4 Questions to Answer Before Choosing A Document Management System 

Productivity Technology

Is your company looking at upgrading its document workflow? Want to put in place a Document Management System but don’t know where to start?  

You’ve done your research, and your company would benefit from a Document Management System (DMS). Great! That’s just the tip of the document management iceberg. These are the 4 questions you must answer before you select a document management system.  

 Keep in mind that planning and preparation are keys to success in choosing a DMS solution! Complete all the action items in this article, and you’ll be well on your way.  

By the end of this article, you will have a DMS Action Plan that will you can use to find the perfect platform. What’s the point in creating a new system if it won’t work? Do it right – the first time. 

Question #1: What Ithe Goal? 

First things first, you need to determine your overall goal for the DMS. What are you trying to achieve?  

Your needs will vary depending on the size of the company and the task at hand. The overall goal could be as simple as digitizing paper documents to reclaim office space. Or perhaps something more sophisticated is needed, like creating a complex program to assist with automated workflows. 

Your goal may shift and grow over time, so don’t be afraid to stay flexible and adaptable.  

Action Item:  

Let’s start by surveying the employees who will be using the platform.  

Ask for feedback on their current workflows and identify any areas that could use improvement. This information will be vital when comparing document management systems.  

 Consider using a  google formfor anonymous feedback. If you want to encourage a collaborative conversation, host a brainstorming session. It would help if you encouraged your team to be open and honest. This is a time to identify any roadblocks and potential growth opportunities. Remember that this feedback should help dictate what your goal is. 

Question #2: What Are the Technology Requirements? 

The technology of your Document Management System can be as basic or as complex as you need. Basic tech set up could be a cloud-based platform, where all you need is a phone and laptop. If you’re looking at executing a more sophisticated DMS, this may need an internal server and a specialized skill set.  

This is the time to start considering what security measures you need. Ask yourself questions about what encryption methods and permissions your team will need. Take a look at some vendors’ security methods and take extra considerations if they will be hosting it.  

Action Item: 

 Determine the “nice to haves” versus the “necessities” of the Document Management System. For example, does your company need collaborative cloud documents or a more secure internal server? 

By determining this early on, you’ll set yourself up for successful roll-out and adoption. Create a list of your ideal capabilities, so you can use this to judge potential programs and vendors. 

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Question #3: How Will You Handle Change Management? 

Now that you and your organization are on board with your DMS’s goal, this is the time to get buy-in from everyone. Change is hard, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Find the supporters who will help your organization make this transition. Your organization needs to be behind the operation, take part in training, and willing to take on the task at hand.  

Consider the technical abilities of who will be using the new system. This will help you create a training plan. Consider what DMS vendors offer for training and hands-on support. Look into the possibilities of creating specific training collateral you can provide your team.  

By educating your team on why and how to use the new DMS, you set them up for success. 

Action Item: 

You could have the most advanced Document Management system, but what’s the point if your team can’t navigate the platform? The next step will be to put together your training plan for the DMS software.   

This plan can include things like: 

  • what training collateral you will need from the vendor, 
  • what the training process will look  
  • what teams might be first to be onboarded.  

By starting your training early, you will be set up for success for a smooth transition. 

Question #4: How Much Vendor Support Will You Need? 

Implementing a DMS is not an easy task, and you’ll want to have the right support. Each company is unique. The Document Management System, a small creative agency uses, will be different from a large law firm.  

Next up, it’s important to decide what you are looking for in a vendor. Things like your goal, budget, and timeline will help decide what vendor works best for you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to many vendors and question what they offer. Keep in mind that the bigger the change, the more hands-on support is required. 

Action Item: 

 Now begins the real work when selecting a DMS, finding the right vendor for you. Use all the information you’ve captured above and put together a  Request For Information. This part of the research phase will be your first interaction with vendors, so being prepared is key.  

 Flesh out what you are looking for. Some factors to consider are: 

  •  Price 
  • Platform capabilities  
  • User experience 
  • Security options  
  • Vendor support  

Laserfiche has a Document Management System ebook that looks further into creating an RFI and how to select a vendor.  

This is the start of your Document Management System journey. Have we piqued your interest in implementing a document management solution?
Talk to one of our experts about your DMS needs today. 

Emily Adams
Digital Content Specialist
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