Electronic archive and document management systems (DMS software) have been gaining ground in commercial environments since the 1990s. Document management systems are distinguished from simple archiving systems by additional functions for checking in and out and version management, which means that current documents can also be safely edited. In addition to DMS comparison, the term Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is now also used. Despite the different definitions, the manufacturers of such systems use both terms as synonyms for each other. In general, ECM / DMS today means all technologies and methods that collect, manage / process, make available, store and archive information to support business processes.
Document management system (DMS tec)Collaborate with DMS software based on uniform information
Document management presents technical companies with challenges that cross the boundaries of departments and functions. Technical products and services need to be developed faster and faster. In many companies, it is often the case that product developers, production employees, and sellers are working on the same product, but all use different data. Document management is closely intertwined with business processes and with the management of relevant documents. Particularly difficult is the fact that many activities are carried out on a project basis. In concrete terms, this means that a DMS must be able to bundle documents from different departments and work areas and must have specific functionality to keep these documents complete and up-to-date.
Technical companies with very complex processes often find conventional document management systems inadequate.
The most diverse documents are linked to their technical product structures, such as drawings, product documentation, and specifications. The close connection between all this data cannot be presented in a normal folder structure. The information in the documents (e.g. change requests) is related to technical components and information from other documents (e.g. product documentation) that cannot be managed with a common document management system (DMS).
Within the industry that develops applications for managing documents and visualizing product structures, a new category of document management systems has been introduced under the name DMStec. DMStec systems can display technical structures and together with PLM form the Product Data Backbone of a company. This, in turn, serves as a basis for displaying digitized processes.
Why keywords alone are not sufficient?
Many DMS / ECM systems today use keyword search functions. The user no longer has to search in complex hierarchical structures, but can easily request all the necessary information via a Google search field. This does require that the documents are properly indexed beforehand, that is to say, that they contain keywords that can be searched for later.
However, this is not always possible, especially in complex technical product environments. In mechanical engineering, the energy sector or the car and supply industry, products, equipment, machines, and projects often have very complex structures. Within these structures, the associated documents must be linked together. Classic Windows Explorer folder structures are not suitable for this.
Relationships between product-related information
A DMS tec (document management system) combines all these documents and structures and visualizes them with technical structures, for example, a machine structure with its built-in modules and components. For example, depending on the structure, relationships can be established between product data. With the information from the relevant documents, a company can set up information-based workflows in the context of digitization.
In concrete terms, this means: in a technical environment it is not sufficient to only provide documents with keywords. The searcher will find all documents that contain this keyword, but the technical structures of projects and products, as well as the processes based on them for managing and controlling documents, cannot be displayed in this way. It makes much more sense to organize documents based on a product or project structure and then provide individual departments or role managers each with their own view of one and the same document.
The difference is in the suffix: from DMS to DMS tec
With DMS solutions, the structures of a product, machine or project can be built completely separate from the documents. The documents can then be placed in these structures. This is done through references. Whenever something is changed about a document, it happens in one central place. This one change is then referenced elsewhere in the system.
This principle forms the basis for automatically created machine and project folders. The product structures can also link documents related to the life cycle of a machine or project. The static machine folder thus changes into a dynamic machine and life cycle folder.