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The value of an electronic document management system

Three signed documents

With office workers wasting up to 30% of their time searching for files and companies spending hundreds of dollars on paper-centric office supplies, the cost of inefficient document management systems can easily add up. Fortunately, losing revenue to paper-centric processes is completely avoidable with the help of an electronic document management system.

Find out how making the switch to digital, centralised filing can give your employees back their time, save you money, help with compliance and protect you against data loss.

What is an electronic document management system?


An electronic document management system (EDMS) is a software system that allows you to create, manage, store and track electronic documents and files. An EDMS usually includes features like electronic file naming, storage, document scanning, version control for tracking updates made to documents and optical character recognition (OCR) for processing text within documents.

Why is an electronic document management system important?


How much time could you save if every document you needed could be searched for and found in seconds? And how much easier would file management be if you could store and access documents from anywhere in the world? 

With an electronic document management system (EDMS), you can track, monitor and manage your files from one central location, which makes doing business more efficient with anyone around the world. It also keeps your documents organised and secure, helping you and your employees save time while contributing to the safety of your data.

What are the advantages of centralised filing with an electronic document management system?

Better security

An electronic document management system gives you the ability to keep your files more secure than if they were just stored on a single computer or in a filing cabinet somewhere in your office.

An electronic document management system allows you to set permissions so that only certain people can view or edit certain files, ensuring that your most sensitive documents are only accessed by the people who need to see them. Having a secure file management system in place is also important when it comes to meeting regulatory compliance standards.

By using Dropbox, account admins can specify access to files, and public documents can only be viewed by people who have the file links. If you enable two-step verification, you’ll also receive security codes via SMS or from an authenticator app.

Better yet, any documents signed with Dropbox Sign, which is included with all Dropbox plans, are tamper-proof and created with audit trails to provide a complete, time-stamped history of all actions and edits.

More efficient workflows

When all of your documents are stored in one central, digital location, it’s much easier for your teams to find the files they need. Keeping everyone in the loop is especially helpful when multiple people are working on the same project, as this decreases the likelihood of duplicate files or various versions of the same file popping up in multiple places.

For example, as Brazil’s largest online property marketplace, VivaReal needed an easier way to store data and simplify collaboration between staff. After turning to Dropbox for your business, VivaReal can now automatically sync new files, keeping everything in one place, and sharing documents between different devices is much simpler.

Plus, when you use Dropbox Sign, every document you send for signature can also be automatically stored in your Dropbox folder of choice.

Less data loss

An electronic document management system also cuts down on the number of lost items and data caused by human error or insufficient communication between teams.

With all documents stored in a central location that is backed up and versioned, it is much easier to track down a lost document. And if something does get lost, it can be recovered with minimal effort.

When it comes to your most critical documents, like service agreements, employee contracts or NDAs, retaining and tracking down files is crucial for doing business effectively. A document management system, like Dropbox, provides safe and secure storage for your electronically signed documents in the cloud so that you can avoid misplacing documents and gain more peace of mind.


A lack of electronic, centralised filing can eat away at revenue due to unnecessary time spent searching for and managing files, and regularly reprinting documents or recreating lost data.

To paint a clearer picture, on average, it costs $20 to file a single document, $120 to find each misplaced document and $220 to recreate each document – but a subscription with a document management system like Dropbox Business starts at only $15/month.

Instead of wasting thousands of pieces of paper printing documents that should stay digital, you can save by quickly emailing a link to your documents and your recipients can access the files from their computers or phones. And when it’s time to make edits or re-access documents, not only can you make changes digitally without the need for printing or re-scanning, but you’ll also have each version of the document in your system for safe and easy access.

Simplify document management with Dropbox

Good file management software can do wonders to keep your business organised, secure and efficient. Combine that with an electronic signature document management system for speedy contract signing and you can improve contract completion rates by 26% with Dropbox Sign.

If you’re looking to boost your document management system even more, you can also integrate Dropbox with the Dropbox Sign API to send signature requests directly from your CRM and Dropbox Fax for easy online faxing.

Strengthen your document management system with Dropbox.

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