Basic electronic document management systems let you go completely paperless and upload all your documents to an online shared drive like Google Drive, Box, Microsoft OneDrive, DocuWare, and Bynder. These are useful tools if you have a small business and can create your own filing system.
The benefit of a shared cloud drive is that you can name documents anything you’d like, place the same document into several folders (rather than creating several copies), and search for file names or even unique phrases within a document. And these are free or very inexpensive storage management options. Certainly much cheaper than the paper-only management systems that can run you thousands of dollars per year.
However, you’re not able to update documents and have those changes sync through several documents. You can’t automatically notify people of those updates. And you can’t have people sign documents and then track those signatures. There are also a few security issues, and it’s possible to inadvertently update documents and create unnecessary duplicates, which can lead to a lot of confusion.
If you need to regularly update policy and procedure manuals or tie them into your accreditation process, you won’t be able to do that on these particular digital document management systems. For that, you need something more robust.
That’s when you need enterprise-level document management systems like Navex, Lexipol, and PowerDMS. These are geared toward policy and procedure manuals and helping you achieve and maintain accreditation. They offer centralized storage, remote access, automated workflows, and document tracking. But there are some downsides as well.
- For example, Navex’s PolicyTech can be cumbersome and difficult to use. And you can’t save one copy of a document in multiple folders; you have to create new copies each time.
- Lexipol is a risk management and content provider solution that updates its state-specific policies via subject matter experts. But it’s not ideal for document management (e.g., subpoenas, BOLOs, memos, etc.) and it can’t do custom testing or discussion boards.
- Neither Navex nor Lexipol create a living connection between your policies, training, and accreditation, which means you can’t easily map your policies to standards within the software.
Some solutions, like PowerDMS, go a step further than the others. PowerDMS is the only digital document management system that creates a living connection between your policies and accreditation, letting you map your policies and proofs to standards to demonstrate compliance. You can even give your assesor/surveyor early access to your information before they arrive on site.
A digital document management system is ideal for any organization that needs to keep track of various documents, especially if they have to access older documents, which can be accessed remotely from anywhere in the world. You can learn more about the top policy management tools and how to choose the right policy & document management software on our website.
And check out our essential guide to document management systems for more information about their benefits, best practices, and options for your organization.