With the increasing number of electronically stored documents, the demand for efficient document management systems (DMS) and retrieval systems has been increased. The main reason for this development is that with these systems, the printing and filing are considerably less expensive and less complicated than with the conventional systems. Furthermore, the advancement of PC networking made it much easier to create, store and distribute electronic documents.
With a DMS, several participants can access the database simultaneously. Via the Intra- or Internet, they can do this from any distance and it is guaranteed that they always deal with the latest version of a document.
Using a DMS, the costs for office supplies and furniture like racks or paper can be minimized. Time can be saved due to the considerably more accurate filing and an easy retrieval of the documents. Automation and simplification of organizational processes make it possible that the employees can concentrate on other tasks.
In addition to time- and cost saving, digital storage has the advantage that less storage space is needed. You would need up to 600 folders in order to store the content of a single CD-ROM with
simple text files. A rack or filing cabinet of approx. 8 meters length would be required for the folders. Even a single CD-ROM with digital image files, which occupy much more memory space than text files, may represent the contents of up to 11 document folders.
Therefore, the total saving potential of using a DMS is very high. The Forrester Research company reports that the computerization of document management can decrease administrative
expenses by approximately 90%. Furthermore, the productivity may be increased by 100% and
the workflow can be accelerated at a rate between a factor of 10 and a factor of 1000. Forrester Research is an independent technology- and market research company that provides information about the impact of technology on business and consumers.
Nevertheless, the expenditure for the introduction of a DMS should not be underestimated. In
addition to high acquisition costs, the use of a new electronic document management systemrequires training of personnel. Furthermore, all documents which are already available on papermust be digitalized, and that is - as experience shows – a quite laborious and extensive matter.
Document management systemsAlfresco List
Hyland Software's OnBase
ImageNow by Perceptive Software
Infonic Document Manager UK
Version One Ltd