Enterprise Document Management Software (also known as Enterprise Content Management Software- ECM) is a document and file management system that provides a repository of electronic documents with a mechanism for securing the documents with audit trails. Enterprise Document Management Software integrates with other systems including fax, email, office productivity software, and other business applications to capture inbound and outbound documents received or created and sent from the various business systems. Document management software includes workflow to approve documents or to distribute information to employees. It also manages revisions and provides advanced search options for quickly finding information stored in the system across disparate business systems.
Software features vary widely from system to system but generally provide for the capture of documents electronically received from customers via email, fax, or scanned documents converting them to a digital format and storing them in a database for future retrieval. They also capture internally-produced documents and files such as invoices, purchase orders, quotes, shipping documents, etc. storing them in the database so they are available for retrieval as needed in the future. More advanced systems also provide document assembly and distribution features to bundle separate documents for delivery via email, fax, or other technologies. The more advanced systems also provide workflow for approving of documents such as invoices received from vendors or purchase order requisitions.
A complete list of common enterprise document management software features is provided in our ECM Software RFP Template provided with our buyer’s guide. The RFP Template includes the most popular features available in most enterprise document management products and is pre-populated with information for the products we represent for customers using Sage 100 ERP, Sage 500 ERP, Sage ERP X3, and Epicor ERP products.
What Kind of Companies Need Enterprise Document Management Software?
Every single company regardless of size or industry has documents. Most small companies can manage them effectively using network directories and readily available software like Microsoft Outlook but the larger the company gets, the more difficult it becomes to manage documents effectively. A company can benefit from using enterprise docuement management software when they have even a small staff – often as few as 10 employees. Docuement management software becomes even more valuable and critical for companies with 50 or more employees – especially if those employees are spread across geographies. The software is especially vital in industries that typically have more paper-based processes – industries such as legal, manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, and services.
ECM provides significant value to almost every employee in the organization but it’s especially useful for accounting, customer service, sales, support, project management, and other employees who need to quickly find information that may have been created in the past, received from customers, or information that they do not otherwise have access to – such as quote information from sales to verify a shipment dispute or similar issues where information was provided from someone else within the organization or externally from customers or vendors.
Ready to learn more? Our buyer’s guide is designed to provide an overview of enterprose document management software including a feature overview, summary of benefits, profiles for key vendors and products, and other information to help businesses to evaluate, implement, and use document management software effectively throughout their businesses.