Networks and storage drives quickly get cluttered when documents are scattered and mismanaged. Most companies ignore robust document control practices because they aren’t aware of how crucial these practices actual are to the success of their organizations. Don’t let your business fall victim to the additional time and effort wasted when you need to track down who’s holding onto (and who’s accountable for) the latest version of a file.
Some key definitions:
• Document version control: the ability to both revise and return to a previous version of a file if ever needed; lets employees view the latest stages of a document as examples of how work should be accomplished to comply with company guidelines
• Document control software: the platform that promotes document control, allowing you to keep track of every version and all users’ contributions
• Organizational awareness: a general term to define effective, consistent management of daily business operations and processes
Document control, the expanded explanation:
It’s common for multiple editors and reviewers to be checking the work of the same person. Document control facilitates a user’s ability to keep track of the lifecycle of his or her work history. It provides a clear view of multiple file versions, creating transparency and eliminating redundancies when changes need to be made across different projects. When you manage your document control processes effectively, distractions like separating “work-in-progress” from “finished work” are minimized.
Controlling Your Documents
- When one of your employees needs access to a customer’s file, version control is essential for making sure the correct documents are ready and available.
- Document control software prevents version collisions at each stage of a working document, keeping all files in one searchable database.
- Version control improves your development workflows by helping you understand changes and combining different versions of a document.
- Document control lets you see the creation date and document activity. Having pertinent information available, such as the date a file was read, commented on and deleted, prevents roadblocks in the revision process.
At the manager’s discretion, files that only need attention from specific individuals are routed to those departments. When you are inside of a working file, it is locked for editing, so that others viewing it are unable to make changes at the same time. Only when you have finished working in the document may another employee begin to make changes. This coordinated procedure guarantees that people are working on the latest version of the file. As management, you are given the tools to allow or prevent employees from seeing specific content.
The best way to maximize your business processes is through managing document control effectively. When you understand the entire history and lifecycle of a document, industry standards are maintained. This increases your chances of a successful internal evaluation and increased customer satisfaction.
Strengthening Your Team
You have highly skilled staff in place. Your business is cranking out new and exciting ideas, but managing your documents is creating extra work and dissatisfaction among the team. Communication challenges quickly arise when employees do not have access to the files they need. To run a successful organization, internal communication between departments is critical.
Document control software allows comments to be added or attached to a document for other users to see. Collaboration across multiple documents and projects is an effective way to strengthen and empower positive employee participation. In a global work environment, this unites a dispersed team through different networks.
One of the biggest wastes of company time is when multiple documents are sent and reviewed by the wrong employees. Re-routing these files takes valuable time away from reaching company deliverables. Document version control saves employees from having to email one another to track down important files. Now, when an employee makes changes to an existing file or creates a new document, it is channeled directly to the appropriate party.
Having information that’s easily shared and accessible across different departments also improves the daily flow of business. When employees understand files they become more knowledgeable and are able to solve problems, answer questions and feel better about their jobs.
Building Your Powerful Workflow Engine
Document control empowers your employees to recognize the source and type of document. A powerful step-by-step workflow is only useful if your document control processes are organized. Implementing a workflow system with document version control informs employees and management of the status of projects that are in progress. When your files are in a permission based shared, common structure, reviewers are able to see if a document has already been worked on, which promotes effective and accurate results.
If you are using folders on a network drive to manage your files, you have most likely experienced version collisions. Listen up: This means your business’s reputation is at stake. When customers need their documents and you’ve misfiled or misplaced a folder, your company has officially lost its competitive edge in the marketplace. Document control software eliminates the guesswork. Knowing where your files are and what versions are being worked on ensures strong communication of ideas and data.
Managing document control successfully facilities employees to construct, revise and finalize business documents with accurate precision. A document that’s polished and finalized without unnecessary steps saves time and eliminates poor decision making.
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