Features Every Enterprise Document Management Software Must Have
The challenge in buying enterprise document management software is that there are so many features that good solutions offer, it becomes important to be a discerning buyer. By its nature, enterprise document management software is supposed to simplify your work life. But sometimes, an overdose of features can not only make the selection and evaluation process tedious, but it can also end up with you choosing a solution with features you do not really need. In this article, we take a look at some of the must-have features you should look out for while shopping for document management software.
Adding and creating electronic documents
Every document management software solution must have a range of scanning features, like batch scanning support, scan profiles that use saved frequently used scan settings, etc. Besides scanning paper-based documents, the most frequent way of working with documents is either adding existing electronic documents to the software to work on. Many people use the folder-based method to manage their documents. As the number of documents and folders grows they need an enterprise document management software to help them manage their documents. Look for a solution that allows you to import your existing folder structure so you can get started in no time.
When documents are added, electronic document management programs ‘read’ the text using a process called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR makes text searchable. This means you can find documents not only by their name but also by their text content. You should always look for software that extracts text in the background, as this helps you add files to the software’s database much faster, thereby saving your time.
There is a better alternative to a plain document management software. Look at some of the features and benefits of using an enterprise document management software:
- Indexing To make documents more easily searchable, you can create data fields for them; e.g. Author, Date Created, Date Modified, Invoice Number, Amount, etc. An innovative feature you should look out for is that of Zone Maps. Using this feature, you can automate indexing of documents that have certain types of data in the same place; e.g. Due Date on a phone bill or Closing Balance on a bank statement. Your software can be set to index data from those fields for every such document and fill in the respective data fields within the application.
- Document types These indicate the nature of the document, such as an Agreement, a Check, Invoice, etc. You can group documents not only by arranging them in folders or assigning tags (labels) but also by specifying their document types. For each document type too, you can create data fields based on your unique requirements.
- Stack types This is a great tool to manage projects. When you are working on a project, you may need to access documents that are stored in various folders with various tags and document types. How can you bring them all under one roof without changing their location or creating duplicates? The answer lies in stacking together all documents that are connected to the project. You can create data fields for stack types too; e.g. Project Name, Start Date, End Date, Project Manager, Project Details, etc.
In addition to the above, there are several reasons enterprises should use an enterprise document management software like Globodox. If yours is a medium-to-large organization, you can get started with document management now. Simply download the fully-featured 30-day free trial and start managing your documents more effectively.
Comprehensive search features
In addition to features like folders, tags, document types, etc. that allow documents to be grouped together for easily locating them; where enterprise document management software really scores over a paper-based system is in the area of search functions. Quick search helps you locate documents instantly, while advanced search helps you trace those hard-to-find files using multiple search criteria. If you find yourself using a certain search combination frequently, you can simply save it for reuse in the future, thereby saving your time even further. This search feature is called saved search.
As discussed above, the text extraction process makes even a document’s content searchable. This is totally unimaginable with paper-based documents – it’s just like x-raying your documents and getting to the exact information you need, based on an automated process performed by the electronic document management software! Another feature that helps you find related documents fast is document linking. For instance, Globodox allows you to link a document with another document so that in just one click, you can view the related document; e.g. linking multiple checks issued against a common invoice or linking a single check issued to pay off multiple invoices.
Document review features
If your organization has more than a handful of employees, chances are you work in teams. Documents created or worked on by team members are usually reviewed by a team leader or manager. The approval process might involve more than one level. As revisions are made along the way, different versions of the document are created. Keeping track of all versions and making sure that the rest of the department or team sees only the correct version can be quite a task. Globodox enterprise document management software offers a Draft Documents feature that allows you to check-out a document as a draft, make the desired modifications and check it back in as a draft document. Once the document has been finally approved, you can publish the document. This action will then make the document accessible to all who were originally authorized to access it. All versions of the draft document that were under review will be deleted – only the approved versions will be stored in the Globodox database. This makes it very simple to track the different versions of the document.
These were just the basic features to look for in an enterprise document management software. If your needs are more complex, there is much more that electronic document management can offer. In that case, you should check if the document management provider offers add-on modules or a variation of the product with an advanced set of features built-in. Globodox Standard offers most of the must-have features we discussed above, while Globodox Suite includes even advanced ones like workflow features, security features, draft documents, etc. Check out the links below for more information or to place orders or to evaluate Globodox for free.