Tip #5: Look for custom workflow features that don’t require programming skills
While a search for document management solutions might begin with a need to keep better control of your company files, the end game is about streamlining the day-to-day procedures that drive your business. Once you get the idea of attaching metadata indexes (see tip #2 for more about metadata) to each document as an easier way to identify and retrieve it later, it will then be easy to take the next step, designing custom workflows.
When saving files, users can include attributes about the document’s status within various company processes or workflows – like the stage of its completion (i.e., draft, final, etc.), whether it is waiting on approval, or has been sent to a prospect or customer, and so on. An electronic document manager with workflow features might also provide automatic email notifications, which you can set up to alert specific employees when documents reach a certain status. These types of automated workflows can be set up for a variety of business processes, regardless of which applications are involved.
Look for a file management system where you can define workflow directly within the user interface without special coding. You should be able to create simple or even advanced workflows where you can filter fields, create multi-set lists, define relationships between documents, and set up notifications – all without programming skills. Should you have particularly complex workflows, it is also nice to have some level of scripting capability to further extend the system.
So in addition to organizing and gaining control of your documents, a DMS with workflow support can greatly boost office productivity and eliminate process errors by automating your day-to-day business rules.
See previous: tip #4.
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