We all understand the importance of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system. An ECM helps to keep track of all organization information in a centralized location, helps regulatory compliance, can increase productivity, deal with auditing and versioning and speed up the business process. However, an ECM is typically a platform that needs configuration.
An ECM is an investment and initially, in particular, a large monetary and resource outlay. Stakeholders expect an organization to optimize the use of the company ECM and gain value as fast as possible. This value can only be realized after it has been configured and comes from users having access to the configured ECM and its content. That means access to documents and other data. Longer term value can be derived from other business process applications and integration to other line of business systems, like SAP or Salesforce.
In acknowledging that users need access to documents and content, it is imperative that the content is accurate, relevant and is the latest version. In other words, the content needs to be managed using a set of processes, e.g. managing your documents within your ECM sometimes called document change control or managing policies and procedures. It is only when these processes are utilized that the true value of your ECM is realized.
A robust Document Change Control process should be an integral part of your ECM to ensure there is a standardized method to efficiently and promptly manage the creation, revision and obsoleting of company documents. Every aspect of auditing and compliance verification is determined through the scrutiny of documented evidence. How else can you be assured that the latest procedure is being used on the production line and that your products are being fabricated as your customers require. Document Change Control is a process that ensures controlled changes to those documents (e.g. SOPs, design specifications). Integrating a Document Change Control tool into your Content Management system can assure you of having up to date, relevant and compliant Content Management system content.
Historically this functionality has been restricted to just policies and procedures, but more and more often other departments are seeing value in managing their document versions in a more structured way. For example, a company’s marketing materials such as brochures or pamphlets can also be managed and improve consistency and reduce time to approval.
KineMatik Business Process Applications for Extended ECM includes an off the shelf Document Change Control application. This application automates and controls the document change management processes in a workflow driven environment while utilizing the document management and security features of Content Suite. This Document Change Control application, integrated with Content Suite, automates your document revision processes, review and approval assignments, documents review periods while providing notification alerts for any workflow assignments and reporting. Reports can help document owners determine if a change to a related document means that your document needs to be updated also.
With all the inherent benefits of a Content Management system most organizations understand the need to have a document control process in place. It is critical that the Document Change Control process is an integral part of the overall Content & Quality Management solutions.
For more information on any items in this blog please contact KineMatik on firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author:
Dr Aaron Norman is SVP of Operations with KineMatik, an OpenText Solution Extension Partner and a provider of OpenText Content Suite business applications.
* OpenText is a global leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM)