Physical paper storage and filing systems are often replaced with a labyrinth of digital files and data silos. Albeit going digital is revolutionary; their rigid structure perpetuates issues with access and data duplication much like the folders and cabinets of yesteryear. Document Management Software provides structure for your valuable document data to be stored securely and effectively organized. As technology and society evolve, document management has become less about archiving and more about the flow of business-critical information and document understanding.
What is Document Management?
According to IBM, document management is a process that captures, stores, and tracks electronic documents. These documents can be word processing files, PDFs, scanned images of paper documents, sales forms, emails, and the like. As the focus and foundation of every business process, proper document data management critical to your success.
Document management starts by locating, collecting, and scanning all existing paper documents into digital format. Then storing those and other data elements in a way that ensures quick and accurate searching and retrieval. Immediately, Document management reduces or eliminates the reliance on paper and physical storage space. Other benefits include improvement of worker efficiency and enhanced collaboration. It is the way modern businesses manage their information flow.
Who Needs Document Management?
Documents are the backbone of virtually every modern business, regardless of size or industry. Your company can benefit immensely from implementing a document management system (DMS) if you want to:
- Reduce your reliance on paper
- Improve workflow effectiveness
- Expand access to information
- Empower collaboration
- Secure your records
- Maintain legal and regulatory compliance
Document management makes all these things possible – and helps to reduce your costs as well. Konica Minolta reports that, using traditional paper-based document storage methods, it costs $20 in labor to file a single document and $120 in labor to find a misplaced document. Given that one out of every twenty physical documents are lost, that’s just one of many huge running expenses for traditional methods. A modern DMS will reduce or eliminate those expenses, making your business more efficient and more profitable.
Understanding Document Management Software
Document management software fundamentally automates the document management process. It manages the process of previously paper-based documents, including the capture, storage, and retrieval of all documents pertaining to the business at hand.
Implementation begins with the conversion of physical records to digital. To capture those records, the software will process the images created from traditional image scanning and often will accommodate editable files like Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, emails, and more – are assembled in a central repository coupled with configurable metadata. Digitization can also include additional technologies like optical character recognition (OCR) to create machine readable text or keyword extraction to supplement the fundamental record metadata. Proper configuration and automation efficiencies will make time spent fighting with files and folders a thing of the past.
Unlike a lock and key, document management software centralizes storage and security. Whether records are housed on a local server or in the cloud; they are easily accessed by any employee who needs them. As new documents are made, they are added to this centralized location and the life cycle of contract management is maintained within the metadata and security. Access is limited to authorized users and the digital storage is made secure against malicious access and attacks by using document management software.
It’s not enough just to archive and store – these documents need be made readily accessible to employees who are currently wasting an excessive number of hours per week just looking for what they need. Document management software lets authorized users locate the content they need via several methods like point and click navigation, key word searching, or file name indexing. Configuration of metadata and security will guide users to the content relevant and applicable to their roles and improved work processes.
How Does AI Change Document Management?
Artificial intelligence (AI) ushers in a new age of self-organizing document management. Intelligent document management, such as that offered by ThoughtTrace, changes the foundation of the practice by eliminating bottlenecks and improving analysis with consistency and operational efficiencies unlike any system of yesteryear. You can permanently forget the relic of a folder, as relationships amongst our assets and our contracts are drastically more complex than the design will allow, or duplication can sustain. AI changes document management by eliminating the traditional limitations of resources, data, and consistency.
Automates Content Classification and Organization
AI dramatically improves document management by “reading” the contents of each document. Using machine learning, the software automatically identifies the document type and improves the image quality without human intervention. Key metadata is used immediately to begin organizing based on its content in context and learns from each new document it sees. This automates the manual data entry and indexing of traditional paper-based systems for improved accuracy and speed.
Makes It Easier to Find and Extract Information
Enhanced image and content analysis turns every keystroke of information into searchable data; it is dramatically easier to find and retrieve the information you need. Business users are no longer relegated to the strict folder structure or inconsistent file names for their analysis needs. Paper files and network drives are unable to scale, it’s impossible to do more with less in this situation. More access to more data will infinitely improve your navigation and management of business-critical data.
Automates Content Analysis
AI-based document management software can analyze all the documents you need based on your criteria and then extract the data in the way you want, a truly configurable search experience. For example, HR managers can use an AI-based system to quickly input all the resumes for a particular position then analyze those resumes and suggest those candidates best suited for the job. Or your Finance department can upload all their lender agreements to manage obligations and requirements for the life of the loan. Training AI to understand the nuance and context needed for contractual analysis returns on investment in spades when impossible projects are complete with a few clicks.
Automatically Clusters Unstructured Information
The information locked within your documents is overtly unstructured, the advanced technologies deployed for document understanding will create organization, groups, and relationships in ways impossible until now. These clusters of data can be used to filter, sort, and find the patterns and anomalies within your avalanche of information. Instead of throwing money at a chaotic mess, instant structure is formed where you need it most.
Does Your Organization Need AI Document Management Software?
If you are in business to make money, you need an AI document management system. The software will make it easier to work with your documents, ease your storage needs, make your organization more productive, and reduce your costs. Talk to an expert at ThoughtTrace today to learn more.
AI document management gives you access to critical insights from your documents in real-time. ThoughtTrace gives businesses the ability to tap into opportunities that inform decision making and gain competitive advantages, not imitate folders.