Many of you will be familiar with scenarios like this: a drawing needs to be reviewed by a team of experts in your organization.

You pull together the package, print it, stuff it in an internal office envelope and drop it by the first expert on your list. Simple, familiar, easy to accomplish and something your team handles ten times in one day before you’ve even had a second cup of coffee.  

There are other familiar challenges with this process as well.

For example:  

  • Review cycles can take longer than expected without regimented delivery dates or someone ‘herding’ the document through its required path.

  • This sequential review can create a confusing situation if someone in the later stages needs feedback from a previous reviewer – usually delaying review completion.

  • Reviews can end up bottlenecked, but by giving the visibility to those that need it you can allow the process to continue and bypass if someone’s approval and sign off is not needed. If roles required approvals differ for a document, it needs to be communicated clearly or else everyone may revert to previous expectations (giving the visibility to those who need it, but do not need to sign off).

  • Tracking a package through this process requires a paper chase, invariably with a key member of the process being unavailable or out of office.

  • Every organization seems to have a bottleneck for review (e.g., everything related to rotating equipment must go through our Rotating Lead and his desk is piled so high they can see it from space).

Digital transformation strategy: digitizing manufacturing for seamless reviews.

Manufacturing plants have become increasingly digital over the years, and that trend continues as we move forward into the Industry 4.0 digital age. Manufacturers that have begun to move toward increasing their digital footprint and are using technology to be agile to prepare for unexpected events arise are better able to leverage their platforms now that social distancing and remote work have become a necessity.  

Having a cloud-based SaaS platform that your team can access without needing to acquire hardware or SAN space for an application and database allows for greater uptime and work to continue. These systems can be used and integrated into solutions you may already have or can operate as stand-alone platforms, such as Meridian Portal, which can be integrated with your Meridian Power EDMS or used as a stand-alone system.  

This system allows your document control team to initiate a review package with specific roles (Lead Reviewer, Required Reviewer, Optional Reviewer) over a full package of documents at a time. Your team will receive email notifications of the package to be reviewed, will be able to do their review online through markups on the document and comments, all from wherever they can get to the Internet.  

These comments and markups are visible to the entire team and these comments can be added to in a conversation reply functionality. Comments are also tracked and visible to the entire team in real-time – eliminating potential bottlenecks by relying on transferring review and approvals in a sequential review step.

Engineering document management solutions like Accruent’s Meridian Portal are helping engineers work together with maintenance teams to expedite critical plant functions by changing the way handovers and document reviews happen. Collaborative online reviews are allowing teams to access the latest and greatest engineering documentation without having to rely on others to approve materials before gaining access, and ultimately expediting the multiple review processes.  

To learn more about how to utilize Meridian Portal to digitize your review process, register for our webinar.