Unfortunately, many organisations do not manage their documents well at all, and stakeholders - owners, employees and customers included - are disadvantaged every day as a result. The following are just a few of the document control issues we hear about, and one or two of them are no doubt familiar to you:
"We have documents in various folders on our server, and they are never easy to find when you need them fast"
"Sometimes our people are referring to obsolete versions of contractual or technical documents. This can put us at great risk - financially and otherwise"
"Many documents on our server have been there a long time...I'm sure that some of them are no longer relevant"
Any excess time taken to find documents is time wasted. Time spent wading through obsolete documents is further time wasted - all of which could have been put to more productive and beneficial use. Multiple versions of documents lead to confusion and wrong decisions being made - possibly with serious consequences.
All management system standards recognise the importance of document management, and have clauses that specifically address the issue. Examples include:
Standard ISO 9001:2008
Clause 4.2.3 CONTROL OF DOCUMENTS
HEALTH & SAFETY
Standard AS/NZS 4801:2001 & OHSAS 18001:2007
Clause 4.4.5 CONTROL OF DOCUMENTS
Standard ISO 14001:2004 - Clause 4.4.5 DOCUMENT CONTROL
Standard ISO 22000:2005
Clause 4.2.2 CONTROL OF DOCUMENTS
Standard ISO 27001:2005
Clause 4.3.2 CONTROL OF DOCUMENTS
Standard ISO/TS 16949:2002
Clause 4.2.3 CONTROL OF DOCUMENTS (including engineering specifications)
All of these standards have broadly similar requirements that may be very briefly outlined as follows:
Even if your organisation is not seeking certification of its management system, the disciplines listed above are clearly good business practice.
So how is the issue typically addressed?
"Qudos 3 offers all the essential Document Management tools in an integrated compliance solution."
Qudos 3 has a dedicated Documents module that offers an extremely effective document registration, distribution and review process, and many would consider makes the case for the software all on its own!
The Master Document List is perhaps the most widely used component in the whole application. It displays details of each listed document, and provides a link to actual files - which have been automatically uploaded to a nominated, central location on your server. This makes it easy to find and open files created in any application. This provides greatly improved access to important documents - while easing the admin burden at a stroke.
Read-only controls protect the documents from unauthorised changes. A choice is offered of using your own document numbering system or our automated numbering process.
Qudos 3 includes a special 'Guest' account for you to provide an unrestricted number of people with read access to your documents. For ease-of-use this key component is just a single-click away from the main screen.
When document revisions are made, a Check-in process is followed with mandatory logging of what changed, by who, when, and why, and an upload of the revised document. A Document Revision History is maintained for each individual document, and automatic email facilities offer Document change notifications to a nominated group of people. As part of the check-in process, the new version of the document is uploaded, and the previous one is automatically archived.
Document Reviews are pre-programmed into a schedule when a document is first registered. This reduces the danger of irrelevant, old documents lingering around, and is a big step towards complying with a common requirement of many standards.
A sample procedure for communicating business rules on document management is included. This smart, web-style document may be quickly and easily customized to suit your needs using MS Word or equivalent.
Other useful components in the document module include a global Revisions List, and Deletions List, plus the facility to record Copy Holders of individual documents.
We believe that Qudos 3 offers a practical document management system with an excellent and rapid return on investment. The solution is a lot easier than you may think!
Contact us now to find out more: