There are many different areas where reaching the standards of ISO9001 can boost your business and it is fair to say that proper document control is a key factor. Having good document control will help you to meet ISO9001 standards through good business practice. Knowing that your employees and departments are working to the same standards will be of considerable benefit to businesses and it should make your organisation run more efficiently and be a general better fit. It is good to have these elements in place to ensure you comply with all legal requirements but for many businesses, good document control is worthwhile because of the way it improves the business.
One of the best things about the IS09001 is that it clearly sets out the expectations for document control, so firms should be in no doubt as to the standard they should look to achieve. The standards expected include:
- To review and approve all documents before they are issued
- To undertake, reviews, updates and then re-approval
- Ensure that all changes and revisions can be identified clearly
- Ensuring all relevant versions of a document be located and accessed
- Ensuring documents remain identifiable and legible
- Clearly state if documents originate externally and that there is proper control of its distribution
- Ensure documents are only used for their proper use
It is apparent that undertaking these steps is more difficult and problematic with manual paper documents in cabinets, which is why many firms have switched over to a paperless document management systems.
There are many benefits to be obtained from switching to a paperless office or workplace environment, including:
Most businesses will sit up and take notice when there is an opportunity to reduce their costs. Switching to a paperless office, even at its most basic level will allow a firm to significantly reduce a great number of costs.
-Access information quicker
Having to retrieve files from a cabinet can take time and if the file is not where it should be, it can take a considerable amount of time to uncover. An electronic file can be looked for on any computer and if it has not been saved where it should have been, it is easier to undertake a computer or network search for the file or document. Moving towards ISO9001 standards should minimise the likelihood of documents being lost but a computer network system provides a backup opportunity to ensure everything is where it should be.
-Create more space
Removing the need for storage cabinets with paper documents will free up the space a firm has. This means the firm can utilise their space more wisely or perhaps even reduce the amount of floor space they rent or use. This may allow a firm to be far more cost effective with their premises.
Ensuring documents are password protected and stored on protected networks will ensure that there is a higher level of security over certain documents. Firms with classified or important information should look to allow certain drives or access levels to certain key members of staff. This will help to ensure important information remains in the hands of those who have a right to access it.
-Can be accessed anywhere
Many firms are taking advantage of remote working opportunities to provide employees with more freedom and flexibility. This can improve employee morale, lower costs without compromising on quality, security or safety, so it is easy to see why firms are finding a switch to a paperless office to be of benefit.
-Make sharing easier
The fact that documents are stored electronically also makes it easier to share documents between different employees. This will speed up the working process and it should also ensure that proper evaluation and checking of work can be undertaken.