Document management and document control are two distinct but interconnected elements of dealing with documents and content. It is crucial to understand the differences between them for this purpose (Document Control vs Document Management).
Document management is the process of storing, managing, and distributing documents. Document control, on the other hand, is the administration and management of documents, including security, version control, approval, and submission.
Every company, no matter how large or small, deals with a large number of documents that must be managed, stored, secured, shared, and preserved. One of the most difficult tasks is ensuring that all documents gathered or created are authentic and include high-quality information.
Employees will waste time if the data is of low quality, and judgments will be made based on these forged documents. You can image how disastrous it is to make a business decisions based on inaccurate data!
When it comes to dealing with documents, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the differences between document control and document management.
Document management and control go hand in hand, therefore it’s difficult to determine which is more vital. A managed document is fundamentally a regulated document. While it is possible to handle documents without restrictions, it is uncommon, especially in a commercial context.
In this article, we’ll tackle the “document control vs document management” debate and explain the distinction between two terms. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Document Control vs Document Management
While document management in general refers to the storage and processing of documentation, document control in particular refers to the control and management of documents, often for the goal of delivering them to a client at the end of a project.
Let’s look more closely at the difference between these two ideas.
What is Document Management?
Document management is the storage, retrieval, updating, tracking, and sharing of documents. A document management system converts paper documents into an electronic version to simplify these activities and make handling vast amounts of documentation in a corporation easier and more efficient.
Eventually, whatever activity we do on a document is classified as document management. In today’s world, when workplaces are becoming totally digital, a tremendous number of documents, such as contracts, invoices, notes, sales materials, and so on, are gathered and created.
Document management assists digital workspaces in managing all aspects of document flow from start to end for maximum productivity, high-quality data, and getting the most out of your documents.
It is necessary to ensure that employees can readily discover documents, communicate, create new versions, and always work on the most recent version.
Main objectives can be summarized as follows
- Allow fast and easy way to locate documents.
- Minimize the usage of paper based documents and move into electronic forms.
- Cost reduction and increased productivity.
- Streamline information and workflows.
- Physical storage and space reduction.
The majority of the content (80%) used by enterprises nowadays is classified as unstructured data. This sort of data is often generated by people and does not adhere to predefined data models. Emails, documents, spreadsheets, movies, and images are all included.
Managing unstructured data is extremely challenging, which is why document management is a critical discipline that enterprises should not ignore.
I highly recommend reading the below articles for more information
What is Document Management System? The Complete Guide (theecmconsultant.com)
11+ Critical Document Management Challenges and Solutions (theecmconsultant.com)
What is Document Control?
Document control is a vital practice within organizations to ensure that information is accurate, up-to-date, accessible, and aligned with the nature of the business. In a world where information has become the lifeblood of organizations, it is critical to ensure the proper flow of information and transparency of business activities to help companies function efficiently.
It is the foundation for compliance, accuracy, integrity, efficiency, accountability, and process excellence. The document controller’s role is to handle all of this while still aiding users, with the help of a well-defined control policy and a solid document management system.
Document control best practices helps managing the flow of documents and delivering correct information to the right stakeholders in order to drive the organization’s quality system.
The following steps are included in the document control process:
- Maintaining document security
- Document version control
- Reviewing documents
- Developing and maintaining an approval process
- Regulating document submission
- Implement a proper document control numbering
Many document controllers are still utilizing outdated approaches and software such as Microsoft Excel to manage sophisticated work, which has been shown to delay outcomes and create non-compliance and human errors that may be avoided if a suitable system is utilized.
There is a master piece article on this topic that you should read.
Why You Really Need DOCUMENT CONTROL – Document Management (theecmconsultant.com)
Document Control vs Document Management: Which is more Important?
When the debate about document control vs. document management begins, the following question is always, “Which is more important?”
There is no simple and conclusive answer to this question. In reality, both activities are equally vital and intertwined. It is impossible to have a regulated document unless you practice document management.
Remember that document control is a subset of document management, which is an umbrella phrase for a variety of additional activities you might do with a document.
A effective document management system will feature the ability to use both approaches concurrently since it allows you to granularly control every activity on the document while also managing the flow of documents from generation to deletion.
The ability to have a report showing all the operations happening on the document such as who viewed the document, who downloaded the attachment, who edited, creation date, last edited on, which transmittal the document was sent to, etc. is one of the most important features that most document controllers look for in a DMS.
Management and control go hand in hand. When users collaborate on a document, they must have access to it. When workers share a contract and receive it back from the customer, the signed version must be securely stored or archived.
Why Do You Need Both?
There are several advantages to incorporating these principles into your business, including increased access control, compliance, information transparency and correctness, collaboration, document quality, and disaster recovery.
1- Increased Access Control
The ability to appropriately establish who has access to what documents and the amount of access to be allowed is the most important part of document management.
Using a system allows you to quickly configure role-based security on documents, enabling or disallowing workers to read the document, make changes, delete the documents, and so on.
There are other document security elements that may be employed; see the article below for more information.
Boost Your DOCUMENT SECURITY With These Tips (theecmconsultant.com)
2- Improved Compliance
Keeping information any longer than is constitutionally required or deleting records that should be kept for a certain period of time would almost certainly subject the company to various forms of fines, sanctions, or other legal implications.
It is very important to have an in-depth information about records retention.
3- Improve Quality
Document version control is at the heart of all best practices in document management. It’s vital to manage access, track modifications, and regulate access by keeping papers out of the hands of the wrong persons.
A document controller expert must make certain that all staff only view the most recent information. In my experience, this has always been quite essential to me.
4- Increase Productivity
A recent poll found that knowledge workers spend over half of their time hunting for information. You should carefully regulate the document lifecycle and use metadata to ensure that workers can find any document in seconds.
5- Better Collaboration
Collaboration, visibility, and accessibility are all aided by DMS. As a consequence, cooperation increases both internally inside a company and externally with stakeholders.
Most solutions include a range of ways to collaborate, both simple and complex.
Employees may collaborate quickly by sharing a link to the document, commenting on it, and taking action. For increased collaboration, users may contribute in real-time, redline, and annotate the document attachment.