We recently came across an article that discusses how to reduce document control mistakes and one of the interesting aspects of the 10 listed mistakes is how many of them relate to doing document control work manually.
In other words, many document control mistakes are due to human error ie. making mistakes, forgetting to do things, assuming things are being done by someone else, etc.
In the article they also list a number of applications you can use to address one or more of the listed mistakes. Or you could DocBoss which helps you address all 10 in one fell swoop.
You can read the full list of document control mistakes by clicking on the above-mentioned link but here’s a rebuttal to each of the 10 listed errors and how DocBoss can help with each:
1. Assuming Your Document Files Are Backed up on a Regular Basis
Being a web-based application DocBoss securely backs up each of your files eliminating the need for you to do this manually or worrying that someone else in your company (ie. your IT department) are doing this on a regular basis. DocBoss also offers a number of other important security benefits as standard benefits.
2. Remembering to Save Document Revisions Under a New Name
Overwriting files accidentally, forgetting to save files and making mistakes with various revisions are common mistakes when doing document control work manually. Managing and tracking document revisions is one of the common issues that document controllers face. DocBoss saves previous versions of documents which you can look back on at any given time and even enables you to see who made the changes. So instead of worrying about saving over old documents, DocBoss saves the old versions and ensures you are only ever using the most recent ones.
3. Using a Shared Hard Drive to Store Documents and Files
One of the most frustrating aspects of document control is controlling who can make changes to documents and knowing who made those changes. DocBoss offers four user levels enabling you to decide who has access to each project and ensuring all changes are tracked and are accounted for, by user.
4. Not Using Document Templates
Do you find yourself increasingly provided with custom templates by your customers? If you’ve ever worked with Amec for example, you know how stringent their template is but with DocBoss, it’s not a problem. DocBoss enables you to easily work with customer-supplied templates so that custom document work is a breeze. And you can save the templates for future use if you find yourself using the same one over and over again.
5. Printing Paper Drafts for Review
Perhaps you finish your documentation, submit to your customer, get a response from your customer with required changes and then need to go through the whole routine again to get the changes made by the appropriate staff member(s) and resubmit the documentation for approval. DocBoss automates the flow of documents through any issue purpose sequence (Approval, Construction, As-Built) and routes documents internally for comments and review. With DocBoss you always know at any given time where each document is in the process and you can always tell which projects are on time and which are falling behind.
6. Distributing Final Documents Without Protecting Them
If you distribute final documents in Word or Excel format without protecting them, recipients can make unauthorized changes without you or others being aware. DocBoss converts all your documents to PDF format so there is no chance they’ll be tampered with or changed. You can’t forget to do this as it’s done for you.
7. Distributing Paper Documents to Employees
While DocBoss has a batch printing feature which enables you to print documents if your customers require it, one of the main benefits of DocBoss is that it turns your documents into electronic format, saving on the cost of paper and making delivery more efficient and secure.
8. Not Collecting Out-Of-Date Documents from Your Employees
As mentioned in point #2, revision control is not an issue with DocBoss. There is nothing to “collect” from your customers since DocBoss turns your documents into electronic format as mentioned in point #7. Paper documents (and the associated document control mistakes) are eliminated.
9. Designing Your Own Document Control System
Why bother? As we mentioned here and here in earlier blog posts, the cost and time spent on developing your own document control system isn’t worth it. We created DocBoss so you don’t have it. As the article itself mentions, “it’s much easier to purchase a system designed by document control experts than to build your own software product.”
10. Receiving Document Control Audit Findings
The articles hits the nail on the head when it states “the most common Quality Audit finding is ‘lack of adequate document control.'” While the article refers to document control procedures not being “followed, controlled, back up appropriately, retained or kept in legible condition,” DocBoss adds structure to document control to eliminate these concerns. DocBoss was designed to ensure that when someone in document control quits or is otherwise away from work, their work can easily be picked up and followed. Plus document control mistakes tend to be reduced/eliminated since manual work is significantly decreased.