Small Engineering Companies: Selecting a Workflow and Document Management System

Over the last decade or so, innovations in computer software have revolutionized the way businesses operate. It seems like things move more quickly than they used to, sometimes making it difficult for smaller firms to keep up with the well-funded behemoths.  Workflows and associated documents move rapidly, demanding greater control and security and ultimately the need for an electronic document management system.

When it comes to selecting a document management system (especially as a smaller firm) it may be difficult to make choices based on the information given to you by most DMS providers, with each company telling you which features are “most important” to you. The truth is - only your company knows what you need, with the features often becoming clear as you begin to address your reoccurring pain points.

While every company is different, there are a few innovations in electronic workflow and document management that are generally useful for smaller firms, such as cost reduction, mobile accessibility, and scalability - as these are the core benefits of a truly versatile system.

Low-Cost Infrastructure

Innovations in Cloud computing have created a new standard for electronic workflow and document management systems. Electronic document management systems were traditionally on-premise systems using expensive hardware and software, along with the need for IT staff to manage and maintain the servers. Cloud systems, on the other hand, require very little of this.

There are still benefits to on-premise systems, however, as they help companies meet compliance requirements by providing an added layer of control over company documents. Still, most small businesses likely don’t have the wherewithal to support on-premise systems (and the corresponding compliance regulations), making Cloud systems powerful, cost-effective, and compliant alternatives.

If you’re looking to get the best of both worlds (the flexibility of a Cloud system and the security of an on-premise system), you can employ a hybrid solution – offered by some, but not all document management providers. With a hybrid solution, files and workflows are automatically moved from on-premise to the Cloud, and back again. They are perfect for receiving project files, transmittals, and submittals, from vendors, contractors, and customers.

Web-Browser Interface

Your document management system is only useful if you have access to your files and documents when you need them. Often enough, engineers need to manage projects on-site from either their laptop, smartphone, or tablet – without needing a mobile application.

HTML5-based systems are accessible on any mobile device, regardless of their operating system, using only the web browser (i.e., Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Android, etc.) on the device. Engineers, document controllers, and other members of your organization that need to access the system can log-on easily on any device they employ. Furthermore, HTML5 eliminates the need for Java, which means your team can access the system instantly, and without any unnecessary browser extensions and required software.

Scalable Architecture

Growth is typically a priority for small businesses. After all, it's not easy being the “little guy”. With growth, comes the need for bigger and better systems with increased storage and more user profiles. Since Cloud document management systems don’t require you to maintain your own servers, expanding the system is easy with the provider simply adding resources (i.e., processors, processor speed, memory, storage, etc.).

Training and implementation of a new workflow and document management system takes time, especially when using a robust system to manage document distribution and company workflows. To save time and valuable resources, we provide easy video tutorials, on-site and online training, and full-time telephone support.

When it comes to finding your next document management system, it’s important to choose a DMS provider that truly listens and offers solutions that fit your needs. ImageSite, by eQuorum, has been helping companies manage their intellectual property for over 25 years, and despite differences in our customers' industries, we’ve always been able to provide a suitable solution. eQuorum’s software is highly configurable, which means your system will work intuitively and meet, and quite possibly, exceed your company’s needs. In addition, ImageSite’s highly-competitive pricing makes it the perfect solution for small businesses looking for cutting-edge software for years to come.

Want to learn more about ImageSite and Engine-Box? Click here, or give us a call at 404.497.8110