The time to bring your workplace into the electronic is now. Let’s examine the process step by step.

Mastering the Basics

Mastering document management “search-and-store” features is crucial to deploying a document-management solution. The successful utilization of that system hinges on mastering its more basic components.

The speed of information drives document-management search and store. That’s why Google is the busiest site on the internet. It’s the ultimate search engine. But document-management software (DMS) is the equivalent of using Google for document search within an organization. In other words, DMS is to files what Google is to websites.

You can search by names (files folders or drawers) and profiles within the OCR (optical character recognition) engine. With DMS, you don’t have to go to cabinets, drawers, folders or subfolders to find documents again. You simply search by those terms. As with a Google search, you can look for a title of a record and find it almost instantly.

You can also search via indexing and OCR.  You are creating a copy of a document if you scan a physical piece of paper. When that happens, DMS turns it into a PDF.

The computer doesn’t recognize what’s contained in the document until OCR, an advanced and powerful piece of software, is run. Once that happens, it becomes searchable in the OCR engine. This is an enormous part of the benefit of DMS.

By indexing, you can then find documents that contain certain words within the DMS.

Zonal OCR helps to identify areas within the document that are the same. The unique identifiers are the information contained in the fields.

Within document management search-and-store features, you can leverage the OCR confidence of certain fields. The field or text identification simplifies storage, and assists with the routing of documents. This eliminates the need for manual data entry, saving significant amounts of time.

The Power of Full Text Search

Say you’re an enrolled agent, and you want the W-2 of a client named Smith. You’ve forgotten his name but you remember the street he lives on — Briarwood. Searching by that word, you can locate the client’s W-2 through the metadata fields, even if “Briarwood” isn’t in the PDF document’s name.

Full text search lets you look inside documents, and gives you a result in the HTML 5 viewing pane based on words within the body of a document, not just its title.

Watched Folders: Admin Functionality Only

Watched folders are an effective workaround for administrators of a DMS, helping to maximize document management search-and-store capacities.

The best practice for this feature is to have a dedicated scanner linked to your computer. If you don’t have that, admins can set up watched folders that you can scan into, and they’ll be directly mapped into the DMS.

Jesse Wood is chief executive officer of eFileCabinet.

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