There are plenty of ways to improve how you do document control. You can spend a great deal of time “improving” a process by making what you currently do less manual – ie. your Microsoft Excel usage – but at the end of the day you’re still doing things manually and leaving yourself open to the errors, rework, etc that doing work manually tends to create.
I recently came across an article from several years ago that discussed improving your document numbering rules but as the article shows, you’re essentially still doing the work manually and not addressing any of the other things that cause you time-consuming grief with your document control work.
From DocBoss’s perspective, document controllers should not be creating their own numbers. Use a format like [SalesOrder]-[DocCode]-[Sequence]-[sheet] ie. S1234-B01-001-01 and stick with it. This is in addition to customer, end user and sub-supplier numbers. The document number never changes but the revision number will change as will the title. Use transmittal numbers when sending and track every in/out document by document number.
Revision control – and understanding which document is the most recent – tends to be an issue that document controllers face regularly especially when they use Microsoft Excel or another non-document control specific application.
With DocBoss, this is never a concern since DocBoss helps you establish your numbering protocols up front and then automatically keeps track of revisions – and past document versions that you can refer to – along with always tracking who made the changes in the first place.