The appearance of your organisation – how serious do you take it? Hopefully very serious. After all, it's a very important part of your branding. Consistency is key. However, it's not the norm, unfortunately. Consistent implementation of a corporate identity is a lot more difficult than you might think. People generally work too little with templates and too much from scratch.
Imagine you've to write a letter to your clientele. What you need is a standard document or a previously created letter that you can quickly edit. Having finally located the kind of thing you need in one of the many hundreds of folders on your computer, you begin modifying the document where necessary and including new text. Your colleague then goes through the finished text and you’re good to go. Send the letter and that’s another task ticked off today’s to-do list.
Errors before you know it
The situation just described is probably very recognisable to you. Nobody wants to reinvent the wheel, especially when there're already plenty of ‘wheels’ in your computer’s file system. We agree with that as an approach. However, there’s a problem with it. We don’t want to ruin your day, but ask yourself, how sure are you that you're sending out good documents?
Did you take a good look at the logo? Is the colour scheme and layout correct? Are the standard texts up to date with company guidelines? At first glance, it probably all seemed OK. But remember that small changes in required style and tone of voice may not be noticeable So, it could be that the letter you wrote to your clients did not fully comply with the current company guidelines. Could you have prevented that? Well, yes, you could've …
What is document template management?
Document template management – it’s an impressive term, but what's it exactly? That’s a question we often hear. Document template management is about keeping document templates organised so that you can communicate consistently. They're created and stored in one central system. Everyone within the organisation works from the same system and therefore always has the latest version of a template at hand. Good template management provides a strong foundation for optimal documents.
Version management: no messing around!
But who says that colleagues won’t start messing around in the template itself? We do! A template management system will be designed in such a way that changes to the template itself can only be made by authorised persons – the users responsible for so-called template management. Only those individuals can make changes to corporate identity elements or standard text. Other users can personalise a document based on the template but won’t be able to accidentally change the original template (and thus the corporate identity and standard texts).
Making templates easy to find
Managing document templates centrally is the way forward for both small and large organisations. Small organisations may have fewer people, but confusion arises more easily than you think. A document template management system will improve the findability of templates. Scrolling through your folders for hours on end is a thing of the past, saving you significant amounts of time. And, as you know, time is money, especially for large organisations with many departments and huge numbers of employees. Another advantage is the fact that the templates are simply created in Word – a programme that most people are familiar with.
No need to worry about document creation
In the latest template management systems (like SmartDocuments) you can easily create up-to-date templates that will be useable in the same form for many years to come. But it’s just as easy to create dynamic templates that are renewed every week.
A good template management system is essential if you want to monitor your corporate identity in the most optimal way. And let’s face it, if the system also frees up some of your time and takes away frustration, would you say no? We certainly wouldn’t.