Yesterday, one of my best friends called me over phone and asked me about business document management and various techniques used to maintain a good documentation system in an organization. He got an opportunity to work as a business document controller in a multinational company and wants to know more about business document management. Hence he is contacting all the friends who have knowledge in this field. In that process, he called me also to get the information and experience from me. We all know that documents are one of the inevitable parts of business activities. Documents can be defined as records of business transactions or processes involved in a business. In big organizations, document systems are managed with the help of document imaging scanner. This system needs software. In the old days, it was a very tedious job to manage the document system when there were no computers. At that time, documents were kept in folders which are stored in cabinets. High retrieval time and chance of losing documents was more in those days.
With the coming of ISO9001, ISO14001, AS9100 etc, there arise the need for a proper document management system for all the organizations. Many organizations are spending lot of money and man hours to generate, store, retrieve, use and proper destruction of matured documents. In many cases, initially the documents may be in paper format and hence needs to be scanned to make it as a soft copy. This conversion of hard copy to soft copy is done with the help of document imaging scannersin which large number of sheets can be scanned simultaneously with the help of document imaging software. As the scanned copies of documents are available, this can be properly indexed as per the requirement and can be saved in designated area of a computer system. This will help to retrieve data very easily when required. During the audits from external agencies (like ISO audits etc), the accessibility of data within retrieval time is very important and will be really useful. Another advantage is that different persons at different location can access the data in the database which saves considerable man hours. Also, chance of losing documents is very less.
With the generation, storage & retrieval of documents, destruction of same after the retention period is also very important. This will save considerable amount of data space in the database and also retrieval of other documents will become easier. Care should be taken to dispose off the matured documents in time. Another important area to be focused is the document management version control. The version or revision of documents is very important in document management system. We need to always make sure that the latest version of documents is stored in our database. There may be considerable difference between two versions of a same document and hence it is very important to monitor the same. For this purpose, current version of the document can also be added with the index of the document system.