Enterprises have a greater level of information floating in all kinds of documents than ever before, in fact, ninety percent of a business’s information is in documents, so no wonder why documents are considered the building block of any company; yet some organizations don’t have systems to manage the production, review & approval, storage, and distribution of such documents, leaving them with a very heavy and inefficient process to say the least.
In a recent conversation that our CTO has had with a prospect, he was asked by the quality manager the following, “Convince me of why I should move from my manual paper-based system to a digital one”, this article will focus on answering our friend’s question and shed some light on what to look for when choosing your document control system. Here are ten reasons and benefits of a digital collaborative document control system:
- Easy retrieval: going through thousands of documents to retrieve information can be a daunting task. One must be able to locate, search through content, and find information in split seconds, not minutes and certainly not hours.
- Security, security, security: protecting sensitive data and access to information must be a priority for any organization, without a system that has access level control, comment history tracking, electronic signature, and audit trail that shows who did what on a document, you stand to jeopardize information of your product and operations, as well those of your suppliers and customers.
- Collaboration: documents are being produced almost by everyone in the organization and at all levels and sometimes in many different locations. The proper collaborative workflow-based system will allow users to contribute, review, share, and approve documents at every step of the workflow you desire and regardless of where they are located.
- Linkage between processes: there is a huge overlap among the different processes, so linking and sharing information and documents in an easy streamlined way saves time and improves accuracy.
- Improved Efficiency: if the above reasons don’t indicate how efficiency can be lost without a document management system, may be this fact will, “20% of the business time or the equivalent of one business day per week is wasted by employees looking for information to help them do their jobs effectively”.
- Regulatory Compliance: Whether you are trying to comply with federal regulations (think FDA 21 CFR), standards like ISO 13485, 9001, 22001 & certifications bodies or trying to follow general good practices (GxP and cGMP) and Good Documentation Practices (GDP), the consequences of not complying can be severe and may cost you heavy fines and possibly your business.
- Backup & Disaster Recovery: any decent document control system will offer an automatic solid backup and recovery plan that ensures the protection and availability of your documents for however long you need them, other noncollaborative systems don’t, manual systems are subject to threats of fire, floods, and require a huge storage space.
- Scalability: the right document control system will scale as you scale, it grows with you, manual and noncollaborative systems will complicate matters for you as you grow, as it becomes impossible to keep up with the increasing number of generated documents, additionally, complying seamlessly will certainly be a nightmare.
- Competitive advantage: to compete in today’s digital world you must be equipped with the proper tools that allow you to do so, trying to swim against the digital transformation wave will only leave you behind and help competitors crush you.
- Reduced Cost: for those with manual systems, just think of these stats.: On average, the labor cost to file one document is $20. Between two percent and five percent of an organization’s files are lost or misfiled on any given day. Companies, on average, spend $120 in labor to find one misfiled document. One out of every 20 documents is lost. Approximately 25 hours are spent recreating each lost document. Approximately 10-12 percent of documents are not found on the first attempt. It takes an average of 10 minutes per paper document to retrieve, copy, and re-file. 60 percent of employee time is spent working with documents. Each four-drawer file cabinet holds an average of 10-12,000 documents, takes up nine square feet of floor space and costs $1500 per year. Sources: Gartner Group, AIIM, US Dept of Labor, Imaging Magazine, Coopers & Lybrand
Here are ten other reasons that make Cloudtheapp document management system stands out:
- Built-in and integrated real time analytics that allows creating visualizations and dashboards.
- Strong Search Capabilities, the easiest, fastest, most intuitive search engine in any Quality compliance system out there.
- Automatic synchronization of document fields (meta data) to the header and body of the document.
- Automatic PDF conversion upon releasing the document.
- Fully compliant audit trail and electronic signatures, that can be automatically synchronized to the body of the attached document.
- Single source of truth brings your scattered documents across the different processes, functions, and locations to one place.
- Fully configurable workflows and forms using leading edge No-Code designers.
- Ability to setup self-learning courses for documents to distribute learning tasks and monitor progress.
- Predefined and configurable templates for different document types (Policies, Procedures, Work Instructions, etc.).
- Ability to revise released documents with traceable version numbers. Ability to reference related documents, and automatic archiving for older revisions upon releasing newer revisions of the document.
The decision of whether to stick to a manual and legacy noncollaborative document system or move to a robust collaborative document management system should be made in a split second; choosing which system is the right fit must come from those that know the suffering of not having a system and those that have used systems before and know the value each feature represents, because the wrong selection can lead to frustrations and inefficiencies that may equate to not owning a system.