Document Management System
A Document Management System often referred as (DMS) and as the word states
it is the method of Managing the documents in the physical file format or the electronic
file format stored on various storage devises or servers. It comprises of content
management in the form of documents for the organization or the personal use, which
are easily accessible through the management technique.
In earlier times the value of a document cannot be ignored as in the Egyptian times
and in Mayan time, the single piece of document with the authority seal specify
the rules and declarations from the kings or the government. Hence the importance
of document is better explained from ancient times till now.
As we live in modern times but the value and use of document is similar in nature,
it’s just the growing businesses and increasing population have increased the burden
of managing the documents for government and business as well, its happing due to
the heavy increase in the quantity of documents.
What is a document?
A document is any content information which is well written down for a certain purpose
and should be readable through naked eyes or electronic codes. It needs to communicate
something from one end to another which is the receiver, and should able to make
sense in some way for the receiver.
Content Management / Record Management
Organizing the random content in the organized way making it understood for the
user of that content, who can extract the meaning of that content in the way it
is meant to be, creating a such document requires few basic guidelines which includes
a self explanatory title which can be understood by the user to make out if that
document is for his use or not, secondly explaining subject or small summary about
the progressing content and then finally the conclusion of the content which is
referred as information.
Various techniques can be used for simplifying the content and making it meaningful
- Bulleting the Points
- Serial order of Points
- Sub Points
- Dividing in paragraphs
- Highlighting the content
- Change of Fonts
- Change of color
- Style of writing
What is document management software?
Document Management software is an electronic way to store and manage documents
with the help of computer programs (Software), which increases the efficiency and
ease of managing the documents and reduce paperwork. Although a DMS is never fully
paperless and some documents need to be scanned before going into the software,
the tracking of documents and retrieval and searching is a must have in a document
Traditional Style of Document Management
In earlier times before the introduction of Document Management software’s, the
documents are managed in piles of Hardcopy (Paper Documents) and stored in Racks
and shelves with a rack numbers and compartment numbers. The larger organizations
manage documents as per entity or nature of the document (Belongingness of the document)
Complexity in Document Management
a. Understand the document type can be sometimes very difficult and the person
managing the documents needs to understand the primary location where document needs
to be stored and it belongs to which Entity.
b. The duplicity is a primary concern which leads to unnecessary consumption
c. The retrieval becomes very tedious for larger organization.
Modern Approach of Document Management
Types of Document
1. External Documents These are which are of the company but still not directly
related to the company at a given time, such as government permissions which are
applied but still pending with the government.
2. Internal Documents these are which are of company directly and in possession
of the company, such as the registration document, Articles of association, Memorandum
of association of the company.
3. Reference Documents These are which is not of company or just for one
company, such as the norms for the university or traffic regulations and such documents
which are required to perform duties and take actions.
4. External Converted to Internal These are documents pending with some agency
or government as external and once approved it will become internal.
Modern Techniques of Managing Documents Electronically
1. Folder Styles (Tree Structure) This is very common and largely used approach
as its style comes from the ancient period and now we perform the same at the local
desktop, laptop machines. Typically and Windows folder menu which gives the ability
to create a folder inside a folder and allow us to store files in those folders.
- Anybody can manage the documents like this no training is required.
- No electricity, computers or any electronic device are required.
- No chance of Hacking or steeling of documents from a distance, as in the electronic
document management scenario.
- Easily accessible incase of less number of documents.
- No breach of authority in accessing the documents as it will require the physical
presence to the document vault.
- Creation of Redundant information multiple times.
- Dependency on single employee who is managing the folders as he only knows the correct
- Naming conventions and styles are different for each Individual.
- Folders inside folders make the task difficult and confusing.
2. Emailing of Documents This method is not exactly document management,
instead it can be better said document saving, using this method helps user to retrieve
document easily and always available at cloud server which makes it a first choice
of people to saving the documents. You also don’t need to do any extra work because
most of them come in the form of emails and attachments which are stored automatically
with search titles.
- It is very easy to use and comes in the natural workflow behavior.
- Does not require extra time for Data Entry or Management.
- Does not have any extra cost.
- No extra time is needed to manage it as a separate software
- No special training is required to perform this operations.
- It is not well organized.
- It keeps multiple copies which makes it difficult to find.
- Versioning of documents is not possible.
- Notifications for alerts are not possible.
- Sharing of documents and limited rights is not possible.
Types of Software’s and Applications
a. Installed: (On Premises Servers or Stand Alone Machines)These are installed
at your machine or server for accessing the database and running of application.
b. Cloud: (SAAS Model) These are deployed at the company (Service provider)
and you are provided with the application on the internet with the login credentials,
through this you can access the application and the database is managed by the company
c. Web Applications: These are similar to cloud in nature but application
is installed on the local machine and the database is managed at the central server
of the company or the client, this also works on Internet.
c. Mobile: Applications made especially for mobiles and can be installed
for running it through mobile only; there are various platforms on which mobile
applications can be built upon like Android, Kitkat, Apple and many others.
- Saves time
- Saves paper and ink which is an additional cost to company
- Increase flexibility and remove employee dependence
- Ease of access (In case of Cloud, Web Application and Mobile)
- Reduce redundancy and duplication
- Permissions and access rights to employee can easily be managed
- Flow of documents can be managed
- Digital signature can be done on documents from far locations
- It requires little bit extra effort to manage the documents initially.
- On Cloud or Web Platform internet connectivity is must.
- Certainly it incurs some cost, it’s not free.
- Small training is required sometime to operate. Usually 2 or 3 Hours training is
enough, if at all required.
Storage of Documents
The storage is done in two different ways Physical Storage and Electronic Storage
1. Physical Storage
a. Random Filing: This is kind of storage where you don’t manage documents
in categories or as per their use, they all are kept in random physical file folders
and whenever a single document is needed all files are been looked and the required
document is pulled out. It is very tedious and time confusing; this approach is
mostly used by people with very less number of documents so that it’s difficult
to make a separate file folder for single document. Real Ex: If in business you
only one telephone connection, 1 electricity connection and 1 water connection it
is not likely you will make 3 separate files for it, you will manage all these in
This random filling approach is also practiced sometime because of the laziness
and lack of knowledge of documents management in organized way.
b. Organized Filling: In this kind of storage proper file Indexing is being
performed, when we manage documents through file indexing we keep track of Rack
No, Room No, Stacking Order and File Tagging. In this we make the Calendar Dates
a first level of stacking filter, to easily locate documents in future.
Index Creation in a file: This is the important part in the file to locate
a single document and in Index creation we give Title and Page Numbers to each document
and stick it in front page of the file and in accordance to that we chose stick
ribbons and give them same page numbers as of the title and each of the ribbon is
pasted on the page, displaying the page number outside of the file.
Example Of File Indexing With Ribbon
This will help the reader to directly jump to correct page numbers as mentioned
in the Index of the file.
2. Electronic Storage
In this all the documents are stored in the form of electronic information which
is saved on your computer, laptop, desktop or any other storage devices. In technical
term all the information is stored in the form of [0 and 1] ie High electrical signal
and low electrical signal in the memory of the computer which forms a cluster of
binary bytes to store the information, here the information is stored and indexed
in 2 different methods which are Sequential (LIFO and FIFO) and another in Random
Access and storage.
a. Storage Media : Magnetic Tapes, Floppy Drives, Hard Drives (Hard Disc
and Pen Drives) Shared Server or cloud space, Virtual Server or Dedicated Server
Movement of Document (Workflow of Documents)
1. Vertical Movement: In an organization when the document is are moved from
lower hierarchy to higher hierarch or from higher hierarchy to lower hierarch for
approvals, modifications or amendments. Ex. From Clerk to Accountant then to Chartered
Accountant and then To CEO
2. Horizontal Movement:In this when a document is moved in similar hierarchy
in a straight line. Ex: From Marketing Executive to Accounts Executive then to Operations
3. Discrete Movement: In this movement when no straight line or horizontal
movement of documents is done and its flowing in the discrete pattern with no hierarchical
structure. Ex. From Clerk to CEO then to Accounts officer then to Operations Executive.
Most of the industries have their different standards for documentation as the nature
of documents are different from industry to industry, although ISO (Indian Standard
Organization manages certain standards for documents)
There are certain industries which need to follow certain standard from government
mainly for the security of the people. It focuses on Chemical, Fertilizers, Pharmaceuticals,
Food, and Agriculture industry as their primary concern.
Agency like OSHA for Chemical Health and Safety, FDA for Food and Drugs Manufacturer,
HGMP for manufacturers, maintains very strict documentation across the industries.
Ex. SDS (Safety Data Sheet) It is a kind of document which all the companies needs
to create while using the product or shipping the product, which are hazardous in
nature. This document is prepared by the regulatory information provided by the
OSHA on the basis of chemical composition present in a particular product. Examples
of such products are Shoe Polish, Toilet Cleaner, Soaps, Paints and many more.