Picture the scene, you have completed the process of classifying your information, data and documents and know what you want to retain and/or know what you need to retain within your Preservation project.
Now is the time to create a Retention Policy and as part of your policy a retention schedule. Although they are often seen as an administrative requirement and a regulated process step I actually believe they are documents and initiatives with a huge amount of business value.
Owning, managing and maintaining a defined retention schedule is a critical step to deliver your project, it is the blueprint for your software solution meeting your business needs with a foot in both the compliance and storage camps. It also supports and underpins the deletion step that is often the most uncomfortable one to take. So, your well structured schedule will ensure correct corporate governance by implementing the retention periods dictated to us but it also delivers efficiency in our document management operations. It allows pre-approved and agreed retention rules to be applied to groups of content and ensures objects are deleted when applicable.
And remember, we are only applying the retention schedule to content that we have deemed as valuable to our organisation.
To create a retention schedule from scratch I would suggest you only need to start with the following six areas that will be based on your requirements, your adaptation of regulation and your own structure.
Most often this will be documents but can be data sets or ‘other’ objects
You will have different groupings of content often related to Product, projects, finance, HR etc etc. There is no limit to the number of different types of content but to make the schedule deliver efficiency I would encourage a limited number of content types
Explain the way the object is being stored and if required the location. As much as we try to live in a digital world you will almost certainly have some paper records (contracts for example) so ensure paper records have their location included in the schedule.
Where objects are stored electronically, add the preservation file format.
The period is how long you will hold the record for and importantly from what date this hold starts. Examples are; in the UK, HMRC related records need to be held for 6 years +1. For our Life Science clients, any Clinical trial up to 15 years but with variations on this and GDPR will have various retention periods which are reliant on the your own classifications.
Detailing the reason, authority and standard is very useful. If a standard changes it enables you to immediately see which records are affected by this change. Where the retention is driven by an internal factor it equally will allow easy sort, search and retrieval
Why do we retain? Because there is value in our data so do not automatically set the action to deletion. Some records we DO want to delete once the retention period expires but some we may want to review. The review may result in a controlled and evidenced deletion but it may result in an extended or new period of retention so be clear what needs to happen at the end of your initial period of hold.
And don’t allow the building of a retention policy and schedule to become a grand affair. Both the Policy and the schedule will be controlled documents so you can add to it over time using version control. But once in place it is a powerful governance tool that allows best practice to be executed by trained team members and in doing so will deliver efficiency to your preservation projects.
In January of 2021, our Swedish-based engineering customer, with a distinct vertical in Life Science, selected Formpipe to meet its GxP needs by deploying our X-Docs™ platform.
The solution comprises of all 3 X-Docs™ modules (X-Docs, X-Forms and X-Train), as well as our additional reporting service (X-Reports). The timeline to deliver the first module in March 2021 is easily matched by our team, who have a lot of experience delivering quick validation projects. Our sights have already shifted to the second module, X-Forms, and we’re looking forward to building a long-term relationship.
Our new customer opted for Formpipe to meet its GxP needs due to our ability to quickly deliver a compliant solution that is simple to use. At Formpipe our mission is to bring customers closer to their data, introducing X-Docs™ enables powerful reporting on quality metrics and delivers efficiencies that outweigh the system investment.
For further information about X-Docs please contact Kathryn Taylor by email email@example.com
TrakCel is a UK-based technology company that specialise in the development of cellular orchestration software for the planning and efficient management of cell and gene therapies
at clinical trial and commercial scale.
The business has experienced rapid expansion and realised they needed a more efficient way of managing documentation approvals and accessing quality process data. While the existing quality and compliance measures were sufficient, TrakCel realised there was an opportunity to improve efficiency across the quality management systems.
Electronic quality management systems should be simple to use, adhere to current regulatory requirements and ensure quality systems data is visible and easily accessible. Formpipe’s X-Docs solution has been designed specifically for life science customers to meet these requirements.
X-Docs delivers efficiency that can be measured in working time saved and the intangible benefits of allowing the Quality Professional to focus on business improvements rather than administrative tasks.
For TrakCel, the decision to move to X-Docs has been business growth. This acted as a catalyst in initiating a business transformation project to become a paperless Quality Management System (QMS), strongly supported by their Chief Strategy Officer.
The implementation of X-Docs and X-forms took four months, from the point of initiating the project to the completion of the installed software validation activities and released for use.
Standard functionality challenges
TrakCel encountered functionality challenges in their existing system as it was a manual, paper-based approach. This proved to be labour intensive and time-consuming. As the business expanded, it became apparent that using a paper-based system was increasingly challenging for teams to manually manage documents and the associated approval workflows.
With a clear mandate to deliver value, drive efficiency at every opportunity and a dedication to continuously improve processes across the company, TrakCel decided to assess their current methods of quality assurance and compliance management.
Keen to implement a more robust way of managing quality assurance and demonstrating their compliant status, TrakCel researched the market to find a new solution. They needed a system which would not only be effective but facilitate a quick implementation too. A system that would offer the best of both worlds: a pre-configured, easy to deploy, electronic quality management system that could be tailored as and when the need arose. The introduction of X-Docs gave TrakCel a system that was compliant and user-friendly.
TrakCel drew up a shortlist after speaking to their clients and wider network within the life sciences industry. This shortlist included Formpipe’s X-Docs product. Formpipe also came in as a personal recommendation from senior management in TrakCel’s Clarity Compliance team. TrakCel’s Quality Assurance team also conducted extensive research into the best way to implement an EQMS system, the key challenge being trying to configure a system that paralleled their existing quality process.
Formpipe’s X-Docs product offers an easy-to-use EQMS solution that reflects current regulatory procedures for the FDA, MHRA and EU markets. Delivered on a stable Sharepoint platform, X-Docs offers pre-built modules and workflows that can be adopted Out of the Box or configured, meeting individual needs. TrakCel selected the pre-configured option, utilising the Docs, Train and Forms (for example CAPA and Change Control process) modules. The Formpipe modules are fully coordinated which offers a significant advantage over some of the alternative, well-known systems.
Performing demonstrations were fundamental in the decisionmaking process for Trakcel. Formpipe presented their processes and offered an audit.. Formpipe offered TrakCel the opportunity for a true partnership relationship with support functions in place. Support was of paramount importance to
TrakCel as their Quality Assurance team were keen to add further configuration, allowing extended system use.
The X-Docs solution is scalable and has a full and filterable audit trail, cross modular functionality and a proven migration path. X-docs also has FDA CFR 21 Part 11 compliant electronic signature features built into all modules.
TrakCel currently have 90 users in their business who will use X-Docs, with the system being utilised for control of various documents. By changing to X-Docs, TrakCel’s system became efficient and compliant with GMP.
Benefitting from improved quality assurance and compliance management
With their process management transformed, TrakCel have noted several benefits as a result. Firstly, the collaboration Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) has seen an improvement, allowing feedback to be captured within the system, rather than emails and attachments being sent. Review and approval can also be simultaneously conducted by multiple approvers.
Electronic signature for documentation control means that workflow approvals are quick, without the need for paper being printed and transported around the offices. This provides a cost saving on how much paper is used each month, as well as an environmental benefit.
Through X-Docs, system templates can be set up for job descriptions, corporate CVs and competency records, presenting a professional image and processes are more consistent. All training records were also visible and easily accessible for everyone.
The company have also noted several long-term benefits. When TrakCel initially completed a return on investment calculation, it was estimated that the transition to X-Docs would save the company a minimum of £3000 per month, based on time spent on paper administration.
The transition to X-Docs has meant that TrakCel now has a compliant, validated system that can help to avoid negative customer or authority audits. TrakCel have also noticed an increase in staff productivity as a result of using a more efficient system. X-Docs provides greater visibility in allowing access to documents, allowing data-driven decisions to be made. Using X-Docs has also improved the security of all TrakCel records.
Having visibility of metrics ensures swift reporting and trending, making the management review process for Quality Assurance team much quicker. The live status and the owner of all CAPA’s (corrective and preventive action) and linked actions is visible to all, with the reporting dashboard identifying those approaching their due date with a Red-Amber-Green (RAG) status. Periodic reviews due are flagged automatically, rather than the teams having to monitor a spreadsheet.
Overall, TrakCel is seeing much greater savings than predicted. Being paperless has reduced paper and printing costs by a minimum of £4,000 for TrakCel per year. Implementing the new system means TrakCel will not incur off-site storage costs long-term. Kirstie Kay, Head of Quality at TrakCel comments, “We have established a great relationship with Formpipe, and they have listened and understood our requirements, maintain regular contact and any support has been very responsive. The EQMS has exceeded my expectations in terms of efficiency and has allowed Quality Assurance to focus on value-added tasks rather than paper administration. Having a paperless QMS has allowed the entire company to work compliantly from home if needed”.
“The introduction of the EQMS has changed core aspects of my role,” says Susan Preston, QA Administrator. Previously much time was spent on the administration of paperwork, such as chasing paper copies from desk to desk to get signatures and the process of introducing/superseding/ obsoleting paper copies of documents. This is now a much more streamlined process and fewer bottlenecks occur. Reviewing the status of training tasks and ensuring completion of training now takes significantly less time. The increased visibility and efficiency of the system has enabled me to concentrate and expand upon on other aspects of my role”.
For further information about X-Docs please contact Kathryn Taylor by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Norsk medisinsk syklotronsenter AS (NMS) was the largest single investment in advanced medical research and diagnostics in Norway. It was financed by GE Healthcare AS, the Research Council of Norway and the Ministry of Education.
NMS produce and develop short-lived radioactive pharmaceutical products (radiopharmaceuticals) for use in PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans and for quality control. These laboratories must satisfy requirements for pharmaceutical production and radiation protection.
As part of NMS’ drive for continuous improvement, while the existing quality and compliance measures were sufficient, NMS realised there was an opportunity to improve efficiency across business procedures and quality management systems.
Electronic quality management systems should be usable, reflect current regulatory processes and be on a stable technology. Formpipe’s X-docs solution has been built and maintained to those requirements. X-docs delivers efficiency that can be measured in working time saved and the intangible benefits of allowing the Quality Professional to focus on business improvements rather than administrative tasks.
NMS initially engaged Formpipe through the issue of their RFP and URS during January 2017. Both RFP and URS were a perfect match for X-docs, with only a handful of items not being met by the Out of the Box (OOB) product. This was then followed with an on-site demo of X-docs to show how the core functionality met the URS requirements in March 2017.
Implementation of the X-docs software took three months, from the point of change control to implementing X-docs until the system was validated and released for use. Formpipe then guided NMS through the migration process using tools to transfer documents form the current paper-based system to X-docs, and set up the associated Staff electronic training programs. The implementation gave NMS a pre-configured, easy to deploy, EQMS that met all the specified needs and could be tailored as and when the need arises.
The contract itself was agreed based on NMS taking the Core OOB product and benefitting from industry best practices this brought to their business operations in addition to standard EQMS functionality.
Standard Functionality Challenges and Evaluating Operations
NMS encountered challenges in their existing paper-based system as it was labour intensive to manage and time-consuming to locate data and generate reports.
As the business expanded to multiple locations, it became apparent that using a paper-based system and a “wet ink” approval process would be increasingly difficult for NMS’s Quality Assurance team to manage.
When NMS moved into their new offices, they realised that their QMS system had to be more efficient, with the need to improve and streamline processes. In addition, NMS needed a system that would ensure a high level of data integrity and that would support remote approval via electronic signatures compliant to the relevant regulatory regulations.
With a clear mandate to deliver value, drive efficiency at every opportunity and a dedication to continuously improve processes across the company, NMS decided to assess their current methods of quality assurance and compliance management.
Keen to implement a more robust way of managing quality assurance and demonstrating their compliant status, NMS researched the market to find a new solution.
They required a system that would not only be effective but facilitate a quick implementation too. A system that would offer the best of both worlds: a pre-configured, easy to deploy, electronic quality management system that could be tailored as and when the need arose. The introduction of X-Docs gave NMS a system that was designed to be compliant with Eudralex Volume 4 (GMP) and easy to use.
Formpipe’s X-docs EQMS is an intuitive solution that reflects current regulatory procedures for the FDA, MHRA and EU markets. Delivered on a stable SharePoint platform it offers pre-built modules and workflows that can be adopted Out of the Box or configured to meet individual needs the result being the easiest and quickest EQMS to deploy within a regulated environment.
NMS selected the pre-configured, SharePoint based, enterprise EQMS, X-Docs, by Formpipe utilising the Docs, Train and Forms modules. The latter consisted of preconfigured processes to manage Deviations, Change Controls and CAPAs. The EQMS met all of the company’s specified needs.
The X-Docs solution is scalable and has a full and filterable audit trail, cross modular functionality and a proven migration path for documents and training programs. X-Docs also includes electronic signature approval workflows that are compliant to relevant regulations such as FDA CFR 21 Part 11.
X-Docs is used by all the staff at the NMS site. All employees are trained in reading documents and signing for them in X-Train. 90% of NMS’s employees are now trained in raising deviations, change controls and CAPAs, within X-forms, as well as writing, updating and sending documents for approval in X-docs (QMS contribute users).
By changing to an electronic system, NMS’ system became efficient and compliant with GMP.
Benefitting from Improved Quality Assurance and Compliance Management
With quality assurance and process management transformed, NMS have noted several benefits as a result. Firstly, the firm has reduced manual administration representing a significant cost saving for the business. With X-docs in place, NMS also has full visibility over its entire quality-based workflows. The key performance indicators, automated reporting, sophisticated search functionality, and audit trail insights are providing a level of transparency that surpasses the capabilities of previous methods. For processes like SOPs, NMS can now establish which members of staff are qualified to perform certain tasks, and which ones aren’t in a matter of seconds.
Tina Solvang Tungen, IT and validation manager, NMS, comments, “The new system has improved the GMP compliance and data integrity of our QMS as it comes with audit trails, electronic signatures and automated data analysis tools. It has also made our QMS more efficient.”
“Now several people can work on the same documents at the same time without any loss of data or time because people are working on different or wrong versions of a document. People can sign of documents, forms, etc. at the time they are doing the work without needing to be in the same office. This has been useful since we have two office locations. It has also made it easier to work from home, which have been crucial during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“The introduction of an electronic document management system has freed up resources in QA because the QMS now is easier to maintain. The introduction of X-docs has made it easier to control that people are trained in the correct procedures, that the current version of a document is available and being used and it is easier to get signatures as people can sign of documents, forms and training electronically. NMS would not have been able to grow as much as we have without introducing an electronic document management system, as it would have been challenging to maintain all the manual overviews. I would estimate that we would have needed an additional full time QA employee to maintain a similar paper-based system, in addition to being a less GMP compliant system.”
Tina concluded: “We are really happy with the support we are getting from Formpipe during regular operations of the system, and that Formpipe listen and includes improvements that we suggest and desire.”
For further information about X-Docs please contact Kathryn Taylor by email email@example.com
Formpipe are committed to providing a current and secure platform for our SaaS customers whilst ensuring regulatory compliance. We are delighted that (for some time now) all of our X-Docs hosted customers are up and running on the latest version of the Microsoft SharePoint platform, SharePoint 2019.
We highlighted the drivers to upgrade our X-Docs customers to SharePoint’s latest release at our User Group Meeting 2019. These User Groups are always valuable sessions to hold, enabling two-way communication, developing the X-Docs road map, and discussing enhancement requests. This afforded us the opportunity to discuss the upgrade and run through the process. Importantly we were able to identify that the impact to customers operationally would be minimal (no loss of data access).
The following benefits for migrating to the latest Microsoft platform were discussed:
A software vulnerability is a prevalent issue for all organisations, and hackers will target old operating systems or software programs to exploit their weaknesses. Upgrading to the latest version ensures the latest security features protect users and data. It also enables us to monitor and implement the latest security patches more efficiently.
The update delivers new backend features and fixes for SharePoint, as well as removing outdated or obsolete features, streamlining the software.
Long Term Support
Running our customers X-docs products on the SharePoint 2019 platform improves the long-term support of Formpipe’s X-Docs products (X-Docs, X-Forms, and X-Train). It improves and ensures continued integration with Microsoft Office products, such as Office 365, as the Office products evolve over time. Having the system running on the latest platform also ensures customers can benefit from the performance enhancements of the latest platform software through faster response times.
Minimizing the Impact of Change
We know that for our Life Science customers, any change has an impact on validation resources, therefore we were very keen to make the transition as seamless as possible.
By design, no feature updates were introduced with the new X-docs software that integrates with the latest SharePoint platform, limiting the impact to our customers when it comes to testing, training, and validating the new system. Our team ensured the existing systems used by our customers would remain available throughout the process, minimising downtime and operation impact.
Our internal testing prior to the release of our new software compatible with the latest SharePoint platform not only focused on software regression testing but also the migration pathway for our existing customers. The result was confidence in the process for our customers and a successful migration process that was conducted to schedule and with zero issues raised as a result.
Get in touch with us today if you would like to know more about how our X-Docs product can help your organisation meet regulatory compliance in Life Science.
Within the Formpipe Preservation team we talk a lot, probably every day, about access structure or a permission matrix within our electronic systems.
For our delivery teams it is part of their day to day lives, so much so that we made a video on it to showcase what our product can do. To watch the video, please click here. Long-Term Archive can set permissions on users, groups and archives then content types, search criteria and individual item level so we can meet any organisation’s permissions.
A regular mistake we see is that the permission structure mirrors that of the source system providing the content. This is often a legacy of thinking of an archive as an ‘add on’ to an EDMS or other business critical system. With an e-archive or preservation platform I would always encourage prospects and clients to consider that the majority of the information as not for day to day consumption and therefore a more limited set of permissions are required.
I would encourage you to group permissions into the following 3 sets;
1). Who can post into the archive
This will most likely be the largest set of users. You will encourage users to send data or documents that need preserving out of the everyday system and post into the archive. Where you are interfacing something like an ERP or CRM then you can adopt the permission structure of the source system, where the ingestion is triggered manually you can apply workflows to manage that process. Allow the ingestion metadata schema to care for the content structure, location, file type and permissions. The user posting simply needs to initiate the move to archive
2). Who can search and retrieve
Depending on the way you want to work this is either;
We would strongly encourage this set of users to be limited, this is historic data and has been classed as not required within a business as usual system. Where documents are stored, allowing any user the ability to see a previous version of a document could be damaging. Those few that you do grant permissions to should only be able to access archives they need to see following an existing corporate organisational structure detailing areas of responsibility. Where required you can set an archival search and retrieval function, meaning you can still hide the content from users whilst allowing them the ability to retrieve
Split this group into two areas as they will have different access requirements and you should where possible avoid one single user having both archive and system admin rights.
Archive admin will need to be those who care about true preservation needs. They will manage retention policy, archive structure and the general use of the system. Where an archive team manages requests or data management workflows they will responsible for the execution of these and be looking for the ability to report accordingly. They will set the metadata schema and archive rules that create the structure and permissions. These people should also be ones who host any audit activity with an understanding of the logs and audit trails required. Such user rights will be governed by their qualifications, experience and area of responsibility.
Your system administrators will sit separate to the archive function and will be more focussed on system performance, user access and storage locations. They have a limited requirement to actually access archives or the content within but will oversee the system overall and most likely the vendor contract if applicable.
Please do not struggle, get in touch today and allow us to help with creating a permission matrix that works for your organisation, meets your compliance needs and creates an efficient preservation platform.
Our latest X-Docs customer offers a range of GLP compliant services, which is monitored by the UK GLP Monitoring Authority.
Around the world, mandatory testing is required to demonstrate products are safe for their intended use - and compliance with Good Laboratory Practice ensures the delivery of reliable data to support this position.
Based in the UK and the Netherlands the customer performs a wide range of tests to evaluate chemical properties of agrochemicals in compliance with OECD guidelines, following internationally accepted methods and strict compliance to OECD Principles of GLP.
Our new customer belongs to the top 5 generics producers in Portugal. Formpipe was selected based on previous projects within the organization using Platina LS and the capabilities of the products comprising the solution.
Owing to the current global pandemic the project is being delivered remotely to its original timeline.
The project is a first in Portugal for Formpipe Life Sciences building on our existing worldwide customer base.
Many of our customers have come to Formpipe because they need to add additional fields to the mobile app in the warehouse module – in short using the out of the box standard Dynamics 365 it can take hundreds of hours to do this! Time that could be spent on other tasks in the business.
At Formpipe we have managed to solve this problem by providing the option to add fields through our connector making this process a simple and quick task. Adding fields such as number of copies can be done in a few simple clicks.
Further to this, we are also providing the option to reprint labels from the mobile app to any printer. Standard Dynamics 365 does not provide an option for selecting a destination when printing/re-printing from the mobile app.
Simply showing the function of printing in the following will add a printer-selection at the mobile App through the Lasernet connector.
When reprinting a label it is exactly the same!
Selection of the destination/printer is closely integrated with the ‘Default printer’ in Lasernet connector – And provides the option only to show printers valid for the warehouse/user – If required.
The fields Note, Reference, Print quantity and Printer are added through the Lasernet connector.
The reference field is a function we have added to help with selection of different Labels. For instance one for a rotated label and another one containing information like a ‘copy’ background.
The way Microsoft delivers Dynamics 365 updates changed on January 31st 2019 and if you haven’t updated to the latest version, you need to do so now to ensure you’re not left behind.
Dynamics 365 is moving to a true SaaS model, something that has proven to be a huge success for other Microsoft products such as Office and Azure. Microsoft’s ‘One Version’ way of thinking will result in everyone using the same version of software, which for customers will result in better support, reliability and performance. Partners will benefit from lower support costs along with earlier visibility and access to updates through Microsoft’s new release structure, so it’s good news all round.
We’re saying farewell to Customer Driven Updates in favour of new features and code being sent via weekly updates which will run in the background. The real game changer will be the two new versions of Dynamics which will be launched every April and October. It’s in these bi-annual new versions that users will be able to physically see the new features they have available. Admin Driven Opt-In controls the user experience and can switch on new features as they arrive but can also switch them off should they cause unwanted changes to the user experience.
Moving forward to the release of Version 10 in April 2019, updates from Version 10 and beyond will be available in sandbox environments for the pre-testing of integrations, customisations and ISV apps. Microsoft are making the release notes available even earlier to ensure the market is aware of what’s coming.
The First Release Program is where new versions begin their journey by being deployed to Microsoft employee and selected customers and partners for testing. Formpipe Lasernet is amongst the first to test new versions ensuring compatibility before they become available.
However, you decide to manage your Dynamics 365 upgrades, rest assured that Formpipe Lasernet will be compatible with any version, both past and present.
Looking for the On-Screen Printing Option in On-Premise Dynamics 365 for F&O?
The simple answer to the issue is to stop, as it’s no longer available.
For those with an On-Prem Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations installation, you may have noticed that since updating, the ‘Screen Print Destination’ option has vanished and you are now no longer able to preview reports. Without this feature users now must save the document as a PDF, then open it in order to preview.
This handy feature has only been removed for those with On-Premise installations of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, those using Azure/Cloud versions still have the option and are not affected. A simple way to bring this feature back is with Lasernet, the leading document management solution for output and data transformation.
The Lasernet Connector for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is compatible with all versions (On-Premise, Azure/Cloud) and allows the user to preview reports at the click of a button. Lasernet reinstates the preview option via the ‘Lasernet Screen’ button where users can simply click the option to preview reports without the need to save and re-open the document – a far more user-friendly approach compared to standard D365FO/AX.
In addition to this, those requiring printing to remote printers will also find On-Premise Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations falls short as the standard features only allow printing to printers on the same network. To overcome this, the Lasernet Cloud Print Connector enables users to print to remote printers that are not located on the network. Perfect for those remotely printing documents such as labels and shipping notes.
With no plans to implement these features in future On-Premise deployments, if you want to reinstate them, a third party connector such as Lasernet is your only option. To learn more about how Lasernet solves this issue along with many others, please get in touch.
Formpipe Lasernet is gearing up to tackle the rapidly changing market in 2019 as it looks to build upon and utilise its collaboration with Microsoft US.
The goal follows Formpipe Lasernet’s attendance at the Microsoft Executive Briefing in Seattle, USA, which gathered a number of Independent Software Vendors (ISV) to discuss trends in the industry in preparation for the year ahead.
As the industry continues to advance at a rapid pace, the event provided Formpipe Lasernet with the opportunity to engage with partners and customers from across the Microsoft partnership network and discuss how best to work with Microsoft as an ISV. Discussions arose around the newest technology trends the industry is currently experiencing, such as artificial intelligence, and how these will affect current processes. Participants also got access to live demonstrations on customer cases, as well as debating how to scale a business efficiently.
Looking back on the event, Anders Terp, Managing Director Formpipe Inc., commented: “The Microsoft event presented us with an excellent platform to discuss the major challenges the industry is currently facing. As we begin to adapt to new technology trends, it is important we continue to understand opportunities to improve our processes. At Lasernet, we are proud to have adapted positively to changes in the industry, and we are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with Microsoft US.”
Inbox-centric document management describes the process of an individual filing, accessing and amending documents in a way that inadvertently makes it difficult for colleagues or auditors to scramble together the bigger picture of a case. This approach is commonplace and typically involves the use of email inboxes and/or disjointed files, supported by basic technology infrastructure. It can make locating specific documentation quickly and efficiently an impossible task. It compromises data integrity and can have a direct impact on both productivity and profitability.
In contrast, a matter-centric approach creates holistic visibility; it provides a bird’s eye view of documents, events, tasks, contacts and corresponding discussions. Facilitated by Microsoft SharePoint-based technology, matter-centric document management systems provide a structured and intuitive interface that, combined with automated metadata assignment to content, empowers users to locate relevant content with speed and precision.
Matter-centric document management also takes the pain out of the auditing process, as one of Manitoba’s largest law firms, Taylor McCaffrey LLP, recently discovered. Keen to match The Manitoba Law Society’s preference for matter-centric document management, the Canadian firm replaced its basic, albeit functional, inbox-centric electronic file system with Contentworker by Formpipe.
The firm’s lawyers are now able to quickly and easily navigate their favourite and/or recent matters, as well as matters they don’t own but are involved in. The matter-centric nature of the Contentworker system provides an instant tree view of all relevant documents and data. It allows users to drag-and-drop, as well as personalise their interface with tabs containing current works that are instantly accessible. The firm’s lawyers can also use the system’s quick search functionality to locate matters through a variety of search criteria, including name, number or by one of several metadata fields.
Switching to matter-centric document management means the firm can accommodate auditors’ demands, remove the admin-based limitations associated with its previous method, retrieve the right documents quickly, and have 100% confidence in the integrity of the data contained within them.
To find out more about Taylor McCaffrey LLP’s journey from inbox managers to highly productive case managers, click here.
It’s easy to see how these inefficiencies can creep in and take hold. What was once an effective means of managing a process within an organisation can be rendered inappropriate by factors such as business growth or diversification.
The mentality of ‘we’ve always done it this way, so why to change it now?’ is also a difficult one to challenge from a cultural perspective. People tend to like what’s familiar. But what if what’s familiar is costing your business money? What if, by doing things differently, your people could be more productive and your business more profitable?
When it comes to document management, it’s easy to fall victim to outdated practices, such as reliance on paper-based systems and processes, inappropriate use of email platforms or outdated electronic systems. The good news is, it can also be easy to embrace and implement change.
By taking control of document management (by storing files in a centralised, accessible, intelligent system that facilitates collaboration, visibility over a document’s entire life cycle, and uses metadata to tag files so they can be instantly retrieved by authorised users at the click of a mouse) processes become quicker and more agile. As a result of this new-found speed, opportunities for productivity to increase emerge, as users are no longer wasting precious, fee-earning time searching for documents inside email inboxes or static electronic systems. Neither are they going backwards and forwards between customers and other third parties to manage edits or approvals. Instead of authorised users can co-author the same document in real-time. These benefits combined to increase efficiency and provide businesses that embrace such a transformation with an undeniable competitive advantage.
Want to know how Document Management Systems from Contentworker by Formpipe can help your business operate more efficiently? Request your free demonstration today.
Put simply, the term refers to the positive opportunity that can result when businesses retire old ways of doing things and replace them with progressive, technology-based alternatives. It usually refers to a cultural shift within a business, an overall strategy that takes into consideration all processes, all departments, and all commercial objectives.
It can’t be denied that digital transformation represents both a challenge (how do we achieve it?) and an opportunity (what will improve once we achieve it?) for businesses of all shapes, sizes, and sectors. This is perhaps why, despite ‘90 per cent of CEOs believing that the digital economy will have a significant impact on their industry, only 25 per cent have plans in place [to introduce digital transformation] and less than 15 per cent are funding and executing the plan.’¹
Interestingly, ’55 per cent of companies that do not have digital transformation programmes in place say the timeframe to adopt one is a year or less. 85 per cent of decision-makers feel they have a timeframe of 2 years before suffering financially or falling behind competitors.’²
Document management is an example of a business function that has the potential to improve (become faster, cheaper, more effective) with the introduction of technology. By replacing disjointed, paper or email-based methods of document management with an innovative, intuitive, and intelligent Document Management System (DMS), businesses can:
Don’t get left behind in the race for digital transformation. Embrace technology and achieve a competitive advantage.
For a free demo of Contentworker by Formpipe, a DMS in SharePoint, please contact us today.
For many law firms, relying on a combination of disjointed electronic systems, paper-based archives and email platforms to create, store, modify and disseminate documentation, this loss of productivity of fee-earning workers presents considerable risk to operational performance, as well as profitability.
Contentworker helps to ease this headache and, thanks to powerful search functionality underpinned by automatic metadata tagging and assignment, promotes both enhanced efficiency and productivity – empowering users to easily locate documents in seconds. From tracking recently used matters and documents to provide users with speedy access to their recently viewed items; harnessing the sophisticated search engine capabilities of Microsoft SharePoint to deliver intelligent results instantaneously; and alerting users to a document’s relevance in relation to several factors, such as type, case manager and client.
Contentworker introduces structure to the traditionally unstructured environments of email platforms and cumbersome electronic filing systems to create instant, holistic visibility over an organisation’s entire document library; supporting users to locate documents with ease, speed and precision.
Find out how top 30 Dutch law firm, Kneppelhout & Korthals, has taken control of document management and anticipates productivity to increase by 4,400 hours per year as a result.
The selection criteria included a number of common DMS specifications, including:
However, a less common specification on Ræder’s selection criteria was that the chosen DMS would also need to be hosted in the cloud – or as Ræder’s Chief Financial Officer, Trine Bagstevold explained it: ‘incorporate the Netflix approach to DMS’.
But what are the benefits of having your DMS hosted in a private cloud environment, as opposed to on-premise? Here are a few:
Keen to find out more about Ræder’s journey towards better, cloud-based document management? Read the full case study here.
The new rules from the European Union aim to simplify data protection laws and provide EU nationals with more control over their personal data. If businesses who control or process this data – whether they are based in the EU or have customers from any of the member states – misuse, exploit, misplace or mishandle it, the financial consequences are stark: up to 4 per cent annual worldwide turnover, or up to €20m. The reputational cost and potential loss of business also pose significant risks to ongoing commercial success.
When it comes to personal data contained within business documents, it’s easy to see why many organisations may be struggling to get a firm handle on implementing GDPR compliance. With thousands, sometimes millions, of documents providing the backbone of workflows and formalised customer interaction, managing the lifecycle of these files – and being able to demonstrate to auditors that the personal data contained within them is being handled appropriately – can seem like a daunting task. This challenge is amplified when we consider the multiple departments and people within any given organisation, using different siloed systems and processes (often email servers and paper-based methods) to store and manage documents.
Innovative, intuitive, and intelligent Document Management Systems (DMS) can alleviate a lot of the challenges brought about by the GDPR by:
Overall, DMS represents an easy and effective means of taking control of business documents and appropriately managing the personal data contained within them. Not only will a well-designed DMS remove a number of GDPR compliance-based risks, it will deliver tangible improvements to operations too; speeding up processes, improving opportunity for customer collaboration, reducing administrative input, and cutting costs.
So, why are a growing number of businesses considering migrating their systems to the cloud? What are the opportunities for your business?
Before Software as a Service (SaaS), when a business purchased a new system it was implemented ‘on-premise’ – installed and configured locally on the organisation’s own servers. This is still an option favoured by many businesses today, and one that most vendors still support. But fast forward to 2018 and the digital revolution – and the convenience that comes with it – is well underway. You only have to look at changes in consumer habits, the emergence of services like Netflix and Spotify, to appreciate the benefits cloud technology can offer.
When it comes to DMS, embracing cloud can yield significant cost savings, with the total cost of ownership much lower compared to equivalent on-premise contracts. The reason for this is that with a SaaS contract there is no up-front cost to the business. Instead, there is a fixed monthly subscription, which also makes budgeting far simpler. There is also no need to invest in costly hardware or infrastructure and new version releases and upgrades happen automatically, with zero downtime and no additional cost. It’s also worth noting that storage isn’t restricted, and systems won’t slow down as your organisation’s data assets increase. With SaaS, implementations take hours instead of weeks – meaning you can start deriving immediate value from your new DMS.
SaaS is also helping to level the playing field for smaller businesses. Functionality that once required significant upfront and ongoing investment – and was therefore only utilised by enterprise organisations – is now available to SMBs.
With SaaS, law firms of all sizes can wave goodbye to wrestling with their in-house, ad-hoc and often Outlook-based document management solutions and start benefiting from intuitive, feature-rich and cost-effective DMS applications.
Want to find out more about Contentworker’s SaaS offering? Check out our customer case study.
Want to speak to someone about whether SaaS is the right fit for your legal business?
Give us a call: +46 8 555 290 60, or send us an email.
Introducing new systems to a workforce isn’t a straightforward task. It doesn’t matter how powerful a piece of software is, if it isn’t simple and intuitive to use, chances are its potential to secure buy-in from a workforce and add value to operations will be seriously jeopardised.
So, what’s the secret to success? Combining feature-rich functionality with usability – and familiarity – is a good place to start.
Recent estimates suggest that Microsoft now boasts 120 million Office 365 business ¹, an increase of 100 million since April 2017. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but when it comes to technology, designing software that will automatically make sense to users, facilitates both a quicker and a potentially more substantial return on investment; as training costs are minimised, and systems are live, kicking and able to deliver efficiency savings faster.
If you’re thinking of investing in a new Document Management System, opting for software that is built on SharePoint and therefore looks and feels like Microsoft, and integrates seamlessly with your organisation’s wider Microsoft ecosystem – from Office to Outlook to Dynamics 365 – will facilitate greater user buy-in.
Combine this with powerful functionality, such as automatic metadata tagging that empowers users to quickly find information and obtain clear visibility over what else it relates to and where it is stored; a powerful search engine; and the ability to easily assign and control security and access rights to documents at the click of a mouse, and it’s not surprising that businesses can achieve efficiency savings of up to 20 per cent.
Click here to find out more about selecting and implementing Document Management Systems from our customer Kneppelhout & Korthals.