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The Importance of Document Tracking

Rachel Tilley Author: Rachel Tilley

Document tracking will differ from business to business and its importance will largely depend on industry, type of goods produced or services offered.  The accurate tracking of information however should not be over looked when it comes to complying with the law.

Food manufacturers will have stringent regulations in place to manage all aspects of the production cycle to prove the safety and quality of their food, whereas Property Professionals have to adhere to compliance laws set out by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Whatever document compliance your organisation has to follow, here are our tips and examples of how to relieve time consuming administration tasks.

What is Document Tracking?

Document tracking enables organisations to monitor when a document was created, opened, edited or printed, by who and when. This is vital for businesses who are regularly audited. It also provides a way to ensure a document has been seen by the recipient and not just simply delivered.

Document tracking provides enhanced security, a more robust storage system for important information and can maintain the confidential transmission of sensitive data.

How Can Document Tracking Help your Business?

Document tracking will help control the wealth of information flowing through the organisation. It will put processes in place to provide evidence that demonstrates rules have been followed, whilst protecting against any legal backlash.

Document Tracking System

A Document Tracking System automates the recording and the tracking of documents. It eliminates the need for restricted server folders that prohibit unauthorised access, and stops employees having to manually keep on top of document versions. This removes the chance for error and reduces the time employees spend working towards compliance.

Currently if an employee saves a document locally, makes changes and then saves it back to the server, how easy is it to spot the latest version and to know what’s been changed? How do organisations stop two people simultaneously downloading and changing a document and adding further confusion? Document tracking software removes these problems.

The Benefits of Document Tracking

Paper documents can cause a whole host of problems – loss, damage and the burden of storage, likewise unorganised digital files can present tracking issues when rules aren’t followed by everyone. Digitally tracking documents provides a number of benefits.

Version Control

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Documents are stored securely and efficiently in digital filing cabinets where automatic version control is applied. As soon as a document is opened to edit, it is locked, only allowing other authorised users read access until it is marked as available again.

When stored, a Document Tracking System automatically applies a new version number and only the newest version is displayed in searches. To view previous versions, users can right click and select the version history.

Simplify Audits

Audits provide valuable insight into a business and offer credibility to customers and suppliers. They show the level of due diligence taking place that enables a company perform as well as it can.

DW and SAGE

With a Document Tracking System, data is easily searchable meaning an Auditor can find the required information in a matter of clicks. When integrated with a finance package, supporting documentation can be effortlessly pulled from the tracking system without leaving the accounting or ERP software.

Accurately tracking documents mean errors in financial statements are easily found and rectified during an audit. Any findings can drive discussions on profit and loss leading to improvements where necessary.

Better Security

A Document Tracking System provides complete security for documents and protects from disaster, loss of theft. You control what happens with your data, whether that’s employee records, contracts or financial information.
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Document tracking means organisations can collect, process and manage information whilst maintaining confidentiality. Simultaneously, documents are easy to find, speeding up searches and increasing productivity of employees.

Ensure document based processes are compliant with a variety of regulations including GDPR, the Data Protection Act and HIPAA. Safeguard data so that only authorised users can access confidential information.

Document Tracking: Food Manufacturing

Recently we spoke with a Food Manufacturer and they told us about the lengthy paper processes in place to log every detail surrounding all aspects of their food production.

They told us they record:

  • All ingredients arriving on site,
  • The condition of vehicles that bring the ingredients,
  • The origin of the ingredients,
  • The condition of packaging and dates etc,
  • The containers food is baked in,
  • Oven temperatures and settings,
  • Details of the packaging products are wrapped in,
  • Details of vehicle it is transported out in.

Any part of their process (ingredients, vehicles, cooking containers, cooking machinery, packaging) could have a recall against it, so they must have clear records to ensure the right batch can be withdrawn from sale.

This is currently all carried out on paper, with forms moving around the business to record all requirements. These manual processes are high risk, if a document is damaged or lost they’d have no way of tracing the source of any problems.

During peaks in production times, such as Christmas or during the Covid Pandemic, these processes are placed under enormous strain and can buckle if they are unable to easily scale up.

Digital Forms (1)A document tracking system provides a way to manage this digitally and securely. Employees can complete digital forms to log their checks into the system, while accessing the same information as everyone else.  This can be achieved from mobile devices anywhere on the factory floor.

All information is tagged together under the same batch number so if any problems arise, the affected batch can easily be located.

If accurate document tracking is something your organisation needs help with then we’d be keen to chat. We’d welcome a call to understand the challenges you’re facing and explain how our solutions will help with document compliance, process transparency and improved production.

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Contact us now for more information 0161 647 7040

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