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AGS Records Management

Everything you need to know about Electronic Document Management (EDM)

In today’s fast-paced, paperless world, companies in all sectors are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency. Opting for electronic document management (EDM) is a good way of automating and speeding up file processing, thereby improving business productivity.

Posted in: Corporate News
Published Date: 19 April 2024

Electronic / Digital Document Management Software

What is electronic document management (EDM)?

First introduced in the 1980s, electronic document management (EDM) is an electronic system designed to manage your company’s digital documents. It acts as a repository for working documents (documents in daily use) and allows users to view and share documents in real time. The EDM follows all stages of the document lifecycle, from creation or acquisition, to indexing, organisation and archiving. It also provides data security.

As the cornerstone of your company’s data architecture, the EDM facilitates the management and use of document flows, whatever their source: from scanned paper letters to emails, Word documents and spreadsheets. It can even manage documents that result from the digitisation of company processes or that are a byproduct of business software packages.


What is it used for?

The primary objective of an EDM is to improve the efficiency of your document processes by automating them.

An EDM can optimise processing costs by reducing document search time, data entry, sorting, and printing and postage costs. Employees can also access documents wherever and whenever they need them – great for reducing errors and improving everyone’s productivity.

By using strict organisation and ensuring traceability, the EDM also reduces the risk of losing documents and data.

Additionally, it makes documents more secure by controlling employee access rights. Each document is assigned a status which determines who can view, download, approve or delete it.


How it works

How Electronic Document Management Works in the Business WorldAlthough the EDM is seamlessly integrated into existing IT infrastructure most of the time – either in SaaS mode or via a local server – you will need to choose the type of EDM best suited to your company.

First and foremost, the EDM can digitally capture documents on paper or from other sources, either by scanning or using OCR (optical character recognition) technology. As the documents come from very different sources, the EDM creates a single digital space, synchronising the business applications used by the company’s various departments.

It then indexes the documents and implements a document search system, which includes tagging with keywords and information about the document and its author. Each document is classified, referenced, and indexed. These three processes result in a precise document description and facilitate searching. The description includes all the technical and workflow-related metadata.

Once indexed, documents are stored securely, thanks to an authorisation system based on employee profiles and functions. The EDM then records every change made to the documents it oversees, allowing you to maintain version control, especially useful for important files. To the enjoy these benefits, however, you must make sure your servers have enough storage space to handle the expected volume of current and future documents.

While an EDM stores documents in active use and is designed to share information, an electronic archiving system is often the only legally recognised way to permanently store documents with potential evidentiary value. This is why, in practice, companies use an EDM combined with an electronic records management system, because only this guarantees the availability, confidentiality and longevity of the document.

The functionalities of an EDM vary according to the company and its needs. For example, it is possible to set up monitoring dashboards, an electronic signature system to certify the value of a document or document distribution methods.


Why does EDM represent a milestone in my digital transformation?

Opting for an EDM has become an essential step in the move towards more paperless document management. This new digital era, which includes electronic signatures and electronic document management, requires more intelligent and dynamic data processing. This is what an EDM offers, through customised solutions, interfaces and platforms.

Thanks to digital transformation, and in particular digitisation and electronic document management systems, companies can now capture, store, identify and secure documents – and therefore information – in a wide variety of formats. What’s more, depending on the standards in place, paper originals can be destroyed once they’ve been digitised, allowing your company to transition to a 100% digital experience.


Benefits by sector

Electronic Document Management Benefits for Various Sectors

EDM is a system that centralises a company’s platforms across all departments and may have sector-specific features based on the company’s industry.

Real estate sector
Contracts, invoices, letters and property inspection reports all form part of the daily life of property professionals, who can’t afford to lose even the most insignificant document, let alone spend hours looking for it.  An EDM makes it easier to store and organise documents while ensuring confidentiality, allowing them to simplify their business and administrative processes with automated workflows.

Notarial sector
Keeping legal documents is an integral part of a notary’s job. Faced with this major challenge, EDM is emerging as an easier way for these legal professionals to store and access their documents, from a prenuptial agreement to a will, or even meeting minutes. For notaries, digitisation facilitates document processing (thanks to the use of electronic signatures) while ensuring enhanced traceability and accurate time stamping.

Insurance and mutual insurers
Insurance and mutual insurance professionals receive a daily flow of mail and documents from their members and partners which they need to process quickly. Digitisation makes it possible to deal with this mass of correspondence via a variety of channels, and to classify files automatically and securely according to their specific characteristics. This agility makes the company’s transformation more efficient.

HR sector
The human resources department uses EDM to optimise process efficiency and manage HR documents more easily, from job applications and training manuals to pay slips and employment contracts. The EDM’s advanced functionalities lighten the workload of HR staff, allowing them to concentrate on strategic, value-added tasks.

Public sector
EDM can help the public sector by modernising services, making them better for users, using less paper, and helping civil servants work more efficiently. EDM gives public sector workers an easier, faster, and closer connection to the citizens they serve.


Ready to streamline your document management and boost productivity with EDM? Contact us today.