How to Select the Right Electronic Document Management System

Today's businesses succeed or fail as a result of applying the right technology and software. But it's often difficult to find a single all-in-one solution that encompasses everything a business needs to keep track of client information. There is software for each niche a business might need, but sometimes using niche products can lead to problems. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Andrew Bailey explains how to increase efficiency by using an electronic document management system to keep track of all your client information.

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In any business, silos of information are frequently built based on the type of work being done for each client. These silos are stored in different software packages, making it difficult to find a complete view of each client's work product without using several different applications. Most of this information is stored as documents.

The business of the future must rely on an electronic document management system (EDMS) to store each client's information in the most efficient manner possible. A third-party EDMS can also be used to integrate the other line-of-business applications and combine the documents from those into a single information silo.

Efficiency is the watchword for any business in today's marketplace. With the current economic climate, it is likely your clients are examining all expenses and looking for alternatives or requesting changes. In order to remain competitive, your business must continue providing the same or better level of service with a reduced level of expenses. Simply put, your business must "do more for less."

There are four ways that an EDMS can improve your business efficiency. An EDMS can:

1. Reduce the labor involved in storing and handling paper documents. This is by far the biggest component of the ROI of an EDMS

2. Reduce the space necessary to store paper documents

3. Increase the ability to comply with appropriate regulations

4. Allow your employees to collaborate and work remotely, thereby decreasing the amount of office space necessary (particularly during the heavy seasonal periods in some industries when temporary employees are needed)