With robust document control systems, organisations can benefit from document control practices that ensure that every document has straightforward navigation, hierarchy, and structure.
While building a document control system, organisations must synchronously ensure that the documents remain legible and readily identifiable, using terminology users can understand and adhere to.
To maintain document control, you can utilise 3rd party software that facilitates the document control process.
Stendard Solution™ is a software that fulfils all the above requirements, thus ensuring that any organisation can achieve regulatory compliance to their relevant ISO standards. We also provide a wide range of consultancy services on various standards, such as ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 13485, etc., to refine our software usage further.
Using Stendard Solution™, we hope that all our clients have the proper controls to execute their document control system to achieve a robust quality management system. With that being said, here are tips that you should look out for when maintaining proper document control.
Ensuring that your system accommodates all document types
Documents can come in various types and functions. For example, a job description document has different review and approval process steps when compared to another kind of document, such as a work instruction.
When designing and maintaining a robust document control system, it is vital to ensure that your workflows are versatile and can be applied to the various document types within your organisation. This is to allow personalisation in the entire document cycle.
A flexible document control solution lets you build the system around your processes rather than adapting your processes to the requirements of a piece of software.
Able to configure metadata
In essence, metadata are data that provide information about other data but not the content of the data. Examples of metadata for documents are:
- Review cycle
- Effective date
- Relevant ISO elements
Within the context of document control and document management systems, metadata is crucial to undergo tasks like categorising documents, reporting documents, searching and filtering documents.
Having a document control system that enables the inclusion and configuration of metadata will essentially allow the creation of specific categories, keywords, unique fields and more. With these options, you can better optimise your document control system to meet your organisation’s goals and needs.
Smart business rules for review and approval process
For a good document control system, you must have a controlled process for review, approval and distribution based on the workflow you’ve configured for any specific document type.
Flexible routing options are essential, as are intelligent business rules to reduce inefficiencies and bottlenecks within the workflow process. Here are some tips when constructing smart business rules:
- For complex business processes, a conditional routing option could be used.
- Sending documents to others should be done in a sequential order that makes sense.
- For parallel routing, when sending documents to a group all at once, there should be an option for more detailed rules like moving the document forward if the majority of the people approve it.
- There should be delegation rules to send documents to a designated alternative when the responsible party is out of the office to prevent bottleneck issues.
- Escalation rules send reminders for impending due dates and notify supervisors of an overdue document.
Intuitive Filtering and Data Security
Data and document security are fundamental to compliance and process excellence. You have to ensure that only appropriate personnel can access, approve, review and revise critical documents.
To facilitate that, your document control system has to have easy access and intuitiveness in configuring the viewing, editing, and approving permissions for individual users or groups. This ensures that your team works efficiently, effectively and securely even in multi-levelled organisations.
Enable PDF publication
To prevent potential altering and editing of approved documents, a good document control system should have the function where approved word or excel files must be converted to PDF. This can discourage unwanted file modifications by unauthorised users.
Your document control system should also keep the original, editable attachments hidden and secure for easy access by subject matter experts as part of the change request process.