difference between document management system and record management system

What is the difference between Record Management System & Document Management System?

What is a Document Management System

Document Management System is built to help you get things done efficiently. It does so by the below and more:

  1. Reducing instances of missing documents because they are not filed. Modern Document Management Systems typically comes with the function of work flow automation. Where it automatically routes documents and forms from one approving party to the next. At the end of the routing process the DMS will automatically file the document into the repository. elevating the load from the staff.
  2. Enabling users to find documents immediately using strong search functions. A good document management system allow users to search for keywords found within the document. Some DMS uses OCR technology to recognise and index text within images.
  3. Reducing instances of missing documents because they are filed in wrong folders. Because folder structure and folders within the DMS system are predefined after careful deliberation by the management team. Users cannot create folders at will. They need to adhere to the filing structure. When members of every department follows a uniform folder structure, colleagues or new workers will know where to find specific documents easily. Easy to grasp training should be given to users to run them through the relevant folders. These will reduce the instances of documents being filed wrongly. It will also reduce or eliminate the creation of duplicated folders.
  4. Automating recurring everyday tasks such as routing of electronic forms from one approving personnel to another. With this staff will no longer be sending their forms to the wrong person for approval, wasting time chasing for approvals or wasting time looking for forms that are lost in transition.
  5. Reducing manual data entry. Forms is a simple and practical tool in work flow processes. Form includes Asset Purchase Approval, Application forms etc. Form should be distilled down to only ask what it cannot auto populate. When the forms are connect to the central server to auto populate fields it reduces manual entry and human errors.
  6. Achieving a paperless or paper-less environment. Reducing papers in the company for clutter free offices.

What is a Record Management System.

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

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 is stored within it or registered with it. This applies to 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. And 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, even if the legacy program to be used to open the document can no longer be found. 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 tempered with. To be fit enough 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 has been made to the document. This includes the drafts, various amendments and the latest versions.

What is happening today.

Organisations today needs both efficiency and compliance. Work has to be done efficiently; And the process 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. A Document Management System that is also a robust Record Management System. Many vendors are already developing or converging the 2 products into 1.

Because of this, Document Management and Record Management has 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. Do check out our guide to Digital Transformation Singapore.