Document management software is increasing in popularity. More and more companies are going paperless, and since remote work experienced a 159% growth over the last decade, there's little need for filing cabinets.
Besides making document management more straightforward, critical documents are safer in their digital safe. With access control, companies efficiently manage who has access to sensitive data. Additional features such as a collaboration tool and the customizable workflows possibility make the software solutions even more enticing.
This article will help you find the best document management system for you. Although all serve the same purpose, solutions do vary in additional features, pricing, etc. What works for a medium-sized IT company might not work for a single lawyer's office.
First, let's explain what document control software is.
What is a Document Management Control Software?
Document control software (or document management software) is a tool that companies use for business process automation. Instead of manual document managing, companies can sort critical business documents automatically.
Industries that often have a document management system are healthcare, pharmaceutical, SaaS, machinery, construction, etc.
The main reasons why companies use digital solutions are:
- Records management - Speeds the process of saving and retrieving information essential for daily document workflow.
- Document security - Organizations that are in heavily regulated industries such as government and industry regulations emphasize security. They need solutions that offer high protection for digital documents.
- Data recovery - Companies can retrieve documents in case of an accident.
Without further ado, here are the top ten document management systems in 2022 that you can find on the market.
10 Best Document Control Software
Document control software is essential for any company that deals with significant loads of files daily. Here are the top ten picks to make the job easier of picking the right system for your business.
Price: Per user. Ask for pricing.
Free Trial: Yes.
Best For: Public sector, law enforcement, healthcare.
PowerDMS is a strong candidate for the best document management software. It's not that it has features that other business solutions lack, but it has everything a general user would expect from document control software.
You can store documents instantly, retrieve them when you need them, and PowerDMS vouches for top file safety.
But, when you take a better look under the hood, you'll find many intriguing options. First of all, although quite intuitive, PowerDMS does offer training management if you have a bigger team and want everyone to get the same knowledge.
Furthermore, although it might seem like a regular DCS, PowerDMS's most significant users stem from the public sector, such as law enforcement, requiring high-level security and management.
With PowerDMS, you can effectively manage access to sensitive documents, prop alerts, enable approval process control if you need one and other more advanced security features.
That also means (depending on the workload) that while general users will have no problem using PowerDMS, administrators might have a slight learning curve to catch up with all the subtle possibilities. Finally, although the document control software does come with the session timeout option (important for administrators, so they don't accidentally leave the system open), there's no customizing option. Because of that, PowerDMS can prompt a timeout while you're uploading huge file batches.
Price: $2.49 to $4.99 per user per month. Free version available.
Free Trial: Yes
Best For: Startups, small to mid-sized companies, corporations.
Klippa has a more modern approach to document control and document management. Although not as popular as most of the other document management systems that you'll find on this list, that doesn't mean that Klippa doesn't give other candidates a run for their money.
First of all, if you're tired of old-looking UI, Klippa has a fresh, aesthetically pleasing design. Granted, visuals aren't the primary reason that companies buy document management systems, but it is the first thing that pops up.
Fortunately, instead of being just the prettiest of the bunch, Klippa is an effective document management system. One of the main reasons is its optical character recognition. What makes OCR great is that the system automatically sorts documents the moment you upload them. This saves time with larger file banks since you don't have to do the additional sorting after uploading bigger batches.
Other vital features are approval process control, data verification and extraction, audit readiness, and collaboration tools.
Klippa also offers employee training and is generally used mainly by small to mid-sized companies, but it can also serve enterprises.
Price: Upon request.
Free Trial: Upon request.
Best For: Companies with a sales and marketing team.
Like other cloud-based solutions, Seismic is a centralized repository that automatized workflow processes with the ability to quickly organize documents, file sharing, document authoring, and other features you'd expect from a document control software.
One nifty feature is automatically stale dating certain documents. Although not too flashy, it can save a lot of time when you want to ensure compliance. Files get lost, and even if you have multiple administrators, an expired invoice might go under the radar. But with Seismic, that will never happen since the DMS system keeps a watchful eye no matter how many files you have.
This is great for business continuity since it's less likely that you'll end up in an annoying situation where you have to backtrack files.
Furthermore, Seismic's search feature stands out. It's effortless to find the document that you need and any related file as well. All you have to do is type in the keyword, and Seismic will list what you're looking for easy access.
Finally, if you're working with clients, you can create and present data in a slick custom website, making client interaction so much easier. Instead of being extra careful when sharing files with external users, you can share the exact data you want on an external website.
Price: $99.00 per feature per month.
Free Trial: Yes
Best For: Companies interacting with external users.
Besides being one of the more straightforward document management systems, Digify is also highly customizable.
Where Digify shines is sharing files and interacting with possible clients digitally. You can share files (PDF, video, audio) in a secure environment using virtual data rooms. Imagine a data room as a private digital space where you can perform contract negotiation with zero document control challenges such as who can access files and poor security.
You can even do a document review or collect electronic signatures (through integration with software such as DocuSign). Since you can use Digify via mobile devices (iOS and Android), mobile access makes digital data rooms even more accessible. Finally, Digify takes care of security protocols, so you don't have to second-guess if you should share a particular document or not.
You'll rarely need customer service since the entire document management system is highly intuitive. If you want to customize user permissions, you'll figure it out in seconds, and the same goes for most of the other options.
Although Digify doesn't have an option for discouraging users from taking screenshots or video records, you can integrate such solutions.
5. Document Control by MediaLab
Price: $625.00 per feature, per month.
Free Trial: Yes.
Best For: Healthcare.
Document Control by MediaLab is a somewhat niche document control software aimed at healthcare companies such as laboratories, clinics, and hospitals. While it won't be the best fit for business processes outside the niche, this document control system might be the perfect fit if you're a doctor or running hospital documents.
Besides making daily document control management easy, Document Control helps with other tasks that a clinic or hospital has, such as preparing for quality evaluations.
Being inspection-ready saves time for the organization and creates a professional look when the inspection arrives. Instead of spending several weeks getting all the documents you need, the access is at your fingertips even if the inspectors ask for something you didn't prepare.
It's easy to organize files and automate processes for documents that you won't find outside healthcare, such as health policies and procedures.
Unfortunately, Document Control doesn't have mobile apps for mobile access. On the other hand, it's even understandable considering the environment clinics and hospitals operate in. As mentioned, this document management software is for healthcare professionals, and it delivers everything you'll need in a health institution.
Price: $1200.00 per feature per year.
Free Trial: Yes.
Best For: Human resource, legal, and accounting.
If you could imagine a classic, real-life file cabinet in the digital space, it would be eFileCabinet. But instead of messy paperwork, cumbersome business processes, and clunky document control, you have access to your entire business with a single click of a mouse.
One of the reasons eFileCabinet works so well for back-office companies or departments is how easy it is to perform document version control. Legal and accounting especially can quickly get lost in countless document versions. But instead of checking files one by one, you can perform a version control in a couple of seconds.
Further down the line, eFileCabinet also saves time syncing up documents. Although there's not much difference between Microsoft Office Word and Google Docs for the user, systems often receive errors. The unpredictability of what the issue is can waste many unnecessary hours.
eFileCabinet solves the issue by offering a multi-version ecosystem. No matter the software your team uses, this document control software helps find what you need in a second.
eFileCabinet also allows sharing small and large documents with people outside the company without compromising security.
But, the software does come at a relatively high annual price, so it comes down to what your niche is and what you are looking for.
7. IT Glue
Price: $29.00 per user, per month. Possible free version.
Free Trial: Yes.
Best For: IT companies.
As evident from the name, IT Glue is a document management software with IT in mind. The key reason why IT Glue is so great for IT companies is that it's SOC 2 compliant. Although it doesn't say much for most companies outside IT, it's a dealbreaker for IT.
SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that checks companies to ensure appropriate data security and protect clients' and partners' privacy. Having specialized revision control can help such companies save time and feel more confident.
Such a company often fails the audit for minor reasons that they weren't aware of. As such, IT Glue helps so that no stone is left unturned.
Since IT companies work with outside clients, it's crucial to have a document management system with features that help sort documents per client. This way, client support becomes far easier and less incommodious for the back office.
Although IT Glue comes with several default templates for various files, such as API documents, you can pick and customize them per your needs. Finally, IT Glue packs all the features you'd expect, such as importing, exporting, and version control.
The UI might seem a bit boring and uninspiring. Although the service can work on particular "quality of life" improvements, it's an excellent pick for anyone in IT.
Price: Upon request.
Free Trial: Yes
Best For: Small to enterprise-level companies.
Qualtrax tries to provide everything for everyone, and it does quite an excellent job at doing so. Instead of taking the niche route, Qualtrax goes the opposite way by packing everything a general business needs, such as revision control, access controls, centralized repository, and collaboration tools.
The easiness of sharing technical documents and other quality processes somewhat reminds of Microsoft SharePoint. It's intuitive, and you won't spend too much time figuring out how to do the task in mind. If a user request access, you can provide simple web forms and include everything the user would expect.
Since Qualtrax comes with a great mix of features, it's good to know that you can customize depending on your needs. For example, suppose your company needs a quality control solution (document management and audit readiness) but doesn't need management for automated workflows. In short, the document control software helps with what you need, instead of throwing countless features and you hoping that some will stick.
When it comes to disadvantages, the elephant in the room is that it might not be perfect for users looking for document control software tailored for their niche.
Nevertheless, Qualtrax is a solid solution for anyone who needs quality software to help with document management.
Price: $19.00 per user, per month.
Free Trial: Yes.
Best For: Small to enterprise-level companies.
Similar to Qualtrax, PandaDoc throws a wide web to catch as many users as possible. But, the way PandaDoc does is by improving general document generation, such as creating quotes, proposals, and contracts.
One tool in PandaDoc's arsenal is fair pricing that works both for startups and enterprise content management. But more importantly, PandaDoc packs several unique features.
One of them is tokens that you can use as tags. If you're managing several clients, accidentally typing in one client's name in a document intended for another is more than an uncomfortable situation. Every document for external users must be 100% correct, and tokens take the stress out of this essential daily routine.
Additionally, it's relatively easy to set up and customize the document management system according to your preferences, and the dashboard provides an excellent overview of document status.
Going for an expensive product can be discouraging if you're running a company that sends only about four documents per month. On the one hand, you need to ensure the four documents are correct and sent to the right entity, but paying hundreds of dollars is too much.
PandaDoc knows there are many such businesses around the globe, and it's the main reason why user-friendliness and acceptable pricing works so well.
Price: $9.80 per user, per month.
Free Trial: Yes
Best For: For mid-sized and enterprise companies with multiple teams.
Wrike is one of the big players on this list. Although that's not why we included it in our list, the service's seniority does offer a certain level of confidence.
Wrike is on our top document management software list because of its perfect team and document management mixture. Generally speaking, one software equals one solution is a preferable option, but Wrike manages to walk that tight rope between the two. One of the reasons is the unique capability to integrate another document management system. Although this won't be useful to everybody, it can be pretty helpful for transitions and keeping everything in a single dashboard.
Additionally, since Wrike employs certain team management elements such as tagging, tracking working hours, and project schedules, it's great for companies with multiple teams working on the same project. Besides helping you get rid of paper records, you can also stay on top of your projects.
Wrike does its best to organize so many features in a clean and intuitive package. The UI is aesthetically pleasing and functional. Furthermore, the learning curve isn't steep.
But when you combine document control software with another service, you'll always have some minor bumps. Although nothing specific (as mentioned, Wrike does a great job managing), you might spend an extra second figuring a feature out if you end up running several of them.
Having proper document management software is essential in today's work environment. Not only are more and more companies going remote, directly impacting the internal organization, but the shift is impacting how businesses interact with each other as well.
Partnerships and decisions are made quicker than before, and having a tight grasp over document control can be the difference between success and failure.
Although almost every document management system on the market will provide general features that you need, it's always better to spend an extra minute digging for the specifics. By doing so, you'll pinpoint not just a generally helpful solution but also a system that's perfect for you.
Many document control providers focus on a specific industry to grasp an untapped market. For you as a user, the more companies compete, the better the overall quality.
If you're merely looking for general document control software, then the best option is to go with one that does everything well.
By being conscious of what you need, instead of what might be the best in general terms, you increase your chances of making the right choice and saving time long-term. Good luck.
Here you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about document control management in general.
What is the document control process?
Document control processes are a workflow for creating, approving, updating, and also fixing business-related documents. Another part of document control management, besides automatic file management, is tracking the current status and ensuring information is correct. Since document management expands to internal and external processes, it's essential to have a steady process. To maximize effectiveness, most modern companies use various online solutions that either automatize the process or provide the necessary tools to make the interaction between multiple parties easier.
Why is it important to have document control software?
Although it's not impossible to manage documents manually, such an option requires far more working power and time. This can be a significant disadvantage in the highly competitive both real-life and digital ecosystem. The fundamental reason for using document control software is to free up time your business can use elsewhere. Instead of having a dozen employees ensuring all different moving parts, two employees can do the entire job, with the rest focusing on other equally vital tasks.
What are document controllers responsible for?
Document controllers ensure that both internal and external documents are correct, on time, and organized effectively. Previously, entire teams did this manually, but with the dawn of digital services, digital documents are replacing countless paperwork. The result is fewer document controllers since one can do the work for five, depending on the company's size.
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He had his first job in technical writing for a video editing software company in 2014. Since then, he has written several books on software documentation, personal branding, and computer hacking. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.