Selection Criteria of Document Management Vendor | 2018
There are many document management system (DMS) offerings in the market and selecting one for your use can be a confusing task. The guidelines in this article should help you make an informed selection.
Before we get into vendor selection criteria, let us identify who is a document management vendor. Document management involves both hardware and software. Hardware consists of scanners, copiers, computer storage media and the computer network itself. The software consists of scanning software, OCR software and document management software with varying capabilities.
Hardware and software manufacturers typically sell directly only to large businesses each of whom provides significant volumes of business to them. Smaller businesses will generally deal with resellers who have the support and sales teams needed to cater to many individual customers.
Document Management Vendor Selection Criteria
Document management systems are generally not boxed packages like an operating system. Instead, they are likely to need a lot of customization to meet the business processes of each customer. DMS resellers typically specialize in catering to the needs specific industries whose requirements they have become familiar with.
Hence the first criterion is to look at the reseller’s experience of meeting the requirements of customers in your industry. If you are a retailer, look for resellers who have installed document management systems for other retailers.
A related issue is how the reseller handles the sales transaction. Are they trying to impress you with the ‘bells and whistles’ of the systems they sell? Or do they try to understand your particular requirements and show you how these requirements can be met using their system? Many of the bells and whistles can turn out to be of no use to you and it is best to avoid sellers who know only about these.
You want your supplier to be around when you need some kind of support. This is more likely to happen if the reseller you deal has been around for some time and is operating successfully. Also look at the kind of support staff your document management vendor has.
It is not necessary that the reseller should be a large organization. What is important is that they have a competent and adequately staffed support division and that they look like they will be in this business for long.
Focus on Document Management:
Look at the company whose DMS the reseller is selling. Is that company focused on document management solutions? Or do they offer DMS as an add-on to sell some other product? In the latter case, they are not likely to focus on document management solutions and bring you upgrades as technology changes.
The add-on can also be a proprietary offering that works only with the other products of the manufacturer. This can make you too dependent on one company’s products.
It is best to buy the products of a dedicated DMS manufacturer that works under various platforms and with differently formatted documents, such as MS Word, PDF and so on. Each document will be maintained in the same format that it was created.