Back Office Automation

All You Need to Know About EDMS Standards and Requirements

August 28, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

It already goes without saying that a modern business needs a software system for organizing and storing electronic documents. These are called Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS), and they ensure the following benefits of going paperless:

  • The new level of security and productivity,
  • Better document backup,
  • Convenient collaboration,
  • Less storage space,
  • Better retrieval,
  • Sustainability due to natural resources conservation.

But implementing an electronic document management system requires adherence to many standards and requirements that enable its efficiency. In this article, we’ll list and explain the most crucial ones.

The Six Sections of Requirements to Electronic Document Management Systems

The Universal ERM Requirements is a baseline document including requirements from existing statutes, standards, NARA regulations, policy, and guidance. They are a starting point for agencies to use when developing their system requirements. NARA first released the Universal Electronic Records Management Requirements, Version 1, in August 2017, and the Version 2 was released in April 2020.

The requirements to electronic document management systems contain six sections according to the six lifecycles of the electronic document management process:

  1. Capture
  2. Maintenance and Use
  3. Disposal
  4. Transfer
  5. Metadata
  6. Reporting

Let’s have a deeper look into the top three requirements related to these document lifecycle stages.

Key Requirement #1 of the EDMS Process: Document Capturing

At the capturing stage, you’ll need to use a tool to scan the paper documentation and recognize the information in it. Unlike most scanning methods that scan paper documents as images with no textual data, scanning with document management software captures the printed information within scanned documents as text. That’s because document management tools often come inbuilt with Optical Character Recognition systems. Then, define the formats of documents the organization uses. These may be paper documentation or electronic documents in different folders. Ensure all of them are ready to be converted and choose the proper converter to create multiple electronic documents for your company’s various needs. The document format that you select also matters. We advise considering PDF as the primary format for your electronic document management system, as its universality and usability will last.

Sounds a bit complicated, right? Well, if you have the HTML documents already stored or generated by your software (i.e. the emails, reports, invoices, etc.), it’s also possible to directly render them into a PDF without the additional hassle. We recommend using an API for HTML into PDF rendering at scale as this way, and you’ll save your team lots of time and manual efforts.  

Key Requirement #2 of the EDMS Process: Secure Users and Roles Management

Determining the users and their roles in your document management database is the next important step. The way of use, the users’ credentials, and their ability to access the documents depend on your company’s needs and organizational peculiarities. Your document management system administrator can add the users, and the system needs a straightforward integration with Windows Active Directory integration support. It will make document management system implementation user-friendly, enabling users to have just one set of login and passwords for the computer and the document management system account. And the administrator will be able to add a new user with a single click.

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Key Requirement #3 of the EDMS Process: Tags & Searchability

The next set of electronic records management system requirements considers the document management system’s structure and functionality. It would be best if you defined all the types of documents the company uses. The excellent structure will enable the document management system’s primary function: making each document uniquely identifiable and easily searchable. Document types and tags will help to manage the content of the system. The organizations need to create tags for the clients’ names, document types, and statuses. Sets of supporting details and metadata may vary for different documents. For example, a digital invoice can have metadata like “Amount,” “Due date,” “Payment status,” etc. A receipt can have metadata like “Amount,” “Paid on,” “Payment mode,” etc. All the document types and fields for metadata should be clear at the document management system implementation stage. In this case, the users can quickly identify and categorize every new document.

This stage could also be accelerated and simplified with the help of an HTML to PDF rendering API. If your generated HTML file already includes meta-data (and they usually do), you can easily use it for searching, marking, and tagging your resulting PDF file.

Document Control Standards and Certification

In the past, the companies used to hire a dedicated document control manager to ensure compliance with document standards. Now the compliance function has been taken over by automated quality management systems. Characteristics of electronic records management and document quality standards vary depending on the industry.

The purpose of document control is to manage the information transmission between relevant parties within and outside the organization. If an operator needs to review the digital document for a particular manufacturing step, they must access the correct information promptly. If there is a need to change the information, there should be a process for tracking and approving those changes. Once a change occurs, the operators need instant access to the new document while the outdated version should be discarded. Document control standards facilitate all of these processes and functions.

The new version of 9001 ISO certification, one of the crucial electronic records management system requirements, has validated the current paperless document maintenance trends. Your business process automation will become smoother and better coordinated after fixing the flaws detected during the ISO 9001 certification process.

Rendering Tool

A Proper Rendering Tool for Successful Document Management System Implementation

When implementing an electronic document management system and organizing the automated paperless document workflow, a quality HTML into PDF rendering tool is a lifesaver. You will need such a rendering functionality basically at every stage of your going paperless process, starting from the document capturing and tagging stage to secure user and roles management.

However, building and maintaining an in-house rendering tool is a long and costly endeavor, putting an extra workload on your employees. Security of your company’s sensitive files is another concern, and it’s tough to manage access to all your paperless documents when rendering on your own.

Automating and managing PDF generation with a robust HTML into PDF renderer solves these problems complementing any electronic records management system you’d like to use:

  • Save time and money. By using technology from a secure, cloud-based partner, you can reduce the amount of time, energy, and budget your organization spends on maintaining technology, fixing bugs, and storing documents.
  • Rapid PDF rendering at scale.
  • Get more control and security of your paperless documents with the powerful admin tools that enable organizations to track, retain, and log records of every individual who creates, views, or accesses a rendered document.

This is the easiest way to automate paperless documents generation and management for banks, healthcare providers, insurance companies, local governments, utility providers, or other businesses going paperless.

Try Inkit Render for free to experience the benefits for your business.

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
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