Doc Management Simplified - The 4 Basic Factors

Posted by Nehal Preet on April 1st, 2021

Document management is really a term that can cause even tech-savvy specialists to provide their hands in confusion and exasperation. Why? It seems everyone has a different idea of what features and capabilities it includes. To easily simplify and get rid of an unnecessary confusion we'll miss the acronyms and break the system down into four basic components:

Document Capture
Document delivery and distribution
Document workflow
Document storage and retrieval
Document Capture

Conventional file capture involves printing a document and placing it in an organized filing system. Electric record capture places the document in an arranged file environment as well, but without resorting to paper copies. Read about DMS Document Management System, Document Workflow, and much more related to the company.

Docs enter the electronic filing system, now increasingly called the "doc management scheme," in a number of ways. Outside documents can originate almost anywhere: from trading partners, media sources, research institutions, government and regulatory agencies, to mention a few. These documents normally are captured using document imaging, or scanning devices, using optical character recognition technologies. Internal docs frequently originate as output from office production remedies, such as for example document printing and check publishing systems. Other sources are usually incoming faxes and incoming e mail records.

Historically, there have been two options for channeling internal documents into the document management system: raw data could possibly be printed and then scanned into the archive system; or the data could be exported as a PDF file. Additional paper files, including hard-copy faxes, tend to end up being scanned into archives. E-mail documents normally enter the machine in their electronic form.

A host of elements impact corporate archiving specifications. Not least of these are legal, financial and compliance matters but consumer related considerations induce their own mandates. In all cases, firms must know where their information resides. For archives to be useful and efficiently preserved, a comprehensive and precise indexing system procedure is mandatory.

Parallels exist in the traditional file cabinet processes, which typically are sectioned of by departmental and/or file type and which employ alphabetical and hierarchical file structures, and in the library industry's Dewey decimal system. The contemporary imaging/scanning/OCR solution is electronic however in most cases it still involves extensive manual indexing, which may be time-consuming and error-prone.

A far better solution is to employ software solutions that employ automated document capture processes that interact with the document management system to apply indexing automatically as documents are captured - at the time of production, for internal documents, or as they are scanned in to the system.

Doc Delivery/ Distribution

Until lately, papers docs have moved about an organization via the company mail system. While that is still commonplace, an increasing amount of document delivery and distribution has been accomplished electronically, with document delivery via email or intranet postings and alerts.

Record circulation to external recipients still relies heavily on postal delivery, but over recent years, communication with trading partners along with other outside parties has transitioned to electronic document delivery and distribution programs: email, authorized intranet access, webforms and regarding financial transactions, the banking industry's Automated Clearing House (ACH) network and Financial-EDI.

Electronic document and delivery introduces efficiencies and cost savings not realizable only a couple of decades ago. ACH payments, for example, reduce per-payment costs of more than .00 using preprinted check forms and IT department check printing, to mere pennies. Savings stem from the eliminating of printing expenses, forms inventory and handling, personnel costs, post-production and posting expenditures.

The savings are similarly dramatic for general/special-purpose documents.

The following examples provide a general idea of the difference in costs between physical and electronic document delivery and distribution.

Document Submission Costs by Shipping and delivery Method

Mailed --content--.80 per document x 10,000 volume = ,000
Manual Fax --content--.60 per document x 10,000 amount = ,000
Automated-fax --content--.25 per document x 10,000 quantity = ,500
Emailed --content--.03 per document x 10,000 quantity = 0
Mailed document costs include paper, toner, labor, envelope, labor, and postage.
Fax document costs include paper, toner, labor, and phone call to fax.
Auto-fax document costs consist of phone charge for cover page, average-length document.
Email document costs are negligible.
Consider also that the comparatively high costs of the printed documents referenced above are generated on plain paper on laser printers from templates within electronic document delivery and distribution methodologies. Therefore, they already represent reductions of more than half from the cost of producing business documents using preprinted form. Documents generated using these conventional processes, like conventionally printed checks, can easily approach .00 per delivered document pitched against a relatively few cents making use of electronic document delivery and distribution.

The cost implications are significant and fast ROI is apparent.

File workflow

In concept, workflow embraces many areas of corporate activity, from the assembly line to the business office. In office, it really is concerned primarily with the creation and management of business documents - most specifically document routing, document approval and document versioning. Examples might are the development of marketing materials or architectural features, both which often involve the input of multiple individuals at various touch points.

Workflow challenges have always existed, and today, electronic workflow environments exist which erase the majority of the complications and confusion endemic to the handling and flow, not merely of paper documents but additionally those of manually executed digital document workflow models.

In document routing applications, for example, documents can be circulated in a variety of ways. Ad-hoc routing is based on human decis certainlyions and judgment. A linear record approval routing system moves documents along step-by-step as phases or stages are accomplished - an invoice or purchase order approval cycle, for instance. Rules-based routing adds logic to the equation and circulates the documents in accordance with prescribed circumstances. Parallel routing systems essentially "broadcast" the paperwork to all or any concerned - for example, a obtain comments on a request for proposal.

In an automated electronic workflow environment, most document routing, document approval and document versioning steps can take place untended, using general, imbedded or application/content specific rules.

One of the most valuable attributes within an electronic workflow environment, for example, is document version control, where many hands could be involved in the constructing and refining of a business document. It is easy to envision the chaos that may result when many people have a hand in modifying an original document, working independently and often saving their changes in new document editions. Few variants down the line, it could become difficult to separate original documents from successive variations.

While working in the electronic environment in itself provides the opportunity for considerable document version support and control it still leaves the collaborators responsible, that is often unacceptable for uncomplicated projects. Today, however, advanced workflow solutions can be found that automate workflow processes, freeing workers at all levels to spotlight their creative activities.

Document Storage area and Retrieval

To assure their most useful life, files must be stored in such a way that document search and retrieval are quick and uncomplicated. Too often, documents (or "content") are scattered throughout organizations, created by single individuals or small groups and held within their computer files or remote databases. Much useful information remains isolated in "information silos," with valuable corporate intelligence unavailable to others.

Corporate content management systems that centralize corporate data and which centralize document search and retrieval have already been around for more than two decades, and with varying degrees of success. The upside is their potential to maximize the value of corporate details. The downside has been their proprietary nature, which includes led to often unaffordable purchase and implementation costs; and their complexity in document storage, search and retrieval activities, which usually has brought to reswill betance by those who stand most to reap the benefits of their use.

More recently, solutions employing web-based technology for document storage space and retrieval - corporate intranets and browser search tools - have emerged. Due to the simplicity of their architecture and the fact that document storage, search and retrieval is completed using technology that almost everyone is familiar with, such content management options often can be acquired for as little as 10 % of the cost of proprietary predecessors. Equally important, their web-based design virtually eliminates resistance, since anyone in a position to search the net is promptly able to search the organization content solution.

By centralizing file storage, document retrieval processes can be executed using indexing or full-text search. Currently, indexing is most often applied to documents manually and independently but technological innovation has become accessible that allow documents to be indexed automatically as they are generated and archived.

Combining corporate content using online document storage area also has an opportunity to establish clever document retention policies. The key is the availability of simplified sin order torage and retrieval techniques and superior document awareness. Document retention decisions could be complex, one reason being there are few hard-and-fast rules about what to save and for how long. Another is that different documents have various functions, with the features often determining their retention span. For instance, docs related to patents or legal discovery will be likely to be retained for indefinite periods of time -- much longer, say, than paid bills.

The significant thing would be to establish a document retention coverage: that alone offers a degree of legal protection under the concept of "good faith." Once established, the policy ought to be reviewed regularly for the adequacy of it's retain/purge processes and to assure the potent capture and option of all business records.

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Nehal Preet

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Nehal Preet
Joined: April 21st, 2020
Articles Posted: 62

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