Document control is an essential part of your business efficiency and growth. Data comes at you fast and nonstop. It’s not enough to compile and save information — you need to be able to easily search, find and use that information.
Traditionally, document control was an aspect of quality control that was largely handled in a manual way. This method takes countless man-hours and could lead to human errors that stall or sidetrack the process.
For instance, consider a workflow in which four mandatory forms needed to be completed prior to approval of a process. If one of the forms was misplaced from the file, the process would be deemed incomplete. The next step would then kick the file back to a previous step to locate the missing form — and the entire file would have to be resubmitted. Depending on the size of the company or the entity to whom the file is being submitted to for approval, these types of mistakes might stall you for days or even weeks.
Enter automation. The whole process necessary to complete complex documentation can be configured into a workflow. Document management software helps you to remove human error from the equation.
Benefits of Automating Document Control
Automating a document control system does more than simply save employee’s time (though that is a perk). Here are a few ways that automation improves your entire document control process:
Set Default Workflows for Documents
With document control automation, you can create default settings and workflows for specific document types. Thus, eliminating human error and maintaining consistency across all of your documents. This works kind of like using a template for difficult processes. You create the workflow so that the user moves from one step to the next, without being able to move forward until the steps are completed in the fixed order.
An automated document control system will regulate the document editing and review process and guarantee that employees are working on the most recent version of a document. The automated system will also ensure that any changes to documents are tracked, signed and time-stamped to the appropriate party. This also allows tracking of which parties have copies of the current documentation, and the stakeholders of the project can be alerted if any changes are made.
Real-Time Information for All Parties
Your document control automation solution should offer real-time updates for all parties. If you’re using a solution that’s located in-house, this may only be available in the brick-and-mortar offices that are using networked computers. If you opt for cloud based solutions, the real-time updated information would be available to anyone accessing the file, at any time, anywhere.
Access to Robust Reporting
Your document control solution will allow you to create reports to provide a greater view of the overall process or to pinpoint individual aspects of your documentation. You might create reports to assess the progress of different departments in completing documentation. Another possible feature is to assess individual employee documentation and success rates. If, for instance, you notice a certain employee sees more denials in submitted reports or claims, you might easily determine what the problem is to correct it. You might also be able to pinpoint departmental issues that can be improved.
Your document control management system should provide you with an efficient way to move documentation throughout your workflow. This streamlines every step from creation through completion of a file or project.