Document Asset Management: Visibility Requires More than Just Better Glasses
Handling Different Asset Types
A company can have many different types of assets: the traditional type, equipment, inventory and buildings, as well as document assets, like signed contracts, manufacturing spec sheets, engineering drawings, lab notebooks, and other intellectual property. Document assets are just as important as equipment and buildings – losing or damaging them could just as easily jeopardize the business. What’s the best way for businesses to manage important documents so that they’re just as well-protected as other types of assets?
Some organizations will lock critical business documents in a fireproof filing cabinet and maybe make copies that are sent to an offsite storage location. But what happens when a document needs to be amended or shared or accessed in another office? Paper documents may never be found if misplaced, and even when found, are probably not kept with related documents like purchase orders or amendments.
Even electronic files stored on a company’s shared drive could prove difficult to access due to inconsistent naming. Additionally, when employees leave the organization, they may do so without transferring their organizational knowledge about documents, their inter-relationships, and related processes.
Easy Access to Your Assets
A document management system can provide visibility into and control of a company’s critical business document assets, significantly reducing risk to the organization. Consider three examples:
The contracts that drive your business provide governance to both your supplier and customer relationships. Scanning documents and having a structured repository for these documents simplifies managing them.
For instance, you can have index values that enable you to determine when a contract is going to expire. With that information, you can get advanced notification of an expiring contract, enabling you to get ahead of its renewal. You can also search for all contracts that have certain phrases if a language change needs to take place, enabling your contracts to have consistent language as they get updated. Lastly, with contract management, you can track and quickly access each document by keywords, such as company name, key contacts, and even the service provided.
Probably the most difficult to track, scanning intellectual property (IP) documents and storing them in a secure document management repository significantly reduces your risk in a couple of ways.
First, you will have full traceability as to who has seen these documents, enabling you to enforce legal actions if an individual leaves your organization and infringes upon your IP. Second, in the case of a natural disaster, these documents are preserved, enabling you to continue work and protect these assets. Finally, you will have a consistent means to potentially share innovation across the organization, enabling you to encourage collaboration across multiple dimension and innovations.
Every asset that is purchased will have a PO associated with it and may also have a maintenance record, descriptions of changes (additional software and licenses), history of use (it went from Jane to Tom to Sally), or other important documentation.
Being able to securely organize, manage, and search these documents relating to physical asset management in a single cloud document management system enables you to quickly find anything about the asset in question—which is especially useful for audits.
Asset Management Visibility with Document Management
Simply put, document scanning and document management can significantly reduce your risk profile, enabling you to gain both visibility and control of one of your most important assets; your critical business documents.