Is it time to strengthen your document control system? A document control professional can bring a wealth of benefits to a business by improving productivity, increasing profitability, and even streamlining access to crucial safety information—and professional training can help you fully unlock those benefits.
Here’s a rundown of document control: what it is, why it’s important, and how your business can take advantage of document control training.
What is Document Control?
Document control teams are responsible for the full lifecycle management of written company resources such as forms, policies, procedures, manuals, guides, data sheets, technical drawings, or quick reference materials.
The scope of this responsibility can include:
- Preparing new topics and resources for development.
- Reviewing the structure, format, and quality of the written content.
- Approving or staging approval reviews from the appropriate stakeholders.
- Distributing active documents to the targeted audiences.
- Storing and controlling access to working versions of the resources.
- Managing document change and update review cycles.
- Ensuring security of any sensitive or proprietary information in written formats.
- Withdrawing outdated resources from circulation and archiving or disposing of the content.
In short, the professionals in this position help to ensure that the necessary documentation is available for specific and appropriate audiences within your organization, while staying up-to-date and reliable.
You’ll also find that an experienced document controller will naturally improve resource organization and continually ensure that all documents uphold the standards of your brand and industry. It’s an important (and often necessary) role in a number of industries and sectors, from product engineering to field construction and operations.
The Benefits of Document Control
There are quite a few benefits of document control worth noting, including:
It’s Necessary for Your Technical Writers
Technical writers always need up-to-date, accurate information to do their work, meaning that they need access to appropriate source documents. If your writers are given incorrect details to start a project, they could unknowingly be producing content, whether for your employees or customers, that is inaccurate or outdated.
Similarly, if document versions and changes are not carefully monitored during a project, writers could easily access old file copies that don’t align with another writer’s or engineer’s information. If this progresses, you could end up faced with conflicting details down the line, costing additional time to resolve, or creating inconsistent information for your employees.
It’ll Save Your Business Money and Time
One of the most overt benefits of document control is the money and time it will save you. Document control will ensure that information is easily accessible, correct, and constantly maintained. Your employees won’t have to go chasing down their coworkers to ask questions, spend time double checking information, or looking for the correct documents elsewhere within your company. The productivity that document control brings to a company will be noticeable right away.
In addition to structuring internal productivity, proper document control ensures that your business resources are always ready to be outward-facing for new customers and industry regulators alike. It saves money by ensuring you’re compliant with any industry standards, and helps avoid unnecessary fines during routine audits.
It Can Save Lives
Another major benefit of document control is the fact that it increases safety. Your employees will be able to access safety information, user manuals, training materials, and more that give them the information they need to perform their job as safely as possible.
Worksite safety is achieved with thorough onboarding and certification of your employees, along with continual training and current resources. As your worksite, equipment, or procedures change and improve, so should your documentation, driven forward by your document control team—they could end up saving lives.
What if Document Control Goes Wrong?
If your document control department is vacant, or the employees responsible for the position are not adequately trained for its duties or your industry, it can have disastrous consequences for your team.
Some potential consequences of not having accurate documentation include:
- Failure to be compliant with industry, state, or federal regulations, which could result in heavy fines
- Out-of-date information that negatively affects production time
- An increase in incidents due to poor training or lack of necessary information
- Wasted time, money, and effort while employees looks for the appropriate resources
- Potentially incorrect information that can lead to accidents, lawsuits, and other issues with employees and customers
- Loss of customer satisfaction and profits
Can You Benefit From Customized Training?
Document control is a field with many best practices but no single best fit until it is tailored to your company. Even if you already have document control in your organization, you could benefit from customized training.
Every business is unique in their capacity and tools to store and distribute active documents. This includes their needs to layer visibility for the document users, and ensure that information integrity is secure from degradation, loss, or theft. Individualized training sets up standards for protecting current document systems as well as establishing consistent preparation, review, and change protocols for the document’s lifecycle. Cumulatively, a customized document control program helps your business meet industry standards and regulations and promote access to relevant information for employees and clients alike.
Starting with a comprehensive analysis and assessment, Shea Writing and Training Solutions, Inc. can determine where the gaps lie in your current system, and develop customized training solutions and programs. These include workbooks, self-study materials, on-the-job training guides, visual aids, and more.
If you’re curious about learning more about our training services and solutions, make sure to check out the process here and use the form at the link to contact us with any questions.
The importance of document control can’t be understated. Your business and employees will benefit from the watchful eye of the department by lowering costs, increasing safety, saving time, staying compliant, increasing customer satisfaction, and more. Is it time to bring your document control up to speed?