Every business has a unique way of tackling their internal document review and approval cycle. However, if your company still employs a manual method to organize this process, you could be sacrificing vital business efficiency. In this article, we will discuss how using a Document Management System (DMS) can streamline your review and approval cycle by organizing your processes, connecting your stakeholder network, and simplifying employee training.
How can a DMS make this process easier?
Organizing your processes
One benefit of a document management system is the organization it can bring to your review and approval processes. Rather than having to print forms out and walk them around the office for the required signatures, documents are routed for review and approval electronically. And, these systems host important capabilities that a traditional method would not allow for. First, these solutions have the ability to make some review routing “required.” This can be helpful if you need to have some users review content but there is one user or user group where it is vital to have their review. If certain review routing is designated as “required” then once that review has been obtained, any other users on the routing are seen as optional and the content can move forward.
Additionally, within a DMS the review and approval routing can both be set to a) anyone in a user group, meaning the first one to review/approve satisfies the routing requirement, b) a specific user or c) everyone in a certain user group. Routing can also be set to be “locked”, so routing changes cannot be made without advanced user rights. This gives your company complete control over the routing process, ensuring every document ends up in the right hands.
Even further, a DMS allows you to utilize tiered routing. There are 2 types of tiers that can be used, Parallel and Sequential:
- Parallel: in this method, the tiers stand independently. People are split up among the different tiers and when the document gets submitted, everyone within 1 tier gets to review/approve at the same time. The document stays in “In Review” status until everyone within their routing tier does their review/approval.
- Sequential: in this routing type, one tier is dependent on another. So, you could put one Approver in Tier 1 and another in Tier 2. The user in Tier 2 does not know they have anything to approve until Tier 1 completes their approval process. Only then does the DMS push it to the next tier of routing.
You can choose either of these routing types depending on your company’s specific goals and who within your routing chain needs to approve different document types. But regardless of the way you set up your review/approval chain, using a DMS gives your business complete control over the entire process and ensures it will remain organized and efficient.
Connecting your stakeholder network
Another major benefit of a cloud DMS is the ease it allows when communicating with your stakeholders. Attempting to host your review and approval process with suppliers, investors, customers, and employees through manual means such as Excel spreadsheets and email leaves a lot of room for error and inefficiency. However, using a document management system, employees save time; companies save money; processes are auditable and compliant; and speed to market improves.
Implementing a document management system with cloud abilities allows anyone with granted access to review and approve any document at any time. Having the ability to quickly access documents and share them through an online workspace, such as an intranet, users are able to work together on the same project with no hassle. Through other collaborative features included in your intranet software, these documents can be saved and shared among employees throughout the organization, or clients and suppliers outside of your organization. Instead of taking time to manually send a document down the approval pipeline, a DMS automated this practice for you. Your company will be better connected to your stakeholders and your business processes can happen much more efficiently.
Managing the flow of all of your training programs manually can be a big undertaking, especially if you are handling employees at multiple locations. You have to make sure the right people are getting the right training at the right time. And, you need to make sure that the entire process is properly documented so if you get audited, you can prove that your employees are qualified. Using a cloud DMS, you can streamline every aspect of the training process. You no longer have to manually organize and track your processes; instead, it can all be automated for you.
Attempting to perform these processes on spreadsheets and unintegrated systems heightens the risk of human error and makes managing a comprehensive training program a painful task. With a cloud DMS, your documents will become centrally located and accessed from anywhere, enabling you to define training requirements based on job title, manage rosters, test comprehension and track the results of training events all in one place. Your company will have the tools needed to deliver training to all of your employees, whether they are in your office or across the world, and confidently demonstrate your training compliance to auditors within a few clicks. Instead of spending precious time and resources organizing HR files and administering training manually, a document management system does the heavy lifting for you.
How can ENSUR help?
Using ENSUR for managing your company’s critical documentation enables organizations to control content across the globe or down the hallway. The ENSUR document control system is flexible, with a secure user-friendly interface and a rich mix of features. These features enable your company to create a more efficient review and approval process.
The ENSUR Document Management System includes the following workflow benefits:
- Document Training (content/compliance-based training)
- Configurable and consistent workflow
- Electronic Signatures per regulatory standards
- Integrated Change Order Management
- Secure, Automated Electronic Distribution
- Easy attachment of supporting materials
- Automated Periodic Review
- Version Control software with major and minor revisions
- 360 Degree Audit Trails and Reporting
- Automated Email Notification through integration with existing email systems
And because we offer Managed Cloud services, the ENSUR document management system may be accessed by your users regardless of where they are on the globe; if they can access your network, they can log into ENSUR. This means that your review and approval cycle will always be running as efficiently as possible.
Request a consultation to discuss how moving your manual processes to a document management system can give you the business efficiency you need with the tools to increase stakeholder communication and streamline your company’s review and approval process.