Business documentation has changed through the years. Whereas documentation used to refer to printed paper forms which had to be filled out and filed, today’s business uses mostly electronic forms. While some of these are still printed and filled out manually, the majority of them are only created electronically and are maintained only as computer records.
This has been a gradual process, which has come about mostly due to the ever-increasing influence of the computer in the workplace. While we have still not reached the day of the paperless office, businesses are gradually moving in that direction. Paper records are being replaced by electronic ones more and more.
This hasn’t made document design and control any easier than it was in the past; if anything, it’s made it harder. Whereas the design of new documents used to be limited to only graphics designers who were receiving their direction and orders from very few possible people; today, almost anyone can create documents on their computer, or on the company’s main computer system. Maintaining control over this plethora of documentation and preventing the associated work from overcoming available company resources has become increasingly challenging.
Nevertheless, computerized records do hold distinct advantages for companies, in that they are easier to fill out and easier to file. Computer databases can create a variety of reports off of those records, much easier than people can; reports that are both highly accurate and extremely detailed.
Computerized record keeping also eliminates the huge waste in paper that the old manual records required. This is not only a cost savings for the company, but also helps increase sustainability. With less paper being used for internal records, companies can use those funds to improve their systems.
Computerized documentation isn’t just limited to within companies either. Many companies are now partnering with their supply chain, sharing records and record access electronically. This increases those companies efficiency and communication with their partner companies, both upstream and downstream. The entire supply chain becomes more flexible to react to needed changes.
As already stated, managing the design of all this documentation is an ever-increasing challenge. Businesses need people who are trained in documentation and documentation design. The type of training that they can receive from the BSBADM506B course in Manage Business Document Design and Development.
Proper control of document design is an important part of a company’s image, forming an essential pillar in their company branding. Things as small as font sizes used, ink colors, paper types and of course logotypes, are all essential parts of the company’s image, which must be maintained and controlled, so that they remain consistent and in accordance with the company’s stated standards.
Without those standards, customers, suppliers and the public in general becomes confused about the company; simply because the company is providing an inconsistent image. Yet, when the public becomes accustomed to a company’s image, it can become a powerful marketing tool, helping maintain brand awareness and boost customer loyalty.
This article was published in Equipped, Fortress Learning’s free monthly magazine for success.