Tips for choosing the right document management supplier

Many organizations are turning to electronic document management (EDM) systems to gain a competitive advantage. Document management enables organizations to electronically store, retrieve, manage, deliver, and authorize business documents. It also enables the automated capture and verification of purchase invoice data, reducing manual data entry.

The falling costs of disk storage, hardware used to scan documents, and high-speed Internet connections has led to document management becoming more widely used. These systems are easy to use and, as well as reducing operating costs and improving efficiency, they also support organizations’ green agendas and business continuity plans. However, with so many document management providers in the marketplace, choosing the right supplier can be an overwhelming task.
 
One must ask a document management supplier the following key questions when selecting an EDM system, according to Catherine Murphy, marketing manager of Version One, a document management and imaging company.
 
Do you author the document management products you supply? A supplier who also is the author of the software is more able to tailor modifications to fulfill your particular needs. The supplier also can ensure that the solutions are tightly integrated into your core business systems. You also will be better positioned to benefit from regular advances in technology to ensure your organization doesn’t get left behind the competition.
 
Do you provide an end-to-end document management solution? Lots of companies claim to provide a full end-to-end portfolio of electronic document management products, but many employ third-party organizations to enable them to provide a complete solution. EDM solutions that combine software from different providers can be difficult to install, integrate, and support.
 
Do your document management products tightly integrate with all major accounting and ERP systems? Does your supplier integrate its solutions with all major accounting and ERP systems? Check your document management technology can tightly integrate into your current system. This will enable you to view and process documents by quickly and easily drilling down from your ERP system, saving time while providing a comprehensive audit trail of financial transactions.
 
If we move accounting systems can we take our document management with us? Make sure your investment is a sound one by checking that your document management software is portable. This will give you flexibility and confidence that should you change your accounting system, you can take your document management with you.
 
Do you have a well-established customer base? Your document management supplier needs to be able to demonstrate a long track record in delivering successful solutions to different industry sectors.
 
Do you have any customer reference sites we can visit? Does your document management supplier have a proven track record of providing solutions to leading companies across a wide range of industries? If so, its satisfied customers should only be too happy to act as reference sites and share their success stories so you can purchase in confidence.
 
Can we buy your document management through our existing software provider as well as direct? Check whether your document management supplier has a close partnership with your existing software provider. You may feel more confident about buying document management through your established provider.
 
What’s your after-sales support like? Your supplier should possess a dedicated support team that can quickly respond to your needs. It should also carry out customer-care campaigns to make sure you are happy with your document management and imaging software. Check that the supplier also provides end-user training courses so you can acquire the skills and proficiencies needed to maximize the capabilities of your EDM solutions.
 
What return on investment (ROI) can I expect? Document management and imaging software has one of the fastest ROIs. Your document management supplier should be able to demonstrate an ROI of six months or less.
 
The advantages of electronic storage and processing cannot be ignored and make a compelling case for implementing document management solutions. However, organizations shouldn’t expect to reap benefits from just any EDM software solution. A lot of thought and research needs to go into selecting the right document management supplier for your company’s needs and also for those of your customer base.
 
Not all suppliers have the breadth of applications, the development capability in-house or the track record to successfully deliver. By choosing carefully the benefits are substantial – an increased competitive edge, significantly streamlined business efficiencies, and a much improved bottom line.
 
About Version One:
Version One Ltd is the author of electronic document management and imaging software. This software enables the automated electronic storage, retrieval, management, enhancement, and delivery of business documents such as invoices, purchase orders, and statements. This paperless office technology is seamlessly integrated into all major ERP and accounting system and, with a typical ROI of less than six months, Version One's solutions are enabling thousands of organizations to save time and money. For further information, contact Version One at +44(0)1625 856505, e-mail marketing@versionone.co.uk, or visit www.versionone.co.uk.
 
Reprinted from our sister site, accountingweb.co.uk.

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