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Are you a document controller or are you in the position of managing this function and are having difficulty justifying the purchase of an application like DocBoss that could help you get a better handle on document control?

Cost is certainly a barrier for many firms these days especially given the economic uncertainly, the continued depressed price of oil and other economic factors that make it difficult for companies to justify a new expense.

Even if that expense might end up not only helping you do your documentation work better but might ultimately save you money and make your customers happier as well.

Last year we ran a survey entitled Supplier vs EPC, Why is Document Control so Painful? that produced a number of interesting results. Among them was the following:

To manage data and documents, 75% of EPC respondents use an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). However, only 2% of suppliers currently have an EDMS in place. Instead, they create and manage their documents using spreadsheets and PDF tools, leading to errors and rework.

How much do errors and rework cost your business in terms of manhours and lost opportunities?

Do customers accept errors in documentation or do they pay attention to them and take this into consideration the next time they choose to do business with you or not?

A further stat from our survey produced the following sentiment:

EPCs don’t choose suppliers based on document management skills. It would seem that although document control is an important factor in the execution of a successful project, a supplier is rarely evaluated on this skill during the selection process. In fact, only 21% of EPC respondents listed supplier document management skills as a criterion when evaluating potential suppliers.

Our survey would seem to suggest that document control is a given, is something that must be done but that your customers tend not to spend much time thinking about.

The earlier quote seems to further indicate that many of your competitors may not view document control as being of paramount either given the small number of them who use an EDMS to automate tasks, reduce errors and do document control better.

On the one hand, you might conclude that you shouldn’t do much to better your document control procedures.

On the other hand, you could look at this as an opportunity. It might not be that difficult to improve your document control work by using an application like DocBoss and separating yourself from your competitors. You could then draw attention to this fact during the bid phase of a project to reassure your potential customer that unlike your competitors, you have a handle on document control and can offer them customized, error-free databooks and other documentation for every project.

Plus, from your own company’s perspective you can also benefit by saving time and money by spending less effort on your document control work, freeing you and your staff to handle other tasks.