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Companies are constantly exchanging private information with clients and customers. If even one document falls into the wrong hands, they can immediately lose a good relationship.
Everyone I work with uses document management software, and so should you. Once you get started, you will find that it gives you tons of benefits beyond safety.
Whether you're trying to go green, stay organized, create great looking newsletters, or meet the toughest regulations, document management software can make a difficult process a lot easier.
The key is to find the right one for your specific needs. I've compiled a list of my top five document management solutions. Let's talk about why they're valuable and how they can help.
The top 5 options for document management software
- DocSend – Best for Selling
- FileCenter DMS – Best for paperless work
- PandaDoc – Best for closing more deals
- Rubex by eFileCabinet – Best for automating daily tasks
- MasterControl – Best for corporate policy compliance
How to choose the best document management software for you
Estimates, proposals, contracts, invoices – documents are the basis of every business relationship.
The easier it is to manage documents, the easier it becomes to manage these relationships.
Document management software can go a long way in helping you stay organized and efficient. Let's look at some of the features that can have a huge impact.
Scanning and Imaging
Digitizing documents is a pain without the right product. In fact, going paperless is one of the main reasons people get document management software.
It turns a really inefficient workflow into a streamlined process with tools to identify, sort, tag and store all kinds of file types.
Some products are equipped with optical character recognition (OCR) that translates the printed words into digital text. This means that any document you scanned can be searched. Pretty smart, isn't it?
Document security features
Many of these tools increase control over documents even after they have been released.
Some of the features that I really like are:
- password protection
- Flexible permissions to view, comment and edit
- Expiration of the document
- Restricted use
It's really nice to be able to send a document knowing that it can't be shared, changed, or printed. This is a big step forward for companies that lose control after sending a document.
Document engagement metrics
At a glance, I know exactly who read a suggestion and how much time they spent on each page. Microsoft Word won't tell you that.
For sale this is an information gold mine. When you are trying to raise funds, this is an insight into the actual interested people that is easy to identify.
I find these metrics extremely valuable. There is definitely a reason more and more document management solutions are adding these features.
It's difficult to create great looking, branded, and up-to-date content of any kind. Document management software takes all of the formatting and presentation work out of the equation.
There are templates for all types of use cases that allow you to quickly create proposals and newsletters that look phenomenal and are automatically optimized for both web and mobile.
Some products have a visual document creator. Drag and drop yourself to a stunning proposal that includes video or create the perfect contract with a signable field.
Design legal documents with confidence, no legal degree required.
It's very nice when a document management solution connects to your CRM software and automatically fills in templates with customer information. Get a suggestion in a lead's inbox before the first call ends.
Logging and versioning
As you would expect, good document management software carefully records events.
This is important for collaboration. People always know that they are working on the latest version of the same document. This avoids unnecessary loss of time due to redundant actions and confusion.
With previous versions logged, changes to documents can be reviewed and the original restored if something bad happens.
For companies that are subject to many regulations, the document management software offers helpful audit trails and additional compliance functions.
eSignature and payment gateway
I really like it when an electronic signature solution is built into my document management platform. It removes an unnecessary barrier between my customers and my service.
Closing a deal is hard enough. I don't want to worry about how to get a signature.
Also, I am not asking a prospect to sign up for a third-party signature service. It's all internal and smooth.
The same applies to the connection of a payment gateway. It is always a good idea to streamline the payment process. I mean check out amazon. You can pay with one click from virtually anywhere on your website. No accident.
An eSignature solution and a payment gateway really go hand in hand. By integrating with PayPal and Stripe, you get both signature and payment in a single step.
Can the same be said about the products you use?
However, find a document management solution that makes the basics a breeze, even when your eSignature and payment gateway connect.
The different types of document management software
There is a lot of overlap between the two main types of document management software. Each product helps you track, sort and find your documents faster.
However, they focus on various issues that businesses face.
Some companies are looking for a solution that will allow them to move their documents to the cloud. Eventually, by digitizing their paper archives and records, these companies can keep and organize all of their information in a searchable format.
Others need a tool with which they can create and manage documents of all kinds. These tools have features that enable internal collaboration as well as secure client-side sharing.
The first step in finding the right document management software for you is to decide which of these categories best suits your needs.
Document imaging systems
One of the main tasks for traditional document management software is the scanning and imaging of paper files.
Whether companies are paperless or working with vendors who still use hard copies, document imaging systems quickly produce digital documents with high fidelity.
These products will have two main features.
First, they should have pretty well-developed OCR capabilities. Document imaging systems with OCR can recognize text and automate the process of recognizing, naming and filing all important documents.
The second thing they do is provide an interface to organize your documents once they have been digitized. This can be an integrated interface or the software can connect to a storage system already in use, such as Google Drive.
Document management systems
A document management system (DMS) offers the functions that companies need to keep control of all important documents.
This includes some document mapping features as well as really well-developed tools for finding, tracking, organizing and sharing all kinds of file types.
The truth is that Windows' file / folder system is insufficient for the real-time needs of most businesses.
For one thing, they are unable to create the documents they need, e.g. B. PDFs with signable fields or e-mails that track customer loyalty.
In addition, as it grows, it becomes very difficult to stay organized with traditional file systems. Documents can be lost, incorrectly shared, or walk out the door with a former employee. Then there is nothing you can do.
With a DMS you stay in control. In addition, these tools do a lot of the work. Documents are stored in familiar locations, are easy to find if they are misplaced, and available to anyone who needs them.
Documents are also automatically updated to the latest version, even if several people are working on them at the same time.
There is still a lot of variety within the DMS product category. What you're looking for is something that is geared towards providing the functionality that you need.
Some DMS solutions are designed for sales teams, others for automating administrative tasks, and others are tailored for companies with stringent compliance requirements.
Find one that is good at what you need.
# 1 – DocSend – Best for Sales Engagement
DocSend is a turnkey document management solution that provides great information about how people interact with the files you share.
Once your documents have been uploaded to DocSend, which is integrated with all of the top storage platforms, you can share safe links.
No more attachments, no more questions about downloading monster files, and no more stuck in a customer's spam folder.
Whenever someone views a link you shared, you will receive a notification and you can see how they handled the document. Check to see if they forwarded your document and get page-by-page analysis showing you where they spent the most time.
What really draws the customer's attention? Now you know.
These insights can be very valuable in finding out what is really related to each customer.
Another nice feature is the ability to create rooms. You can have all of your sales material in one place and use flexible permissions to allow different customers to interact with the right files.
Whenever you share a document, you can set passwords and expiration dates and later revoke access.
There are obvious uses for all of these functions in sales, but DocSend will work wonders for companies that need deep metrics on engagement. I am thinking of fundraising and marketing, really everyone who benefits from being able to measure the readers' interest in their documents.
With DocSend you also get:
- Brand spaces and deal spaces
- Signable documents
- Reporting on the team's engagement
- Booking logs
- One-click NDA
This last function in particular is very useful for exchanging sales materials. Make sure that all viewers must sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) before they can access a document, even if someone else forwarded it to them.
Increase the security of your intellectual property and eliminate the back and forth of traditional NDA signing.
DocSend is available with an annual subscription at the following price levels:
- personally: $ 10 / month per user
- default: $ 45 per user
- Advanced: $ 150 / month per user
- Companies: Contact sales
The personal plan is great for business owners who need to exchange secure information in complete security. You also get great document-level analysis to know what people are doing with suggestions.
The standard plan is suitable for any company and Advanced meets the most comprehensive compliance requirements.
With DocSend there is a 14-day free trial version with which you can test all premium functions.
# 2 – FileCenter DMS – Best for paperless work
FileCenter DMS is so ahead of the game that it helps companies get out of the filing cabinet into the future.
First, it has a great interface for staying organized during the biggest jobs. You can easily share and label information and even automate the separation and routing of documents.
The user interface is very accessible to anyone who has used Windows before. Navigating your documents is the same, but you get all sorts of amazing possibilities thanks to the advanced optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities.
The text recognition with FileCenter DMS is so good that you can automatically include OCR in the digitization process. When a scan is received, FileCenter can read the text and automatically name the document.
Scanning a document can search, index, and copy it. Right away. You can also use OCR on existing scans.
How about that? You can scan a document and turn it into a Word document with one click. FileCenter extracts the text, moves it to Word and voilà!
It should be pretty clear how FileCenter DMS can accelerate your digitization efforts across your entire workplace. In addition to the best text recognition, they offer:
- Inbox for incoming files
- Integrations with Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
- Automatic page cleaning
- One click PDF conversion
- Local and network search
- Recovery of files
FileCenter DMS is a one-time purchase that is downloaded to a single computer. There are three different editions:
- FileCenter DMS Standard: $ 99.95
- FileCenter DMS Pro: $ 199.95
- FileCenter DMS Pro Plus: $ 299.95
Compared to many of the leading SaaS document management solutions, the fact that you only have to pay once for FileCenter DMS is very tempting. If you need more than one license, FileCenter offers discounts for multiple users.
If you're looking for a way to digitize documents with no learning curve, look no further.
# 3 – PandaDoc – Best for completing additional deals
PandaDoc is a wonderful document management solution that can help your sales team create more engaging branded content in less time. It really feels like a secret weapon.
Create a quote, contract or estimate from one of your templates in seconds. Literally whip one up while a representative is on the phone, send the secure document, and clients can sign before they hang up.
Think of PandaDoc as a smarter workspace for sales professionals. Creating the templates yourself is pretty easy. Drag and drop blocks like text boxes, dates, signatures, price tables, videos and other content.
You don't want to create your own template? Don't worry – PandaDoc offers 450 templates that are pre-designed for a variety of scenarios.
PandaDoc has native integrations with CRMs such as Salesforce, HubSpot and Pipedrive that are built right into your workspace. This enables customer and price information to be called up automatically.
You can also add optional products to the end of an invoice for an additional upsell opportunity.
There are a number of other useful features that streamline the sales process, including:
- Simple workflow builder
- Content lock
- Document activity tracking
- Booking control
- eSignature and payment gateway
PandaDoc offers a free tier that allows you to upload unlimited documents, eSignatures and payments. Pretty nifty, isn't it?
If you want to create intelligent, trackable documents, you need to go for one of the paid plans:
- Basics: $ 19 / month per user
- Companies: $ 49 / month per user
- Companies: Contact sales
With Business you get a direct CRM integration that I think is definitely worth it. Try PandaDoc for 14 days free of charge to evaluate the effects it can have.
# 4 – Rubex by eFileCabinet – Best for automating daily tasks
Rubex is eFileCabinet's document management solution that companies can use to optimize their processes. From the smooth setting up to the lightning-fast data entry, tasks that used to be error-prone become error-free.
The intuitive user interface centralizes all your documents in one place. From there, employees can search the full text of all scanned documents.
With zonal OCR, Rubex can be set up to recognize important text zones and automatically name the file.
Documents literally file themselves!
As good as the search, tracking, and text recognition capabilities are, Rubex's ability to automate simple workflows is what sets it apart.
Set triggers to enforce paperwork based on rejections, approvals, and other variables, so users spend less time on repetitive tasks.
It's a really sophisticated document management solution, but it doesn't take time to figure it out. Some of the other great features that will save you time and frustration are:
- eSignature integration
- File versioning
- Audit logging
- Search for missing items
- Automated governance
- Direct integration with Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive
The prices for Rubex from eFileCabinet are divided into three tiers:
- advantage: From $ 55 / month per user
- Companies: From $ 99 / month per user
- Unlimited: Starting at $ 199 / month per user
Full text search, OCR, and many of the automated governance features are included in all plans. The zonal OCR and advanced workflow features are only available with unlimited subscriptions or as an add-on for business.
Even so, Advantage has plenty of features to help teams stay organized. If you want to centralize your document management, Advantage works as well or better than many of the other options on this list.
# 5 – MasterControl – Best for Enterprise Compliance
MasterControl is a full-service document management software that can handle all laws and regulations.
Think of medical device manufacturers, just one example of a company that uses MasterControl.
Believe it or not, there is a small piece of safe documentation out there that convinces the US government that an artificial hip is safe to use in people.
MasterControl provides the document tracking, security and compliance features to keep companies in view during the toughest review processes.
The document security module is part of a larger MasterControl quality management system. Depending on your needs, it might make sense to purchase some of the other modules.
For companies operating in competitive and highly regulated markets, a lighter weight document management solution does not have all of the tools needed to accelerate a product's time to market.
MasterControl has been specially developed for this reason and contains:
- Continuous validation of FDA conformity
- ISO quality conformity
- Secure web-based routing
- Automated escalation and approval
- Advanced tracking, analysis and reporting
You will need to contact MasterControl for a price on the cost of the Document Management Module.
MasterControl is not for everyone, but for company compliance it is difficult to find a more suitable solution for your needs.
Managing your documents doesn't have to be a problem. With so many great options, the question is which one is best for your situation.
For the quick digitization of documents, FileCenter DMS is the obvious choice. It has the most comprehensive text recognition features at an affordable price.
I really like DocSend and PandaDoc for sales teams. DocSend has extensive engagement features that let employees know who is interested.
Choose PandaDoc if you want to give your teams a visual edge as you can create professional branded documents anytime.
If you want to automate your document workflows, I recommend Rubex from eFileCabinet. Quickly create elegant solutions to reduce the lag time for any process.
For companies that have to maintain control over the document lifecycle due to regulatory requirements, MasterControl is the answer. It is designed to meet the most complex needs and help companies get products to market without undue delay.