Document management is the process of managing documents and other means of information such as images from creation, review, storage to its dissemination. It also involves the indexing, storage and retrieval of documents in an organized method. Document management solutions efficiently organize different types of information from different sources (including digitized paper documents) into an integrated electronic system for archival, administration, tracking and distribution purposes. Document management not only applies to documents but also email messages, reports, images, faxes, digital signatures, electronic forms, computer files, etc. Having a system in place to organize all these aspects of daily business is the goal of document imaging and document management.
Document imaging is the online storage, retrieval, and management of paper and electronic images of documents. Imaging is the process that makes business files and documents electronically accessible. The main method of capturing images is by scanning paper documents. Scanned documents can be retrieved from a PC, eliminating the time-consuming process of locating documents or having to make copies for customers or co-workers. Essentially, a user can type in the criteria needed and the document appears on the computer and can be organized, printed, labeled for other use, or distributed to co-workers or customers instantly via email, fax or both.
What is the Difference Between Document Imaging and Document Management?
Document imaging and document management both involve a process where images of paper documents are electronically captured and stored. Both involve the scanning of paper documents, converting them into electronic images of the paper document. The addition of non-image documents, such as word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, email, etc. is the basic point of differentiation between document imaging and document management. With a document management solution, electronic documents can also be stored in their original format without the need to scan them.
Depending upon needs, document management also applies to email messages, reports, images, faxes, electronic/digital signatures, computer files, electronic forms, etc. Having a system in place to organize all these important aspects of daily business is the goal of document management.
Going Paperless with a Document Management System:
Once a paper document is captured, the document can quickly and easily be retrieved and displayed, annotated, processed, routed, distributed to other users and faxed electronically right from a user’s desk. The advantage of converting a paper document into an electronic digitized image is that it may now be routed electronically to a person or group, it may be sent to a recipient via email or fax and it can be viewed by many people simultaneously. The document never has to be returned to a file room or re-filed.
Some systems have the ability to store over hundreds of different types of computer file formats in their true, original format and retaining all the special features inherent in these documents. Other systems convert documents only to PDF files. With a robust document management system all of your documents related to a customer, vendor or employee are stored in one central repository for quick and easy access and linked to your core business applications. Having all documents together in one central location improves customer service and makes the business more responsive, efficient and productive. Electronic document scanning and indexing is a simple and quick process when compared to manually preparing, labeling and distributing file folders and filing them.
Document Management Automation
Document management systems can have the ability to help you streamline your daily operations by automating repetitive, time consuming and document intensive processes saving you time and improving your cash flow. Accounts payable, accounts receivable, order processing and human resources departments can be automated. Disaster recovery following catastrophic events or equipment failure is expedited. Records and sensitive document packages can be handled automatically and securely according to state and federal regulations related to data privacy, document retention and encryption requirements.