I am currently in the process of finalising my company’s EPDM implementation (they previously did not have a document control system). One of the areas I have identified as wasteful with a system such as EPDM is the way that they issue documents to an individual job (inherited from before EPDM was used). Documents are issued using a long drawn out process which involves a lot of manual handling which at the end of the day does not result in a better product for the client. I would really like to hear how you manage the issuing of documents to a job while maintaining traceability of what has been sent outside the engineering office. Do you even bother? Do you use EPDM to complete such a task? Or some other system?
For those interested the process which the document controllers currently follow:
- Engineers/Draftsmen complete drawings &/or documents, they go through a normal revision controlled workflow and are ‘Approved/Released’.
- Documents are then converted from their native filetype to either a pdf or dxf for sending outside the engineering office
Then… Document Control Manually …
- Copy the pdf/dxf to their desktop
- For PDFs Document control stamp on the pdf either “Controlled Copy” or “For Quotation” or “Information Only”
- “Controlled Copy” or “For Quotation” documents are then stamped with the relevant job number and an expiry date (3 months from today)
- Save the pdf as “OriginalFilename_Rev##_Job###”
- Password protect the pdf to stop editing
This creates the actual document that is sent outside the engineering office. To transmit the document they then:
- Open an access database
- Create a new line entry (which sends an email), retype in the:
- Job Number
- Work order number, unique item identifying number, client, document action (Controlled Copy, For Quotation or Information Only)
- File Name/Number
- File Type (Report, Drawing, …)
- Add a recipient/CC
- Attach all the files (manually, 1 by 1 the database doesn’t allow to select groups)
- Send the email to the recipient.
And after all that its home time…
It has been decided that they would like to keep the stamp on the documents along with the document transmittal/email which records what documents have been issued in addition to the background table which records the documents being issued and who it was sent to. But surely there is a more effective way of keeping such information without all the manual effort? I initially thought a change state “Issue to Job” which allows for the input of data and ‘stamps’ the native file, but this would generate 100s of pointless versions of a file and doesn’t directly solve the tractabilityor allow for emails (and attachments) outside the company.
Would love to hear what you do and/or recommend!