting yourself from regulatory and compliance risks.
To learn more about how SharePoint can boost your organisation’s productivity, call Bremmar today on 1300-991-351 or email email@example.com.Back to articles