Efficient work thanks to digitization
Digitization or digital transformation of your paper documents is the prerequisite for efficiency and the success of your company. The need for digitization is now an important aspect for everyone.
The demands on a DMS, a document management system, have grown enormously or rather naturally in recent years. What started out as a database, in which mostly originally analogue documents were digitized by scanning and stored, has become comprehensive office software, which today takes on the main part of an office's administrative tasks.
But what is the standard, what can the customer expect from a DMS?
In the current article we will show you which important functions a document management system must have. This can be explained point by point using the innovative document management software PaperOffice DMS.
Before we get into the benefits, let's answer the following question:
What is a document management system?
Capturing, distributing, archiving and indexing of documents are integral process components of day-to-day work in many organizations. And not to forget: deleting and searching for documents.
This means that companies from a wide variety of industries accumulate important documents every day: pleadings, contract documents, drafts, external letters, research, expert opinions and much more. These do not only arrive by post, many documents also arrive by email.
All of these documents need to be digitized if they arrive in paper form, require structured filing, task and workflow assignment, and need to be immediately available on demand.
It is very important that important deadlines are met and that legal measures are taken to store documents.
This is not only time-consuming, but also puts an unnecessary strain on your wallet.
How can the introduction of a document management system help me and my company?
The introduction of a document management system, DMS for short, helps you to have a clear structure in your documents and helps you to cope with the flood of information.
DMS also stands for document management software and is intended to manage documents, especially digital documents, which includes the conversion from analogue to digital. PaperOffice DMS is such software.
PaperOffice DMS eliminates all time-consuming bottlenecks and creates a clear overview of important documents such as contracts or letters by managing them digitally in your DMS in the future.
PaperOffice does not differentiate between the types of documents, regardless of whether you need help with managing client contracts, pleadings, fee statements, judgments and e-mail correspondence: thanks to the document management system, your previous processes in your company or organization are digitized , making them more efficient, transparent and significantly more flexible.
The scanned and digital documents can be found, edited, saved, distributed, tagged and forwarded in seconds using PaperOffice. The data from the documents can be automatically recognized and read out and passed on to external systems such as CRM or ERP.
You are certainly aware that analogue documents are simply no longer up to date. However, you also see the complications involved in converting the existing analogue archive into digital data. Because digitizing documents is more than just a trend. In fact, it is now a prerequisite for remaining competitive and up-to-date with all the other companies in the same sector.
Therefore, it makes sense to introduce a document management system into your company.
So we have clarified the questions of what a DMS is and what the introduction would bring me and come to the actual question of the article:
Which 7 important functions does your document management system have to fulfill?
Function 1: Location. Save in a digital archive
The most important and first function of every document management system is the bringing together of all documents and their information. This is how the archiving and administration of the scanned and digital documents as well as emails happens in a database, a digital archive so to speak.
PaperOffice stores all information directly in MySQL / MariaDB databases, which can be operated directly at your premises on any platform from your local PC, via NAS devices such as QNAP and Synology or your own or dedicated servers including remote access from the home office.
It makes no difference what type of document it is.
All document types can be stored centrally in the DMS and are therefore accessible to all departments and business areas.
All company-relevant documents are stored centrally and can be found quickly by all employees.
Where should the digital archive be located?
We recommend our customers to archive the digitized data either in a database located on a NAS device such as Synology or QNAP or on a dedicated server. With your own external (dedicated) PaperOffice server, you get all the advantages of a cloud with perfect data protection and save money and a lot of work every month.
With a PaperOffice server you have all the advantages of a cloud solution with just one huge difference: It is your own dedicated database server and nobody accesses it but you.
Don't want to use a server? No problem.
Why a NAS is ideal for document archiving
A NAS, a network attached storage, in German a storage device with a network connection, as well as the compatible software for PaperOffice DMS and the internal cloud is ready. Absolutely safe from state and non-state curiosity and, thanks to the backup function, also safe from a hard drive crash.
Function 2: Easy retrieval of documents. Search and Find
PaperOffice scans incoming documents that are not yet binary and converts them into a digital read and write format using its own OCR software.
At the same time, the date and time, a version number and a keyword are saved, which the PaperOffice search engine can use to find documents even if the person searching only knows the content of the document rudimentarily.
To make it easier, PaperOffice shows the most recently saved documents in a preview list. Everything you save in PaperOffice is automatically fully text-recognized with PaperOffice FileOCRmax, optimized with business dictionaries and indexed for a perfect keyword search in your SQL database for a keyword search.
Automatic language recognition and optimization: PaperOffice automatically recognizes the document language and thus optimizes the OCR text recognition to an absolute maximum for the best possible text recognition of all documents.
On the topic "Best solution for PAPERLESS offices without additional work + archiving documents directly from the SCANNER" there is a video on YouTube which explains this process clearly:
The long-term readability of the stored documents
First of all, PaperOffice DMS encrypts all documents when they are saved for security, according to one of the highest security standards currently available, AES-1024bit.
The conversion back into readable documents is possible in any current format, with PaperOffice regularly updating its file formats, which means that the documents will also be readable in the future.
Function 3: Ensuring legal retention periods
One of the most important aspects when storing documents via a document management system is compliance with legal regulations or the requirements of the GoBD.
The abbreviation GoBD stands for the "Principles for the proper management and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form and for data access".
In particular, due to the audit-proof, highly encrypted document storage directly in a central SQL database PaperOffice meets all requirements for document standards and legal guidelines or the world's highest German standard GOBD.
The term versioning is not a foreign word within a document management system (DMS). The need to use a document management system that has GoBD-compliant version control and audit-proof versioning is clearer than ever before.
Versioning makes all changes traceable
The term versioning can be explained very easily: Overall, it is about the functionality used to record changes to documents or files. Document change can be detected and saved as a shadow copy as a new document version.
By the way, there is a video on Legally compliant Outlook email archiving on YouTube which explains this process in an understandable way:
Each document change places a "newer" version of the document in a corresponding archive. The logging makes changes transparent and traceable at all times. At this point, the subsequent viewer knows when and by which editor the change to the document was made. This gives you an overview of the entire document lifecycle. Versioning can be done automatically or manually.
In order to ensure revision security, all details of a change to documents and files must be clearly traceable. It must be ensured that only authorized employees can make such a change. But it is just as important to know years later which employees changed what and when.
PaperOffice exceeds all legal requirementsThe development of PaperOffice DMS is GoBD-compliant, so you can use the software without any worries having to make you break a rule. For example, every time someone changes a document, a new version of that document is created. In this way you can track what content the document had at what time.
By the way, there is a video on YouTube for Synology NAS setup MariaDB 10 and document management system PaperOffice which explains this process in a comprehensible way:
In both cases, even in the worst case scenario, it is ensured that the archived databases are restored in the short term and the retention periods are therefore always observed.
Function 4: Automatic detection and keywording
PaperOffice is equipped with an AI that independently recognizes information in your document and automatically assigns it correctly.
- Analyze and break down into so-called block chains using the integrated "computer vision"
- Recognize text using OCR text recognition and compare it with dictionaries using PaperOffice SmartSpell
- Index and catalog visually and by keyword for the integrated PaperOffice search engine
No matter what and no matter from which scanner source!
This means that PIA provides you with your own powerful search engine for all your information, which can search and find text-based like classic search engines such as Google, but can also do the whole thing visually, i.e. compare and recognize a document visually can.
PaperOffice will automatically recognize all documents that have been taught in by PIA from this point in time, which in turn can trigger automatic rules and filing masks.
PIA will recognize the most important values in the document and already fill in the keywording form for you. You can then check the values and correct or add to them if necessary. This process can be done manually or automatically in the background.
Function 5: Automate document capture
Intelligent folder monitoring takes over what is holding you back: automatically in the background according to your specifications, highly precise and reliable.
Integrate all devices
Integrate all devices such as copiers or scanners with just a few clicks. As soon as a file appears in a specified folder, it is processed.
Any number of monitors
Create any number of different folders to monitor and specify what should happen after the import. PaperOffice can even move archived files to a new subfolder.
AI-based document templates
Automatic indexing by PIA AutoFill and contact recognition thanks to PIA AutoContact work brilliantly together with monitoring. All relevant document content is recognized and the document is automatically indexed. This also works with contacts!
Fixed keywording and workflows
Enable bulk import-optimized mode, skipping AI processing for maximum filing speed.
You can specify exactly where new files are saved in PaperOffice, assign a fixed document type and document status to each new document and even trigger workflows.
Function 6: User management and access permissions
PaperOffice users are guaranteed to only see what is allowed due to the specified release level, and with FolderLock you can hide entire folders and subfolders as well as content.
You can also specify which users are allowed to do what, and divide them into fixed user groups and departments so that you can control who can see where and what.
Clearance levels and rights
This means that each user only sees what corresponds to their release level or lower and is only allowed to do what you have previously defined.
Hide folders and documents
With PaperOffice FolderLock you can permanently hide entire folders and their subfolders as well as documents from certain users and thus avoid prying questions. Use FolderLock to permanently hide entire folders including subfolders and documents from certain users.
Groups and departments
Assign users to freely definable groups and departments, which you can also use for workflows and tasks.
Multi-level definable user rights
You can decide for yourself who exactly has access to which functions in PaperOffice by being able to define user rights exactly which then apply throughout the network.
Feature 7: Powerful workflow system
A big problem in the past, but still today, is duplication of files due to multiple storage and ambiguity regarding the processing status of documents or projects. PaperOffice has a very comprehensive workflow management with task assignment, which also stores all processes centrally. Whether project work or document processing.
Digital workflows automate your work processes: Once defined, everything proceeds fully automatically: Simply assign a predefined workflow to a document or let the PIA decide automatically. E-mail notification included!
Each employee is always up to date via the PaperOffice workflow function. If necessary, a document can be blocked for others until a change has been made. Of course, versioning also applies here.
Any workflow definitions
Workflows can be nested to any depth and contain any number of red/green decisions in order to chain subsequent workflows and processes.
Responsibility and due date
Determine whether a user or an entire department can complete the task. PaperOffice automatically assigns the workflow to the responsible person.
If necessary, the document status can be adjusted independently for various events according to your specifications and even send notification e-mails.
Be sure to avoid this error
While large companies have long appointed digitization officers who deal with the topic of converting analog documents full-time, small and medium-sized companies usually lack human resources, especially since appropriate professional qualifications are required.
However, this is a common mistake and leads to bad investments, because many manufacturers take advantage of this ignorance.
The Ultimate 5-Step Guide
We have created the ultimate 5-step guide to going paperless and digitizing your business as a downloadable document, detailing each 5 steps and how long it takes:
Finally, we answer a few more frequently asked questions on the subject "7 important functions that your document management system must fulfill":
Which scanner to use for DMS?
To scan bound documents, a sheetfed scanner with at least 300dpi is recommended. The scanner wanted to have a scan-to-fodler function and optional WIA/TWAIN drivers. We have had good experiences with Fujitsu Scansnap, which work very reliably.
What is the best way to archive documents?
Paper documents should generally be scanned in PDF/A format and then saved in a DMS document management software - or directly if the software supports this or automates it, e.g. through monitoring.
Can I throw away original documents?
If you are using decent software that gets regular updates and have a data backup strategy, the answer is YES for non-critical documents. Everything that could legally require the original should also be kept in the original. For example, PaperOffice DMS has the option of storing the original storage location in the document properties.
The above list of the 7 functions is by no means complete, but only limits your own creativity and professionalism depending on the area of application! If the digitization of the analogue archive is considered from these points of view and a counter-calculation is made, it becomes clear that the effort is worthwhile and how, for example, an investment in a new, more modern and faster machine is considered should.