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What is a document repository?

What is a document repository?

A document repository is used to keep a business’ documents securely stored and organised in a centralised location so that approved employees can access files easily, whenever they need them. The meticulous organisation and security of the repository is key to providing efficient document management for a business or organisation.

Read on to discover how a document repository functions within a document management system, the benefits of having centralised storage and what your business can do to set one up while meeting strict data protection regulations.

What’s the difference between a document repository and a document management system?

In short, a document repository is a part of a document management system - and probably the most crucial, too.

A document management system (DMS) is the name given to the overall automated process that allows you to store, track and manage documents electronically. Using software, the system helps you find records quickly and should be designed with compliance in mind, ensuring businesses meet stringent data regulations.

Functioning within the DMS, a document repository is the singular place where all the documents are stored, where employees can access all types of files, data and pictures which may otherwise be stored across several different locations.

How do document repositories work?

A business’ document repository will be managed by a select number of users who have full control. These users will then have the ability to approve team members to access the repository and set differing user permissions.

Once a team member has become approved, they will be able to access the repository whenever they need it, though further restrictions can be put in place to ensure only the right people can access certain files.

A centralised storage space for all files

One of the main reasons document repositories are so helpful for businesses is the fact that important files, documents, PDFs, images and more are all held in one centralised location, and shared only with approved team members.

This means sensitive or important documents are not duplicated across less secure desktops or local drives, which would increase the risk for damaging data breaches. Instead, the software that provides the repository will be designed with stringent data protection in place to ensure files are kept safe at all times - this should give your business peace of mind.

Benefits of a document repository

1. Organisation through indexing

The trick to a successful document repository is making sure that it is meticulously organised in a way that makes sense to your business and employees. To do this, each file added to the repository needs to be carefully categorised - this is done by a process called indexing.

Indexing is the process where files are categorised by metadata into the filing system. The categories are created by you, as the categories will be based on how your employees search for different files.

Ultimately, indexing makes file retrieval quick and easy as it is tailored to your business.

2. Employees will find it easy to use

If you’re dealing with a mix of paper and electronic documents, file retrieval can be extremely difficult for employees without a document repository. Team members may have to manually search through paper documents or request documents to be sent to them, which is both time consuming and increases the risk of a data breach.

With a repository, document retrieval is very easy, allowing employees to remotely access documents in a matter of seconds.

3. Complete security of sensitive information

When using a document repository, there are a number of security measures put in place to reduce the risk of data breaches.

These include data encryption, automated backups, secure file transfer, tracked changes through version control and an audit trail. You also have the ability to add user permissions and password protection to files to ensure only authorised employees can access certain documents.

How to set up a document repository

If your business currently stores a mixture of paper and electronic files scattered across different locations, desktops and local drives, make that all important step to protect your data and set up a document repository.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Source all your paper and electronic documents

Prepare all the documents you’d like to place in the repository, both physical and digital formats. At this stage, you just need to make sure files are organised generally to get you started - you can worry about categorisation after you’ve scanned in your paper documents.

2. Scan in paper documents

You’ll then need to scan in any paper documents. Having a digital copy of your paper documents will make it much easier for employees to retrieve the file, as well as having additional protection in the case of a flood or fire.

If you have a large number of paper documents, document scanning can become overwhelming, especially as you need to collect high quality digital reproductions of each document. If that’s the case for your business, employ the help of document scanning specialists such as Shredall SDS Group, who can scan documents for you on or off-site.

For legal document repositories used in law firms, you can choose specialist legal document scanning.

3. Choose category and tag names for indexing

Finally, you’ll need to start categorising your files under your chosen category and tag names, also known as indexing. This can be a long process depending on the number of files you have.

When deciding on names, think carefully about how employees will be searching for files, including:

  • Creation date
  • Type of content
  • Function of the file
  • Department
  • Invoice number
  • Retention periods

If you’d like help with the document indexing process, make sure to contact specialists such as Shredall SDS Group. Our professionals can save you time and ensure the indexing is tailored to your business, improving workforce flow and efficiency.

Get professional help setting up your document depository

Ready to improve the way your team collaborates and shares information? If you’re looking to implement a secure and efficient document management system complete with a document repository, get in touch with our team today.

We can provide further information on robust data security and let you know how our software easily integrates into your existing business processes and systems.

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