How to Implement a Document Management System

According to Business Dictionary, a document management system is an “electronic system designed to organize and manage documents. These documents are usually organized with software, which provides the user with the ability to access, modify, and centrally store the documents.” Companies often use these systems to convert historical paper documents into electronic files for easy reference and reduce storage space. Most companies generate some type of paperwork associated with their operations. Finding the best way to manage these documents can improve the company’s internal workflow.

Review the incoming points for business documents. Business owners and managers should determine how documents enter their company and decide how to best capture them electronically.

Implement software to capture information electronically. Companies can request outside parties—such as vendors, suppliers or similar groups—to send information electronically via email or websites. This allows companies to directly load the information into a document management system.

Require employees to scan paper documents into an electronic filing system. After an employee completes her task, managers may require that she scan all pertinent information into the company’s computer or server storage. The employee can then shred the original to dispose of sensitive information.

Set up a document finding system. The ability to quickly find stored documents can cut down on an employee’s time spent searching for historical information. Companies should create a standard electronic filing system for individuals to store and find information at a later date.


  • Companies may decide to outsource their document management system. Businesses may specialize in storing information so a company does not need copious amounts of physical storage space for documents.


  • While electronic document management systems provide many benefits for a company, they can also have drawbacks. Companies must be able to secure electronic information from abuse or fraud while backing up the information to safeguard against computer or server failure.