Document control may not be the most glamorous of subjects, but if your business needs to comply with industry regulations relating to information security, sharing and storage, then read on.
It is important for all companies to have a management system in place in order to efficiently control document creation, storage, organisation, review and distribution.
Protecting business documents while improving how information moves through the business should be a top priority in todays data driven and digital world.
Improving document control goes hand in hand with improving quality and compliance, having effective business processes in place and and managing document compliance.
Companies in highly regulated industries such as finance, food production, healthcare, construction, engineering and energy can face legal action if their document processes don’t comply with the law.
With years of experience speaking to and supporting clients with document control, we regularly come across the same problems cause by paper business documents and those stored and managed in an unstructured way.
If you're struggling with document control then it's likely your business is affected by one of the below:
Files are saved across desktops, in filing cabinets, on the server or on someone’s desk making the simple task of finding a contract, employee form or invoice much harder than it should be.
When documents are stored both on paper and electronically, organisations run the risk of duplication and confusion.
How do you currently manage the version control of every document across the business? If multiple staff members are working on a tender, how easy is it to determine which is the latest version and how do you know if someone has downloaded it to work on at home?
Can you tell what change has been made to a document, when it was made and by who. What about when an approval is needed - how do managers check one has been made and who did it?
Manual processing and checks can lead to unintentional mistakes where human errors creep in. With countless documents flowing through a business we often hear about the time staff feel they waste on tasks such as checking invoices against purchase orders and delivery notes as the process in place takes too long.
Manual data entry into key business systems is another area where mistakes are made due the monotonous nature of the work involved.
With no clear system in place regarding document control, multiple versions of the same document can appear in business processes as one person prints an order off while another saves it electronically.
We've been told about invoices being paid twice because of problems with duplication alongside further employee time wasted correcting the mistake.
If business critical information is being housed in different systems, accessing the required information can be time consuming when staff have to log in and out of separate pieces of software.
The lack of document control is often at the centre of these issues and organisations should spend time looking at what changes need to be made.
While some process improvements can be made through changes in staff habits or with tweaks here and, many of the companies we speak to realise that for the biggest improvements and return on investment, they need a dedicated document management system.
DocuWare is a highly rated and widely used document management system (DMS) that electronically stores and secures business documents in a central location.
It removes the problems of document control discussed above by putting rules in place and creating a structure to business documents.
It should be the only place to store documents and therefore the only place employees need to look to find the information they require. Searches are quick and simple and documents can be accessed by authorised users from anywhere with an internet connection.
The same document cannot enter the system twice as it is recognised as a duplicate and flagged to a user.
Manual data entry is removed as all the valuable information from a scanned document is captured by the document management software. This captured data then becomes the information used to search for the document. A user can search by document type, date or customer etc. and have the results back in seconds.
There are no more lengthy searches or errors from information typed incorrectly.
With DocuWare integrations, this data can then be pushed into any other integrated application, streamlining processes and increasing efficiency.
Version control is no longer an issue as DocuWare records every action on a document - the edits made, who made them and when, as well as any downloads. It only shows users the latest version of a document so everyone is safe in the knowledge they are working from the latest version.
The cost of a document management system varies depending on the number of users, your requirements and whether you choose a cloud or on-premise option.
DocuWare can be tailored to your exact requirements. This means we have to fully understand the problems you're having with document control before we can suggest the solutions and give you can accurate price.
How much your problems are effecting you to begin with in terms of wasted time and the cost to rectify problems will affect your feelings on the price and the return on investment.
Think about invoices that are paid twice, a failed audit, a supplier not being paid or an order being missed……..the list could be endless.
Speak to a member of our experienced team about how getting a handle on document control with DocuWare will make lasting improvements for both staff and the business as a whole.
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