For those starting or running small businesses, document control may not be something you have considered. After all, isn’t that meant to be for huge, multi-department companies? Actually, even the smallest of companies can benefit from tools that help manage the myriad documents that are created, edited and stored each month.
While smaller companies don’t have to worry about standardisation and compliance in a way that an automotive manufacturer or global accounting practice does, document control has other advantages that make it a very, very useful thing in your daily operations.
Why Every Business Needs to Management Documents Effectively
As the name suggests, document control software is all about managing and controlling your documents. Think for a second how much paperwork your budding company goes through in a typical week. You could have a few contracts that need approval or revisions from your partner, various guides, systems or other procedures for projects you are working on right now, client contracts, business plans for that expansion you are considering, memos and many other documents on the go at any one time.
Now, think about how you are currently managing all of these documents. Perhaps you have an external drive or server where things are dumped in arduously labelled folders. You may even be keeping them on your main drive in a bid to ensure better security.
Revisions are more than likely updated with a manually added date or version number, and with multiple documents being revised in a typical day, a fair amount of effort is spent keeping things organised. If you don’t have an intern or PA, this tiresome task no doubt falls to you or a senior manager of your business.
If you were using tools such as a document control system, things would be done a bit differently. Your document management process would look something like this:
- Documents are stored online, and accessed via a user-friendly dashboard that keeps data secure against any potential threat.
- Documents are set with permission levels, for creating, editing, deleting and approving.
- Version changes are tracked simply and efficiently, so that the most recent version is always accessible.
- Full document history can be viewed at any point, with a clear navigation that cuts down on long hunts to seek the files you need.
- Documents can be accessed online from any computer, anywhere in the world, making it a cinch to collaborate with remote workers and designated freelance staff.
What this means is that instead of doing things the old, far harder way, you can take your business to the cloud with a tool that cuts out time and costs. From small design agencies to emerging start-ups and of course, larger companies, every business benefits from tools that increase productivity.
At the end of the day, no business can afford to be left behind as new technology paves the way for smarter ways of operating. So no matter what size your business may be, perhaps it is time to consider a good document control system this year to keep those documents in order.
photo credit: jovike cc
- License: Creative Commons image source
Christopher Stainow is Chief Executive of Lennox Hill; creators of isoTracker Total Quality Management System & hosted Document Control Software. We ensure the quality of your business processes and documentation to assist in business efficiency. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter.