Many companies have a host of documents which need managing such as technical specifications, product guides, product manuals, installation guides, material safety data sheets (MSDS), safety data sheets (SDS), or product safety data sheets (PSDS). We will refer to all drawings, pdfs, images, documents or any other file type as documents as the approach is similar for all of these information sources.
These documents are valuable business assets and they can be used to very good effect on your company’s website. How much time do your staff spend providing the information they contain to customers? Sometimes the same information to the same customer again and again? How many times do you think a customer would like information, but isn’t able to obtain it as your office is closed, the phone lines engaged, or it takes too long. Some businesses would prefer that their customers ring them every time as it maintains contact with them. Our experience suggests that this is not only incorrect assumption, but counter intuitively providing information online creates more customer loyalty, more customer contact and improves sales.
There are other major benefits to storing your documentation on your website. But let’s look at the options for controlling access to the information:
- Documents can be stored for anyone to download
- Documents can be restricted to staff members
- Documents can be restricted to logged in users
- Documents can be restricted to specific groups e.g. individual customers
- Document viewing can recorded – i.e. audit trails
The convenience and benefit to customers and staff of being able to download documents and access information when your office is closed is obvious. But many customers prefer to get their own information from a website rather than make a phone call explaining what they want and getting someone to email it to them. Having a comprehensive download system also provides two other major benefits:
- Public (not private) documents will be indexed by the search engines
- Online access of information can form part of your disaster recovery plan
The first of these is much more important than many people realise! Page Ranking with search engines is no longer about stuffing a page full of keywords, but is about providing real page content and links to your website. The more quality content you can add to your site improves your sites standing. This combined with a sensible SEARCH Engine Optimisation strategy will gradually improve your site’s ranking with the search engines – not least of which is because many of the key terms relevant to your business and what your potential customers will search on will be contained within the documents – this makes your job much easier!
Needless to say the features outlined above are included in cleartarn’s document management system, but the system is highly configurable to ensure that indexing, searching and access suit individual customer requirements
For a no obligation discussion about website based document management systems please contact us.