Document Chaos or Document Control or Document Hangover?

Document chaos {n.  dok-yuh-ment key-os} – a lack of organization or order for written or printed paper and computer data files

Where is the latest NDA? I can’t find my timesheet, what is the most recent contract version? The client changed the verbiage on the contract where is it?

If these are the questions that continuously come up then it might be time to look at how your documents are being managed. From Human Resources, Sales, Marketing, to Accounting many organizations are still suffering from Document Chaos.

Too many versions of the same document? All documents are old and carry old logos and branding… they all look different. I call this Document Hangover making an organization sluggish and a big headache for all.

Yep guess what…enterprises are still letting Document Hangover impede their processes and growth.  This, despite the large number of vendors who offer solutions designed to nearly eliminate paper and automate internal processes.

I was wondering why, so looked into the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM).  AIIM’s Annual Report on the State of the ECM Industry was published in April.  According to the report, more than two-thirds of organizations studied say that document controls (EDM/ECM) is mission critical, yet, they also report usability and adoption issues that have emerged.  In fact, sixty percent of respondents say that gaining user adoption has been a big problem for their ECM projects. Sixty-two percent of organizations with a significant ECM capability find that their knowledge workers still rely on file shares for day-to-day information access.

There’s a definite perception gap between management’s perception of ECM benefits and worker’s perception of the benefits.  Workers site issues with managing, accessing and preserving content.

EDM/ECM has traditionally been a method for dealing with “structured” information in a “structured” environment; i.e., spreadsheets and documents on a network, in an office.  But, today’s workforce and technology is anything but structured.  There has been an explosion of content outside the traditional structured information…videos, tweets, emails, to name a few, along with major changes in how, where, and when knowledge workers do their jobs, thanks in large part to mobile technologies, analytics, information and collaborative “clouds.

Beyond Document Control

— Rick Romano

Moving Beyond Document Control

Now organizations are faced with not only management of documents but now need to consider video, audio, images and other digital assets. What seems to have been proven beyond a doubt is that the changing landscape of technology has moved us beyond mere “document control” into a new frontier that requires a wider range of capabilities, accessibility and collaboration, while ensuring the utmost in security, compliance and audit trails.

I recently was challenged by a client to organize all of their digital assets as well as update and create a workflow system to manage these assets. Being in the healthcare industry puts many constraints on information and all needs to be HIPAA compliant. The organization is document centric and relies on documentation as the main source of their services. The organization has been in business for over a decade now and never had a proven method of controlling their digital assets. The business is growing and facing time issues directly associated with document turnaround time, version control and branding. The company also is refining the corporate brand, marketing communications, business identity and logo. They have come to a crossroads and need to make the changes now to achieve the efficiencies that provides the core competence of the business.

With many stakeholders in the documentation process they needed to create a template system for each document and allow for the data to merge and create multiple versions simultaneously. This capability was compounded by the use of dynamic forms for data capture from clients. Collaboration was also an issue as stakeholders needed the ability to change content on the fly to improve the speed of final published documents.

Got A Hangover?

The Hangover Cure

The need to manage, documents, presentations, graphics, photos, brochures, etc. and allow them to become data sources was difficult to find the one solution that meets all of these needs. I researched for weeks, tested and used many applications and finally landed on one that would fill all of the requirements for my client, the Adobe Creative Cloud.

By using InDesign the main tool to create PDF documents I was able to create the dynamic templates to hold the core structure, design and content for each document, presentation and assets. This amazing application integrates with Adobe Document Cloud with Acrobat DC that provides collaboration, version control and secure signature application. The client also manages many PowerPoint presentations, and with InDesign also provides the presentation production capability and I was able to recreate and manage all in one tool.

Moreover, data merge is also included in the application that also handles images to allow for the ultimate customization for multiple clients use. Document control and storage on the Adobe Cloud provides online access and security for all stakeholders.

No more Document Hangover!

Now the client can grow, manage and maintain their vast archive of professional documentation. Efficiencies achieved cut the time of client conversion by 40%. Now all documents and digital assets are branded and updated to elevate the quality of the branding and the company as a whole.

Do you need help with document control?

Contact Rainfire Media and we will help you with your document chaos.