Guest post by Julie Tomek – Subject Matter Expert in Document Control management.

There are five key things that make document control a success and they are time management, adaptability, organization, integrity and communication. A wise old uncle of mine once said, it’s not how much you make, it’s how much you can keep. As a Vendor working with any Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) company, there are a few things that can be done to close those Purchase Orders (PO) in a timely and cost effective manner and they are pretty straightforward.

Engineering is all about having a plan by utilizing organizational structures and schedules, they expect that same amount of preparation from their Vendors. But how?

Meeting deadlines, creating opportunity, experiencing an increase in efficiency are all the by products of lucrative time management. A successfully closed PO means data is submitted on schedule with all engineering needs met to complete their designs and an Owner that is satisfied with their Vendor data. A Vendor Document List is a strategically planned detailed list that will effectively aid in satisfying PO commitments. Vendors become preferred when strategic preparation is a strength.

In their award packages, a well organized EPC will provide a lot of information. Read it! Adaptability is being able to customize documentation to the Owner’s facility specifications, while still meeting industry standards.

Having an experienced document controller who understands the work structure, the “language” and the requirements is a huge advantage. During alignment they know what information they need to ensure a smooth organized operation like:

  • the complexities of document identification requirements
  • insight on how to submit documentation
  • knowledge of the EPC’s Data Management System (DMS) or any other software used such as Adobe or FTP sites
  • reporting progress
  • how to organize an effective filing system
  • maintaining a consistent level of quality

A common way to organize files is in a filing cabinet, with perhaps an index in a spreadsheet format. Most EPC’s have moved into or are moving into a totally electronic world. Having your files electronically organized and at your fingertips makes meeting those deadlines streamlined and stress free. Another advantage to having a DMS (Document Management System) in place, is it can compile statistics from projects, allowing for analysis to improve workforce planning. Alignment is made effective and quoting becomes more accurate. It provides easy progress reporting and can assist management to communicate more efficiently.

Communication is an integral part of efficiency. Having a clarification meeting or phone call can provide information right away, rather then having to submit a corrected document multiple times. If there is a document on file that better addresses the need, the new document supersedes the previous submission. Indicating that in a clearly communicated comment on the transmittal, helps proactively clear any outstanding resubmissions that will unnecessarily expense expediting activities later.

Organization, understanding, having the right personnel, the right tools and clear, concise communication are a few key things you can do to have a successful relationship with any Client. These tips enable a business to keep costs down, be more sufficient, accurate and better equipped when it comes to managing data.

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