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6 ways document management software prevents version control chaos

Sometimes the simplest habits can trip us up, like saving documents to our computer desktop instead of a central server. It seems small and insignificant, but if everyone works from their own file, version control chaos quickly sets in.

Document control can be one of the toughest parts of asset management. Duplicate files, out-of-date instructions and lost paperwork all impact the quality, productivity, and safety of working practices.

Thankfully, document management software can put a stop to version control issues and ensure your team uses the latest instructions. Here are six ways switching to a digital system for managing asset information can improve your document control:

1. Document Management Software Centralises Information

One key benefit of document management software is centralisation; every file is saved in one place. Instead of paperwork being scattered across people’s desks, laptops and smartphones, everyone knows where to find the data they need.

More importantly, because asset information is centralised, team members are always working from the latest version. They’re not using a file saved to their computer that they think is right, but which is actually out of date.

2. Centralised Information Improves Access

Centralised files are not just easy to find; they standardise the way information is accessed and shared. Every person within your business can be given a secure login to check the documentation they need, whenever they need it.

It’s particularly helpful if you choose a browser-based document control system, as all your team needs to access information is an internet connection. No more pinging over important files as email attachments!

With just 30% of companies operating fully on-site working policies, document management software can solve the version control headaches caused by remote and hybrid working. It also enables you to provide access to any contractors you are partnering with, so they are working from up-to-date files as well.

3. Teams Can View and Edit Files Within Your Document Management System

Even if you’re using a central server to save asset information, your team members may still be downloading files to edit and update them. They may then forget to reupload the latest version.

Upgrading to a document management system – either standalone software or an integrated module within your CMMS platform – gives users the capacity to change files in situ. This way, the latest information is available to everyone in your team as soon as the document is saved.

4. Document Management Software Creates Clear Audit Trails

In addition to admin and collaboration benefits, document management software also plays a critical role in proving your company’s compliance.

By establishing a single, digital repository for asset information, all your procedures are captured in black and white. If a colleague, board member or external regulator wants to see the processes you’re following, it is easy to export and share the relevant files.

You can also track version history within your document management system, to see who made updates and when, should anyone interrogate your asset data.

5. Digital Documentation Enhances Staff Productivity

In our recent blog post on mastering document management, we noted that professionals can spend up to nine hours a week searching for the right information.

Poor version control is a massive contributor to wasted time, as staff can take as long looking for the correct instructions as completing the actual task.

Document management software puts the correct data into people’s hands immediately, to maximise their efficiency and productivity.

6. Document Management Software Integrates Instructions with Tasks

Any document management system will make it easier to keep on top of version control. However, up to date instructions are no use if your colleagues or contractors are looking at the wrong file.

Rather than considering document management software as a standalone investment, it is often better to integrate document management within other technologies you’re using – like your CAFM or CMMS system.

Choosing CMMS software with a built-in document management module will enable you to link digital files to work orders. This gives your team the information they need to get on with their job – and they trust that the data they’re using is correct and accurate.

Bid Farewell to Version Control Chaos

Upgrading to a digital document management system is a quick and effortless way to simplify version control. And if you are using ShireSystem CMMS to coordinate your maintenance operation, you already have document management features built in!

We have recently upgraded our document management module to include new tools, such as in-system viewing and editing capabilities, detailed audit trails, and suggested document naming conventions. Each new feature will help you improve version control and increase your team’s productivity.

Eliminate version control chaos from your workplace: book your free, no-obligation ShireSystem demo to check out our new document management features.

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