The Risk Of Poor Document Control

The Risk Of Poor Document Control: 8 Pitfalls of NOT Using DMS Software

Written by ComplianceBridge Policies & Procedures Team on January 13, 2011

When it comes to risk management, putting money into prevention measures will always pay off in the long run, and document management is one of the most important areas of prevention. Having the proper documentation for your policies and procedures will help you in many ways.

Lacking a robust document management system (DMS) that effectively keeps your employees up to date on company policies can create serious risks for your business. Below, we’ve detailed the risk of poor document control and what an effective document management software such as ComplianceBridge can do to mitigate those risks.

The Risk of Poor Document Control

Loss of Data

In the event of a disaster such as a fire or an earthquake, you run the risk of losing files that only exist in paper form. Even something as simple as a leak in the roof can ruin an entire archive of documents.

Luckily, with document management software such as ComplianceBridge, all policy and procedure documents are kept secure in the cloud. Your files are accessible from anywhere in the world, from any device you log into.

Communication Gaps

Another risk of poor document control is that paper document systems exist only in one place, and are therefore difficult to spread throughout the company. This leads to different departments working off completely different versions of a policy; while one may have the newest and most updated document, another may be using one that is three revisions old. These communication gaps can cause many issues within a business.

A company has many moving parts. There are various employees, multiple departments, and everyone needs access to policy information in order to ensure compliance, make informed decisions, and follow procedures effectively. Because of this, word of mouth is not an adequate form of dispersal when it comes to policies and procedures; it’s important that every employee is not only informed of new documents but has access to them at any point in time. 

ComplianceBridge offers targeted distribution to ensure documents reach their intended audience, and a centralized, cloud-based policy library so that employees always have access to the documents they need. 

Uninformed Decisions

Legal compliance and internal structures are always changing – ideally, updating in efficiency. This can be very hard to do without document management software, as decision makers will be working off of old data about compliance, output, hazards, and risks. This leads to decisions that might have worked two years ago, but are woefully behind the business’s current needs.

This issue is once again solved by having a cloud-based document management system. Decision makers can see real-time updates as employees sign off on policy and procedure documents or as approvers comment during the review process.

Wasted Time and Money

Throughout a project’s development, you’re going to need to refer to policy and procedure documents to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations. This will inevitably take a lot of time, and therefore money, when your employees have to dig through a paper archive to find the files they need.

This risk of poor document control is mitigated by a cloud-based document management system such as ComplianceBridge. Not only will the right DMS make document references a snap, but with a digital system, you’ll no longer need to rent space to house a paper archive, and minimal staff will be necessary for upkeep.

Poor Customer Interaction

No matter your business, customers are going to have issues. These issues often send customer-facing staff searching for the policy or procedure that will help them work with the customer appropriately… which can be difficult and time-consuming if employees have to use a paper manual. 

Central document storage offered by software such as ComplianceBridge will make it easy for employees to find the document that helps them help their customers, preventing any unwanted friction (and maybe even inspiring customers to leave a glowing review about the timeliness of your staff).

Lack of Transparency

In this digital age, it is imperative that customers and the public have a good opinion of your company, and that opinion is informed by your perceived working environment, employee conduct, and more. When some sort of issue arises, whether it’s related to conduct or safety, it is important to be able to supply documentation regarding the steps taken to correct the issue.

ComplianceBridge offers a public portal where your organization can publish documentation that is not proprietary, but lends itself to transparency and forthrightness with your consumer base.

Losing the Competitive Edge

Another risk of poor document control? Not being able to keep up with innovation. The world has been getting bigger and bigger as our technology increases, and because of this, there are a lot more businesses in existence today than there have been in the past. In order to survive in this increasingly crowded space, companies need to improve constantly. Clear communication and a solid bedrock of policy and procedure documentation allow for firm footing when charting a path forward.

ComplianceBridge saves previous versions of documentation, allowing company leaders to look back at past decisions, see how the business has improved, and gain insights into how it can best move forward.

Failure to Comply with Legal Requirements

Perhaps the most overt risk of poor document control, failure to adhere to legalities can cost your company a pretty penny. This often happens when safety policies and procedures are not updated with the newest compliance regulations or when your employees are unaware of the documentation and cut corners.

To help drill in the importance of new policy documents and better guarantee compliance, ComplianceBridge offers escalating reminders to review. However, acknowledging a policy is only half the battle – you also need everyone to understand the content. ComplianceBridge allows you to share follow-up assessments with employees, ensuring that they do. 

Digital: More Cost Up Front, Less in the Long Run

These are only a handful of the risks a company might face when it comes to an inadequate document management system. And as you can see, they can create major issues within your business, leaving you in the red, losing public respect and good employees. That’s why it’s vital to take the time to find a document management system that works for you.

ComplianceBridge offers a centralized document cloud where employees can access the documentation they need – anytime, anywhere. You can target distribution to make sure the right documents reach the right people, send follow-up quizzes to ensure employee understanding of new policies and procedures, and automate the entire policy management lifecycle to save time and prevent accidental errors.  

If you’re hoping to reduce the risk of poor document control and begin reaping the benefits of comprehensive DMS software, request a demo of ComplianceBridge today!

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