A Guide to Document Control and Tracking for Businesses

A Guide to Document Control and Tracking for Businesses

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Growing businesses are heavily dependent on many things, documents included. As a business grows, it’s expected to have and deal with more documents. To keep things in order, department heads and quality managers must enforce a robust document control and tracking system. This can make or break the business, depending on how efficient this is.

But, what exactly does this entail? It may sound simple at first glance, but there’s a lot of thought and process that goes into document control and tracking. Especially as technology brings in automation with apps and sites like jSign.com, growing businesses have quite a change to implement. It’s a lot to learn, but it’s doable once you know its basics.

Here’s a guide on document control and tracking if you have a growing business:

Understand What Document Control Procedures Are

Document control procedures can differ from one business to another. But, general processes fall under the realm of document control procedures. Identifying those can help ensure a strong foundation of the document control and tracking strategies your growing business implements.

To start, these are some of the procedures that fall under document control:

  • Document creation. This refers to identifying who creates certain documents and how they’re created. Document creation can also include details like the format, among other technical aspects.
  • Document publishing. This defines the control parameters users must follow when deciding how and where to publish documents and who gains authorized access to those. Certain publishing requirements also indicate any security restrictions a specific document may have, particularly internal and external access.
  • Document review and approval. In this process, quality assurance procedures are reviewed to ensure the accuracy of every document published and filed on record.

Hire a Good Document Control Team

Even if you have the latest document control, tracking, and management software, this can’t replace your human employees. After all, those systems aren’t going to run themselves. You’ll still need the presence of well-trained employees who can help you in using that software.

This is why it’s a must to ensure you’re hiring only the best members to comprise your document control team. The head document controller, among others, should have top-notch qualifications. They’re responsible for the management and timely preparation of all your documents. This includes tasks like sorting, filing, and even retrieving specific documents on file, which have to be pulled out for certain projects or business functions.


Ensure Integration with Microsoft Office

Software for document control and tracking has come a long way. Nonetheless, most businesses today still predominantly create files on the Microsoft Office suite using Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Henceforth, make sure that whatever type of software you use, it can easily be integrated into your Microsoft Office suite.

Through integration, changes made in the document control and tracking software automatically sync with your Microsoft Office files, and vice versa. This preserves the accuracy of documents when you can make changes in real time.

Let Those Papers Retire

While physical paper is still prevalent across various industries today, this doesn’t mean the reliance on it today is what it was many years ago. All thanks to technology, many businesses are considering making the big switch to automation.

That said, let those papers retire. By doing so, you can hit multiple stones in one go:

  1. Your business becomes a more environmentally friendly one.
  2. You may finally be able to reduce expenses concerning office supplies, particularly paper.
  3. It’s undeniably more efficient to control and manage softcopy documents on your computers rather than have to physically sort through hundreds of papers in your cabinet.

Establish Clear Roles with the Document Control and Tracking Team

Even the latest control and tracking software and systems can’t do the job they’re slated to do if your team members are running in circles like a headless chicken. They need to have a sense of organization and direction in their respective jobs. This begins with ensuring everyone knows what their roles are.

There are no overlapping job functions when team members know what they have to do and can’t do. This might only be a simple step, but it has a major impact on ensuring the smooth flow of operations, from the first point in document control and tracking up to the last.

Keep Everyone Informed of Changes

There’s no document control and tracking to speak of if the team assigned to perform those functions isn’t on the same page with company news and any changes. Say, for instance, you’ve decided to change your tracking system. So now, files have to be named in all caps rather than in small letters. It’ll be a big headache for the one who goes through the files when there are old files named in small letters and newer ones updated in big letters.

Any change, no matter how small it may be, should be properly disseminated to everyone on the team. Share such announcements on a common app, dashboard, or group chat. You can also place them in an inconspicuous area in your office so you’re certain no one misses out on any announcements.

Get to Know the Benefits of Document Control and Tracking

Lastly, it’s also a must to get a grip on why document control and tracking are of the essence. Knowing what these tasks can do for your business can make all the difference in pushing for good document control and tracking procedures daily despite any bumps that may be experienced along the way.

Document control and tracking are the best proof of compliance with document standards and operational efficiency. Along with that, there are other benefits:

  • They boost productivity within the organization.
  • They improve the safety and storage procedures of documents.


The Bottom Line

A growing business goes through quite a lot of processes and changes. It has to keep up with business operations and cycles; otherwise, growth becomes impossible.

Given how documents are an essential part of any business, it’s safe to consider them one of the most important facets of running a business. Having either too few or too plenty documents is detrimental for business. To avoid such instances, document control and tracking are a must.