A quick overview of the differences between a Document Management System (DMS) and a Record Management System (RMS)

Testify that things are done and done Correctly

An Electronic Records Management System (ERMS) is built to testify that things are done and done correctly. Record Management Systems has the purpose of ensuring compliance. They help companies avoid penalties or auditors and governing bodies.

Feature of a Record Management System (RMS)

Most Records Management System have all the functions of a Document Management System and more. Here’s the “more”:

  1. Holds the index of all records that are stored within it or registered with it. The key is that RMS supports both electronics and physical records. With this, users can at-a-glance know which files are already accounted for.
  2. Ensure that documents meet the required time frame for retention. Once the required time frame is fulfilled, the document will be archived or securely overwritten. If the records are physical ones, the system will prompt the relevant personnel to send the physical records for archival or physically destroy them.
  3. Ensure that documents that are to be preserved can be opened and used throughout the required time period of preservation. And to achieve this even if the legacy program used to open the document can no longer be found. A good example will be Lotus 1-2-3, a discontinued spreadsheet program. Hence, a good record management system will often come with inbuilt readers for the different file formats.
  4. Ensure the integrity of the documents, that they are not tampered with and fit for legal proceedings. This means that a chain of custody and audit trail is present for each document. Chain of custody means the chronology of ownership, custody or location of a document or group of documents. This is important in determining the authenticity of the document. Audit Trail means a chronological record of the changes that have been made to the document. This includes drafts, various amendments and the latest versions.

The trend today

Organisations today need both efficiency and compliance. Work has to be done efficiently; And the process of how the work is done and final products are kept safe for future audits.

Today it makes sense that they choose single products that can fulfil these 2 areas. An Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) is also a robust Electronic Record Management System (ERMS). Many vendors are already developing or converging the 2 products into 1.

Our KRIS Document and Record Management System is a good example that handles both Document and Record Management. Document Management and Record Management have been used interchangeably by many people. It may one day be that they will come to refer to the same system. Adopting a document management system is one of the first crucial steps to Enterprise Transformation.