A DMS creates electronic images of documents and stores them centrally. Less time is spent locating the documents as they can be retrieved without leaving a desk. DMS users can also access other systems available from the desktop at the same time as retrieving documents.
Images of documents stored within a DMS can be indexed in several different ways simultaneously.
Improved, Faster and More Flexible Search
DMS can retrieve files by any word or phrase in the document known as full text search a capability that is impossible with paper. A DMS can also apply single or multiple taxonomies or categorizations to a document of folder that allow documents to be classified and stored in more than one way from a "single instance" something which is not possible with paper.
Controlled and Improved Document Distribution
Imaging makes it easy to share documents electronically with colleagues and clients over a network, by email or via the Web in a controlled manner. Paper documents usually require photocopying to be shared. This provides a cost saving by reducing the overheads associated with paper based document distribution, such as printing and postage and removes the typical delay associated with providing hard copy information.
A DMS can provide better, more flexible control over sensitive documents. Many DMS solutions allow access to documents to be controlled at the folder and/or document level for different groups and individuals. Paper documents stored in a traditional filing cabinet or filing room have the same level of security i.e. if you have access to the cabinet you have access to all items in it. A DMS also provides an audit trail of who viewed an item, when or who modified an item and when, which is difficult to maintain with paper.
A DMS provides an easy way to back-up documents for offsite storage and disaster recovery providing failsafe archives and an effective disaster recovery strategy. Paper is a bulky and expensive way to back-up records and is vulnerable to fire, flood etc.
No Lost Files
Lost documents can be expensive and time-consuming to replace. Within a DMS, imaged documents remain centrally stored when being viewed, so none are lost or misplaced. New documents are less likely to be incorrectly filed and even if incorrectly stored can be quickly and easily found and moved via the full-text searching mechanisms.