One of the most crucial components of any business is documentation. The efficient acquisition, archival, and distribution of documents inside and outside the firm can be significant to the success of your business.
Plenty of businesses need more efficient document management systems. This frequently disregarded element can impede the expansion of your company. The more the documents remain scattered across the organisation, the more the employees will be unproductive and dissatisfied.
To put things into perspective, imagine how time-consuming and difficult it may be to search through mail attachments, hard drives, shared network drives, Google Drive, team websites, project websites, etc., just to look for one specific document. Imagine all the documents in one location, accessible in only a few clicks, and waiting for users to view, edit or even share them. The advantages of having SharePoint as a document management system go much beyond that.
The SharePoint document management system can seamlessly integrate all the famous Microsoft Office 365 apps and collaborative tools. With SharePoint, you can boost efficiency, cut expenses, reduce employee frustration, and protect your company’s data integrity. That’s not it, though.
Continue reading to learn more about SharePoint’s benefits as a wise investment for your company, regardless of its size, and how it can help you change your business from the inside out.
Various components of a document management system
An efficient and effective document management system specifies the following questions:
- What types of content or documents does the organisation create on a day-to-day basis?
- What format should each type of document use?
- What metadata should each type of document include?
- Where to store a document during the entirety of its lifecycle?
- How to control access at each stage of a document’s lifecycle?
- How do we move the documents within the company while multiple users contribute to the creation, review, approval, publication, and disposal of the document?
SharePoint, as document management system, can implement all these aspects of document management.
Document Management Planning Process
The following are the main steps involved in the document management planning process:
1. Establish roles in document management
Make sure your plans consider the opinions of the critical stakeholders in your business, that you have the best team to deliver the solution, and that you are aware of the people who will engage in the document management procedures.
2. Examine document usage
After identifying the people who work on documents, ascertain the types of documents they work on and the methods they employ.
3. Document organisation
The Document management system in SharePoint allows you to arrange documents in libraries, sites, and collections. From specialised sites to loosely organised document libraries for speedy document generation and collaboration, SharePoint offers a variety of tools to help organise and store documents. You may also categorise items into folders and subfolders within a library.
4. Moving content between locations
Across a document’s lifecycle, it may be necessary to move or copy it from one location or library to another.
Every piece of content in SharePoint originates from a specific content type like Audio, Image, CAD, etc. A SharePoint content type pulls together an item and information pertaining to the item. You have the option to either utilise the default content types such as “Blank Document” or “Announcement” as is or create custom content types.
You can even use content types to manage data about documents, such as metadata, document templates, and workflow procedures. Putting this strategy into practice is crucial in helping you organise your records and ensure uniformity throughout your company.
6. Workflow Plan
When you design workflows for your business, you can monitor and manage the sharing of documents across team members as they work together throughout a document’s lifecycle. Workflows are available in SharePoint Server for typical team duties like document approval and review. You can even use Power Automate and Power Apps to create and install custom workflows.
Governance refers to the policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that guide how an organisation’s business divisions and IT teams work together to achieve its goals. Many businesses need a cohesive content governance strategy but implement technologies on a haphazard, inconsistent, and siloed basis. Content governance must be comprehensive and easy to use across all content repositories to be effective. Automating information lifecycle management, tagging, classification, and security and policy enforcement allows for content governance at scale. Microsoft’s Advanced Data Governance (ADG) platform can assist businesses in managing large volumes of content and addressing common content governance challenges.
Plan information management policies for each content category to ensure that records are handled, stored and audited under your company’s institutional and legal responsibilities.
Benefits of using SharePoint as Document Management System
1. Repository of information
SharePoint is fundamentally a platform for creating and collaborating. However, it can be a central repository for organising and storing important documents. Due to its scalability and customizability, some of the largest companies around the world use SharePoint document management and a variety of other business needs.
2. Centralised management
If you’re in charge of the SharePoint solution for your business, there might be instances where you need to change the configuration. Changing configurations would be a big hassle with such a big platform. But SharePoint comes with a central administration console that streamlines the entire procedure into a few simple steps.
3. Highly Customisable
You can use SharePoint right out of the box or customise it to meet your company-specific requirements. For each SharePoint feature, your team can create a custom component. They can even use drag-and-drop functionality to change the complete user interface to match your business’s identity or design one from scratch to enhance your team’s working environment.
4. Improved Security
With SharePoint, your documents stay protected at all times. You can apply the Security settings to a folder so that you, or other employees, can share it with a third party. You can even assign the settings to an individual level where, for instance, you can share a file with confidential information only with one particular employee instead of the entire team.
To manage and effectively handle crucial information while upholding business compliance, you can assign storage and auditing policies to relevant parties as required.
5. Remote Access
The SharePoint document management system allows employees to access files anytime and anywhere. Employees can even use smartphones or tablets to access information, share documents, or edit them when required.
6. Integration with your existing apps
Document management systems in SharePoint can integrate seamlessly between different Microsoft programs or third-party platforms that you already use, such as CRM, ERP or Office 365. Additionally, this makes it easier to send files and documents directly to customers, vendors and colleagues without wasting time switching between the programs.
7. Powerful search capabilities
We utilise search engines when we need to look up information online. Similarly, SharePoint’s search functionality reduces the time spent looking for files, so your team has more time for other crucial tasks.
8. Simplify business processes
Consider the workflows you employ to manage your everyday business operation. How does your company plan, execute, and report tasks like getting approvals, compiling feedback, monitoring issues, etc.?
With SharePoint, you may easily share papers, collaborate with team members, gather data from vendors, talk to clients, etc. Capabilities like these enable companies to track market trends, forecast demand variations, and make informed decisions.
For an easy and smooth user experience, you can incorporate these functions into client applications, email apps, and browsers.
From Fortune 500 companies to unicorn start-ups, successful businesses worldwide use SharePoint as their preferred document management and collaboration software. Integrating SharePoint into your business would be the most sensible step if you aspire to join their ranks.
The benefits of utilising SharePoint as document management system continue beyond that. The program has numerous features designed to make inter and intra-team collaboration as successful as possible. The cost reductions alone will make SharePoint a valuable investment in the long run.
Get in touch with us if you wish to know more about SharePoint and how it can transform the way you do your business. Our team of SharePoint developers will evaluate your current infrastructure and build a customised SharePoint document management system for your organisation to help you achieve your business goals.
You can contact us by leaving a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or +971-521043226.
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