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Fall in Love with Your EDMS: 4 Tips on Choosing the Right System

Quality AssuranceImplementing an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) can be a scary and daunting task for any company. However, having an efficient EDMS is essential to running a competitive and compliant business in the pharmaceutical industry. Here are some tips on how to choose the right EDMS for your company:

1. Map Your Existing Process(es)
Mapping your existing process(es) will give you a much better understanding of what kind of functionality you are looking for in a potential EDMS. It will also be helpful in communicating your user requirements to potential vendors.

2. Project the Growth of the Desired System
Carefully consider what you would like the system to do for you in the future. There are a number of vendors who offer other functionalities such as Quality Management or Enterprise Resource Planning modules within their Electronic Document Management Systems. Assess each system based upon its other functionalities and how your company could utilize them in the future.

3. Build the Assessment List
There are so many different Electronic Document Management Systems that trying to assess them all would be difficult if not impossible. However, there are a number of different publications that provide reviews and information on these systems and you can build a list of potential candidates by combing these resources. For example, you could Google “Top Ten Electronic Document Management Systems” and go from there.

4. Assessment criteria

  • General Functionality – Does the system have the functionality to capture your existing processes?
  • Future Growth – Are there additional modules (Quality, HR, Finance, ERP, etc.) that can be utilized as your company grows?
  • Licensing Cost – Vendors typically charge per individual license. How many employees need access and what level of access do they need (Read-Only, Named, or Concurrent)?
  • Overall Cost – Is the projected Return on Investment worth the overall cost which includes software, hardware, licensing, implementation labor, ongoing maintenance, etc.?
  • User-Friendliness – Is the interface User-Friendly from both the End-User and Administrator perspective? The more intuitive the better. Many EDMS vendors offer a free demo and it is definitely worthwhile to download it and test the system out for yourself.
  • Vendor Company’s Stability – Purchasing and implementing an EDMS is not only an investment of money, but also an investment in the viability of the vendor company. It’s a good idea to research the company’s history, their financial standing and their prospects for the future.
  • Vendor Company’s Responsiveness – The implementation of an EDMS tends to be a long and complicated process. The expediency with which a potential vendor company responds to your inquiries may be an indication of their efficiency as an organization. It could also be an indication of their existing client workload.
  • Timing Your Purchase – Timing is not everything, but it is definitely important. Sometimes vendors offer deals during certain times of the year, especially near the end of a fiscal quarter.



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Ben Arvin

Ben Arvin

Senior Quality Specialist at BioConvergence LLC
Ben is a Senior Quality Specialist at BioConvergence. He received his bachelor’s degree in TV/Radio/Film from Indiana University in 2004. Ben began his Quality career in Biotech with Life Technologies in Austin, TX. His experience includes continuous improvement activities, training, document control, technical writing and auditing. He was also the Project Leader on the implementation of M-Files QMS at BioConvergence. In addition, Ben is a multi-faceted musician, DJ and film-maker.
Ben Arvin

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