To put it simply, the term “document management system” refers to software that allows you to store and keep track of electronic documents. While this is the most basic function of any document management system, those which are designed with functionality in mind typically come along with a variety of features.
Document management systems come in many shapes and sizes. Some are stand-alone… meaning they are programs designed with the sole purpose of assisting users with managing files and documents. Others come as part of a more robust suite that entails a number of other business-related tools … including calendars, messaging, blogging, wikis, and case tracking, to name a few. Commonly referred to as social business software, social intranet software, or collaboration tools, these suites are ideal for businesses that are looking for a singular vehicle for handling day-to-day operation, and Communifire lands firmly in this category.
Features of DMS software
These days, practically everything in business takes place online. Because employees need to upload and download documents at any time and any place, cloud access is a must. While web-based document management systems are quickly becoming the standard in the industry, there are still a number of options out there that don’t feature web integration … and these options should be avoided.
Juggling many documents can quickly become problematic. This is especially true for growing businesses. The larger a company gets, the more likely it is there will be more and more documents to organize. Organizational hierarchy is one of the most important features to take into consideration when choosing a document management system. Categorization, tagging, and rating will help you find the files you need as quickly as possible.
An attractive user interface
Your staff is going to use your document management system on a daily basis, so you’ll want to make sure that the software features an attractive UI, or user interface. This is what you and your staff see when you log-in, which is understandably one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. If your document management system is hard on the eyes, no one will want to make the transition.
A robust search feature
As your knowledge base becomes more fleshed-out, finding specific documents and files can become increasingly difficult. It’s essential that your team is able to search through all of your content, yet so many document management systems lack this important feature. A robust search engine that can help you accurately browse your company’s knowledge base will come in handy on a regular basis, saving you and your staff a great deal of time in the long run.
As uploaded documents are always in flux, every company should have a document management system that features updates and different versions of files. Everyone has been in a situation when reverting to a prior document is impossible … and when inexcusable mistakes are made, it’s often necessary to start from scratch. The best document management systems save every version of a document when it’s uploaded, allowing you to go back in its history, before crucial changes were made, and save what might otherwise become a useless document.
If you have a huge staff, it can sometimes be difficult to keep a social community in check. Permissions are truly necessary in this regard, as they allow you to choose who has the ability to delete or change files and documents and who does not. The best document management systems allow administrators to set specific permissions for every employee, helping to keep control and protect important documents from being altered.
Universal format support
Anyone who has watched technology progress over the past few decades knows that file formats are constantly changing. Today, common extensions such as .pdf and .docx may dominate the professional world, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other regularly used file formats … and there will always be new file formats popping-up in the future. The more formats your document management system can support, the better. This will ensure that you won’t run into any issues down the road.