What is DMS

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For the proper functioning of administrative and operational processes, it's desirable in every organization that reliable information is continuously available quickly. Almost all of this information is stored in documents in one way or another. Reports, correspondence by post, purchase invoices and receipts are examples of paper documents. In digital form it concerns e-mail messages, customer files, interview reports and all other documents and files created by the organization itself.

More and more documents

The number of information flows and documents within organizations has increased considerably in recent years. This trend will continue strongly in the near future. Due to this ever larger range of documents, timely availability of the information contained in these documents is becoming increasingly difficult. The solution for this is provided by document management systems (DMS).

With DMS software, document management is automated in such a way that optimum availability of documents and information recorded therein can be guaranteed. This means that the valuable information is available at the right time, in the right place and with the right people.

What does document management consist of?

Document management is the process within organizations that focuses on meaningful, usable and secure storage of useful information. A DMS system supports this process with modern software solutions, whether or not integrated with solutions for digitizing (scanning), printing, editing, distributing, storing (archiving), searching, retrieving and destroying the documents. The biggest advantages lie in the area of ​​speed and efficiency.

Various sources

The information available to organizations is stored in various systems. This leads to a large diversity of file formats. In addition, many of these systems are managed in their own way and isolated from other systems. Technological developments also play a role. These go so fast that systems and file formats become increasingly obsolete. The consequence of this is that information recorded in documents is present, but isn't always available in the correct manner. DMS software solves this problem.

Great benefits of DMS

A document management system provides access to all information recorded in documents in the simplest way. Through the company network, documents can be consulted continuously for anyone who has access to them (internally or externally) from anywhere. Changes and additions are immediately available and the status of documents is continuously known to everyone. Therefore, there is no longer a discussion about the version of a document: everyone works with the same most current version, so that misunderstandings and miscommunication can be excluded.

Sharing knowledge also becomes easier, which means that projects can be implemented faster and better.

With a DMS, various labor-intensive operations with paper documents (retrieval, sending, copying, printing) can be omitted, because documents in digital form and through existing channels are continuously available. Much time is saved by having documents automatically go to the right employee. and not 'harass' others with information that's not actually intended for them.

Another advantage is that the archiving of documents is optimally organized. For example, documents can easily be linked to a project, so that it's immediately clear what consequences changes in one document have for the other. Document management systems also make a major contribution to cost reduction. The rapid traceability of documents, the simple consultation thereof and the prevention of all actions associated with paper documents save a lot of time. Various other benefits apply in addition to this for each organization.


Document management systems make paper documents superfluous. Instead, all documents are digitally available. To make that possible, various techniques are needed: indexing, scanning, optical character recognition (OCR), categorization and full text retrieval. When digitizing a document, metadata is added to a document. Metadata consists of data about a document that's linked to the document and that's necessary to be able to find documents and to establish relationships between documents, such as creation date, author, archiving date, version number, description, change history, information about who made the document has been consulted, and so on.


The differences between the various solutions that are referred to as DMS are large. There are separate DMS systems and DMS solutions that form an integrated part of other software applications, for example in the field of content management and CRM. In the simplest form, a document management system is focused on entering and managing various types of files, including e-mail, images, reports, fax messages, word processor files, and audio and video files. With 'larger' document management systems the functionality has been expanded with the management of the life cycle of documents and facilities for workflow management and content management. Documents can therefore often be assigned status characteristics, retention periods and access rights.

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