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6 Best Document Management Solution of 2020 (Pros + Cons)

In today's business world, businesses have to use the information to get ahead.  Much of this information is stored in documents.  The problem that comes now, is to sort and organize the large amounts of documents that every business has to deal with.  The solution to this problem is a document management solution.  In this article, we will be discussing what is a DMS (Document Management Solution/Software), 6 document management solutions,  what they are marketed as on their product page, and their strengths and weaknesses, so you can find the best document management software that meets the needs of your organization.

If you wish to read about how these systems can be implemented, you can read more about the top examples of the knowledge management system used in companies.

Table Of Content

What is a Document Management System?
6 Best Document Management Solutions With Pros and Cons


What is a Document Management System?

Document management systems are critical pieces of software that allow small teams to handle large amounts of documents that they may not otherwise be able to organize.  As even small businesses often produce a lot of data, finding the Document Management system with the correct features is key to increasing efficiency and automation.  For any business, a content management software allows you to optimize several business processes.

The main benefit of having an EDMS (electronic document management system) is for its ability to store and retrieve documents.  However, certain document management software has features allowing for increased automation, cloud storage, integration with pre-existing software such as Microsoft Office, and much more.  Having a Document management software allows you and, if applicable your team members to be reference information and guidelines quickly.

This allows you and/or your team to be more efficient while reducing confusion and frustration.  Another benefit that filing management provides is information retention.  Any notes or ideas that you may have noted down will always stay inside your document base, whether they be from a day or a year ago.  These notes can be organized relatively easily by the wide variety of tools that these applications offer.  These systems also often provide powerful management tools that allow for easy sharing, publishing, and signing.  With the worldwide pandemic at the moment, e-signing is a large part of the business world.  This however is difficult on non-editable files such as those in PDF format.  Signing these can often be a hassle, but most document management systems integrate this feature either internally, or externally with collaboration tools.

This software often provides version control as well, which allows you to who made which changes and when.  We briefly covered integration earlier, as that is one of the key features of a good enterprise document management software.  These systems need to integrate into your pre-existing business users seamlessly.  This can include having iPhone and android support, for mobile access.  As a lot of business is being done on the go, having a DMS that allows you to upload, edit, sign, and fill out documents is often essential.  Data management systems also work as a management solution, as content can be restricted to only authorized users.  The content can be further restricted to enable view and edit access.

6 Best Document Management Solutions With Pros and Cons

Best Document Management Solutions

1. eFileCabinet

"eFileCabinet is the all-in-one document management software solution that enables businesses to run their organization with more power and efficiency—from automation and workflow creation, to customizability and control.  Rubex by eFileCabinet automatically recognizes, intelligently organizes, names, and stores your files using information contained in the files themselves.  With eFileCabinet, you can review snapshots of ongoing workflows for an in-depth look at how your processes play out across your business.  Drill down into specific workflow stages.  Create templates for folder structures you want standardized throughout your system.  Create a list of predefined document names that you can quickly apply to files uploaded to your drawer." - eFileCabinet

eFileCabinet is a document automation platform that allows you to organize large amounts of documents, and retrieve the right document when you need it.  It does this by allowing you to use their search feature, or by finding the document manually through different folders or the name.  One amazing feature that eFileCabinet has is its quick access feature, where you can have easy access to your most accessed documents.  This enterprise content management system is incredibly easy to use, as you can simply upload a document and it will automatically be filed and sorted for you.  This automation is incredibly convenient and increases worker productivity.

As eFileCabinet is a cloud-based document management system, it allows for mobile access as well.  They have an app that supports any iOS and Android mobile device operating system.  The app is incredibly versatile and allows users to upload, edit, and sign documents all from your phone.

This versatility is achieved through external integration with DocuSign for e-signatures, and Microsoft Office to allow for an easy transition with existing workflow tools.  The edited documents can easily be shared, and through some of the advanced settings, eFileCabinet allows you to create tiers where higher levels of security have access to more classified documents.  This access control can be narrowed down further with role-based access permissions where departments only have access to their relevant documents, as to reduce clutter.

  • Automation of tedious tasks
  • Quick Access Feature
  • E-signatures
  • Good ROI
  • Loading Times
  • Requires you to labels consistently

2. M-Files

" M-Files turns the tables on traditional approaches by intuitively managing information by "what" it is versus "where" it's stored.  No more guessing where to store a document, just tag it and relate it to other important business objects, such as customer, project, case, and so on, and it shows up dynamically, wherever it's needed, with automatic permissions and workflow. 

Rather than requiring that information be stored in a single, monolithic repository, the M‑Files open architecture supports connectors to other systems and repositories, including network files shares, email, file-sharing services, CRM, ERP, legacy ECM systems and more.  Information can be accessed and managed in place without disturbing other systems and processes.  M-Files leverages state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) to automate, simplify and assist the user with how they interact with information, particularly how metadata is generated and applied so that information is correctly and intuitively classified and organized.  " - M-Files

M-Files has all the features of a good document management solution, but if that wasn't enough they include Artificial Intelligence as well.  This AI exponentially increases the amount of automation this software can do compared with similar DM software.  It can be used to automatically store files where they are supposed to go, by reading through the document, detecting keywords, and storing it with similar data types.  It integrates well with your pre-existing software as well.  It does this, as M-Files gives you the ability to link all of your existing systems and documents to their advanced AI, which will sort and organize those as well.

This advanced AI technology also allows for extremely easy document retrieval.  All you need to give the system, is the type of document that you are looking for, and it will organize them in order of relevance and allow you to organize the content based on a multitude of factors.  The technology also makes sure that there are no duplicates in the system.  Instead, it updates existing documents, and default you to the most recent version.  The document control software will also allow you to use version control if you need access to a legacy document.

  • Integration with Microsoft, and Google suite
  • Easy to set up
  • Customize-ability
  • Difficult to learn interface
  • Link sharing is difficult

3. MasterControl

"Quality and compliance management is complex and resource-intensive.  So why add the burdens of managing IT infrastructure, security investments, and legacy systems to the mix? MasterControl’s leading cloud-based quality management system (QMS) is designed to let quality professionals focus on what they do best.  MasterControl ensures you always have the latest features, security updates, and integrations — without the IT headaches.  " - MasterControl

As the name implies MasterControl is best utilized in a setting where security is the top priority.  If your industry or business requires you to follow security protocols, MasterControl has a ton of management solutions.  This is the best document management software for complying with security laws and government regulations.

MasterControl can track documents as well as their statuses.  It tracks changes and revisions to your documents among all users, and timestamps everything.  It also has e-signature compatibility, allowing users to sign documents on their device.  On top of all this, MasterControl supports watermarks, sequential numbering, and location tracking to make tracking your files and documents even easier.

If ever you are confused about how to use any of these features, MasterControl provides you with its learning center.  Here you can learn all about the various features MasterControl offers, in videos, manuals, and many other formats.  The learning center makes MasterControl an extremely easy system to learn, and allows you to educate yourself on unlocking its full functionality.  If your business needs a document management solution, which addresses your security needs, MasterControl is your best bet.

  • Easy to Use
  • E-signing
  • ISO 9001 certification and compliance requirements
  • Requires employee training to use
  • Lack of customization

4. Hightail

If your business requires a lot of collaboration and sharing documents Hightail might just be the solution for you.  Sharing on Hightail is extremely easy, as you can quickly upload files from your computer or import from cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive simply by dragging.  After doing this, Hightail will prompt you to enter who you want to share your documents is.  When you send files, your recipients will receive an email notification with a link to access the files you’ve shared with them.

Another feature that Hightail has, is its document tracking.  With Hightail, you can see who has seen your content, and when they have seen it.  It also tracks downloads of documents.  This content management also allows you to add security such as password protection and expiration to sensitive documents.  The maximum size that Hightail supports is 500 GB for a single document.  We highly recommend this software if you are going to be working in collaboration with your team.

The ease of sharing files on this platform is unmatched, and the cloud storage is exceptional. Overall this information management solution is an amazing business application to enhance the workflow process of small teams. It comes with a solid feature set and amazing collaboration features.

  • Easy to send large documents
  • Amazing Customer Service
  • Fast download speeds
  • Can be expensive
  • Confusing to new Users

5. Templafy

"Templafy brings custom company templates, brand assets and best practice content together directly inside any office application, streamlining how users create on-brand and compliant documents, presentations and emails.  With Templafy, global businesses from all industries safeguard their brand integrity and increase productivity through a centrally governed, secure, and easy to use platform." -Templafy

Templafy is one of the best document management systems, which is chock-full of useful features.  One of these useful features is their document intelligence software.  This software allows Templafy to show employees relevant content through the use of algorithms.  These algorithms use the employee's department, and their view history to recommend documents that the users frequently use.  This is immensely helpful, as it makes sure that an employee based in customer support, doesn't have to trudge through a companies financials meant for accounting in order to find the right document.  This allows for higher productivity and reduced frustration.

Uploading a document is extremely simple, and Templafy allows you to create and edit the content on its platform as well.  All of these documents are easily accessible in an easy-to-use format on the main dashboard.  Templafy has amazing integration, that allows teams already using Microsoft Office, the Google Suite, and Azure to transition smoothly into using their software.  Just like the G-suite, Templafy offers cloud-based document management so that you can access documents on the go.  This feature can be really important for businesses who need documents filled out, and forms signed away from the office space.  As Templafy has full compatibility with iOS, Android, or Windows so the type of device you choose to use is not an issue.

In addition to all these features, the software has a lot of built management systems.  These systems "Enable your employees to work faster & within company standards every time." They allow you to easily view and manage all the documents, and templates.  The security systems inbuilt allows you to distribute certain documents to employees in certain departments and/or with assigned levels of privilege.  This means that each one of your users will have a personalized and streamlined experience.

  • User Friendly
  • Easy to integrate with preexisting business procedures
  • Increases productivity, and reduces frustration
  • Requires everyone across the organisation to use it consistently
  • Can be pricey for smaller teams

6. Docuware

"DocuWare provides cloud document management and workflow automation software that enables you to digitize, secure, and work with business documents, then optimize the processes that power the core of your business.  By removing wasted time and uncertainty from your processes, your team is free to focus on the work that drives productivity and profit.  DocuWare is perfect for distributed and remote teams that need to operate at full productivity.  With DocuWare Forms, you can easily design digital forms, share them, and collect structured data.  After a form is submitted, it is instantly and securely stored in a central repository for easy access later on by authorized personnel, from any location and device.  Digital workflows automatically assign tasks to employees to take the next step.  " -Docuware

Docuware has a large number of features, one of the most important of these is the fact that it is a cloud-based document management software.  Due to this, and many of the other features companies ranging from Sony to Toshiba, to other smaller businesses across the world.  This is because Docuware is fat more than your standard document management solution, and offers more to its end users.

Aside from standard document managing features, Docuware supports automatic invoices processing and has employee management features as well.  This ensures accuracy and accountability.  It has, even more, uses when it comes to automation.  Docuware allows you to automate: Contracts, Financials, Employee Management, Sales, Marketing, and even certain HR tasks.

This automation makes Docuware stand out as one of the best document management solutions for small businesses and teams.  The level of automation that Docuware provides will increase productivity.  This time that your employees would have otherwise have been dedicating to tedious and menial tasks could now be refocused into new projects.  As we stated before, most of the document management on Docuware happens on the cloud.  This allows your employees to access these documents from any location, at any time.  Docuware makes it incredibly easy to upload, create, and publish content on their platform.  It is also incredibly easy to edit, digitally sign, and share these forms as well.  Every feature on Docuware is polished to perfection and makes using the document management software a delight to use.

  • Simple Interface
  • Amazing Automation capabilities
  • Easy to import documents
  • Setting up the workflows is difficult
  • UI can seem bland and outdated


1. What is the best document management software?

Answer: If you want to find the right document management software for you, you have to consider the needs of your organization and its users. eFileCabinet, Templafy, and Docuware are well rounded and solid considerations for most businesses. Within these, however, some provide more automation, while others provide e-signatures or integration with pre-existing software.

As we have listed, the price point varies for these various document management systems as well, and a higher budget will allow for a more expensive plan with better features. If security is your main concern however, Master Control is your best option. It allows you to meet ISO 9001 certification and compliance standards, which is essential for certain businesses and industries. If you wish for the main focus of your document management systems to be on collaboration, Hightail offers features and usability that are currently unmatched. On the other end M-files offers a top-of-the-line AI to assist you and your team, included in the document management solution.

2. What are the benefits of using document management software?

Answer: Having and implementing document management systems gives you a lot of benefits. First and foremost, it allows for easy and consistent access to information and knowledge. Having a document management solution allows you and your team members to be reference information and guidelines quickly. In addition, these document management systems allow users to quickly make edits and sign documents. This saves time and increases productivity. All of this allows you and/or your team to be more efficient while reducing confusion and frustration.

The main benefit, however that a DMS may offer is information retention. Any notes or ideas that you may have noted down will always stay inside your document base, whether they be from a day or a year ago. These notes can be organized relatively easily, and automatically by the wide variety of tools that these applications offer. Overall having a document management solution will decrease a user's frustration, and increase employee productivity, which you can handily track in a management file.

3. What makes a good document management system?


1. Organizational features

Every document solution should include some sort of organizational features to sort your various documents. This allows you to work and sort your data quickly and effectively. This can range from M-Files artificial intelligence system to the timestamps of Master Control. These tools are essential to any document solution, as they help keep down clutter which would inevitably pile up otherwise, and provide essential functionality for the end-users.

2. Search Bar

Having a search bar within your knowledge base can be extremely useful. It allows you to find a document quickly without having to search for it through the many different folders if you forgot the location. This search capability allows for much greater efficiency when working.

3. E signing

Signing a document in a world with many different types of documents can be a hassle, especially when concerning non-editable documents such as PDF. Having a DMS that supports E signing makes life for your users a lot easier, and allows for your company to go truly paperless. Most document management systems integrate this feature either internally, or externally.


Regardless of the choice, you make of document storage and management system, the most important thing to remember is the user experience. The product you choose should make workflow processes from document creation, to document sharing, to simply allowing users to access files as simple and easy as possible.

Having a search functionality should also be non-negotiable, as a search engine can save your organization hours of productivity. We also encourage our readers to take advantage of the demo or trial options most DMS offers on their website. This will allow you to see the advantages of each database and to what degree their deployments impact productivity without paying for a subscription.


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