nlenbe-nlThe best software for quality and risk management.

Is document digitalisation a hot topic for your organisation? Or does your organisation face document fragmentation or contamination because multiple versions of documents are always circulating? This is a recognisable, common situation.

The good news is; the solution is usually not that complicated. In this article, we take a closer look at terms like document management and document and version management, and explore the benefits of document management software.

What do we mean by document management?

When organisations start digitalising documents, they often have to deal with a mush of information. Especially in knowledge-intensive organisations, fragmentation or contamination can occur over time. Multiple versions of documents may arise, for instance, creating ambiguity. A jumble of protocols, procedures, work instructions, or process descriptions can arise. You can no longer see the wood for the trees.

With document management, you can organise and categorise documents properly or better. You can also make them easier to find. It prevents unnecessary searches and errors.

What de wo mean when talking about a document?

A document is a collection of data, also known as an information source. Documents can be in both paper and digital form. Examples of documents are procedures, instructions, protocols, reports, logbooks, etc.

Documents are often easy to digitalise and manage in a document management system, or DMS. Such a DMS provides more structure and therefore more overview and insight.

What is document management?

A document management system supports your organisation in managing documentation. All documents can be stored in it in a structured manner so that information can be found more quickly. So everyone gets quick access to the right information. Document management also involves, for example, linking administrator rights to documents. This lets you know that management is well organised and that if something needs updating, it will be done. This is how you guarantee document quality.

What is version control?

When you do version control, you keep track of what changes are in a given document, usually over a long period of time. There can be for various reasons:

Sometimes it can be useful to retrieve a specific, older version at a later date. You can do this, if you use a smart version control system, or a DMS.

  1. With version control, you can see what has changed between versions, and who adapted it. This allows you to easily retrace changes or errors, and correct them;
  2. Another advantage is that you can easily undo changes. Errors can be undone with this, and lost documents can easily be restored. All this makes version management within a DMS indispensable.

How does document management contribute to working more efficiently?

When you can quickly find information and the right documents, you work faster and make fewer mistakes. Work instructions, manuals, videos, Pdfs or Excel files; you can put it all in a DMS.

When the DMS can also be used with a mobile app, you can access company documents at any location – even on the road.

When people are involved in maintaining a vital information infrastructure, everyone knows what is expected of them. Such a contribution can be recorded and the process of drafting and assessment is also secured. Thanks to automatic update alerting and being able to assign tasks to colleagues, you can update documents efficiently and in a controlled way. Drafting and review progress is monitored thanks to smart workflows.

All this makes for more efficient business processes, ensuring quality and saving time.

What is a document management system?

A document management system (or a DMS or document management software) helps professionals find up-to-date, approved documents quickly and efficiently. You can use workflows, version control and setting up authorisations.

Documentation can be stored in different types of files. Such as in the form of a PDF, PowerPoint, Word, Excel or CAD file, or even as a video.

A DMS is a tool that helps an organisation manage all processes around documents easily and efficiently.

Modern document management makes searching for relevant information fast and intuitive. One example is the use of interactive documents. By answering a few smart questions, you get information quickly. ‘Noise’ is not shown. That information can include other material besides text, in a single document. You can also put these types of documents in a document management system.

8 benefits of a DMS at a glance:

  1. Always access to up-to-date documentation;
  2. No wasted time due to smart search functionality;
  3. Managing workflows is easy;
  4. Processes such as review rounds and approvals are secured;
  5. The number of mistakes made can decrease, because one always works with up-to-date information;
  6. One is always aware of changes to be made or that have been made. You can even ask for read confirmation;
  7. It is automatically tracked which changes have been made where, and by whom. So you can optimise processes;
  8. And thanks to setting administrator rights, the quality of documents can be guaranteed.

Using a DMS not only saves time. It also allows you to get the most out of your organisation.

Can a DMS also support process management?

So, a DMS offers the possibility to look up documents quickly and ensure quality. But the right document management software package has more to offer.

  • Secure ownership of documents, and assign tasks to colleagues;
  • Link documents to process elements, and make intelligent workflows work for you;
  • Monitor progress and the status of processes, and use automatic alerts.

This way, you use document management software for process management as well. This makes processes more agile for customers, suppliers and colleagues, giving you a head start.

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