There is a lot of confusion about what digitization, digitalization and digital transformation are, how they are different and what this means for document control. Many people use them interchangeably, but when you dig deeper, you will find that there are significant differences regarding their goals, scope and benefits. In the long run, they share a common goal of transforming legacy processes and operations to fully digital analogs that increase efficiency, transparency and customer satisfaction while reducing costs.
With benefits like these, it’s no wonder that companies are aggressively adopting these changes. The global digital transformation is expected to reach almost $3.3 trillion by 2025 as companies increase their spending on mobile technology, IoT and SaaS.
COVID-19 accelerated this trend and turned digital transformation from a “nice to have” to a “must have” for companies struggling to strengthen their supply chain, improve their operations and empower their WFH workforce. A critical element of digital transformation is improving how your organization manages key documents such as maps, forms, licenses, permits, records and reports.
Regulations Are a Growing Challenge
Every industry needs to manage their important documents, but regulated industries face unique challenges regarding risk management and compliance. They must manage high volumes of critical data, strict reporting requirements and frequently shifting compliance regulations. The most regulated industries are:
- Oil and gas extraction, processing, purifying and refining.
- Power generation, transmission and distribution
- Motor vehicle manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing
In these heavily regulated industries, managing data and documents can be overwhelming. For example, basic ISO 9001 certification requires companies to manage more than 25 different types of documents, records and reports on an ongoing basis so they can be audited whenever required. In general, companies deal with dozens of document types and formats, each of which has its own access control, retention rules and audit requirements. Failure to meet any of these compliance requirements can result in expensive fines, litigation and/or damage to your company’s brand.
No paper filing system can keep up with the ever-growing number of records and constantly changing regulations surrounding them. Studies have shown that high levels of regulations have a negative effect on productivity and innovation. This is where a document control system becomes so valuable.
Document Control to the Rescue
Document control is the practice or practices that organizations use to manage their important documents from creation through distribution, revision, approval and storage. It focuses on structured documents used in the design, development and manufacturing of products. Document control describes the workflows associated with these practices and identifies the roles and responsibilities of all key stakeholders.
Key features of document control include:
- Lifecycle Management: Manage where a document is stored and how it may be used from creation to its retirement.
- Revision History: Creates an audit trail by identifying who revised a document along with a data and time stamp.
- Access Control: Identifies what document functions (create, view, modify, approve, delete) are allowed based on user’s role and location.
- Collaboration: Centralized document control enables company-wide collaboration throughout the entire document lifecycle.
- Compliance: Simplify compliance reporting and audits by ensuring that the correct documents are created, approved and stored.
Document Control Software Makes Everything Easier
Document control software centralizes and streamlines the processes and workflows for all types of documents across the entire lifecycle of your company’s compliance efforts. It automates the review, approval, distribution, retrieval and obsolescence processes of important documents while tracking all revisions to simplify compliance requirements and audits. The centralized, digital nature of document control software makes it ideal for situations related to disaster recovery and business continuity.
Document control software saves time and money by automating key document management processes, preventing errors and centralizing access to important company documentation such as forms, reports, schematics, plans, checklists and much more.
- Centralize Documents: Manage documents in a centralized system and implement consistent, company-wide document approval and workflow processes.
- Integrated Workflows: Integrated lifecycle management and robust template features manage change more effectively and slash the necessary administration effort by automating document reviews and approvals.
- Enhanced Access Controls: Use integrated access controls to share approved documents securely inside your organization or to external stakeholders, all while maintaining a full audit trail.
- Maintain Compliance: Maintain a complete revision history for all important documents to be “audit-ready.” Reduce the risk of penalties and fines by easily adhering to important standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 13485 and ISO 45001.
Intelex Document Control Software is the ideal solution for regulated industries that struggle to manage their documents and records for compliance purposes. Learn more about how Intelex Document Control software can save you time and money by simplifying your compliance activities.