Document management can be defined simply as a system for managing a collection of documents. This involves the tracking and storage of a business’s documents. Document management systems (DMS) are computer systems that are designed to store and track electronic documents as well as images of paper documents. The system will also be able to keep track of the different versions of the document that have been created. Document management can be viewed as a component of enterprise content management (ECM) systems.
With 80 to 90 percent of a company’s information being held in documents, document management is an important part of any company’s systems. Furthermore, it is estimated that around 40 to 60 percent of an office worker’s time is spent on documents and that documents account for 20 to 45 percent of labour costs and 12 to 15 percent of a company’s revenues. Documents hold information that is critical to a company’s operation and good document management is vital for the success of a business and for customer satisfaction.
Without a good document management system documents are created in a haphazard way and stored in various places throughout the company, often on an individual’s private disk drive. This can make it hard for employees to share documents and to access the information they need to work effectively and efficiently. If documents are stored and organised in one central document centre this makes keeping track of documents and sharing information much easier. Holding documents electronically makes it easier to keep track of different versions and the changes made between each version.