Exploring the Benefits of Document Management Systems

Did you know that the average cost of labor to file a single paper document is $20? But that’s not all: did you also know that if a company misplaces a document, the average cost to find or replace it is $120?

It’s no wonder, then, that 82% of companies waste billions of dollars every year on outdated paper filing systems. 

Not only is it expensive, but it’s also incredibly time-consuming and inefficient

But despite the lip-service paid to technological advances, most companies still use paper filing systems, ignoring the benefits of document management systems. This oversight often leads to a significant drain on resources and efficiency. 

However, there's a silver lining. The evolving landscape of business operations is gradually revealing the undeniable document management benefits. By transitioning to a digital document management system, businesses are not only cutting costs but also unlocking new levels of productivity and security. 

What Exactly Are Document Management Systems?

Simply put, a document management system (DMS) is a software designed to store, manage, and track electronic documents. They were created to replace paper filing systems, so think of a DMS as a digital filing cabinet. 

How do they work?

The process consists of scanning paper documents into the system. For companies that are already digitized, they just have to import their digital files, such as PDFs and ZIP files, Users can search, retrieve, and track digital documents.

Thanks to the tracking component, a DMS is more than just digital document storage. For example, it can help with contract workflow, ensuring that all relevant parties have the latest version and that no signature is left behind.  

Yet electronic document management has evolved to be more than just a storage unit. Modern features can include, but are not limited to:

  • Document storage
  • Document search and retrieval
  • Version control
  • Access control
  • Audit trails
  • Indexing and categorization
  • Security management and compliance
  • Workflow automation
  • Collaboration, integration
  • Disaster recovery
  • Business process automation
  • Optical character recognition (OCR)

By simply looking at these features, it’s easy to identify the benefits of document management systems. Let’s take a closer look at the primary advantages. 

document portal dms
Document management systems make it easy to store, retrieve, and organize your critical data.

What Are the Core Benefits of Document Management Systems?

For organizations that deal with important documents and records, it can be a challenge to organize and streamline everything. 

Industries that most commonly deal with large quantities of documents include healthcare, government agencies, educational institutions, financial services, manufacturing, retail, construction, real estate, transportation, and the legal industry. 

This is where a DMS shines the brightest. In addition to less storage space, here are the core document management system benefits:

  1. Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity. A staggering 30% of the workday is lost to document retrieval. One of the largest document management benefits is the ability to access relevant data with a click of a button. It’s as easy as using a search engine.
  2. Reduced Costs. With greater efficiency comes reduced costs. The latest research suggests that U.S. companies spend $8 billion annually on managing paper documents. By simplifying the data management process, employees can spend more time on tasks that actually matter.
  3. Document Security. In addition to controlling who has access to documents, company’s no longer have to worry about fires, floods, theft, and other disasters ruining their company’s documentation. Cloud based storage ensures that documents are backed up and can be restored. DMS features must include access controls, encryption, and audit trails. 
  4. Streamlined collaboration and workflow. No more faxing or emailing back and forth. DMS enables multiple users to collaborate on documents in real-time. This reduces errors while promoting better project coordination.
  5. Compliance and Audit Efficiency. HIPAA compliance for healthcare organizations is one of the top benefits of a document management system. No-code platforms like Blaze come with HIPAA compliant, enterprise grade security. Some of the features include SSO and 2FA. 

Practical Tips for Integrating a Document Management System

Despite clear document management system benefits, many organizations are slow to adopt new technologies. A study commissioned by Adobe revealed that 97% of US-based businesses have minimal-to-no digital document processes. 

The biggest barrier to entry is the myth that DMS solutions require IT capabilities and deep pockets.

Thanks to no-code solutions, organizations of every size (from startups to global corporations) can create their own DMS without having to write a single line of code. 

It’s as easy as 5 simple steps:

Step 1: Assess Your Needs and Workflow

Work with your team to identify pain points in your current document management. Involve all relevant stakeholders to get a clear picture of what the DMS must provide. By seeking input from different departments, you increase the likelihood of buy-in from those who will use it. Conduct meetings to understand their expectations and current concerns. This process fosters acceptance and will tailor the management solutions for your unique needs. 

Step 2: Select the Right DMS

While there are many options on the market, nothing beats a custom solution. No-code solutions like Blaze allow you to build your own document management system using a drag and drop builder. It’s as easy as it sounds – you can drag and drop elements into place. No technical expertise required. 

No-code builders like Blaze are essentially a digital framework, complete with compliance requirements, and allow you to “fill in the blanks” as you need. Building a web app doesn’t require a large amount of time. It’s much quicker than hiring a developer or 3rd party agency to build a custom solution. 

drag and drop dms builder
With drag and drop web app builders like Blaze, you can create your own DMS and document portal without writing a single line of code!

Step 3: Plan the Integration

Set clear measurable goals for your document management software. Develop a strategy that includes timelines, resources, and personnel involved. 

Reference the needs that were established in Step 1 to ensure that your DMS meets all of your organizational needs.

Step 4: Train Your Team

While no code workflow automation is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, it’s a best practice to train your team. Identify key players who will work with the DMS. Be sure to communicate upcoming changes as well as the benefits they will bring. 

Key training items include:

  • Data entry
  • How to find documents
  • Document storage/organization
  • Document/contract workflow

Step 5: Review and Adapt

Given how quickly technology and business needs change, it’s important to constantly review and adapt your workflow processes. Even if your DMS is exceeding your expectations, consider reviewing performance every quarter – or at least once a year. This will allow you to improve the system based on team feedback and evolving business needs. 

Next Steps

For most businesses, an “off the shelf” DMS is either going to have too many features, wasting money, or won’t have enough. 

The better bet is to build your own document management system with a no-code solution. It’s easy and doesn’t require any technical expertise. Want to see exactly how it works? Schedule a free demo today!