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Changing numbering system

Document Control Document Numbering

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#1 sandra2_tera

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 01:37 PM

Hi all,

Like many others I inherited a huge mess when taking over document control at our organisation - thousands of documents with different numbering systems used, some uncontrolled with no number what so ever. The numbering system used just before I joined is fine, although it is very long and therefore creates issues when copying documents to a new location (file name too long etc.) I would ideally like to simplify this and create a new numbering system altogether, but while it would both benificial I'm worried that doing so will just add to the mess?

What are your thoughts - pros and cons to changing a numbering system?

 

Also, if I do, how should I manage old documents retaining different numbering systems? I.e. a procedure being updated as rev.5 for example, but with a completely different numbering system, there is no cohesiveness to that..

 

Lastly, we have a procedure for document control, and a separate procedure for document numbering. Couldn't these be combined?

 

Appreciate your input! :)



#2 Tracey Richardson

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 02:41 PM

I have been through this before. When starting a new numbering system, everything gets put in as R00. For the change record simply say document XXXX has been transferred to the new numbering system. You would still keep all of the history of the old system in the revision record or just archive it. The last place I worked, we moved to a doc control system, and all documents were considered new. All of the old documents where simply archived.

 

The new place I work, we have three locations so I came up with this numbering scheme for labeling:

 

Location:

Tag:

Description:

COMP

For Company documentation that is not location dependent

OFFC

For Company documentation that is office related or generated

LAB

For Company documentation that is lab related or generated

PLT1

For Company documentation that is plant 1 related or generated

PLT2

For Company documentation that is plant 2 related or generated

 

Category:

Tag:

Description:

ENG

General Engineering

ENV

Environmental

EQPT**

Indicates an Equipment Tag (for tracking)

GMP

Good Manufacturing Practices

FIN

Finance

FSMS

Food Safety Management System

HR

Human Resources

HS

Health and Safety

IT

Information Technology

 

 

LEG

Legal

OPS

Operations

QAC

Quality Assurance and Control

RND

Research and Development

Information Type:

Tag:

Description:

CKL

Checklist

CON

Contracts

DATB

Databases

FLOW

Flowchart

FORM

For Blank Forms

GDL

Guidelines

GRPH

Graphs

IMG

Images

MEET

Meeting Related Documentation

OEM

Original Equipment Manufacturer Documentation

PAT

Patents

POL

Policy

PO

Purchase Order

PR

Purchase Requests

PRES

Presentations

SAMP

Sample identification documents

SCOP

Scope of Work

SOP

Standard Operating Procedures

SPEC

Specifications

TEMP

Templates

TNG

Training

REP

Reports

WI

Work Instructions

WO

Work Orders

 

For each category, the Document ID will start with the acronym of the location then department, then information type followed by a 4-digit number. Numbers will start at 0001 and go up.

Example: LAB-RND-FORM-0010-00

 

Document Control and the tags are in the same document

 

This process is working very well. Hope this works for you.



#3 sandra2_tera

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 08:57 AM

Thank you for your response. I should have mentioned probably that we don't use any QMS software, it's all managed by me via a document register (excel spreadsheet) with all thousands of files located on our shared drive and our sharepoint in a huuuuge mess.

So I need to go through every individual file basically and while I would prefer my new way of numbering, I'm worried mainly about our 200+ staff members that all need to access content and might refer to them by old numbers (communication is relatively poor).

How do I go about it? what's the downside?

Thanks again



#4 BrummyJim

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 09:56 AM

Hi an0322,

 

In places I have worked (including current) we've used a system based on the section of the standard that the procedure/record is referencing. We are BRC, so our HACCP documents all start with a 2. number as that is the relevant section in the BRC Food Safety standard. Unfortunately we are also BRC Agents & Brokers which uses a slightly different paragraph numbering, so we also have a document providing the cross reference when applicable.

e.g. PR3.4 Internal Audit Procedure I7 Rev3 refers to para 3.4 in BRC Food Safety V7, our revision 3.



#5 sandra2_tera

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 10:33 AM

Thanks for your responses though I should probably clarify, I already know how I would like to number our documents based on what works for us, and not looking for a new way of numbering as such.

I'm mainly looking for advice on what issues may arise with the actual process of changing the numbering system (not the actual numbering) if that makes sense.

So for example;

-Do I re-issue all documents with the new numbering and archive the old ones, or do I leave them be until they are due for review anyway and make the changes then (which will take longer)

- should I start from scratch and give all documents 1st Issue and archive old, as opposed to just a new revision number, will this be easier?

-Do I create a separate register for the old ones, how do I manage this as the register only allows for one unique id per document. if my register has a doc reference that doesn't correspond to previous revisions (i.e. people won't be able to search for an old revision using the current number on a shared drive, as they won't match)
-Any other issues that I haven't even thought about? (hence the reason for my post)

etc.etc.



#6 BrummyJim

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 10:38 AM

Hi an0322,

 

I would create the cross reference table first and issue that first. As you review/modify existing documents, put them to the new system. When you have a sufficient number or the time is right, go for all the ones not yet re-issued (some documents don't need updating as they are good first time).







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