A Guide To Choosing The Best Software For Document Control
Are you having difficulty tracking changes made in documents? Does it overwhelm you to oversee the creation and distribution of company files?
Accessibility of such files is among the document management-related concerns most businesses face today. Without a proper system, one can easily overwrite files; in some cases, it can be difficult to determine the most recent version. This may lead to confusion and business downtime.
According to Statista, data volume is projected to increase by at least 180 zettabytes by 2025. This number emphasizes the importance of smart solutions to help businesses handle a large volume of data and documents more efficiently. Fortunately, this is where document control software comes in.
Research forecasts the document management system market to see a value increase to $10.17 billion in the same year, seeing a compound annual growth rate of 13.04%. This growth can be attributed to the increased number of businesses adopting management systems in their operations.
David John has a master’s degree in information technology and has worked for a range of companies in software development and implementation for eight years. He aims to share his insights and inform business owners about the complex technological world by posting blogs online.
In this post, he’ll share tips to help you find the right document control solution for your business. This article also explores the benefits of investing in such software. Continue reading below to learn more.
An Overview Of Document Control Software
Document control software (DCS) is a computer application or automation technology that can help manage files, including everything from creation and distribution to storage. Essentially, it’s a set of tools, techniques, and processes that ensure business documents are systematically managed throughout their lifecycle. Software for document control is designed to enhance efficiency in complex operations by providing a system where you can manage all your documents from a centralized location.
Benefits Of Investing In Document Control Software
There are several benefits of adopting DCS technology into your business systems. They include the following:
Benefit #1: Stronger Access Control
Company documents contain vital and sensitive information about your business and customers. Therefore, you should control who accesses them since data exposure could result in non-compliance with data privacy regulations and may attract penalties or fines from the government. On top of that, data exposure can also harm your company’s reputation. Clients may perceive your brand negatively, impacting your sales and profits.
You can avoid all these by investing in document control software. It enables you to develop a strong identity and access management practices to ensure that only authorized people in your organization can access sensitive documents. In addition, DCS can support the transparency of information in many ways. One of them is tracking who accessed, viewed, or edited a document, which can promote responsibility and accountability among your team members.
Benefit #2: Convenient Access And Retrieval Of Documents
Another way your company can benefit from such a system is it can also enhance document access by enabling authorized teams to search and retrieve documents quickly. Employees can use keywords when searching for specific documents. This helps eliminate the need to scroll from one file to another to find a document.
With keyword-based search, you can key in a few words or phrases to retrieve a single document from thousands of them and access them quickly.
Benefit #3: Reduced Storage Space
Dealing with physical documents often requires you to have a large storage space. It also forces you to buy file cabinets and storage boxes for better organization. You could avoid all that by investing in DCS.
DCS enables you to create and store digital files online. This minimizes the need to invest in bigger physical storage space for your documents since you can allot what you have for necessary hard copies and digital store through the software. As such, you can free up precious office space, which you can utilize for other purposes.
Benefit #4: Better Collaboration
Today, businesses rely on employees to work together. Teams can complete more tasks than a single person can do when collaborating. Besides, collaboration encourages better working relationships in your company. And that’s where DCS comes in.
A paper-based approach to document control often requires exchanging files either by fax machines or direct mail. This may delay the review and authorization of documents, which may hamper productivity and affect employees’ collaboration.
Software for document control enables users to access and share files on the cloud. Employees can do that from anywhere at any time using their mobile devices. That goes a long way in enabling real-time collaboration among your teams and a more efficient task completion process.
Benefit #5: Saves Money
Controlling documents manually may take much of your finances. For instance, you may have to rent a large file storage space. You will also be required to invest in other assets like photocopiers and printing machines. Furthermore, you must purchase printing paper, toner, and cartilage ink. This adds expenses to your business and may harm your profitability.
Leveraging DCS technology can help, especially if your company has shifted to digitalization. You won’t have to purchase any of those items mentioned. And since it helps you automate processes, you won’t have to employ a dedicated staff or team of employees to handle and manage critical documents. As such, you’ll likely save huge sums of money in the long run.
Benefit #6: Better Backup And Disaster Recovery
Controlling documents manually can also put your business at very high risk. Apart from theft cases, your files in the office may be destroyed by natural calamities such as fire, floods, and hurricanes. And when that happens, you might lose critical information that could cause disruptions in your operations.
Most DCS solutions have data backup and disaster recovery plans. Moving in this direction lets you protect your documents against theft and natural disasters. Also, DCS has in-built security features like file encryption and password management. Therefore, you have a layer of protection against cybersecurity attacks.
Benefit #7: Increased Productivity
Time is one of the most valuable resources of a company since time saved may directly lead to increased productivity. And that’s what DCS technology enables you to achieve. For one, as mentioned earlier, it makes it easier to retrieve company files since you can have any information you want with a click of a button.
Besides, DCS ensures you don’t spend time on printers making copies and traveling to courier services to send documents to users. You and your employees can create documents, attach signatures, and share files online. This enables your teams to save time which they can utilize to complete more tasks. Ultimately, this can boost your company’s overall productivity.
Finding The Best Software For Document Control
As detailed above, investing in DCS has several benefits. And to maximize such benefits and get the most out of this investment for your business, you must find the right tool. However, with dozens of solutions and vendors on the market, deciding the most suitable for your business can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are some tips you can adopt to ensure you make the right decision for your business, and these include:
Tip #1: Identify Your Needs
One of the most important steps when selecting the right DCS is defining your needs. This involves determining what exactly you want to achieve with the new software. Generally, different solutions are designed to address different issues. Hence, with proper needs evaluation, you’ll get a tool that best suits your enterprise’s needs.
When defining company needs, getting your team members’ input is the best place to start. Collaborate with your employees to identify hitches or weaknesses in your current document control system. From there, you can choose a solution that’ll help you address the issues you’ve listed.
Tip #2: Check Integration Features
Running a successful and efficient business often involves automating various tasks and processes. That implies, apart from the DCS, you’ll probably have other computer applications or programs in your business systems.
That said, finding software compatible with these other systems is important. You want a tool that complements your current internal processes and the software you already have in place. Doing so can help improve operational efficiency and avoid future setbacks or unforeseen delays.
Tip #3: Choose Software With Simple User Interface
Besides the features, various software for document control also differs in terms of ease of use and navigation. Some may have a more complex interface, and others have simpler ones. Hence, ensure you get a system your team can navigate conveniently.
It’d be good to note that when installing new software, your employees may need time to learn how to use it. The time wasted learning the software could lead to lost productivity and revenues. And in some instances, you might be forced to seek outside expert assistance to train your teams on how to operate with it, which can attract extra costs.
A DCS with a simple interface can help save time and money. For one, your team won’t require much time or extensive training to learn how to use it. Thus, they can return to their tasks quickly, which enhances the company’s overall productivity. It also eliminates the need to hire experts to train your team members.
Tip #4: Select A Scalable Solution
Today, you may be managing a startup or a small enterprise. And so, you may be considering installing any DCS without considering its scalability. However, this decision may have negative consequences when your business starts to expand or increase its document volumes.
In such a case, you’ll be forced to replace your current system with a new one, which will likely add extra costs to your business. For that reason, you need to find a scalable DCS. Scalability is the ability of the installed DCS to grow with your company.
That said, before purchasing your preferred software, keep in mind and evaluate how your enterprise will grow in the future. The tool you plan to install should accommodate your operations even when your company expands.
Tip #5: Buy The Software From A Vendor With Your Sector Expertise
Every business enterprise handles document management or controls differently. And depending on the industry, every company operates uniquely and has varying requirements. For instance, an enterprise under healthcare care may be required to comply with some industry-specific regulations.
Therefore, partnering with a vendor who understands your sector is important. Doing so can help ensure you remain compliant with all the laid down document management policies in your industry.
Tip #6: Purchase The Software From A Vendor With Support Options
Undoubtedly, the best DCS will enhance the efficiency of your operations. However, document control systems are prone to technical hitches just like any other automation tool. For that reason, you’d want to partner with a service provider who offers various support services.
Ideally, your chosen vendor should be reachable through various communication channels, including telephone calls, social media, and email.
Aside from their reachability, it’s also best to consider how much time the support team needs to address your concerns or rectify the situation. If they take ages to respond or provide you with solutions to the issues you raised, they may not be the right vendor to work with. How quick their response is can give you an idea of how convenient it is to work with them.
Tip #7: Check Advanced Security Features
Whether you’re running a small or big business, one of the issues that can put your business at risk is cybersecurity threats. Hackers usually scan a business’s infrastructure to determine their vulnerability. And if they’re weak, your system could be at risk of being hacked or accessed by unauthorized individuals.
Your business can suffer in many ways when online attacks like this happen. Besides losing critical data, your brand’s reputation can also be affected. If customers learn that your business is vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, they may reconsider doing business with your company.
That said, you can secure your business against online attacks by finding a system with advanced security features. These include password management, audit trails, two and multiple-factor authentication, automatic updates, and auto cleans.
Tip #8: Compare Prices
The various DCS on the market differs in price. Some are expensive, while others are reasonably cheap. Generally, the total cost of your new system will comprise purchase, installation, and maintenance costs.
As you select the best software for your company, compare prices and look for one that meets your budget. However, you shouldn’t compromise quality. For instance, software for document control with more features will likely cost more than just basic ones. Likewise, a high-quality system will require you to go deeper into your pockets. That said, it can help if you can be flexible when setting your budget and comparing prices.
Tip #9: Read Online Reviews
Another great way to select a suitable DCS for your business is to read online reviews. This involves navigating websites and other platforms to see what other clients say about your preferred software and the vendor.
Many positive comments are signs of good document control software. It can imply that most other customers were satisfied with that system. It may also indicate that the vendor you want to partner with has a positive reputation in the industry.
On the other hand, negative reviews reflect dissatisfaction, so you should avoid investing in such a system. If you see mixed reactions from the various clients, evaluate how the vendor responds to negative criticisms. Essentially, strive to purchase DCS or partner with a vendor with more positive than negative reviews.
Tip #10: Look For Recommendations
You can also look for recommendations from other business owners to find the right document control software. As noted earlier, almost every company has shifted to DCS technology today. As such, consider asking colleagues in the industry for their feedback and recommendations to help you simplify the search for the best software for your company.
When looking for recommendations, ask your colleagues about their experiences with the system they’ve previously used. If they’re happy with it, you can take their word for it and consider investing in the same DCS system. However, you shouldn’t make your final choice merely on recommendations. Make sure you do your own research to identify the most suitable DCS for your business organization.
Tip #11: Test The System
Once you’ve considered all the factors and narrowed down your list, test the system you prefer before fully integrating it into your business operations. Document Control Software is a huge investment; you’d want to get it right from the start.
Testing the system will evaluate whether it has the features you want. It’ll also let you know whether it addresses your company’s needs. That way, you can save resources by avoiding installing software that won’t work for your enterprise.
Documents form an integral part of your business. They contain the information and data you require to run your business. However, to ensure accuracy and security, document control is crucial. And the best way to achieve that is by investing in software for document control.
With thousands of them on the market, deciding which is the most suitable for your enterprise can often be difficult. But with the insights detailed in this article, you can streamline the process of finding the best solution.