Document management is a long established tool of business. For many people though it remains a world of smoke and mirrors. One of the reasons for this is the proliferation of acronyms which the industry has spawned. It seems that keeping language precise and understandable was intentionally avoided and creating terms which are often little understood became the norm. In an attempt to clarify a little we offer our collection of 10 definitions or explanations of common document management terms. To help we have referenced wikipedia to obtain some of the short definitions.
Office Document Strategies Blog
Wikipedia defines a Document Management System (DMS) as a computer system ( or a set of computer programs) used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. Smeadsoft defines it as the imaging, storage and retrieval of documents and information scanned into an electronic system. This includes both documents and files orginally created in electronic format as well as paper documents, photos and other items scanned into digital form and saved with keywords.
Both definitions start with STORAGE of documents.
If you want to store documents away- never to be looked at again - then get a brown cardboard box, fill it with paper, seal it up with tape, and store it in the basement- and in 20 years when you move- open it up- and finally decide to throw it out. Rather extreme case in point. Because if you really have documents that you will never have the need to look at again- shred them now.
But most documents do have to be looked at again for numerous reasons.
In your company is there any one type of document that seems to have the most “handprints” on it. Are invoices passed around for approval and payment processing? Is customer correspondence shared with different departments? Are meeting notes distributed to several team members.
Where to start- I’ll share my experience with Accounts Payable.
Scanning has become a must have tool in most offices. At one time it was only used for archiving of old documents and was relegated to the mail room or a designated scan work room. With recent changes in hardware and software it has become a critical office document strategy to include scanning capability.