How Do You Improve Document Management Across a Global Supply Chain?

By November 3, 2022

Documentation requirements are becoming stricter and more complex. Your document management system (DMS) must be able to streamline and automate your processes and solve endemic problems such as:

  • Lost files and versions
  • Data entry mistakes
  • No central document repository
  • Inability to define access restrictions
  • Inefficient, disjointed review and approval.

For global brands, retailers, and vendors, these issues lead to a greater risk of non-compliance in their supply chains. Therefore, it’s essential to choose the right DMS from a modern provider that has a solution tailored to the supply chain. When deciding how to take your enterprise’s document management to the next level, look for the following seven features:


Feature 1:  Streamline workflows with in-document collaboration

It’s challenging to effectively communicate with internal teams and suppliers about documentation. You need to reduce the risk of non-compliance and eliminate time wasted assigning tasks manually.

Problems include the use of different platforms and any number of messaging and email apps to communicate and review, assigning stakeholders the right access to documents, and ensuring everyone is looking at the same updated version. 

Key benefits: 

  •  Bring all communication about documentation to a single place.
  •  Streamline communications without leaving the system.
  •  Create, edit, and share documents and folders from a single dashboard.
  •  Track comments and versions on your documents.

Feature 2: Manage document review from a single source

Blog_ManageDocumentReview_1068x771 (1)When stakeholders store, review, approve and edit a document in different places, the result is information silos – the enemy of improved efficiency and transparency – and an increase in the risk of non-compliance.

Your DMS should be a centralized, fully digital solution that serves as a single source of truth for document management, where stakeholders can access the system to search, review, edit, approve, and communicate on documentation — all with permissions granted automatically by user characteristics.

Key benefits:

  •  Streamline communications and keep all stakeholders on the same page.
  •  Efficiently add, edit, view, and delete comments.
  •  Store everyone’s actions on the document to maintain accountability.
  •  Monitor user engagement with documents and ensure proper review and approval.

Feature 3: Keep track of different versions to ensure alignment

Creating and editing documents in silos results in multiple versions of the same document that are hard to track, leading to miscommunication.

Your DMS should alert you in real-time of any document changes. This allows you to easily track the document’s evolution and who is making the latest changes to it, improving document control.

Key benefits:

  •  Collect all required information in one place.
  •  Keep track of all versioning and changes made to the documents.
  •  Retrieve documents easily.
  •  Store and share documents in a safe environment.

Feature 4: Use notifications to ensure stakeholders are on time

The future of documentation workflow management is one of real-time alerts. It’s difficult to ensure that documents have been appropriately reviewed, edited, and approved on time without automated notifications.

Your DMS should send alerts when tasks are incomplete or deadlines are approaching, and assign tasks autonomously to keep stakeholders in sync with the schedule. This helps you manage compliance, due diligence, and proper documentation governance.

Key benefits:

  •  Receive on-time alerts for tasks and milestones.
  •  Streamline document workflows with related stakeholders.
  •  Improve document accuracy and traceability to support compliance.

Feature 5: Automate document-related tasks

Blog_AutomateDocumentRelatedTask_1062x780 (1)Without automation, you fall into the trap of having to chase down different stakeholders to review, approve, sign, and edit documentation. Automation helps remove this burden from your shoulders.

Your DMS should include flexible workflows, allowing you to set different access rules for different documents and folders based on user characteristics. This way, you can achieve the greatest efficiency while controlling document workflows and user engagement.

Key benefits:

  •  Leverage automated document management workflows.
  •  Improve decision-making with automated reports and analysis.
  •  Optimize document-related supply chain operations.
  •  Automatically share documents with the right people at the right time.

Feature 6: Integrate your DMS with other systems

An end-to-end solution should be just that: an all-inclusive, single-source solution that encompasses your entire process. The best DMS for you is one that will integrate with other supply chain management software to enable your entire network to share information and optimize your sourcing operations.

Inspectorio DocuFlow integrates with Inspectorio's quality management solution, compliance and sustainability management solution, and production tracking solution to help you optimize your production chain operations.

Key benefits:

  •  Consolidate many business processes into a single platform.
  •  Centralize documentation management across various supply chain software.
  •  Keep all communication on the same network.

Feature 7: Maximize document visibility and control

Blog_MaximizeDocumentVisibility_1200x869 (1)Without a streamlined way to restrict the visibility of documents and keep everything organized in a single place, you increase your organizational risk of non-compliance.

Your DMS should keep documents secure and organized for easy access by the right people with defined editing and approval rights. It should also provide reporting on the users that have interacted with your documents so you have a digital record of the chain of custody.

Key benefits:

  •  Share documentation with both internal and external users.
  •  Easy document search.
  •  Access and security controls.

How Inspectorio DocuFlow works

Inspectorio DocuFlow helps brands, retailers, and vendors to centralize management of their entire quality, compliance, and sustainability documentation processes to achieve higher levels of ROI.

DocuFlow helps any company or enterprise to optimize the entire document management process of their global supply chain on a single platform. It integrates with Inspectorio's solutions, empowering you to ensure compliance, due diligence, and proper document governance in the face of increasingly complex production networks and government regulations.

In part two of this two part series, we discuss five tips to help you transform your document management. 

Contact us to learn more about how Inspectorio DocuFlow can revolutionize the way your organization handles documentation.

Click here or the image below to download our latest eBook and learn more about how to optimize document management in your supply chain:

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