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A Discussion of Document Control and Management OptionsWhile you have options for choosing an application for document control, the fact remains that most of them aren’t doc control apps and thus weren’t built with document control in mind. Some can work if you have basic documentation requirements and not much in the way of volume, customization, interoffice sharing or other collaboration.

But once you start experiencing any of these in your daily document control work, it can become time-consuming and frustrating. It may also lead to costly side effects like holdbacks and rework from clerical and other errors.

Let’s take a look at popular options for document control and some of the pros and cons of each. At the bottom, we’ll link to our own Comparisons page on our website so you can view a table with each of these options compared to DocBoss.

Is Microsoft Excel good for engineering document control?

Many document controllers use Excel for doc control because that’s what their budget offers and that’s what they’ve always used.

Excel may not be suitable for engineering document control when the volume and complexity of documents become too large and difficult to manage using the program’s built-in tools and capabilities. Additionally, Excel won’t provide the level of security and access control needed for sensitive engineering documents.

Finally, Excel in no way provides necessary customization, version control and other key aspects of custom document control that the typical EPC customers requires. There is also no functionality for completing databooks or submittals at project end.

In such cases, specialized document control software may be needed to effectively organize, track, and control engineering documents. At some point, document control work becomes too big, too customized and too cumbersome to work with a manual system like Excel.

Is Sharepoint good for engineering document control?

SharePoint can be a good option for engineering document control as it provides a centralized repository for storing and managing documents, as well as advanced features such as versioning, check-in/check-out, and access controls.

Additionally, SharePoint can integrate with other Microsoft Office applications such as Excel and Word, making it easy for engineers to collaborate and share documents. As with Excel though, there is typically no functionality for databooks which is a critical job for document controllers.

However, it’s worth noting that SharePoint may not be the best option for all engineering teams, and it’s important to evaluate the specific needs of your team and compare them with the capabilities of SharePoint before making a decision.

Is an EDMS system good for engineering document control?

An EDMS (Electronic Document Management System) may be a good option for engineering document control, as it is specifically designed to manage and organize large volumes of documents and data. EDMS systems typically provide advanced features such as document versioning, check-in/check-out, access controls, and document workflow management, which are important for engineering document control.

An EDMS may also integrate with other systems such as CAD and project management software, making it easy for engineers to access and collaborate on documents.

Additionally, an EDMS system can provide a higher level of security and compliance capabilities than a general-purpose program like Excel or SharePoint.

A typical EDMS also wasn’t specifically designed for document control and typically will not offer the level of functionality of an actual doc control system such as quickly assembling custom databooks and submittals to your external customers at the end of projects.

It’s also worth noting that EDMS systems can be complex and may require specialized training to use effectively. As with SharePoint, it’s important to evaluate the specific needs of your team and compare them with the capabilities of an EDMS before making a decision.

Is CAD software good for engineering document control?

You can often use CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software for document control as many CAD programs include built-in features for version control, file management, and collaboration, which can be used to manage and track changes to documents.

Additionally, there is also specialized document control software that can integrate with CAD software to provide additional functionality for document management if you need it.

But as with the above-mentioned options, the output that document controllers require – customized submittals with complete databooks – isn’t something typically offered.

Check out our Comparisons page for a side-by-side look at each option to see what makes sense for you.