Fondos_archivoProduct and process manufacturing have changed beyond recognition in recent years. Now, document management can be automated in ways that leave traditional manual approaches light years behind. Whether the starting point is an e-document or a paper document (all those legacy repositories still need to be integrated), the next steps are virtual all the way to the end.

  • Scan. Document management software can connect with scanners to generate image files of print or photo documents with user-defined levels of resolution.
  • OCR (optical character recognition). The scanned files are converted into editable and searchable text documents by analyzing the images of the scans to detect the text they contain.
  • Online creation. New documents can be created directly online using standard document formats such as PDF and Microsoft Office, with user-defined templates for speed and efficiency.
  • Collaboration. Users can share documents in the creation and review phases, with viewing and modification permissions granted or denied by the system administrator.
  • Document assembly. Templates or partially completed documents can receive additional information from different sources, with manual adjustment and automatic ‘pre-population’ like from CRM software.
  • Indexing. The electronic versions of documents including searchable text versions of scanned documents can be indexed and tagged for organized storage and retrieval.
  • Archiving. Document management systems may also provide archiving according to user-defined rules for automatic classification, retention and deletion.
  • Retrieval. Documents can be retrieved in different cases by subject, date, tags or individual clauses in the content.

Virtual Document Assembly Lines

Knowledge workers (a term describing more and more employees) now increasingly participate in an assembly line of document manufacturing. Although creativity, imagination and innovation are still crucially important to good finished document products, so are efficiency and productivity. By automating the way that images can be generated from templates and predefined content, quality end results can be produced with less effort and in less time. The information factory for making the documents doesn’t exist in physical terms. It’s a virtual factory built with the document management app and the interaction with employees.

Workflow and Mobile Set to Grow

This virtual information factory invites the use of mobile computing devices to create new documents, initiate assembly and publication, and manage retrieval. But document management apps will be confronted with a growing need to integrate good workflow processes. Those virtual information factory workers can be located anywhere – on company premises, at home or anywhere else with an Internet connection. Good workflow in document management apps will ensure that digital signoffs to keep the virtual assembly lines running can be available immediately, no matter where the signatory happens to be.

Top Document Management Apps

Zoho Docs

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Files and folders can be shared securely with others using Zoho Docs, with instant file synchronization. Documents can be created online (text, spreadsheets and presentations). The content can be managed using smart formatting, editing and real time collaboration. Mobile access is offered for both iOS and Android devices. The First Draft module in Zoho lets users create simple text-only presentations on an iPhone or iPad, while ShowMore lets users control Zoho Show presentations with their mobile device. DOComment provides users with the functionality for collaboratively annotating documents from any location. Additional task management capability allows tasks to be assigned and tracked.


Hightail

Hightail software is suitable for markets that include advertising and marketing, architecture, creative services, legal counsel and media and entertainment. The online file sharing and storage allows users to send large files (up to 10GB) reliably and securely, while sharing project folders and defining edit and update permissions. Hightail Desktop offers PC and Mac based access, sharing and management for files and folders, and Hightail Express manages the transmission of large files. Hightail for Outlook gives users the same capabilities from within the Outlook interface. Smartphone and tablet access completes the line-up for cross-device synchronization and sharing.


FileHold

Filehold offers a range of document management functionality, including document workflow software, records management and archiving. The workflow handling facilitates review and approval processes, and also gives users instant reports on review status. Templates for workflows can be created to include task descriptions, due dates and details on reviews and approvals required. Record management and archiving can be done according to user-defined rules, including conditions for automatic deletion. The document scanning and imaging software supports a large number of different scanners. Optical character recognition (OCR), tagging and indexing then makes documents available using the FileHold text search capabilities.


Selectica

Contract management is the focus of the Selectica app. Current and legacy contracts can be managed and viewed using one resource that also aids contract discovery, analysis by contract clause and control of rogue contracts. Selectica also supports the contract life cycle of request, authoring, negotiation and approval. Its eSignature capability allows approvers to grant or deny approval at any time and from any device. Users can automatically keep track of contract renewals, deadlines and other time-sensitive activities, as well as compliance with internal and external regulations.


Webmerge

Webmerge automates document assembly using document templates, content merges and user-defined delivery methods. Users can define templates using standard formats such as PDF or Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). Data feeds can be accepted from any source to then pre-populate or fill the templates with content to generate invoices, contracts, tickets, letters and other document types. Delivery can be made via online services such as Box (file share and synchronization) and RightSignature (for legally binding e-signatures.) Webmerge also offers an API (application programming interface) to allow third party services to interact with a user’s documents.


IntelligenceBank

When spreadsheets show their limits for organizing enterprise data, IntelligenceBank provides a solution with online information management and sharing. Documents can be uploaded (maximum size 2GB) singly or in bulk with version control, review dates and watermarks to manage and protect integrity. Download and publish approvals are managed as part of the IntelligenceBank system, with a dedicated area for tracking approvals history with digital sign off. Customizable databases let users store and manipulate documents, with email alerts for automatic notification of new information or new document versions.

Save Trees and Start Using a Document Management App Today!

Whether your business needs the specialized functionality from Selectica or IntelligenceBank, document handling and transfer power from Hightail or Filehold, or all round applicability of Zoho Docs or Webmerge, try them out to confirm suitability. Demos and free trials for document management apps are available to you now!