What is document control?
Document control is a standardized system of file management within a business. Document control sets protocols for the lifecycle and use of documents, from creation to deletion and everything in between. With proper management, employees will always have access to accurate and up-to-date information at any point in a document’s lifecycle.
Document management is important for most companies, especially for highly regulated industries such as healthcare or industries such as engineering or architecture where precision is of the utmost importance. Document control helps businesses stay compliant with legal requirements and reduces errors.
Even companies that aren’t operating in heavily regulated or precise industries can reap the benefits of document management such as quick file searches, up-to-date information, and improved collaboration. While standards for document control apply to both physical and digital files, we’ll focus on digital files in this article since this is the predominant method of corporate document storage today.
The risks of poor document management
Employees waste time searching for files
The larger a company is, the more complex the task of document control becomes. An enterprise-level organization can generate thousands of new files each day, which quickly turns to chaos without organizational parameters.
On average, employees spend nearly two hours each day searching for files due to ineffective file management. When employees finally give up searching for the document they need, they often resort to recreating the file from scratch. The time employees spend searching for documents or duplicating work is a huge waste of company resources.
Higher chance of errors
Working from an outdated iteration of a file is easy to do when there’s no standard for version control. Without proper document control, your company risks making costly mistakes. For instance, if an architect developed blueprints based on an older version of a file with inaccurate measurements, it could cost the company millions and even endanger lives. When accuracy is essential, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Employees should be able to immediately identify the most up-to-date version of a file so they can complete their work with total confidence.
Ineffective workflows and collaboration
In addition to wasting employee time, poor document control also inhibits collaboration. Without consistent rules governing approvals and revisions, document collaboration can get messy. Document control ensures that when a file is approved, everyone working on it knows. When revisions are made, efficient document control makes it easy to identify versions and what changes have been made.
How Onehub supports document control
Implementing document control protocols can streamline your file management and make your business more efficient and profitable. Onehub’s robust business software can help you create an effective system to govern your business files and document worfklow.
Document control standards for new files may govern things like where certain types of documents are stored, file naming conventions, document formatting, and access levels.
Onehub facilitates fast and easy document creation with its Microsoft Office Online and Google Drive integrations. Users can create new documents directly in the Onehub platform, so they don’t have to switch between multiple applications to get the job done.
Document control improves workflows by standardizing the approval process. Each type of document should have a designated person in charge of approvals, and it should be clear to all involved parties when a file has been approved. Onehub makes this simple with one-click approvals and automatic notifications.
Documents can spend a lot of time in the revision process, so it’s important to have a set of standards to control this phase. The biggest hurdles in the revision stage are identifying the most current version of a document, ensuring that updates are synced, and viewing what changes have been made.
With Onehub’s automatic file versioning, it’s always clear whether you’re looking at the first iteration of a document or the third. Our automated file syncing means that changes are synced across devices in real-time so employees are on the same page no matter where they access the file from. Users can view or restore all changes within a file, and it’s easy to identify who made those changes. These features make document control simple and team collaboration seamless.
Companies often handle sensitive information about employees, customers, or finances that could cause a lot of trouble in the wrong hands. For your company’s digital security, assign every file an appropriate level of access.
As a general rule, provide employees with the lowest level of access possible. You don’t want to inhibit their productivity with parameters that are too restrictive, but you need to ensure that confidential business information is protected.
Onehub provides administrators with granular control over roles and permissions to make it quick and easy to customize individual access at the file or folder level. You can grant, modify, or revoke an employee or client’s access to a document with one click. You can also use the “preview as” feature to ensure you’ve set the correct permission level for a file.
To see all the ways Onehub can support your company’s document control procedures, sign up today for our free 14-day trial!