In the modern era, most business operations rely heavily on various computer programs, among them being document management systems. To ensure the efficient handling and supervision of vital organizational information, it has become imperative to embrace and execute an appropriate electronic document management system (EDMS). Businesses can effectively manage and maintain control over their most critical data by doing so.
What is EDM? What is the Documentation Pyramid? We will cover these questions in our article. Let’s start!
What is EDM?
Electronic Document Management (EMD) revolutionizes the way organizations create, organize, store, retrieve, and manage digital documents. By leveraging specialized software and systems, EDM replaces or enhances traditional paper-based document management methods. It encompasses the capture, storage, indexing, and distribution of electronic documents and files, facilitating streamlined workflows.
By implementing an electronic document management system (EDMS), organizations unlock a multitude of benefits. They streamline document-centric processes, boosting productivity while reducing paper consumption and physical storage costs. Additionally, EDMS enhances information security and compliance, ensuring data integrity and mitigating risks. It facilitates collaboration among teams and departments, enabling efficient document retrieval and sharing.
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QMS Documentation & EDM
Good QMS documentation is essential for an efficient Quality Management System (QMS). The aim is to formalize practices to improve the organization’s performance.
The QMS documentation encompasses various document types, typically comprising the Quality policy and objectives, procedures, work instructions, and records. This documentation can be structured hierarchically, illustrated in the diagram presented below.
Quality Policy and Objectives
The Quality Policy sets the overall direction and commitment of the organization toward quality management. The quality policy defines the objectives to be achieved within the QMS. The quality policy serves promotional purposes and is prominently displayed within the organization’s premises and corporate websites. Therefore, it is common practice to have a concise and easily understandable Quality Policy.
After the creation of the quality policy, organizations must proceed with establishing department-specific procedures to ensure the desired level of quality is maintained. Procedures are used to describe and formalize the way one or more activities should be carried out in an organization. This reference document serves to inform the entire organization about key processes. Procedures must contain detailed information about “who’s involved”, “what must be done” and “how and when” regarding each operation for each department.
The procedure must be tested and known to all operational staff for validation. they must be actively involved in its drafting, along with the process pilots.
Work instructions are more detailed than procedures and provide specific instructions for performing individual tasks or activities within a process. They break down the steps, methods, tools, and materials required to accomplish a particular task. Work instructions may include visuals, diagrams, or other aids to enhance understanding and ensure consistent execution.
Records and Forms
Forms are used to capture and document information or data related to quality management activities. Records, on the other hand, are documented evidence of completed activities or transactions within the QMS. Forms and records help track and verify compliance with procedures and work instructions.
We should note and highlight the importance of always updating the procedures, work instructions, and even the quality policy and objectives. These updates are necessary when changes are introduced to global strategies, usage of any new technologies, or any other changes that impact business operations.
Digital Technology & EDM
Nowadays, organizations embarking on the journey of digital transformation and adopting new digital technology, therefore leading to the widespread adoption of EDMS. Therefore, EDMS is a must-have in the digital age.
EDMS will help lighten the administrative burden, and gain significant time while building and drafting all the company’s procedures. In addition, EDM and digital technology will help centralize all the data, records, and forms on a single platform. This will facilitate the accessibility of all the documents.
Moreover, by transitioning from paper-based systems to digital solutions, organizations can streamline their document workflows, enhance accessibility, and improve collaboration and internal communication related to quality policy, procedures, and work instructions.
EMDS offers features such as version control, document encryption, access control, and search functionalities, enabling users to efficiently locate and retrieve information whenever needed on tablets, smartphones, and computers.
Finally, through the effective use of digital technology and EDMS, organizations can achieve increased productivity, enhanced data security, and improved compliance with regulatory requirements.
EMD empowers organizations to transition from manual and paper-based document management to a more efficient and digitized approach. Whit the adoption of EDM and EDMS, organizations gain agility, productivity, cost savings, and improved collaboration, driving their overall operational excellence.