The road to true collaboration with your business partners begins with developing an exceptional system of internal controls. For document intensive organizations, those controls are implemented using a robust document management system. When selecting a document management system for your organization, you will want to research systems that support collaboration as well as metadata indexing, workflow routing, fast searching, document audit logs, records management, and business rules enforcement.
Companies with fully deployed document management systems recognize the benefits of their implementation immediately. Repetitive tasks that involve searching for and/or distributing company documents can be performed in a matter of seconds by a single employee. Implementing agreed-upon standards for storing, naming, and profiling documents means less time searching for documents and more time focusing on what makes the company money. The list of benefits an organization will achieve is quite remarkable. The question that inevitably emerges is how to connect your internal business processes with resources on the outside of the organization.
The capacity to collaborate with resources, both inside and outside of the organization, while maintaining your internal business controls is king. Collaboration is the means to efficiently communicate and share data with your outside vendors and/or suppliers in a consistent and auditable format. Your success with collaboration depends upon whether you have the necessary tools to provide a secure, intuitive portal for easily uploading and retrieving documents and for involving external users in workflows.
Advanced collaboration solutions also offer tools for distributing bulk documents to resources for the purposes of document turnover, transmittals, or e-Discovery. This technology is used for extracting entire projects or folder directory structures from within a document management system and exporting the information to an external storage device – CD, DVD, thumb drive, or USB hard drive. The documents are accessed through a self-contained, searchable document archive that presents the complete folder and file hierarchy, metadata information, and a robust search function. All of this functionality is available to the data recipient without requiring any special software installation process.
Leveraging collaboration tools in your organization will improve your ability to produce the goods or services that drive revenue. Collaborative tools provide real-time data sharing with your vendors and suppliers. This improves your overall efficiency while reducing risk. Bulk document distribution functionality allows your organization to provide a greater level of service to your customers and therefore a strategic advantage over the competition. Implementing a document management system with collaboration has proven valuable to many organizations across a broad range of industries.