Choosing document management software for your start up

By: Sheldon White

Date: 4 June 2019

An entrepreneur manages her business documents using software, saving space for her shop's stock.The importance of managing business documentation well has come to the forefront or our attention in recent years. As technology keeps advancing, the digitization of workplaces, and greater regulatory focus on data protection, has required start ups to carefully consider how they store and manage their documents.

Increasingly, enterprises both new and old are beginning to appreciate the need for a document management system that simplifies and smoothes the process.

Understanding the need for document management systems is only half the battle, however. You also need to choose a software solution, such as the one offered by FileCenter, that best matches the needs of your daily operations.

Here we discuss how to find the right document management software for your firm.

1) Consider your business needs

Each business' software set-up needs to provide the right features and functionality for them, based on a number of factors. Your start up’s present needs and future plans and expectations will dictate the type of software you should employ.

For example, some document management systems offer only basic functionality, such as stored revisions of documents and cloud access. These may suffice for your start up - or they may fall short.

You can't know the requirements for your software if you don't understand what features your business needs to function effectively. You must first determine your specific needs, in order to establish which software will suit you.

Considerations include:

  • the size of your start up;
  • the types of documents you’ll be processing;
  • your dependency on remote access.

2) Simplicity is key

While a document management system with tons of features might seem like the best choice, it may actually prove less efficient in the long run.

Some offerings can be incredibly complex, with layer upon layer of functionality and customization options suitable for large corporations. However, start ups are unlikely to need all these features, and thus it could be wasteful, costly, and inefficient for them to implement an over-equipped system.

Businesses that are just getting up and running often have less time to dedicate to document management. Software that is simplified, has a clear user interface and doesn’t require hours of training to master will go a long way towards relieving headaches.

Remember that a simple interface is not always the mark of a basic or ineffective program. Even the most advanced software can be crafted in such a way that the layout is intuitive for experts and novices alike.

3) Smart workflow management features

For any business - and especially for start ups - it’s essential that your document management system complements and enhances your work processes.

In the past, the storage of physical documents - taking up physical space - created natural limitations to how many versions of a document could be retained. One useful workflow management feature included in many types of document management system is the ability to save unlimited drafts and revision history.

Other workflow management features include the ability to share your documents with others, work collaboratively in real time, and access documents remotely on mobile devices.

4) Think about integration

Part of the challenge of implementing a new document management system is getting it to work with the existing systems in your workplace - which vary from business to business.

Failure to consider integration could create massive headaches down the road. You may find compatibility issues that double your workload, or even hit “dead ends” that bring a complete halt to your operations.

For this reason, it is critical to find document management software that can integrate properly and efficiently with your start up’s current set-up. For example, if you’re already using a tool to manage your finances, ensure your new system can 'speak to' it - or accept that you may need to switch to financial software that does integrate.

Copyright 2019. Article was made possible by site supporter Sheldon White.

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.