Choosing Document Control Software



I've been assigned the task of finding a software program to use for document control. My company is a fairly small manufacturing company (ISO 9001 certified) with about 200 employees, maybe up to 20 would need access to the document control software (for some document changes, for document reviews and approvals). There would be only one administrator. Right now we have a document master log in excel (bare, no hyperlinks or anything), documents are MS Word (protected, authorized access) for the most part and PDFs are available on the intranet for view. There are hard copies of many of the documents distributed throughout the plant and locations are noted in the master log. We need something that will ease the burden of me having to manually check for expired documents and doing all the revisions myself. What I'm looking for is a program that includes a comprehensive document log, automatic expiration notification (via email), document check in/out, workflow for approvals of revisions, change mark-up and/or archive of older revisions, easy to search and link documents (hyperlinks, meta tags?), and my existing documents need to be linked in, not a pre-existing template for me to transfer the documents into (because we still use hard copies and they are standardized). And price is a very real issue as we have almost no budget to implement such a system. I've looked through posts on here and researched many that I've found, but I was really hoping someone could point me in the right direction if I gave specifics on what I need, maybe someone is already doing something similar. Thank you.
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Hi I'm a Document Control Specialist and have been in the industry over 14 years. I have used various Document Control System. I have not found a perfect one but one software I will referral is Quadrite RitePro specializing in small to medium companies. The best features of the product is that it is very easy to implement and use. Also the customer service is great. Check them out they aren't expensive either.


Thank you. I'll check that one out ASAP. It's a bit overwhelming trying to sift through all the suggestions I've seen on the forums. Especially trying to find one that fits my pre-existing criteria. Most have bits and pieces. Maybe my bar is set a little high...especially for my budget. lol


Check the threads below and do a search for QMS software or Document Control Software. There are a lot of options some include more than just document control and can help you manage CAPA, Audits, customer feedback, etc.

I used Q-Pulse in the past. Many people are also using Sharepoint based system.


As with any software program, I strongly urge you to focus very hard on defining your user requirements as accurately as possible. This is the step that most people gloss over or don't do very well, and it's the step that will trip you up later if you don't.

List what you absolutely must have and also list what would be a 'nice to have' but not essential.

Then use your list when shopping around and be strict about comparing software with your criteria.

Lots of people will tell you X is nice and they used Y and so on and so forth, and gosh, you can get one that will do all that plus this stuff as well... but they're not you and you should aim to get something that works for you.

Also, don't underestimate the time and effort required to learn how to use it and configure it (structure it/set it up right) in the first place. That also matters. A Lot.

Sharepoint, for example, will work well... but only provided that you have someone who has or can acquire the skills & knowledge required to use it well & set it up intelligently. Left in the hands of someone with little/no understanding, it quickly becomes big bucket of documents and links all over the place, which no one can find anything on.


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What's wrong with using an exel spreadsheet? I've seen ton's of org's use them successfully and save themsleves a bundle of money that could be better used elsewhere.

You say you're a small organization and what you're going to wind up purchasing may very well be a 12 lb sledgehammer to drive a 10 penny nail


The problem with an excel spreadsheet (as far as I'm concerned, being in a similar position as the OP) is that after a while, it gets difficult to keep an overview of the interconnections between your documents (which document is referenced where...) Hence, it increases the risk of mistakes by changes...


And it cannot be used by multiple users - only one person can update it at a time.

And yes, the 'flat file' is very hard to make connections between. But yes, it IS a good option where there aren't very large numbers of documents/changes. If there are, it's not.


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:bigwave:Welcome AliInMo:bigwave:

Not sure what is your I'm not sure if you need to be Part 11 or J2EE compliant.

Here is a recent ELSMAR discussion: Part 11 Compliant Document Control Software recommendations

Always check at the bottom of the page for recommendations on the topic under "Similar Discussion Threads"...there is more relevant info there.

I do agree with Randy when he said:
You say you're a small organization and what you're going to wind up purchasing may very well be a 12 lb sledgehammer to drive a 10 penny nail
Why spend the $$$ if you can find an affordable still functional and reliable solution?

Now, between the Excel spreadsheet option and other "Cadillac-type" Document Management System (DMS) like Documentum & Sharepoint...there is Open Source DMS.

Here I list some free DMS software to start with:
  1. OpenDocMan
  2. OpenKM
  3. Alfresco
  4. Epiware
  5. Knowledge Tree
  6. KnowledgeTree Open Source Community Website
  7. LogicalDOC
  8. Cynapse

[slideshare] Total Cost Of Ownership For ECM - Compares Documentum, SharePoint, OpenText and Alfresco

Something else to consider are wikis. Some companies have use the wiki system to implement a Quality Management System (QMS) because of its DMS features.

ELSMAR threads Tagged with wiki

If you take a look at these resources, then look at your gap analysis & risk assessment, you probably can find a solution that meets your compliance & business needs.:agree1:

Good luck!


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