Documents uncontrolled when printed, if is not printed is controlled?

Q

QAMTY

#1
Hi all


It came across the debate of uncontrolled documents.

This is the case:

Into my business , having the documents in the intranet, is OK by accessing documents in the network, we ensure they have the latest revision.

On the footer is stamped "Uncontrolled documents when printed" if is printed, is uncontrolled thats ok.

But suppose this document, electronically is sent to a supplier and this is not printed, is viewed in a computer, so if it is not printed, that ensures is controlled? even if is outside of my company?

I think a way to manage this, is that both my company and supplier have a strong control of the documents (transmittals, list of documents released,etc.)

What is your viewpoint?


Thanks
 
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#2
One of our customers seems to have recently implemented a solution to this, at least in terms of the prints they send us to build their products. They have added an unremovable header to their prints' .pdfs which asserts "Document controlled only on 'XYZ inc.' intranet restricted drive per 'SOP-123'". If you are in a situation where others need controlled docs. of yours to build for or do other business with you, this seems like a caveat you may wish to include as well!
 

kgott

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
I often wonder about the value of the phrase " uncontrolled when printed." we all know that it’s uncontrolled, why state it, you can’t control what you can’t control. This is a carry over from the days when putting a "Controlled Document" stamp on a document somehow, mysteriously, made it controlled.

I use the phrase 'printed documents may be out of date, check version status before use." Just because a hard copy document cannot always be controlled does not mean that it’s out of date.

In my view, controlling documents is more about knowing where a document is located, and knowing if the document is the most recent version, and controlling the editing and authorisation of the document, is what document control is all about. I don’t see that stamps about control or non-control add much value at all.

Nothing is perfect. I can pick up a document that is identified as rev x, how am I to know if this is the most recent version? For all I know there may be a rev y. Rev y may have just been issued 2 minutes ago.

Having electronic document management where staff open a document from a central location and save it with the required file name, in the required place is about the best one can hope for and as Pancho has shown us, a wiki is about the best there is for that, but even a wiki is not perfect when a documented is printed.

The best one can do with printed documents is to teach staff not to rely on the version status on the document but to check the version status against an electronic version before use.

By teaching people to do this means we don’t need to use phrases and stamps. Most organisations (including my own employer sadly) usually fail their own document control requirements by failing to adequately control documents of external origin.

Patricia Ravanello has posted very helpful support material on this.
 
Q

QAMTY

#4
Thanks Kjott

Good comment, but this works into a company in the internal network

But when sending these documents to a suppliers and some of them are of temporary use.
That footer may not appply in suppliers because they are not going to print it.

In the case of sending frequently documents to several suppliers how can I have control on them? or in practice, if an auditor sees the documents, how he/she ensure they are up to date?

One important point is: somehow or other, I have to say the supplier that the such documents are valid, will be enough just to say "'something in the footer"

Don´t you think that maybe a solution will be to state it in a document (a contract?)
saying" Supplier must check the latest revision of all the documents prior to use them"

Thanks for your help
 

kgott

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
A couple of things to consider.

When a document leaves your organisation you can no longer exercise any further control over it, even in relation to plagiarism, unless you include a reference to your supplier’s treatment and care of your organisation’s documentation, in the contract with the supplier, or perhaps through the purchase order, and you regularly audit these requirements for compliance.

If the document is critical to your organisation and or, your client, send the document with a transmittal which lists the documents being sent, and contains a request to the supplier to sign, date and return the transmittal as acknowledgement of receipt of the document.
 
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