Electronic Records Management

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Electronic Records Management

Records management for medium and large enterprises tends to be more time and resources consuming as time passes and the number of documents tends to grow at an accelerated pace. Externalizing the physical archive to reduce document storage costs is a recommended solution for many types of companies that need to use their human resources and office space more efficiently.

When looking at an Electronic Records Management solution for a service outsourcing provider it’s necessary to consider both physical records as well as electronic records.  Ideally, the solution covers both, so that users can locate any record using the same interface regardless of type or format.

Most of established Electronic Content Management suites available do not have sophisticated physical records management features such as space management or advanced tools for box tracking using barcodes, RFID and so on.  These features can be found in very specific physical records management products. 

The Challenge

The suppliers of records storage services have to be very efficient and cost effective in order to be accepted as providers, as they will always bring an increase of immediate operating expenditures. Having a large document base to deal with and a large number of owners, the effort needed for keeping and operating the storage facility, while efficiently managing the available space, is considerable.

The Solution: A very efficient Electronic Records Management system able to keep track of:

  • Storage facilities with specific architecture (warehouses, shelves, boxes, occupied volumes);
  • Warehouse load and load forecasting;
  • Check-in/check-out orders and requests placed by clients;
  • Client interaction and direct client access to electronic records;
  • Contract management and billing;
  • 3-tap check-in/check-out solution for mobile devices used by operators;
  • Compliance with legislative regulations;
  • Disposal requests initiated by the clients.

We started building the solution by performing an extended business analysis at one of the biggest service providers from this industry that wanted to increase the human resource efficiency in order to be more competitive in terms of costs and speed of reaction.

Automating space management

The standard container used in records management is the box. It usually fits predetermined dimensions, but reality has proven that flexibility is an important factor in operations management. This is why we implemented a powerful and malleable warehouse map definition tool that is able to accommodate many situations. Therefore, when placing a box of documents in the warehouse the system is set to automatically calculate the appropriate occupying position depending on box size, ease of placement in terms of height and depth of the stack or row, and on grouping all boxes stored for a particular client.

Clear and simple archiving flow

For fast insertion of a box, operators have to only select some quick information. Fast tagging and categorizing is possible through a seamless User Interface built especially for ease of use. Also, to retrieve information about a box (position or contents), all operators have to do is to scan the barcode attached to a box, or, if they don’t have physical access to the box, they can use the powerful and intuitive search feature. Both desktop and mobile devices are used to access the system from anywhere in the warehouse.

Simplifying communications

On a day-by-day basis, various needs have to be met. Either boxes have to be rapidly extracted from the warehouse and transported back and forth to or from the client, or new boxes are coming in, or old documents need to be disposed – these are all done by using a flexible Requests module, that allow clients to just log in through web access, place a request and then receive a completion notification. Every step along the way is completely automatized: recalculating the position in the warehouse upon extraction or insertion, specifying drop location, or printing out shipping documents. A straightforward request-fulfill process, with notifications along the way, keeps track of everyone’s activities and helps managers stay on top of processes by having 360 degrees visibility.

Digital archiving

Some documents need to be available electronically at all time. Or just need to be stored indefinitely, without ever being disposed. The operators scan this kind of document, and, just by hitting a few clicks, associate it with the physical records. All a client has to do is to place a request in order to initiate the just in time scanning process. At the end of the process every scanned item is accessible online.

Keeping track of services delivered

Easy contract management features and services integration helps users draw quantitative and qualitative reports about services provided to clients. Depending on the contract type and services included, the ERM is able to calculate billable services for every client. Exporting data for the Accounting department is also a well-appreciated feature of the system.

Project future warehouse load

To maximize the profitability, the service provider has to always have full capacity on all warehouses. On the other side, it’s not a good idea to refuse new contracts because of lack of storage and perspective. To mitigate these constraints, good sales plans need to be consistent with varying load and with potential extensions of existing contracts. Depending on these factors, the ERM is able to project load variance and status at any given moment in the future, thus providing valuable tactic information.

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