Why is document tracking such a challenge?

Why is document tracking such a challenge?

Sheer volume and getting the right documents in the right hands at the right time has never been harder. “There were 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days.” – Eric Schmidt, of Google, said in 2010.

Organisations need to take strict measures to control their business information. And the challenge is not only finding a robust document tracking solution, that is easy to use, but registers detailed document and record history to effectively manage risk.

But what actually constitutes a document?

A document is information used to support an effective and efficient organisational operation. Records an documents may look and sound alike but there is a big difference. Documents are created by planning what needs to be done and records are created when something is done, documents can change and records do not (must not) change. The ISO 9001 quality standard has a number of documentation requirements and specifically 4.2.3 Control of Documents and 4.2.4 Control of Records.

Types of documents, as defined by ISO 9001 can be both administrative and technical documentation, digital or paper-based, training materials, photos, maps and virtually any documentation produced by technical teams, projects or departments:

  • Classified documents
  • Case files
  • Weaponry and artillery information
  • Workplace Health and Safety information
  • Job-site documentation
  • Highly sensitive research
  • Equipment documents
  • Warranty information
  • Accounting and finance documents
  • Project files
  • Student files
  • Teacher evaluations
  • Laboratory and research items

Managing risk

Organisations need to take strict measures to control their sensitive business information, and document control from a risk perspective is an integral part of the ISO 31000 risk management standard. Superior governance and accountability can be proven using a robust document tracking system, which utilises alert functionality for overdue sensitive material and automatically instigates work-flow actions.

Scanning personnel badges or ID cards should provide rich data that instantly identifies documents they are accountable for. Being able to perform quick office audits using your mobile device should highlight not only documents that are found (without needing line-of-sight if using RFID), but documents that shouldn’t be there and who should have custody, leading to improved employee accountability.

Personnel and document tracking.

Personnel and document tracking.

Documents that are of a sensitive nature, and move around your organisation can be tracked in real time, every time the document passes through a “location” tracking also the person carrying that document.

Reduce the countless hours spent on searching

Countless hours can be spent on searching for missing documents which leads to problems that will continue to occur leading to low productivity.  Your document tracking system should provide quick and easy auditing capabilities straight from your mobile device.

Multiple documents within a box being tracked via doorway readers

Multiple documents tracked simultaneously concealed within a box via doorway readers

Knowing where documents are located, who has been issued them and when they are returning is invaluable. And using doorway readers for real time tracking of multiple documents boxed/concealed simultaneously creates time savings, superior governance and tracks compliance for sensitive material.

Sustainability a tough task for business

 The most time consuming and least productive process of all is document duplication (or updating an outdated version, only to find out that a newer version existed!). A controlled shared document tracking system saves everyone time when searching and reusing documents, and here money can be saved.

Unnecessary document duplication by employees is reduced and increases the reuse of existing documentation. And even old and passive documentation is made available just like the newest version for those who need that.

Large documents

The most time consuming and least productive process of all is document duplication

Choosing the right tracking system will make it possible to have:

  • Easy access to documents and records
  • Improved collaboration
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced paper waste
  • Powerful yet flexible security
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Enhanced auditing and tracking capabilities
  • Both barcode and RFID tagging technology

No expensive customised solutions!

There is no need to reinvent the way your organisation operates just because you are implementing a document tracking system. Your system should work with you to provide a configured and easy to use solution for managing the capture, storage, retrievals, disposition and any other regulatory requirement for your records and information assets, out of the box. Once your procedures and rights to use or edit documents are managed, deployment and control becomes very easy.

Laboratory tracking highly sensitive samples and documentation.

Laboratory tracking highly sensitive samples and documentation.

Case study

A major research facility in the USA is using Hardcat and RFID asset management and file management “out of the box” solutions to successfully track their records and medical product samples throughout its facilities say;

“Hardcat tracks our highly confidential research project documentation and product samples in a legal, secure, highly automated and cost effective way. All the items have to follow a strict auditing process within the company and also for the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) before any pharmaceutical product can be released to the general public.”

“Using Hardcat’s RFID software, the fixed scanning readers immediately recognise the actual movement of documents and provide real time reporting with a complete audit trail. Moreover Hardcat’s RFID software is able to track multiple documents simultaneously as well as highlighting any exceptions.” Secure research facility – name withheld

Hardcat document tracking solutions help organisations of any size and sector reduce production costs and paper waste. Locating documents quickly and increasing productivity while meeting your regulation requirements, Hardcat document tracking is ideal for organisations wanting to eliminate the labour and form costs associated with paper-based systems. Improve productivity by providing real-time visibility for managers and associated departments.

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