Top 5 Benefits of Electronic ISO Document Control
ISO process management can be a headache. By using software solutions from Skytizens, your company can save tons of time and money on ISO document control, task management, and process workflow.
ISO certification can be a headache.
For a company going through implementation of ISO 90001, ISO 14001, or ISO 27001 projects, there is a high level of accountability that comes with certification.
From the regulation documents to the records, forms, and reports of ISO activities, there are a ton of requirements that go into the ISO certification process. Keeping track of all this paperwork is dizzying.
Though difficult to manage, enterprise software developers are coming up with solutions that make things more convenient than ever. Once ISO task management goes digital, things become easier. Even more incredible are the modern cloud-based ISO management solutions on the market today. Has your company considered moving ISO processes onto the cloud to get rid of the headache?
Here are the top 5 benefits of cloud-based ISO Document Control.
Access to Documentation
To comply with ISO 9001 certification, manufacturing and service companies are required to collect, update, and share a massive library of ISO documents with single point access.
Some of the documents that need to be available are all the instructional and procedural paperwork concerned with how business is conducted. This includes the quality manual, ISO procedures, quality policies, objectives, process flowcharts, work instructions, and more.
Integration with Workflow Processes
Beyond access, the evidence of how things have actually been handled by the enterprise needs to be available. These are called ISO records.
That means that any ISO-related workflow process that goes through the enterprise’s system needs to be recorded. Internal and external auditors at all levels need to be able to prove each step and authorization along the way.
This is nearly impossible with paper. With digital record keeping, we have the possibility of integration. When the same program manages ISO document control and ISO task management, the two modules store and share information in the same repository.
Though most companies have separate Document Management Software (DMS) and ISO Process Management Software, cutting-edge developers have come up with solutions that combine the two.
Skytizens, a team of Alfresco experts working with manufacturing clients across Asia, has developed a full range of Alfresco ISO solutions that tackle both documentation access and record keeping. Since Alfresco is a cloud-based application, this platform offers single-point access, which completes the requirements.
One crucial aspect of ISO compliance is the ability to ensure that no part of the ISO process has been misrepresented. The essential purpose of ISO compliance is assurance that the company operates under the full regulation of ISO.
ISO compliance increases a company’s international marketability, increases customer satisfaction, increases attractiveness to investors, and reduces product-liability risk because all parties are reassured with authority of how the company operates.
Many documents developed during ISO processes are confidential so a permissions control system is essential for ISO project implementation.
Cloud-based DMS like Alfresco have built-in permissions controls. Since access to a cloud-based DMS requires users to log in, the system is always keeping tabs on users. The system not only knows where users are allowed to navigate, but Alfresco is actually smart enough to restrict visibility of data to users.
For example, users with low permissions settings do not see the ISO data repository. They cannot access the files nor can they even see that the files exist.
This feature is unique to cloud-based ISO document control platforms, as opposed to a traditional server which can limit access to folders but which does not have the dynamic ability to hide and make areas of the system completely invisible.
With stratified and dynamic permissions control feature built into platforms like Alfresco ISO process management and document control solutions, companies reduce their risk of failing to meet ISO compliance requirements.
Document version control is a considerable issue when it comes to ISO compliance.
ISO processes require the input of multiple people. Sometimes more than 30 people work on a single document. Faced with 30 versions of the same document dispersed throughout a company’s system, keeping a tight grip on official documents can seem impossible.
Cloud-based DMS systems employ a system called “versioning” to control the chaos input from various people. Versioning is a filing system that allows a computer file to exist in several versions at the same time. The system shows the most recent, updated version but maintains previous versions for reference. The system organizes the versions by numbering them and tracking information such as who worked on it and when.
For cloud-based systems, this also means that multiple users can access and work on the same document at the same time, without duplication or lost work. By looking at the versioning information of a document, the evolution of the most recent version can be understood at a glance.
Not only does cloud-based versioning ensure that all changes are tracked, but it also makes it easy to correct mistakes. Even huge mistakes like deleting the entire content of a file can be fixed by reverting to a previous version.
This feature is an employee favorite because it saves a ton of time and frustration for everyone.
The final benefit of cloud-based ISO document control is the ability of the cloud to enhance users’ ability to communicate.
As we know, ISO compliance involves a lot of people at every level of the company. In the case of a multinational company, the people involved in a single ISO process may be spread out across a large geographic area.
For most companies, the main form of communication in this case is email. Email conversations that aren’t precise or direct can make finding a specific piece of information difficult. It also means that official communication about ISO processes can contain unrelated information.
Cloud-based DMS have features that encourage contextual discussion. Users can comment within the document management system on everything from an uploaded file to a timed change made by another member of their team. Their discussion stays on topic and remains attached to the data being discussed on the screen.
Thanks to the integration mentioned above, communication about ISO documentation can be handled with the ISO module itself. Everything stays transparent, contained and remains a part of the official record kept by the ISO document control platform.
Though the days of paper documentation are behind us, ISO process management is still rather complicated to navigate.
To handle it well, a system needs to have data access, integration with workflow processes, controlled permissions, document control features, and enhanced communication capabilities.
The systems that meet those needs with efficiency, affordability, and all the flexibility are the modern cloud-based systems of ISO compliance.
To learn more about the Core module, the DAR addon, and the AR/CPAR addon for Alfresco ISO Process Management and Document Control, contact Skytizens.