No matter what type of business you’re in, it’s almost certain that you are affected in some way by legislation and regulation. Depending on the industry, compliance could be as simple as passing an inspection. But for others, compliance is an ongoing and tedious process that requires significant planning and resources. Whatever the industry, it’s certain that proving your business’s compliance with regulation will involve some type of document.
Taking the necessary steps to meet your legal obligations as a business might seem simple, however, the process, in reality, can be more confusing and difficult than expected. Why? It can be due to the constantly evolving nature of regulation by some industries, difficulties understanding exactly what compliance means, what documents are required to prove compliance, and how each of those documents needs to be managed. This is where a Document Management process is required in your business.
What is Document Management?
Simply put, Document Management is any set of processes or system that is in place to manage a document. Most businesses will have some form of process in place to manage their documents – it could be as simple as just storing these files away in a labeled filing cabinet and physically retrieving these come audit time.
When it comes to proving compliance to regulators, your document management processes need to check the following boxes:
- Are the documents easily retrieved?
- Are your documents up to date?
- Do your documents facilitate compliance within your industry?
- Does your process mitigate risk?
- Are your internal policies and procedures enforced?
- Can you prove your staff have followed your policies and procedures?
When looking at a manual document management process, it’s nearly impossible to answer yes to all these questions. As such, businesses are looking to online, cloud-based document management systems to help manage, maintain, and safely store these important business documents.
What is a Document Management System?
A Document Management System is a software system designed to automate the manual process and workflows of managing documents. The system will manage document creation, document storage, and document distribution throughout an organisation. There are 5 key benefits of implementing a Document Management System in your business
- Improved business compliance with the collection of metadata on every document
- Easier access and document retrieval with a central location for all business documents
- Reduction of business costs as you transition from paper-based to digital
- Increased security to your business with document controls for each document
- Backup and disaster recovery through a cloud-based system
How Can a Document Management System Improve Compliance?
A document management system is among the most essential tools for compliance in highly regulated industries. The compliance requirements for some documents can be very complex and being non-compliant can result in fines, having licenses cancelled, and in some cases, criminal liability. Implementing a document management system in your business will help you track and maintain the compliance records that are essential to your business’s ongoing success.
Some key benefits to your business’s compliance are:
- Documents are securely stored in the cloud, providing back-up and disaster recovery of all your documents.
- Metadata is collected and stored, proving access information of those who have viewed a document, when they viewed it and how for how long.
- Automates and notifies document owners of renewal and review dates of documents so they are always up to date.
- Version controls each new version of an existing document while maintaining the data attached to each document version.
- Can collect and store signatures of those who have read and agreed to the terms of the document, policy, or procedure in your business.
Whatever level of compliance requirements you need to meet, your document management process needs to go beyond just managing active documents. By implementing a document management system, you can make compliance into an integral part of your day-to-day operations, rather than additional, time-consuming work. The right document management system will do that work for – and much more.
To see how dita Solutions can assist you with implementing a document management system for the ongoing management of your workplace documents, please contact us today.