Steve Feldstein has been with Brother International Corporation for about five years. He's the marketing director for scanners and business products. Prior to that, he was with Sharp, Minolta, Ricoh and Okidata, where he was involved with product marketing, product development and product planning.

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Dennis Zink: Steve, what is document management and how does it work?

Steve Feldstein: Well, document management is really the use of a computer system and software in combination together to manage and track electronic documents, electronic images of paper that are captured through the use of a scanner, a document scanner. With the help of a document management system, it's possible to have the right information in the right place at the right time. That's really the basis for decision making, triggering different business processes and the ability to get to information faster so that decisions can be made much faster and more efficiently.

Dennis Zink: Why is it important and what are the benefits to small business?

Steve Feldstein: Document management is important for a variety of reasons. I would say first and foremost, it's a much easier way and more efficient way to organize information rather than sort of the old way of hard copy documents being stored in file cabinets. Now, within seconds, with a document management system, you can easily search for particular keywords within a document or if you are in the legal profession, you could even search a particular case number or a particular claim number if you were in, let's say the insurance or financial processing type of industry.

You can then not only find those documents and organize them really much more efficiently and easily and at a lot less cost, but then you could edit and retrieve and manage the documents right from your desktop application and be able to store many more documents, millions of documents even if you wanted to, even into the Cloud, versus the cost of trying to move hard copy documents either off site to a third party company - that may be very costly.

Dennis Zink: How has the industry changed in the last five years?

Steve Feldstein: The industry has changed in the fact that I think that people nowadays are much more attuned and much more used to having electronic information, whether it's on their tablet, on their phone or at their desk, the applications are much more easy to use. You don't have to be a document management engineer or any kind of programmer or anything like that. I think, with the ease of use factor increasing probably tenfold over the last couple of years, I think it just makes it a lot easier for many, many more people to get into the electronic document management world much more easily.

Dennis Zink: What kind of factors should a small business owner look at when they decide on what kind of document management solution they need?

Steve Feldstein: First and foremost, I would say, there's really two different types of document management. There's a desktop document management and sort of a professional document management. The first type, the desktop document management is I would say more for a small office or a small business that doesn't necessarily need to have lots and lots of different types of workflows and business processes and approval processes in place. Desktop document management, it's basically different types of software that you could load onto your desktop.

For example, Brother International, with all of our scanners and all of our all-in- one devices as well, we bundle desktop document management software right in the box so that once you put your printer or your all-in-one or your scanner on the network or even if you hook it up via USB with the software that we include, you can easily begin scanning and actually organizing files right on your desktop and being able to edit those documents, change the documents, stuff they call OCR which is optical character recognition, where you can actually take let's say a newspaper article. With OCR capability, all the text within that newspaper article can be brought straight into a Word file and then you have the ability to edit that information or use it in some way, shape or form within another business document or if you were doing research, for example. It just makes it a lot easier in the fact that you can manipulate information and data versus having just static information in a hard copy format.

file cabinets