Digital Documents Control to Achieve the ISO 9001 Standard Requirements

Ever happened to you that your employee used the wrong document and caused a mass? Ever happened to you that a classified information reach the wrong hands and embarrassed you? Ever happened to you that you lost an important document and knew that your boss would get angry? For no reason? If do, please pay attention!

Using Document Control Software usually meets the ISO 9001 Standard Document Control Requirements. The document control requirements is one of the key elements of the ISO 9001 Standard requirements for achieving an effective quality management system. Without reliable control of procedures and records, a company’s QMS integrity will fail – as a practical business matter and as an auditable compliant system.

There are many solutions today for Documents control both manual and digital. In this article I will examine how one can achieve the requirements with digital solutions. Pay attention, we didn’t write software but a digital solution. Digital solution must not be a document control software

There are two kinds of documentations in organizations. The first is the ISO 9001 documentation requirements. For The second, (other than is required) the organization must identify and document “needed” processes (activities with inputs and outputs). Of course documentation should be appropriate for the size and type of the organization, the complexity and interaction of processes, and the competence of personnel. In other words, don’t go over your heads, you would regret it in the future. The purpose is not to turn the organization to be a secretary for the ISO 9001 Standard.

The first level of digital documents control

The first level of digital documents control over organizations is laid with its management systems. Management systems are software designed to support some of the working processes. The system can be an ERP system, a CRM system or any other system. As long that it documents the working processes. Within the system forms are implemented (screens). The system guides you to fill the correct information at the correct location. Eventually, the information is at the right place and time, organized and being controlled. Even distribution of the information is managed. This is what documents control is all about. So, when you are documenting your QMS and prepare yourself for the terrifying audit, any process that is included within the QMS and is documented via the management system – is covered. But you will have to mention it in the procedure. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Basic electronic systems

The most common digital way today is still using the local computer network and email systems for documents control. The Documents management is usually being realized when folders or directories are established and usually it is done locally (a department or a division). The documents are saved on the server for use. Sometimes the system administrator or maybe the quality manager requires that the document would be protected by any changes – the “read only” possibility. The types of documents are varying from forms, procedures, records, plans, work instruction, diagrams etc.

As for routing documents, the email as become the main communication channel. People send as attachments documents for review or for use.

Now, you may think that this is a digital documents control but in fact you only get digital documentation but no control what so ever! Why? First, when you save a document on the server it is actually a manual management and not a digital management. It is correct, the document is digital but the management is manually. The employee saves it in the folder and names the document. He has full control over it. God knows what he is capable of doing with it. Digital document management requires that the document would be submitted via the documents control management system. This way, the system is registering the document and then begins managing his lifecycle. Now, no employee of yours registers any document that he saves on the local net. Correct me if I am wrong.

Second, when you send an email with an attachment it is like exporting a document out of his system and into an individual independent lifecycle. The person who receives this attachment would probably save the massage with the document and whenever he would need it, he would brows through his mails the get the document. Everybody does it. He could make changes and you wouldn’t know anything about it. Tracking those documents, comments made by reviewers, and the final approval history are not automatically accessible in a manual email routing system (which are the common ones). Even if documents are sent through email, system administrators must manually track, update, and communicate the review they receive. To make it more clearly, it is an open loop system. Not to mention the ineffective storage results.

With digital document management system you won’t send the document but a link or any other trigger to access the document via the documents control management system.

Third, even when you save a document and you characterize it as “read only” – that prevents no one from saving the document on his computer, edit it and spread it throughout the organization. Again you are back to an open loop system. Sorry. O.K. Even with the strongest most sophisticated digital documents control management systems you can never, really, prevent that. No matter what anyone tells you. You are depending on your employee and his willing to follow ground rules to ensure regulatory compliance. At the end of the day, we are stuck with the human factor.

So with manual (as if – digital) document control we achieve three things: an open loop method for document management, a document exporting out of the loop and an independent lifecycle for documents. The three things the ISO 9001 Standard is trying to avoid.

Solutions Solutions

The first solution that we offer you is to maintain the present situation (the manual, so called “digital”, management). You must have to support it with documented procedure that describes how one must handle documentation (that is the ISO 9001 Standard requirement) and maintain close control aspects. That would hold against the ISO 9001 Standard but I recommend to overview the requirements just to be sure that you obtain the requirements.

The second solution that I can think of is documents control via the management system. What I mean is that all documentation would be concentrated at one location. Documents are a part of a processes. Some of the processes is documented within the management systems (such as ERP or CRM) and some of it manually (with manually forms). In most systems (the ones that I know) the next module exists. It is a less used module. It is usually called “Titles Management”. The basic idea is to link documents to the process or a record connected with the process within the system. This way you educate the employees to download the documents from one location only. No more documents emailing, no more saving documents on personal computers. This solution requires that all documents would be registered within the system (what a whole a lot of work!). For more details, access your system administrator. This solution is not the perfect one but it would hold against the ISO 9001 Standard requirements. Don’t forget to document the method in a procedure.

If you are willing to invest more of your resources you might consider implementing documents control management software.

Documents control management system

Now, this is the optimal solution. Every quality manager would sleep better at night if he knew that all documents are controlled by a robot (without any feelings and wills other then what is programmed into him). Let’s review the advantages of implementing document management software:

  • Control- this is the most important thing (by the way this is what the ISO 9001 Standard is all about, well, most of it). What do you control?
  • Organization – all documents of all kinds (forms, procedures, plans, diagram and charts – whatever you are using) would be organized, categorized, saved and ready for you to retrieve and use.
  • Distribution – to whom the documents are to be used.
  • Compliance – with your regulatory frameworks.
  • Access information – now, you may think that you have access to most of information in your organization but you would be surprised. With documents control management software you would have the information you need accurately and you would be able to track all documents-related activities to improve quality, accountability and productivity – that means that all information is accessible when ever.
  • Location – the system will manage the location of all documents. No more spreading documents all over the local net.
  • Security – document management software improves security of documents. Electronic document control software programs often use a secure, access-controlled database to store files as opposed to hard-copy storage or network directories.
  • Storage – you would be able to save storage by eliminating multiple documents savings (well, we know that today digital storage is not such a big deal) but Physical storage and retrieval of hard copy documents becomes increasingly problematic as practices grow. And you know it!
  • More?
  • This solution costs. It costs money and human resources – have no doubts about that! But we truly believe that in the long term it pays itself by adding values to the working processes. All of the advantages above are possible to achieve manually by your employees but they are time consuming. And time is money.

    Today there are two possibilities of digital documents control systems: web-based and independently installed.

    The web based solution is simply subscribing to a web site that provides you documents control service. That means that the entire above are provided via the internet. Sounds great isn’t it? As an Internet service, there is no software or hardware to buy, install, maintain, or upgrade. And if the service is not satisfying, just unsubscribe. That’s it. You may access from wherever you are and provide workspaces for people working from home.

    The independently installation is where you purchase a software and install it no your network. You may want it to integrate with your other systems. Now, that will be great for a working process! Today they are usually easy to implement and easy to use and with prices that won’t get your boss upset (too much).

    Summery

  • Using Document Control Software usually Meet ISO 9001 Standard Requirements.
    As for more documentation (other than what is required by the ISO 9001 Standard) the organization must identify and document “needed” processes.
  • The first level of digital documents control over organizations is laid with its management systems. Eventually, the information is at the right place and time organized and being controlled. Even distribution of the information is managed.
  • Saving documents on the local net is not considered a digital documents control management. It is a manual management.
  • Emailing documents for use is exporting documents out of the system and out of control.
  • With manual (as if – digital) document control we achieve three things: an open loop method for document management, a document exporting out of the loop and an independent document lifecycle.
  • First solution is to maintain the present situation (the manual management). You must document the procedure and maintain close control aspects.
  • Second solution is documents control via the management system with a module such as “Titles management”. This solution requires that all documents would be registered within the system. You must document the procedure.
  • Third solution is implementing a digital documents control management system. This solution requires a lot of resources (both financial and human) but it bears a lot of advantages.
  • The first type of a digital documents control management system is an independently installation – you purchase the software and install it on your organizations systems. It may integrate with your other systems.
  • The second type of a digital documents control management system is a web based program – you buy a service for managing your documents via the net.
  • New Payment Technology Solutions for 2012

    There are different payment solutions for different businesses online and different security levels.

    When selecting a provider online you should consider 10 different variables.

    1. How often are you going to need to use this service?

    2. Is the payment system mainly used for credit card merchant services?

    3. Do you want to use the system for transferring money?

    4. What level of security do you want to have on your payment solution?

    5. Do you want to use the system for a specific technology, like selling gaming online?

    6. How often are your transactions processed? Monthly, weekly, annually?

    Different systems will have different fees depending on usage and volumes.

    7. What countries do you want to have your payment solutions available?

    8. What currencies do you want to be able to operate in?

    9. How big is your payment solutions budget on a monthly or annual basis?

    10. How many people are responsible for your payment solutions department?

    Now we will review 3 different types companies in this industry you may be interested in briefly and the differences between them.

    BOXPAY

    Boxpay.com is a solution for mobile technology and gamers. They give E-Business payment solutions technology for their digital wares. This is done through the use of your phone instead of a credit card. Using SMS and Direct Carrier billing. It is available in 35 countries and four continents. For more information on the company take a look at the link above.

    00PAY

    OOPay.com is a solution for offshore payment solutions. On this site you can accept payments for a variety of credit cards to sell products/services for your business. It is available in 27 different currencies for Merchant Accounts and has a low service fee. There are many benefits to this service and it has an easy application process. For more information see the link above.

    PAYPAL

    Of course one of the most trusted and used sites is paypal.com that has been around for several years. You can use paypal to send money, buy and sell services and send payments by email. There are over 269M people that use paypal. You can also use your I Phone, Android or Blackberry to have payment technology systems on your phone. Using secure payment technology you can sign up, choose your bank for security and shop online. For more information on paypal see link below.

    paypal.com

    Enjoy developing your website and make sure to do some research before selecting your payment solutions system, price is not the only decision to base your solution on as per review above and the type of business you operate online.

    Social Media Marketing: A New Business Prime Mover

    What Is Social Media Marketing?

    Almost half of more than 2 billion people who regularly use the internet are addicted to Facebook. Using the social media outlets like this one has been a recent phenomenon, interlinking people through a cyberspace process. And this is the main reason why businessmen should consider social media marketing as a new prime mover of their business for them to hit ‘profit.’

    Social media marketing is a process giving multiple benefits to business owners by way of using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn or Tumblr Accounts to promote brands of products and services. People are very much aware of these social media channels. For this reason, the business owners can expect an incredible increase of their sales volume that is denoting income.

    Comparing it to the conventional way of promoting business brands, i.e. the use of televisions or radios, this newly-discovered method is more powerful in one way or another due to several factors such as:

    1. No territorial boundary;
    2. Greater market;
    3. Lesser investment; and
    4. Simultaneous promotional actions.

    How Does This Prime Mover Work?

    The first factor talks about the spatial aspect. Applying this technique does not put limitation on where should and where should not. There is no delineated and surveyed market territory where a particular business is only allowed to operate. The main medium is the internet and it penetrates almost every geographical line of the four hemispheres of the world.

    The second factor emphasizes quantity. Try to imagine that in a traditional way of promotion, let say TV, it is only feasible to tap those people in a certain locality who are watching the primetime show with the advertisement of this product during commercial breaks. The difference now is that, it might be more doable to persuade more people simultaneously about particular brands through the social networking sites.

    The third factor implies ‘money’ used in the promotion. Paying television networks needs big additional capital. However, opening a Facebook page is free. What is important is to learn about the dynamics of this promotional technique. In fact, there are people who are earning by opening a simple online store in FB.

    The last factor elucidates time. Simultaneous action is indicated in this methodological application. Try to imagine that it is possible to have a lot of social media accounts. And instantaneously, it is probable to promote products and services using those accounts.

    It is quite simple to analyse. The factors being considered are place, people, capital and time. No businessman will tend to neglect these aspects. They are the known as the business pillars. With the presence of social media networks, generating what a businessman calls ‘profit’ has a greater feasibility. Social media serve as the new prime mover of business.

    Business VoIP – Is a Hosted Solution the Way to Go?

    You have many choices to look at when looking at VoIP. Hosted or on site is just one of them. There are good things to say about both. To me it all breaks down to the practical applications. For instance do you have multiple locations. Or do you have any workers that work remotely. Would you like those option somewhere in the future. Are you utilizing MPLS technology. The fact is that now is the time to ask these questions. Not merely do I like the Idea of hosted or on site. My suggestion is to really look hard at what you want your network to look like and then make the choice based on the direction you want to go.

    That being said there are many good reasons to go with hosted solutions. The fact is that as long as you have hosted solution that offers redundant servers, a robust backbone, and an SLA that offers 5 9’s reliability. You can’t go wrong with a hosted solution. Most come with a total package. You eliminate soft costs involved with managing your own system. Best yet, if new features or phones come up you can easily access the new technology with out having to make huge capital investments in software and license costs.

    Also, Voice T1’s/PRI’s can handle 23 calls, so 4 T1’s x’s 23 is 92 calls at once, whereas with Hosted at 40K per voice call you only need 3 T1’s to support 105 calls at once. (40K x’s 105 calls is 4.2MB on a bonded 4.5MB data circuit).

    Another really big advantage of Hosted is that no VPN or VPN appliance is needed for remote offices or home-workers, the SIP stations are very Plug & Play. With Cisco, Shoretel, Avaya etc, a VPN is required to the home, and then, once set up, that station is not too mobile, versus a Plug & SIP station can be taken anywhere in the world and will boot up and work great without VPN. This is huge. In fact, many firms that are embedded with large investments into Cisco, Avaya etc, are beginning to bring a SIP trunk into the PBX and then let the Hosted Provider handle the handshake between the PBX and the Home Workers – it’s more affordable, easier to set up and manage, more mobile, and the quality is more consistent. This is due to the fact that a $2M carrier grade hosted switch does a better job than a $200K PBX as it contains higher grade carrier components such as an SBC (session border controller- a little $200K component) to make things easier – eliminates the need for VPN, gets around firewalls and more. A SIP trunk into a PBX connected to Broadcore, and, for example, 50 home workers on DSL/Cable, would create seamless extension dialing between the Broadcore phones (for example Polycom stations), and the PBX stations – the hosted provider is connected to both, and creates a 4 -digit dialing plan from home phones to PBX phones. Very cool.

    All that being said it is really up to you to decide what is important to your Enterprise. Then seek out the best solution that fits your expectations for the next 5 to 10 years.

    For help finding that best solution … use the no cost service available at Business VoIP Solution.