An electronic document management system (EDMS) is an off-the-shelf software program that serves as a document management portal and repository to manage electronic information within a business.

The EDMS benefits are many, just to name a few:

  1. Reduced paper storage and filing requirements.
  2. Improved document workflow within the organization.
  3. Faster search and document retrieval capacity.
  4. Improved redundancy and disaster recovery.

For a conceptual perspective, an EDMS consists of different elements:

  • Document capture: These are points of entry into the EDMS, such as scanners, fax, emails, email attachments, file uploads, etc.
  • Document Types: These are the different types of documents that have to be created, updated, and maintained throughout the document lifecycle.
  • Document Workflow: This process shows how documents move from one department (or employee) to another.  It will also determine the different flags that can be associated with documents at each stage and consequently dictate the flow of the document.
  • Document policies and control:  This process will provide at least a minimal level of user and documents access control according to user and/or company policies.

When it comes to choosing and implementing the right EDMS for your business, you need to consider the following elements:

  • User Adoption: This is probably the main implementation challenge.  If your employees do not buy into the value and implementation of the chosen EDMS, then it’s of no value.  When considering EDMS packages, you have to assess your existing processes and systems in order to understand how an EDMS can help you.
  • Integration: Some EDMS will integrate with your existing CRM and accounting applications, and some won’t.  With an integrated EDMS, you reduce information silos, provide a better user experience, and seamlessly works with existing workflows.
  • Cost: This goes without saying, depending on the scope of the project, the cost can vary substantially especially when you factor in the soft costs, such as implementation and training.
  • Compliance: You’ll have to make sure that your planned EDMS meets, if not exceeds, your existing paper-based compliance and regulatory requirements, including HIPAA.

The EDMS implementation starts with a well-planned strategy.  It’s essential for you to seek the advice of an IT expert that will help you analyze, plan, and implement the EDMS solution that is right for your business.

%d bloggers like this: