The History of Document Management

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The history of document management can be traced back to the introduction of the file cabinet in the late 1800s. Edwin Grenville Seibels invented the vertical file system in 1898, which organizes paper documents in drawers within stacked cabinets. For most of the twentieth century, these cabinets would be the primary form of document storage in the commercial sector.

This system, however, continues to have serious flaws. File cabinets take up a lot of space, making them an inconvenient storage option for companies with limited office space. Furthermore, searching for certain papers among stacks of paper, as well as manually filling out fields on paper, takes a lot of time and effort. Employees, supervisors, and business owners are frequently distracted from other vital tasks when searching for and altering papers. To make problems worse, printed documents may be lost or destroyed in disasters such as fires and floods. The most common problem with paper documents is that they get misplaced.

Biel’s Photocopy Service began to take over the history of document management about this time. Biel’s began operations on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo in 1939, specializing in the use of microfilm to photograph, edit, store, and create infinite copies of documents. The Buffalo Museum and the Erie County Historical Society were among the first customers.

The history of document management took a dramatic turn in the 1980s, with the increasing availability of computer technology. The development of servers allowed organizations to store documents electronically in centralized mainframes. This was the beginning of electronic document management systems (EDMS). Meanwhile, the invention of scanners allowed for the conversion of paper documents to digital documents. The rise of PCs gave businesses the ability to create and store documents on computers in the office.

Together, these developments spurred a shift from physical (printed) to digital document management. However, the distribution of PCs was highly unstructured. Network deficiencies resulted in a lack of version control, audit trails, and security. Better systems of document management were needed.

An EDMS could only be managed by a word processing center operator in the 1980s. Knowledge workers were able to operate DMS on their own in the early 1990s, thanks to the introduction of more user-friendly systems. DMS may now be used to collaborate with clients directly. Biel’s Document Management (formerly Biel’s Photocopy Service) reacted to the changing trends by focusing on high-quality document management services. Businesses can use cutting-edge solutions from companies like Biel’s to construct their own document management systems for increased efficiency, accessibility, and security.

Finding documents became much easier after search engine technology was implemented; full-text searching allows knowledge workers to search a DMS for documents in the same way they search Google for information or media. Meanwhile, innovative Internet use resulted in the creation of cloud technology, which eliminates the need for businesses to host their papers locally on costly servers. Instead, businesses can store their papers in the cloud, which has become an important component of modern DMS.

Besides the common on-premises or on Cloud option, DMS infrastructure is now embedded into the Cloud as part of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, allowing knowledge workers to generate, edit, and share documents from anywhere in the world—even on their smartphones, with the touch of a screen.

Docub@se Document Management System is one of those DMS solutions that have gains trust and proven to be robust and reliable alongside its product strength of being user-friendly and flexibility to be customed to suit any specific business requirements.

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