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Document management: Know your costs and how to reduce them

Posted by Bertrand Duteil on 25/08/2016


Document management in a SRM context can cover several different areas such as master data collection, documentation, complaints or suppliers evaluation. Considering the collection, information check and storage of every document, this task can be very time consuming when the number of suppliers and products to deal with grows.

To efficiently reduce the time and money spent on document management, you first need to measure the current spendings made in that field. We will help you calculate your current spending before giving you a few tips on how to reduce the time and money spent for your documentation.

How to estimate your spendings

An easy way to calculate the time and money spent in your documentation is to estimate the amount of time spent on each document peryear. As an expert in supplier relationship management and document managent, we have created the following calculation to help you estimate your spendings. The values are based on averages collected through several surveys sent to our customers.

Calculation example - yearly documents management spendings for a company with 200 suppliers and 300 products or raw material

Supplier documents: 200 suppliers x 3 documents x 15 minutes per document x 25€/hour

Suppliers questionnaires: 200 suppliers x 1 questionnaire x 15 minutes per document x 25€/hour

Product documents: 300 products x 5 documents x 15 minutes per document x 25€/hour

Total: 215 625 €/year

Calculation explanation

For each supplier, an average of 3 documents and 1 questionnaire will be created, collected and updated. The suppliers documents are generally about quality or insurance certificates (see here the 5 most requested suppliers documents).

Furthermore, each product and raw material will require an average of 5 documents. Product related documents are documents such as specifications, bio certificates or allergens declarations (see here the 5 most requested product documents).

To calculate the value of document management, we used for this calculation the average salary of a qualified employee in purchasing and quality management in Europe (25€/hour)

The time needed for the management of each document is averaged to 15 minutes per year. This time takes in consideration the different steps until the completion of the process: the information must be requested, collected, checked and archived. Deadlines need to be managed and information must be regularly updated.

How to reduce the time and money spent in document management

Yes, document management can cost a lot of time and money but still has to be done.

To reduce the time and money spent in your documentation, you can first check our list of the 6 most common mistakes in document management.

Once all those mistakes have been eliminated, an easy way to reduce your spendings is to involve your suppliers and let them participate pro-actively in the collection and updating of their supplier and product documents. A document management system can in this case be really helpful. It will make all processes and communication between you and your suppliers much easier.


With ecratum, a web-based supplier relationship management tool, we help you managing your supplier and product documentation efficiently. With the end of the paper certificates and heavy folders, we make your suppliers pro-actively participate to the documentation and centrally collect and store all exchanged data. Click here to calculate use our ROI Calculator to estimate the benefits for your company of using ecratum and learn more about our suite.

Calculate here your savings with ecratum - To the calculator

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