6 points to consider before acquiring a DMS

A document management system (DMS) is a system used to track, manage and store documents and reduce paper. Most are capable of keeping a record of the various versions created and modified by different users (history tracking)

Before acquiring any DMS I would highly advise you considering the following points.

1. Do I need the scanning functionality?

In most cases, customers are adopting DMS to digitize existing documents. In this case better to check if the DMS has this feature to avoid manual scanning, this can be so hard and a big loss of time.

2. Text recognition

Now documents are scanned, you need a tool to recognize the text in the images in order to be able to search inside this documents and look for a specific word for example.
Optical character recognition (also optical character reader, OCR) is the mechanical or electronic conversion of images of typed, handwritten or printed text into machine-encoded text, whether from a scanned document, a photo of a document, a scene-photo (for example the text on signs and billboards in a landscape photo) or from subtitle text superimposed on an image (for example from a television broadcast)..

3. Document retention policies?

Data retention defines the policies of persistent data and records management for meeting legal and business data archival requirements; although sometimes interchangeable.

The different data retention policies weigh legal and privacy concerns against economics and need-to-know concerns to determine the retention time, archival rules, data formats, and the permissible means of storage, access, and encryption.

You can for example set a rule to archive or destroy files aged more than five years.

4. Metadata

Most of solutions will provide some basic metadata and information about the file, but these are very basic and generic. If you need specific metadata related to your business, be sure that the solution you are acquiring will let you do so.

Let's say you are in property industry, you have the file name, date of last update, version... But you might need to add phase and plot number. This can be done only if the solution has this feature. It will also help you refining your search and allow you searching by plot number for example instead of file name.

5. Workflow and approvals?

Some of documents should be verified, modified or approved before taking any kind of action like sharing them for example.
Be sure that the solution has this feature where you can work with workflows and human validation or approvals.

The DMS should allow you having multiple layers of approvals.

6. Available, but really available

Any solution that is not available on desktops and mobiles should not be considered.
In our modern era, any document or approval should be available on mobile, that will give you more flexibility and you will gain a considerable amount of time.

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