A Document Management System (DMS) helps organizations manage their digital documents - it can help with electronic workflows, search and retrieve documents, upload new documents, and modify existing documents. DMS also helps convert physical documents into its electronic form when integrated with a scanning device. While specialized DMS’s exist for several verticals, it is the Human Resources (HR) department that frequently requires a DMS due to various legal and regulatory compliance requirements. In our experience the HRDMS is typically used in three main scenarios: archival, real-time, and aggregation. We discuss these three use cases along with examples.
Archival of Documents
The HRDMS is used as a repository of historical documents which are not required on a regular day-to-day basis. So documents such as employee records (resigned/left employees of the organization), finance documents, completed contracts, export/import documents, tax records, Stock Exchange Filings, Drawings, etc. are stored in the HRDMS. Since many of these documents are stored in paper form in a folder, cabinet, or warehouse, these physical documents are first converted to electronic form using scanners and then stored in the HRDMS. Even when these documents are generated electronically, the information is usually stored on a network drive or buried within ERPs which are not easily searchable and retrievable - the HRDMS can pull data from these disparate repositories and store them in a centrally accessible place.
Figure 1. Storing Archival Documents in the HRDMS
Real-time Document Access
Several companies use HRDMS to process live documents, processing of which may not be supported by their ERPs or Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS). This is especially important when the HRDMS also includes a document work-flow engine. Also when HRDMS is used as a backend for a mobile app then the HRDMS stores data collected from the app. For example, organizations who have field staff collect data from the field and send that data to the HRDMS; if needed, digital images of documents may also be sent to the HRDMS along with completed forms. Another use-case scenario is to employ the HRDMS as a live document repository: by loosely integrating HRDMS with clients’ ERP/HRMS and the documents can be viewed on the ERP or HRMS as the case may be by pulling data from the HRDMS and then the transaction is processed on the ERP/HRMS.
Figure 2. Real-time Document Processing with HRDMS
One of the challenges organizations face today is having multiple systems (separate systems for finance, CRM, Human Resources, etc). Our DMS is often used a central document aggregator, where by various systems (and user departments) connected to our DMS which then stores the master records and documents after indexing. For example, SAP (or simillar ERPs) may store various master records for the company's vendors, customers, bank accounts, transactions, movie titles, etc; the company may also have a separate HRMS where the employee masters are stored. These masters from HRMS and SAP are integrated with our central HRDMS. The documents which are already in digital form are directly pushed onto our DMS, and those which are not, are first scanned and then pushed onto the DMS. Now the DMS becomes a single source from where all the masters and relevant information are interlinked and, since the DMS packs a powerful search facility, a lot of information can be easily retrieved from multiple systems from one user-interface, that of the DMS.
Figure 3. Document Aggregation with HRDMS
dMACQ HRDMS is used by several organizations and satisfies the requirements of these use-cases. A video explaining the dMACQ DMS use may be seen at https://youtu.be/U2XZDc9ampw.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal views of the authors