The first step in implementing an electronic document and record management system is to choose the system that is best suited for your organization. During this decision-making process it is important to consider your organization goals and current roadblocks. Keeping these two themes in mind, you should then consider how the following functions can be used within your organization. The process of choosing a document management system (DMS) can be daunting when you don’t know all of the custom solutions that are available. Choosing to consult a specialist during this step of your business process can help you get the right system for your organization. Below are some of the features that can be beneficial to move your organization closer to its goals.

  • Multi-user access
  • Automatic indexing
  • Version control
  • Role-based access permissions
  • Bulk upload/import capabilities
  • Mobile and electronic document access
  • Sensitive data redaction tools
  • Workflow-based document routing
  • Automatic email and/or fax import
  • Third-party software integrations

After you have a clear understanding on how the different features of a document management system (DMS) can benefit your business, the next step is to find the right vendor for you. Your criteria for a vendor will heavily be influenced by the characteristics you are looking for your DMS system to have. Once a decision is made about your vendor you can expect a three to six-week process of implementation (this differs for each vendor and organization based on requirements chosen). During this time, you will work with your DMS provider to: 

  • Create the storage structure
  • Design custom features
  • Run tests 

The first step in setting up your new document management system is of course to transform your files from paper records to digital – or from your old system to your new one.

To learn the difference between content management vs. document management, visit our website.

#1 Import Existing Documents

Whether you are currently maintaining the physical papers records, keep all your files on your desktop, or are using a DMS provided by a different vendor the first step is bringing them all into your new DMS. If you weren’t already using a DMS it’s time to ditch the filing cabinet and scan the paper documents, if you were using DMS you will need to migrate all your documents into new document management solutions. Throughout this business process it is a great time to take inventory of your digital records and clean them up. This is also the time to implement the storage structure you have chosen to use. Storage structure is crucial to the benefits of a DMS. Using a consistent storage structure will allow all personnel across the organization to be able to look up any particular document they need at any time. It is smart to consider a test migration with a small batch of files to ensure all goes smoothly. 

After all your paper documents have been transferred over or scanned into the new digital records archive you will need to take time to set up custom business rules.

#2 Business Workflows

One of the most useful characteristics of a DMS is the ability to run documents through predetermined paths. During implementation of your DMS system take the time to think through the most common workflows performed within your office environment and use the DMS abilities to eliminate any unnecessary steps. Keeping your processes as close to your normal working style will help employees feel comfortable with the new system but transforming workflows into quicker seamless processes will get your workforce fired up about the new system!

Now that all your documents are in their new digital storage cabinets and you have workflow processes in place, it’s time to build out the analytics.

#3 Custom Dashboards and Reports

Data is king. Many document management systems have the function to display custom dashboards, providing you easy insight into a multitude of data analytics. You may also find that your system can run specialized reports, if this is the case you should now set those up. It’s important to take into consideration reports you may not currently be using, if you think there is something you will want data on in the future now is the time to set up the report to ensure it starts tracking analytics from the beginning of setup. 

With all of the set-up being complete it is time to introduce the new system to your organization. 

#4 Rollout and Train 

With most document management systems, you can do a multi-step rollout, allowing you to introduce the new program to a small batch of users first. By doing a multi-step rollout it allows you to see if any changes are necessary, fix them, and then continue the introduction to the rest of the organization. After full implementation is complete you will need to take some time to do user training, so all users understand the basics such as importing, searching, and updating documents. Trainings should consist of expert tips, live demos, and discussion on other workflow simplifications that are possible within the new system.

Implementing a document management system can bring your organization into the digital world, saving you time and money. Every implementation will be unique and varied based on the organization, but if you keep in mind the tips above you are sure to be on your way towards boosting the overall efficiency of your organization. 

To request an assessment today, visit MRC360 for more information.