Digital Documents Control to Achieve the ISO 9001 Standard Requirements

Ever happened to you that your employee used the wrong document and caused a mass? Ever happened to you that a classified information reach the wrong hands and embarrassed you? Ever happened to you that you lost an important document and knew that your boss would get angry? For no reason? If do, please pay attention!

Using Document Control Software usually meets the ISO 9001 Standard Document Control Requirements. The document control requirements is one of the key elements of the ISO 9001 Standard requirements for achieving an effective quality management system. Without reliable control of procedures and records, a company’s QMS integrity will fail – as a practical business matter and as an auditable compliant system.

There are many solutions today for Documents control both manual and digital. In this article I will examine how one can achieve the requirements with digital solutions. Pay attention, we didn’t write software but a digital solution. Digital solution must not be a document control software

There are two kinds of documentations in organizations. The first is the ISO 9001 documentation requirements. For The second, (other than is required) the organization must identify and document “needed” processes (activities with inputs and outputs). Of course documentation should be appropriate for the size and type of the organization, the complexity and interaction of processes, and the competence of personnel. In other words, don’t go over your heads, you would regret it in the future. The purpose is not to turn the organization to be a secretary for the ISO 9001 Standard.

The first level of digital documents control

The first level of digital documents control over organizations is laid with its management systems. Management systems are software designed to support some of the working processes. The system can be an ERP system, a CRM system or any other system. As long that it documents the working processes. Within the system forms are implemented (screens). The system guides you to fill the correct information at the correct location. Eventually, the information is at the right place and time, organized and being controlled. Even distribution of the information is managed. This is what documents control is all about. So, when you are documenting your QMS and prepare yourself for the terrifying audit, any process that is included within the QMS and is documented via the management system – is covered. But you will have to mention it in the procedure. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Basic electronic systems

The most common digital way today is still using the local computer network and email systems for documents control. The Documents management is usually being realized when folders or directories are established and usually it is done locally (a department or a division). The documents are saved on the server for use. Sometimes the system administrator or maybe the quality manager requires that the document would be protected by any changes – the “read only” possibility. The types of documents are varying from forms, procedures, records, plans, work instruction, diagrams etc.

As for routing documents, the email as become the main communication channel. People send as attachments documents for review or for use.

Now, you may think that this is a digital documents control but in fact you only get digital documentation but no control what so ever! Why? First, when you save a document on the server it is actually a manual management and not a digital management. It is correct, the document is digital but the management is manually. The employee saves it in the folder and names the document. He has full control over it. God knows what he is capable of doing with it. Digital document management requires that the document would be submitted via the documents control management system. This way, the system is registering the document and then begins managing his lifecycle. Now, no employee of yours registers any document that he saves on the local net. Correct me if I am wrong.

Second, when you send an email with an attachment it is like exporting a document out of his system and into an individual independent lifecycle. The person who receives this attachment would probably save the massage with the document and whenever he would need it, he would brows through his mails the get the document. Everybody does it. He could make changes and you wouldn’t know anything about it. Tracking those documents, comments made by reviewers, and the final approval history are not automatically accessible in a manual email routing system (which are the common ones). Even if documents are sent through email, system administrators must manually track, update, and communicate the review they receive. To make it more clearly, it is an open loop system. Not to mention the ineffective storage results.

With digital document management system you won’t send the document but a link or any other trigger to access the document via the documents control management system.

Third, even when you save a document and you characterize it as “read only” – that prevents no one from saving the document on his computer, edit it and spread it throughout the organization. Again you are back to an open loop system. Sorry. O.K. Even with the strongest most sophisticated digital documents control management systems you can never, really, prevent that. No matter what anyone tells you. You are depending on your employee and his willing to follow ground rules to ensure regulatory compliance. At the end of the day, we are stuck with the human factor.

So with manual (as if – digital) document control we achieve three things: an open loop method for document management, a document exporting out of the loop and an independent lifecycle for documents. The three things the ISO 9001 Standard is trying to avoid.

Solutions Solutions

The first solution that we offer you is to maintain the present situation (the manual, so called “digital”, management). You must have to support it with documented procedure that describes how one must handle documentation (that is the ISO 9001 Standard requirement) and maintain close control aspects. That would hold against the ISO 9001 Standard but I recommend to overview the requirements just to be sure that you obtain the requirements.

The second solution that I can think of is documents control via the management system. What I mean is that all documentation would be concentrated at one location. Documents are a part of a processes. Some of the processes is documented within the management systems (such as ERP or CRM) and some of it manually (with manually forms). In most systems (the ones that I know) the next module exists. It is a less used module. It is usually called “Titles Management”. The basic idea is to link documents to the process or a record connected with the process within the system. This way you educate the employees to download the documents from one location only. No more documents emailing, no more saving documents on personal computers. This solution requires that all documents would be registered within the system (what a whole a lot of work!). For more details, access your system administrator. This solution is not the perfect one but it would hold against the ISO 9001 Standard requirements. Don’t forget to document the method in a procedure.

If you are willing to invest more of your resources you might consider implementing documents control management software.

Documents control management system

Now, this is the optimal solution. Every quality manager would sleep better at night if he knew that all documents are controlled by a robot (without any feelings and wills other then what is programmed into him). Let’s review the advantages of implementing document management software:

  • Control- this is the most important thing (by the way this is what the ISO 9001 Standard is all about, well, most of it). What do you control?
  • Organization – all documents of all kinds (forms, procedures, plans, diagram and charts – whatever you are using) would be organized, categorized, saved and ready for you to retrieve and use.
  • Distribution – to whom the documents are to be used.
  • Compliance – with your regulatory frameworks.
  • Access information – now, you may think that you have access to most of information in your organization but you would be surprised. With documents control management software you would have the information you need accurately and you would be able to track all documents-related activities to improve quality, accountability and productivity – that means that all information is accessible when ever.
  • Location – the system will manage the location of all documents. No more spreading documents all over the local net.
  • Security – document management software improves security of documents. Electronic document control software programs often use a secure, access-controlled database to store files as opposed to hard-copy storage or network directories.
  • Storage – you would be able to save storage by eliminating multiple documents savings (well, we know that today digital storage is not such a big deal) but Physical storage and retrieval of hard copy documents becomes increasingly problematic as practices grow. And you know it!
  • More?
  • This solution costs. It costs money and human resources – have no doubts about that! But we truly believe that in the long term it pays itself by adding values to the working processes. All of the advantages above are possible to achieve manually by your employees but they are time consuming. And time is money.

    Today there are two possibilities of digital documents control systems: web-based and independently installed.

    The web based solution is simply subscribing to a web site that provides you documents control service. That means that the entire above are provided via the internet. Sounds great isn’t it? As an Internet service, there is no software or hardware to buy, install, maintain, or upgrade. And if the service is not satisfying, just unsubscribe. That’s it. You may access from wherever you are and provide workspaces for people working from home.

    The independently installation is where you purchase a software and install it no your network. You may want it to integrate with your other systems. Now, that will be great for a working process! Today they are usually easy to implement and easy to use and with prices that won’t get your boss upset (too much).

    Summery

  • Using Document Control Software usually Meet ISO 9001 Standard Requirements.
    As for more documentation (other than what is required by the ISO 9001 Standard) the organization must identify and document “needed” processes.
  • The first level of digital documents control over organizations is laid with its management systems. Eventually, the information is at the right place and time organized and being controlled. Even distribution of the information is managed.
  • Saving documents on the local net is not considered a digital documents control management. It is a manual management.
  • Emailing documents for use is exporting documents out of the system and out of control.
  • With manual (as if – digital) document control we achieve three things: an open loop method for document management, a document exporting out of the loop and an independent document lifecycle.
  • First solution is to maintain the present situation (the manual management). You must document the procedure and maintain close control aspects.
  • Second solution is documents control via the management system with a module such as “Titles management”. This solution requires that all documents would be registered within the system. You must document the procedure.
  • Third solution is implementing a digital documents control management system. This solution requires a lot of resources (both financial and human) but it bears a lot of advantages.
  • The first type of a digital documents control management system is an independently installation – you purchase the software and install it on your organizations systems. It may integrate with your other systems.
  • The second type of a digital documents control management system is a web based program – you buy a service for managing your documents via the net.
  • What Is Digital Transformation And What Does It Really Mean For Your Business?

    What Is Digital Transformation?

    The Global Center for Digital Transformation says that “organizational change is the foundation of digital business transformation”. That’s because changing the nature of an organisation means changing the way people work, challenging their mindsets and the daily work processes and strategies that they rely upon. While these present the most difficult problems, they also yield the most worthwhile rewards, allowing a business to become more efficient, data-driven and nimble, taking advantage of more business opportunities.

    Define ‘digital’ in digital transformation

    While the focus is on changing how the business works at every level, technology underpins all digital transformation projects. But what technology?

    Obviously this changes as time goes on, but typically businesses want to adopt technologies that help them harness and make sense of the vast quantities of data they are sitting on, as well as preparing for trends like the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile.

    That means analytics tools are high up on the agenda, as well as cloud computing, which lets you store data outside your own data centre, potentially closing this down. You might also want to focus on collaborative tools, like file-sharing, mobile devices, and apps, that let your employees work wherever they are, and which give them instant access to information – especially useful for salespeople visiting customers, for instance.

    What Digital Transformation Means For Your Business?

    Accepting and moving toward digital transformation doesn’t simply mean jumping on every technological bandwagon that comes along. Doing that is like putting a bunch of cut up vegetables in a pot and calling it soup. Unless you put the right ingredients in the pot and turn on the stove, you’ll never make soup-at least not soup that anyone wants to eat. Instead, each company has to spend some time thinking about what digital transformation really means for them.

    Companies need to think about transitioning core business processes and digitalizing the client/business process first. They have to think about which applications, platforms, and solutions fit into their culture, daily operations, and budget. There is unfortunately no cookie cutter solution that businesses can opt into. It’s a process that requires personalization and a knack for following trends.

    Digital Disruption And Focusing On The Consumer

    Digital disruption is another key term that describes what digital transformation can do in society at large. Smartphones created a disruption, Uber created a disruption, and wearable technology continues to create disruptions. With each key technological advancement, the daily lives of consumers change a little more. The norm is shaken up, and the advancement adds value to consumers. Businesses that take advantage of the new changes, and who understand how these changes affect daily life, can modify their practices to meet the needs of the consumer.

    Consumer-centrism is one way to ensure that you’re meeting the demands of the digital age. Knowing where your customers are interacting online and how you can meet them on their own turf will enhance your ability to make their lives easier and to make sales. Every business has to think about digital transformation and the power of disruptions now. There is no longer time to take baby steps and get your feet wet. It’s a sink or swim environment for many businesses.

    Planning Ahead For Digital Transformation

    Digital transformation is both an end result and an ongoing process. You have to make the initial move, and then you must continue to evolve or be forced out. There is no quick fix for digital transformation. When you sit down with your team to discuss your company’s digital future, think about the near future, but also the long-term goals of your company. To maintain relevancy, you will need to implement digital solutions that keep your company moving forward into the digital era and not standing still or moving backwards.

    At every step, think about the business experience. What can you implement to streamline in-house operations? What can you implement to facilitate customer interactions? These aspects that will drive your digital transformation. For some companies that may mean adopting an integrated payment solution so that customers can login to an online portal and pay their bills. For others, it may mean getting on social media and posting relevant content on a regular basis. Any move to the digital space is part of the digital transformation.

    Over the long term, the digital experience will shift. How can you make changing an easier part of the business process? Transparency, a group mission toward digital relevance, and constant listening to customer behaviors may all be important for shifting your company’s focus away from legacy business practices and to a more digital oriented future.

    If your business is seeking to get into the race of digital transformation, it is important to act right now. Late adopters can have serious disadvantages since the competition is already in the domain. If you are looking to adopt a business model that utilizes a digital core, we can help. Embrace the digital transformation with the best developers to get to the forefront of change.

    Digital Signage Companies – Step-By-Step Procedure of Finding the Best Digital Signage Company

    Finding the best digital signage company can be a daunting task for anyone, especially for people who don’t know how to find the best among the horde of companies today. This article was written with the intention of helping you find the best digital signage companies, and choose the one that is perfect for your business. It is the first step that you need to take before you start looking for the digital solution that your business needs.

    The first thing that you need to do is to search the Internet to find all the digital signage companies that are promising to help you with your digital display needs. Create a list and once you have it, the next thing that you need to do is to visit their website and learn more about the company. This will give you an idea of what these digital signage companies are all about, and their experience when it comes to providing digital display solutions. Choose the companies that are experienced enough and proceed to the next step.

    Once you have reduced your list of companies down to 3 or 5, the next thing that you need to do is to find more information about them “outside” their website. This would include the information that you can get from their current and past customers, and reviewers who are giving insider information about different digital signage companies. By doing this, you will be able to find everything that these companies are trying to hide, and learn more about them and the service that they are offering.

    Now that you have reduced your list to less than 3 companies, the last thing that you need to do is to go back to their website and check the digital display solutions that they are offering. You might want to take note of their prices and compare it with the other digital signage companies. This will help you find the solution that your business needs, and choose the company that can provide it at the lowest price possible.

    Always remember that it is not enough to use digital displays for your business. The results that you can get from it will still depend on the digital signage company that you hired. This the reason why it is very important for you to choose the one that has everything you need, and is proven to provide the best service in the industry.

    Why BlackBerry Smartphones Are the Perfect Business Solution

    BlackBerry smartphones excel in business communications and are one of the leading business mobile solutions. The BlackBerry smartphone can offer plenty in terms of its capabilities to ensure that you are always staying connected with your business. A BlackBerry smartphone will accommodate all of your email, phone and business needs into one handset.

    This means you are able to manage all of your business communications efficiently, with the ability to integrate your BlackBerry smartphone software into your IT systems, resulting in a mobile office. Alongside this the BlackBerry smartphones Internet capabilities can improve your business communications via the linking of up to 10 email accounts, meaning you will never lose track on that important email.

    Your business may communicate to people online via social media sites, which is also covered by utilising software that can help you stay connected with all the various sites that you broadcast from. Alongside all of these features that can improve your communications there is also the multi-media side. You can personalise your phone with applications ranging from games to useful business tools. The camera can prove to be valuable in many organisations and incorporates a high picture quality.

    BlackBerry smartphones also have features such as maps, organisers and web browsers, combined to ensure that everything you may need is available to you. What you may not have heard of is some of the BlackBerry’s more professional features that can offer numerous ways to keep your business fully connected. Using the BlackBerry’s Enterprise Server you can ensure that your business communications are at their maximum, connecting your existing systems with your new BlackBerry mobile to ensure that you always stay secure and connected wirelessly.

    This alongside BlackBerry’s own mobile data system (or MDS) you are given everything that you will need to develop your business connectivity as you are able to control all aspects of communications through your BlackBerry smartphones. A BlackBerry smartphone can integrate with other business software to improve efficiency and keep costs low. For instance your BlackBerry device can integrate with a digital pen ensuring important documents are transmitted instantly back to the office in an electronic format such as a PDF.

    Another great thing about the software is that you will not need to purchase any additional hardware, meaning the costs are kept down. The software works alongside any data plan that is internet service enabled or if you have a BlackBerry enterprise data plan, meaning you can jump straight into your BlackBerry smartphones full potential.