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How Autopilot is Similar to an Automated Document Control System

Emily Ysaguirre
by Emily Ysaguirre on Wed, Jan 21, 2015

How is Document Control like Autopilot?

As a kid, I always wondered how planes fly. Even as an adult I still wonder how planes fly. After all, it is an incredible process. So, after a few Google searches I came across the argument that planes can actually fly themselves. I figured I had to check this out and after doing some research I’ve come to find that we can relate this process to a Document Control System.

In actuality, a plane cannot fly itself. However, high-tech equipment helps assist pilots by improving their capabilities. With autopilot (which is by definition a system that is used to control trajectory of a vehicle without constant hands-on control by a human operator required) the pilot is assisted in controlling the plane. However, to control speed, thrust, horizontal and vertical navigation—i.e., to make any deviations in flight pattern—the actual pilot needs to be in command and tell the system exactly what to do and when to do it. The protocol of a flight is never constant—it is dependent on rain, ice, fog, location etc.  

Much like how every flight is different, so is every organization. Regardless of industry, an organization has different needs and functions that change on a daily basis. A Document Control System provides the ability to keep up to date with documents and control them effectively while routing them from review to approval. Just like autopilot, which automatically assists the pilot in flying the plane accurately, automated document control assists an organization in routing their documents accurately.  Document control enables the user to automatically track all documented processes, jobs, specifications and more.  

An effective Document Control System has the ability to provide a simplistic and automatic method of managing all documents.

For example:

Document Routing, Review and Approval:  The heart of an effective Document Control System is its ability to provide a more simplistic and automated method of routing, review and approval of all documents. This process ensures that the document has been reviewed by all necessary employees and that is has been approved for distribution.  In order to get from point A to point B, the document must be guided through the various steps of the workflow—this is where the routing capabilities come in.  With an automated Document Control System you can route documents to the next phase of the workflow, as well as deviate from the process, if necessary, using intelligent business rules.

Integration with Training:  After new documents are added, the next part of the process is to train employees on these documents.  By integrating the Training Management System with the Document Control System, the process becomes automatic and creates a seamless transition from document approval to training on all new documents.

Initiate Change:  Change affects different aspects of an organization and all documents will need to be updated at some point. This is the cyclical nature of business—to keep improving we must keep changing.  By incorporating a change request process into the document control workflow, you will be able to ensure that all changes follow one specific process.

There are many other benefits that Document Control provides an organization. Besides automating what could otherwise be a lengthy process, it also properly maintains information and ensures it remains up to date. Document Control offers greater control over information because it is able to be integrated with other processes. In today’s society, going green is a goal for some organizations. The automation of processes which is done electronically eliminates paper waste while using fewer resources. This is great for the environment as well as consumers who prefer to stick with companies who are benefiting the atmosphere.

Document Control is an automatic and intuitive tool…much like autopilot. It automates the total process from document creation, to review and approval. Manually, these tasks manually may result in errors and can be time consuming. Having help from an automated Document Control System is much like a pilot receiving help from an autopilot system—while you are needed to initiate the system, once you are up and going the system helps keep you on track.

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Emily Ysaguirre
Written by Emily Ysaguirre
Emily Ysaguirre is the Content Marketing Coordinator at EtQ, Inc.
Written by Author

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