What is document template management?
Document template management – it’s an impressive term, but what does it mean? It's something we get asked regularly. Document template management is the guarantee of communicating consistently and correctly. In one central system, you create and store your document templates. Everyone within the organization uses the same system, therefore they always have access to the latest template versions.
Consistency is key when it comes to corporate identity and branding. However, unfortunately it's not the norm. Consistent implementation of the corporate identity can be a lot more difficult than you might imagine. People generally start from scratch, instead of working with structured templates.
Imagine you have to write a letter to your clients or constituents. It would be great if you could get a hold of a standardized document or if you can quickly edit a previously used letter. As soon as you find something useful, you're ready to get started. Modify the document wherever necessary and add your new text. Your colleague will check the finished letter and you're good to go: let's send that letter. Another task of today's to-do list marked done.
The described situation probably sounds familiar. Nobody enjoys reinventing the wheel, especially when there are already plenty of ‘wheels’ in your computer’s file system. And we agree. But ask yourself: are you certain you sent out a properly compiled document?
Did you double check the logo? Is the color scheme and layout correct? Are the standard texts up to date with company guidelines? Is the document up to the current accessibility standards? At first glance, it probably all seemed OK, but remember that small changes in style and tone of voice aren't easily noticed. So, it's possible that the letter you created did not fully comply with the current guidelines for the corporate identity. Could you have prevented that? Well, yes. How? Read on and we'll explain.
Optimalized version management: no messing around!
Who is to say colleagues won’t mess around in the template itself? The beautiful thing about working in a standardized way, is that edits to the template itself can only be made by those authorized to do so. This means only they can, for example, edit corporate identity elements or standardized texts. In turn, you can personalize the document without accidentally changing the original template. We call this optimized version management. Personalizing of templates always happens in the most recent versions.
Making templates easy to find
Centralized management of document templates is the future. This development is useful to both small and large organizations. Small organizations have fewer employees, so efficiency is key. A document template management system will improve being able to locate templates easily. Never again will you need to scroll through your folders for hours on end. The amount of time saved is even higher for organizations with many departments and a high number of employees (and time = money). An additional advantage: the templates are created easily in Word - a program most people are familiar with.
No more worrying about document creation
In modern template management systems (like SmartDocuments) you easily create templates that are useable for years to come. And, just as easily, you can create new dynamic templates every day of the week.
A template management system is essential if you want to keep your corporate identity consistent. That this system also frees up time and prevents frustration from happening, is highly important.
Curious to learn more about SmartDocuments and our software? We're happy to answer any of your questions.