In any line of professional work, documentation is important; however, it is even accurate when it comes to research and development. Disorganized and undocumented work can not only lead to lost progress and inaccurate results, but it can also lead to lost certifications and accreditations.
In a study conducted in 2013 on the development of a document management system for clinical laboratory documents, the vast majority of participating institutes considered document standardization and organization to be very important.
A document management system specifically built for R&D labs significantly improves organization, provides centralized access to information, allows for automatic data backup, and is paperless and environmentally friendly.
Proper Classification & Organization
A document management system allows for proper classification and organization. Proper classification and organization of information leads to improved performance and collaboration as time and energy are not wasted trying to find information. A standardized system easily allows for new colleagues, or those not in your lab on a regular basis, to easily find and access information.
Furthermore, when information is being presented for review and approval, a proper document management system significantly reduces the amount of time and resources needed. The appropriate information can be easily located and retrieved.
Document management provides a centralized location for all recorded information. This greatly reduces the risk of information being lost in the back of a filing cabinet, on someone’s desk, or in an electronic format that wasn’t properly saved to the network.
Furthermore, it provides the tools to create a formal knowledge base that can be shared within your organization, giving other users immediate access. This reduces the amount of unnecessary communication with other teams within the company.
Automatic Data Backup
By using a cloud-based document management system, all files are safe from catastrophic hardware or infrastructure failure. In the vast majority of research and development labs, a major data loss would cause a significant interruption, costing a tremendous amount of time and money.
If backups are insufficient, it may be impossible to fully restore the lost information. A cloud-based document management system eliminates that risk.
Paperless & Environmentally Friendly
A document management system allows for a completely paperless process. Not only is this more efficient and cost effective, it is good for the environment.
Studies have found that paperless processes are as much as six times more efficient. Dealing with information in a paper format creates bottlenecks that stifle the ability to work efficiently. A document management system eliminates these bottlenecks making the information immediately available to everyone.