In modern law offices, implementing a document management system is one of the most efficient and purposeful upgrades available. Dozens of firms right here in Mobile have already made the switch and are reaping the benefits.
When properly integrated into every part of your business and supported by trained experts, a document management system saves you money and facilitates a smoother eDiscovery process.
What Is A Document Management System (DMS)?
Although part of the process, a document management system is not just “going paperless.” DMS encompasses scanning, storing, and archiving of existing files as well as regimented processes for the generation and discovery of new ones.
With less time spent printing, categorizing, and filing paperwork, you can reduce costs, increase productivity, and streamline retrieval in ways you probably never thought possible. In this article, we want to dig into two of the greatest benefits of a DMS: streamlined workflows and error reduction.
Streamline Your Workflow
A document management system allows for easy collaboration and annotation of existing documents. It also allows the user to mark documents as drafts, pending review, or complete. By categorizing documents in this way, your DMS can be configured to automate certain tasks, such as "Automatically forward anything marked as Pending Review to the head partner."
This keeps the document fresh and moving in the direction that it needs to be in order to reach its conclusion. No more stacks of files on someone’s desk or color-coded tabs. Users receive notification that the document is ready for their review or additions.
What’s more, the storage and recovery process is drastically easier and more manageable. Documents are tagged with specific attributes, keywords, or trial codes for easy recall. No more digging through boxes in the file room.
Finally, cloud-based access enables authorized individuals to work on and manage documents from anywhere at any time. Last-minute change? No problem, so long as you have a smartphone, tablet, or laptop handy.
Going paperless with a document management system naturally reduces the occurrence of common (and not so common) errors. Trial forms, evidentiary exhibits, and whatever else you need are never printed until they’ve been finalized. In a field that demands meticulous attention to detail, this is a huge perk.
Proprietary document formats are created and saved as templates for ease of access and completion. Your proprietary document attributes remain unchanged while important information can be added or modified in a clean, new file.
The strategy can be applied to any standard legal document, not just proprietary ones. If your firm is burning paper creating the same document type over and over again, a document management system allows you to reduce that waste and keep ready-made templates on hand.
Manage and Store With Ease
New AI technology is reducing the amount of time it takes to find a document, and attorneys never thought such speeds were possible. With something called optical character recognition, you can search text within scanned documents -- meaning you'll never be limited to hunting down a document by filename or date.
Digital document management also helps ease the troubles that come from maintaining regulatory compliance. Whether that’s HIPPA, PCI or otherwise, compliance mandates are strict, and the penalties for falling out of them are harsh.
A good document management system ensures that all documents are properly formatted, secured, and handled to maintain compliance. This may include automated record retention settings, checklists, and easy classification and storage.
Do More With Your Documents
Whether your firm has already implemented a document management system or is considering making the switch, Legal Imaging can help. Based in Mobile, Alabama, Legal Imaging provides IT solutions for legal firms of all sizes.
From pre-trial and ediscovery to document services and computer forensics, we provide cost-effective, turn-key solutions that support your law firm and maximize your efficiency. contact us for a FREE Practice Management Assessment and find out how we can ease your IT burden today.