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Using SharePoint as a Document Management System - Evolvous

Using SharePoint as a Document Management System (DMS)?

Effective collaboration and managing all your paper records is a massive task and to take care of it know we have a Document Management System (DMS). A Document Management System is software that gives an automated solution to store, organize, manage and track electronic documents and electronic images of paper documents. DMS initially started as a way to save paper documents into digital documents, which is why a DMS may sometimes be called an electronic filing cabinet. A SharePoint Document Management System can be used to capture, distribute, and track documents and to manage channel workflows, output systems, and information retrieval systems.

How to use SharePoint as a Document Management system?

SharePoint is a powerful tool that can be utilized as an efficient document management system for your organization. By leveraging its features and capabilities, you can streamline your document management processes and improve collaboration and productivity within your team.

First and foremost, you need to assess your organization’s specific document management needs and requirements. This will help you determine the scope of your SharePoint implementation and the features you should focus on. Consider factors such as document storage, version control, access permissions, and search capabilities.

Once you have a clear understanding of your requirements, you can start setting up SharePoint as your document management system. Start by creating a site or a subsite dedicated to document management. This will serve as the main repository for all your documents and files.

Next, you need to define a logical and intuitive folder structure that reflects the organization of your documents. This will make it easier for users to navigate and find the documents they need.

You can create folders based on departments, projects, or any other categorization that makes sense for your organization. After setting up the structure, you should establish proper access permissions to ensure that only authorized users can access and modify the documents.

SharePoint provides granular permission settings, allowing you to assign different levels of access to different users or groups. This will enhance security and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. One of the key features of SharePoint is its version control functionality.

This enables you to keep track of changes made to documents and restore previous versions if needed. By enabling version control, you can avoid confusion and ensure that everyone is working with the latest and most accurate version of a document.

SharePoint also offers powerful search capabilities, allowing users to quickly find the documents they need. You can configure search settings and metadata properties to improve the accuracy of search results. Additionally, tagging documents with relevant keywords and metadata will make them easier to categorize and retrieve.

Collaboration is another important aspect of document management, and SharePoint provides various collaboration features to facilitate teamwork. Users can co-author documents, leave comments and feedback, and track changes made by others. This promotes collaboration and ensures that everyone is on the same page when working on shared documents.

Types of Document Management System products:

There are 2 broad types of Document Management Systems based on the type of hosting and the number of people in your company who will use it.

    • Online/Cloud-based: 

      It lets you work from anywhere and anytime with a working internet connection and is the most functional as well as secure model. It is more flexible and charges a monthly subscription.

    • Desktop/On-premises: 

      This software runs on your internal server and typically has an initial one-time fee plus an annual subscription for technical support and updates. Such a Document Management System integrates and syncs with your organization’s pre-existing and on-site IT infrastructure.

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Benefits of using SharePoint as a Document Management System

Reduced Storage Space: 

With a DMS in place, a company can reduce its operational and commercial property costs. It reduces the need for file cabinets, boxes and storage bins freeing up office space. Documents that have to be kept as hard copies can often be stored in less expensive locations such as a vault. 

Easy scaling: 

A Document Management System grows along with your business, with no extra operational or commercial costs. 

Enhanced Security: 

Document Management System provides better control over sensitive documents and access to documents can be controlled at the individual level. Moreover, a DMS leaves an audit trail of who has viewed a document, when it was accessed, and how it may have been modified. 

Better Regulatory Compliance: 

Compliance requirements for certain documents are quite complex and stringent. Non-conformance can lead to fines, revoked licenses, and in some cases criminal liability. Federal and state regulatory regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley and HIPAA mandate strict security and privacy guidelines. Document Management System reduces the risk of non-compliance. Records retention schedules can be automated, and new documents can be more easily classified and stored.

Quick and Easy Retrieval: 

Searching for and retrieving documents can be very time-consuming when you have tons of data. A Document Management System can retrieve files by a word or phrase in a document. DMS also allows accessing documents remotely as long as there is an internet connection, documents can be accessed from anywhere.

Improved Collaboration: 

Information sharing and collaboration is a lot easier with DMS. Documents captured from different sources can be accessed from multiple locations. DMS provides greater visibility to business processes and can allow for better workflow monitoring. Moreover, authorized access by external users can be allowed as well as monitored. DMS also offers Version Control which allows for older versions of the same document to be recovered if needed. 

Better Backup and Disaster Recovery: 

With backup functionality, paper documents are well protected from any unforeseen circumstances such as fire, flood, earthquake or other disasters. It also keeps your document safe from being lost, misplaced or misfiled.

When choosing SharePoint Document Management as a System software, it’s essential to analyze its ability to integrate and extend other line-of-business systems, so that content can be available across a spectrum of business applications. 

Time is money – we all know this for certain and one of the direct benefits of DMS is its ability to save time. Faster and more efficient document retrieval increases productivity as well as client satisfaction. Take a free consultation call today with us and explore how you can better manage all your information in one place and collaborate more effectively. 


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