The more the volume of documents grow in an office the more difficult it is to know where a report is, where to store a document or what to do with an e-mail with relevant content.
Due to the excessive growth of the digital universe -called Big data and which is applied to all sectors and society environments- it is necessary to act quickly, cause the longer the delay for making a decision related to the implementation of a document management system, the more difficult becomes the situation and as a result, its possible solutions.
Before converting a paper document to a digital one without following an order, it is necessary to consider the following aspects:
–Digital gap: is all the equipment required for the workers to have access to digital documents available in the company?
-Obsolescence of the reading systems: will it be possible to read a CD which was recorded 10 years ago?
–Copyright and facility to produce electronic documents: how to ensure intelligent property of a document?
–Integrity: how to ensure that a document is not modified in its final version?
-Preservation: which documents have legal and probative value? How and where to store them?
Since years ago, several studies have revealed that a correct document management helps to improve the efficiency of a company. But beyond the increase in performance, documents contain data and information, and a lot of corporate knowledge, considered as part of the “intangible goods”, of the intellectual capital. The crucial aspect is to be able to find them easily at any time.
What does a company need to adopt a document management system?
Some mandatory questions that should be made before implementing a document management system are as following:
-Is it necessary to avoid overlapping and the use of non-updated versions ?
-Are critical documents or record files getting lost?
-Is it necessary to reduce retrieval times?
-Do you wan to make sure that a document can be “read” in a few years time?
-Do you need to manage the volume of e-mail containing important information related to the company? Is it necessary to save it? What, with what security and how must information be stored?
To carry out an implementation project of a document management system different methods may be followed. Firstly, it is recommended to perform a previous audit based on the information and knowledge about it within the company. On the other hand, reflecting the documentation flows related to the vital processes, allows to show evidence of whether there is a favourable corporative culture and/or identify staff motivation or training requirements.
As the corporative contents increase the more important is to apply these measures, since they are useful to determine: storage criteria and retrieval; the policy of versions; electronic mail management; how to name the documents; and which must be the policy of expurgation and document protection.
Technology as a tool for implementing a document management system.
In the frame of the stage previous to the implementation of a technological solution of document management it is necessary to define some corporate guidelines, which will be the foundation for subsequent management of the contents in our document management system.
Thus, planning is the key to success, since it allows to specify and prioritize the requirements. The previous stage to the audit involves the moment in which it is considered a crucial aspect such as all the people getting involved in the implementation as well as in the start-up of a new document management system.
Therefore, it is necessary to identify those people and the use they make of the documentation and business information, because the chances of success of the project are closely related to their level of involvement. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the following:
-The involvement of management, even when it only affects a single department or a specific area of the organization.
-The creation of a multidisciplinary work team, involving different departments.
-Identifying people involved in the critical processes of the company, who will make a more intensive use of the system.
Every implementation project of a document management system must be accompanied of an overall view which goes beyond “the documents”: it is necessary to see it from the perspective of the dimension of the company´s policy information and its corporatist culture.
In summary, any project of adoption of a document management system involves a required cultural change. It must be framed within the information policy of the company and its processes and procedures to ensure that it’s documentation and corporate knowledge are accessible at any time.