A document management system is used to track and store documents. It is usually means a computer system handling electronic documents including images of paper documents. Despite the advances in technology, paper still plays a very large part in most businesses, so the ability to handle large amounts of paperwork quickly and efficiently is an important factor for successful business.

It is important that a Document Management System not only allows speedy access to information, but also protects against destruction and unauthorised access.

Document Management Systems often have the ability to scan paper creating electronic images. Once this has been done, these electronic images can then be password protected, saved, shared, emailed, edited and archived, etc.

The intention of an Electronic Document Management System [or EDMS] is to free staff from the burden of paper filing, and allow them easy access to all relevant documents and images. However without a powerful document indexing mechanism this is unlikely to be achieved. With a good flexible indexing mechanism, staff are able to locate documents instantly, view them, share them, resolve queries quickly, thus reducing the need for printing and copying.

A Document Management System can also save space, as documents are stored on a computer, rather than in filing cabinets; which in turn saves a money as storage space is no longer required.

Return to Meaning of Terms