The role of ECM in ensuring regulatory compliance

Read this article and discover why Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is essential to ensuring compliance.

To ensure compliance, every company has to comply with a number of laws and regulations.

During an audit, or when an inspector knocks on your door, you will need to demonstrate that your business is compliant by promptly presenting all the required documentation. These documents range from operating licenses and permits to proof of fee payments and employee documentation, among others. Some segments, like the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries, require special licenses.

If you are relying on stacks of paper, network folders or e-mail inboxes for the necessary documents, you may have a problem. Chances are that you will discover documents with errors, or not even find them at all. It will be a headache.

To this end, the implementation of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) tools helps control the storage and effective management of documents through a single repository, ensuring ongoing compliance.

Here is how you can achieve regulatory compliance with the support of ECM technology:

1. Find documentation quickly

All existing documentation stored on different systems or shared on networks can be imported into the ECM platform. Through integration, office suites, such as Microsoft Office, can directly feed the content management system. Paper documents can be scanned and saved in the system using standard names and file attributes. This way, users will always know where to search for and easily locate content.

How to improve your document management system

2. Encourage collaboration

ECM automates processes and effectively manages documents, which can then be submitted to different approval levels. This way, compliance leaders can monitor activities and ensure that processes are being carried out correctly. Everyone involved is clear about the status of a given document, and can be audited without undue stress.

3. Meet deadlines

ECM systems can automatically control the expiry dates of documents, such as licenses, training records and employee certifications. Management is notified whenever a document is approaching its expiry date. This way, there is enough time to take action, such as re-validating the document, to avoid problems with regulatory agencies.

4. Access control

By defining security controls, ECM solutions ensure that documents and records are accessible only to those who really need them. Employee data, financial data, customer documents and other sensitive content can be kept in a single repository, ensuring that they are not accessed without authorization. New legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), has motivated organizations such as banks and hospitals to implement document management software to improve security and ensure the confidentiality of their client and patient data.

5. Preservation

Some records need to be preserved for legal purposes. The period varies according to each legislation. While some may be archived or even deleted after this period, others need to be preserved permanently. If these requirements are not met, the company can be penalized, with fines that can run into very high figures.

ECM software simplifies the whole process. It can be configured to safeguard documents according to the requirements of any legislation.

Regulatory demands are increasing complex and the proper control of records and documents is a major challenge today. ECM software offers your business peace of mind when it comes to compliance, ensuring secure and efficient document control, while allowing easy access to those who really need them.

To learn more about the advantages and benefits that an ECM solution can offer your company, contact our SoftExpert specialists. They understand your risks and can suggest the best way to implement an ECM solution to meet your needs.

Contact us

Marcelo Becher


Marcelo Becher

Specialist in Strategic Management from PUC-PR. Business and market analyst at SoftExpert, a software provider for enterprise-wide business processes automation, improvement, compliance management and corporate governance.

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