Necessity of Document Management in an Organization

Information stored in files on papers or on a PC is called Document. Document Management is the process of managing documents and other means of information such as images from creation, review, and storage to its dissemination. It also involves the indexing, storage and retrieval of documents in an organized method.



Document Retrieval

Document retrieval is the process by which you can search and 'retrieve' an archived document from a database. This is done by entering information in a database query screen to locate the file you are after.

The Document Management System will then retrieve the document and let you work on it, whilst preventing other people from making changes.

How do you decide which is the best document management system?

The best way to start to choose what is best for your company or group would be to identify:

• The object population involved in the system you need.
• The factors and needs involved in the input and output of the data/ information
• The process needed from conception to destruction of your document management system

Physical paper document management systems (Document Imaging Systems)

Typical systems have the user scan in the original paper document, and store the image of the document in the document management system. The image is often given a name containing the date and the user is often asked to type in additional "tags" in order to make finding the image easier. For instance, a user scanning in an invoice might want to tag it with "water, invoice, 1/1/2002".

Slightly more advanced versions also perform an OCR on the image, storing the text along with the image. Although most OCR systems are notoriously inaccurate, even a few correct words scanned off the page can eliminate the need for the user to type in their own tags.

Once the document is stored, it is typically retrieved using an application that is aware of the way the tags (or scanned text) and image are related. That way when you search for "invoice", opening the document will in fact open the original image.

Uses of document management systems

Document management systems can save a tremendous amount of time, even in cases with small numbers of documents, like home bill payment or personal tax preparation. It is somewhat odd that they aren't more widely used, but some of this is likely the fault of the scanning step. Many systems include their own high-speed black and white scanner to make this step as easy as possible, or can incorporate existing office MFPs.

Electronic document management systems

Storing electronic documents is somewhat different but follows the same principle. Here, every kind of internal documentation of somebody (typically a company or corporation) is both written and stored electronically. Printed copies of documents need not even be produced, and documents may be electronically signed.


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