10 Features of SAP’s Document Management System to Help Improve Organizational Efficiency

  • by Jawad Akhtar, Head of SAP Delivery, AbacusConsulting
  • September 2, 2011
Better understand SAP’s Document Management System (SAP DMS) and take a tour of some of its most useful functionalities.
Key Concept
SAP’s Document Management System (SAP DMS), which is part of SAP Knowledge Provider, comes as standard functionality when an SAP system is installed. No additional SAP DMS software is needed. It is available from Release R/3 4.1 and later. It is part of the SAP Project Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM) roadmap, but you can implement it independently. It is highly advisable to conduct server sizing with the involvement of a Basis resource to assess and evaluate the need to have additional hardware for storing documents in a central repository. A dedicated project team is required for its successful implementation, which can take four to six months depending on the scope, complexities, and number of locations covered.

Despite living in the digital world and making efforts to move toward a paperless environment, every organization is faced with a huge amount of information — both in soft copy as well as hard – that must not only be managed, but also must be instantly available. SAP’s Document Management System (SAP DMS) can help manage those documents to bring about organizational efficiency and improve business decision making. After a quick overview of SAP DMS, I highlight 10 of its features.

SAP DMS functionality enables you to:

  • Store and retrieve all the company’s important documents in a central repository that is immediately accessible and completely integrated with the business processes mapped in the SAP system
  • Check in and check out documents as needed
  • Have multiple parts and versions of a single document for tracking purposes
  • Index all documents for easy and comprehensive searches
  • Search all documents by keywords in a long text of a document
  • Organize all documents in a structured and hierarchical way
  • Track all documents by their statuses and have document statuses control business functions
  • Approve documents by individual digital signatures and also by a series of digital signatures
  • Distribute (manually and by SAP Workflow) documents to relevant stakeholders
  • Access documents on the Internet (WebDocuments)
  • Have the option of working with SAP DMS via SAP EasyDMS, a Microsoft Windows Explorer interface
  • Control accessibility to only the relevant stakeholders by authorization options

SAP DMS is a cross-application component that can be extensively used not only in SCM modules such as plant maintenance (PM), production planning (PP), sales and distribution (SD), and materials management (MM), but also in all SAP modules. For key concepts and terminology used in SAP DMS, see the sidebar.

Jawad Akhtar

Jawad Akhtar earned his chemical engineering degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology. He has 17 years of professional experience, of which nine years are in SAP. He has completed eight end-to-end SAP project implementation lifecycles in the areas of PP, QM, MM, PM, and DMS in the steel, automobile, chemical, fertilizer, FMCG, and building products industries. He also has worked as an SAP integration manager and an SAP project manager. He has been proactively involved in a business development and solution architect role for seven years. He is the author of Production Planning and Control with SAP ERP, it's filled with in-depth infomation on discrete, process, and repetitive manufacturing types. His profile on LinkedIn is at http://pk.linkedin.com/in/jawadakhtar. You may follow Jawad on Twitter @jawadahl. Currently, he is associated with AbacusConsulting as Head of SAP Delivery.

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