Document Processing vs. Document Management System: Unravelling the Differences

Document Processing vs. Document Management System: Unravelling the Differences

In today's digital age, businesses and organizations generate and handle vast amounts of documents on a daily basis. As technology continues to advance, the need for efficient document handling becomes paramount. Two terms that often come up in this context are document processing and document management. While they may sound similar, they refer to distinct aspects of handling documents. In this article, we will delve into the differences between document processing and document management, exploring their individual functionalities, benefits, and use cases. So, let's get started!

What is Document Processing?

Document processing refers to the systematic handling and manipulation of documents to extract, transform, and organize data from various sources. It involves automated techniques and software tools to streamline the process of capturing, digitizing, and extracting information from physical or electronic documents. Document processing aims to enhance data accuracy, improve efficiency, and enable easy access to relevant information.

According to a survey conducted by AIIM, "Organizing Documents - Paper Wars 2017," 78% of respondents stated that document processing automation significantly improved their ability to search for and retrieve information, reducing time and effort in document handling processes.

Key Features and Benefits of Document Processing

Document processing offers several key features and benefits that make it an essential component of modern business operations. Some of these include:

Data Extraction

Document processing tools utilize Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and intelligent data capture technologies to extract relevant information from documents automatically. This eliminates the need for manual data entry, saving time and reducing errors.

A study by The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) found that 67% of organizations reported increased accuracy and reduced manual data entry errors with document processing automation.


By automating repetitive tasks such as data entry, document processing helps streamline workflows and boost productivity. It enables organizations to process large volumes of documents quickly and accurately.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the document processing market is expected to reach $24.46 billion by 2027, driven by the need for efficient document handling and increased productivity.


Document processing solutions can integrate with existing software systems, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Document Management System (DMS), facilitating seamless data transfer and eliminating silos.

A study conducted by Gartner highlights that by 2023, over 40% of organizations will have implemented some form of integrated document processing system to improve data accessibility and streamline business processes.

Document Classification and Sorting

Document processing can classify, and sort documents based on predefined criteria. This makes it easier to organize and locate specific documents within a repository.

Research by Forrester Consulting indicates that organizations that implement automated document classification and sorting can reduce the time spent on document searching and retrieval by up to 75%.

Cost and Space Savings

By reducing manual labor, eliminating paper-based processes, and optimizing storage requirements, document processing can result in significant cost savings and create an eco-friendlier working environment.

A study published in the Journal of Electronic Imaging found that document processing automation can reduce costs associated with manual data entry, printing, and storage by up to 30%.

Understanding Document Management.

Document management encompasses the overall process of handling documents throughout their lifecycle, from creation to storage, retrieval, and disposal. It involves the organization, storage, version control, and collaboration of documents in a secure and structured manner. Document management systems provide centralized repositories for storing and accessing documents, ensuring efficient document control and compliance with regulatory requirements.

According to a survey conducted by AIIM, "The Paper-Free Process: Adoption of Document Management Systems," 52% of organizations reported improved compliance with regulations and standards after implementing document management systems.

Key Features and Benefits of Document Management

Document management systems offer a wide range of features and benefits that contribute to improved document handling and information management. Let's explore some of these key features:

Centralized Document Repository

Document management systems provide a centralized location to store and manage all types of documents. This enables easy and secure access to documents from anywhere, at any time.

A study by McKinsey & Company revealed that employees spend 1.8 hours per day, on average, searching for and gathering information. Implementing a document management system can significantly reduce this time, leading to increased productivity.

Version Control

Document management systems allow users to track document revisions, ensuring that everyone works with the most up-to-date version. This eliminates the confusion caused by multiple versions of a document circulating within an organization.

A study conducted by AIIM found that 62% of organizations reported improved document version control and reduced instances of working with outdated documents after implementing document management systems.

Document Collaboration

Document management systems facilitate collaboration by enabling multiple users to work on the same document simultaneously. Users can leave comments, track changes, and maintain a transparent and efficient document workflow. According to a survey by AIIM, "Collaboration and the Digital Workplace," 680% of organizations reported improved collaboration and information sharing among employees after implementing document management systems.

Security and Access Control

Document management systems offer robust security features, including user authentication and access controls. This ensures that sensitive information remains protected and only accessible to authorized personnel.

A study by Ponemon Institute, "The Cost of Cyber Crime," found that the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. Implementing document management systems with strong security measures can help mitigate the risk of data breaches and associated financial losses.

Compliance and Audit Trails

Document management systems assist organizations in meeting regulatory requirements by providing audit trails and documenting document activities, such as views, edits, and approvals. According to a study conducted by AIIM, "Information Governance - Records, Risks, and Retention in the Litigation Age," 64% of organizations reported improved compliance with legal and regulatory requirements after implementing document management systems.

Document Processing vs. Document Management: A Comparative Analysis

While both document processing and document management are essential for effective document handling, they serve distinct purposes within an organization. Document processing focuses on automating document-related tasks and data extraction, improving efficiency and accuracy. On the other hand, document management provides a comprehensive solution for organizing, storing, and controlling access to documents throughout their lifecycle, ensuring compliance and collaboration.

By integrating document processing and document management systems, organizations can achieve a holistic approach to document handling, combining automation, efficient storage, and enhanced control. This integration enables organizations to optimize their document workflows, reduce costs, improve productivity, and enhance information management.

In conclusion, while document processing and document management are distinct in their functionalities, they complement each other in providing a holistic solution for effective document handling. Leveraging document processing tools and implementing a robust document management system empowers businesses to optimize their document workflows, enhance collaboration, improve data accuracy, and ensure compliance with regulatory standards. By understanding and implementing these technologies, organizations can stay ahead in the digital era and unlock the full potential of their document management processes.

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