Document Management Basics Guide

The digital age has made it abundantly clear that having a system for managing documents is essential. It’s an invaluable part of any modern business, allowing you to work more efficiently and get more done in the same amount of time. This article will bring you up to speed with the many aspects of document management, its advantages, and why it’s a lifeline of your business.

Shedding Light on Document Management

A document management system is software that lets you electronically store, retrieve, share, and distribute corporate documents or paper files. It can be considered similar to storing files, like photos, in online digital albums and sharing them with friends, but within the business scope.

However, the distinction between private file storage and business document management goes beyond the file type. The ability to access information quickly can make the difference between success and failure. Since you can often organize documents more effectively using a document manager than by filing cabinets or folders full of paper, it is well worth implementing this software in your company.

Document management systems (DMS) are the foundation of this convenience. These systems can store, manage and track electronic documents and images of scanned, paper-based information for any purpose.

The Evolution of Document Management

In the past, businesses needed to rely on filing cabinets and other physical amenities to organize documents. They used drawers and binders, manila folders, card holders, and large cabinets. The files were kept in offices and could only be accessed and read by employees with dedicated access cards. Although this method didn’t allow for easy organization or changes to the documents and took up space, it was an industry standard.

Today, most businesses use digital document management software to store their documents online, where they can organize files into categories or folders. The software automatically generates metadata for different electronic files, which then lets workers search scans of paper records quickly and without errors. With these new technologies, offices save storage space, as they no longer have to keep physical copies of important documents.

Why It Matters for Your Workplace

You have made a wise decision in looking for a document management system because it can bring numerous benefits to your business. Here are just some of the advantages of using this technology:


The realm of digital document management rests on swift retrieval. With physical documents, storage takes up space and demands people to sort them manually. Digital systems can achieve greater quantities of data by accumulating large volumes of data in one place and automatically sorting it.

A digital system stores all the information in a central location, automated by computers, which can sort through it quickly. This buff in productivity saves time for already busy employees who need to focus on core tasks rather than managing documents by hand.


Security is paramount at a time when cyber threats have moved past hackers’ challenge projects and become a profit-driven criminal activity. Document management systems (DMS) have this in mind.

Security features built into DMS’ advanced functionality prevent unauthorized access and protect sensitive data from malicious attacks. Advanced user authentication techniques, like two-factor authentication, let only authorized personnel and software applications access files. Moreover, full audit trails in the system track all activity in or around documents. This way, colleagues can share documents and work as a team, with a lower risk of a cyberattack ruining their progress.


More secure and easier sharing means greater collaboration and teamwork. When you share a document, your team members can track changes in real-time and collaborate so they can all see the latest version and recent changes.

They will get a notification when the documents they’re working on change. Collaboration also isn’t just advantageous for productivity within the office. It makes it easier for team members to work remotely, a reasonable alternative to office time. They will see what everyone else is seeing and can work on the same projects from any device that can access the database.


Compliance is a major concern for many industries, especially those subject to regulations regarding document retention. This is particularly true if the data within these documents contain sensitive information about customers, citizens, or patients that a company or organization works with.

A DMS can keep said organizations compliant with these regulations and reduce the risk of penalties. The system can automatically manage document retention periods and allow access to those who need to see them. Apart from protecting legal compliance, it makes staying compliant easier and saves time on legalities.

So far, it’s evident that document and information management are fascinating and possess far more depth than first thought.

Implementing the System in Your Business

If you’re a manager or a business owner, you must consider document management at your workplace. Implementing it takes several steps:

  • Thoroughly examine what you already have in place. Think about how well it performs and what would make it even better.
  • Observe a broader picture of your business and its demands. Consider its size, document volume, and the budget at your disposal.
  • Look for a DMS plan that fits all these criteria neatly. You might need to compromise to some degree but aim for what gives you the best value for the money.
  • Train your staff on how to use the new system and help them gently transition from the old one.

Once everyone’s ready, you can migrate existing documents from the old document management platform (or paper) to the new one.

Manage Documents With Confidence

Document management gives back so much more than it takes. It’s a lifeline for any organization that makes it function efficiently and securely, with great potential for collaboration and building trust. For readers in Bloomington, Minneapolis, or St. Paul who want to implement a new document management platform, DTS has your back. Visit the DTS website or take a look at the contact us page to learn more and find a system that’s best for your work and its goals.