Electronic Document Management August 2010 News

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  August 2010 Newsletter


Counties in Crisis

Fast-Track Offer

Free Document Management

 Breaking News

DocuVantage OnDemand® User Quick Tip 

DocuVantage Talk: What's the Latest?


Welcome Tarpon Springs Housing Authority!

To read about how DocuVantage has helped other organizations with document management, please visit our Customer Solutions page.


How To Set Up a New Archive

Most businesses use multiple archives to separate documents within various areas of their business for easier searching and to restrict user security privileges for viewing.

If you are a system administrator, here is an easy-to-use tip on adding an archive to your list of repositories.

From the homepage, go to ADMIN and click on ARCHIVES.


The Add Archive page will then ask you to complete the form fields. It will promt you to choose a name for the Archive, i.e. HR Documents, Confidential Documents, etc.

Next, you wll see a check box to make the contents of the documents searchable. Check this box for optimal searchability.

You will then choose if you want to use an existing indexing form template in which you can choose from your list of templates or choose a blank template in which you can create your own from scratch.

Under ADVANCED OPTIONS, if you subscribe to the Workflow and/or Records Management features, you can choose to attach the indexing form to a workflow so that the document will automatically follow an automated, rules-based business process that you have set up. 

To view more DocuVantage features, take a look at our tutorials. 


Are you ready to try out a document management platform with workflow capabilities?

Sign up for our complimentary DocuVantage OnDemand® 30-Day Trial.


If you are considering implementing electronic document management in your business, check out these white papers to get more informed and get started.

EDM Success whitepaper
EDM Success whitepaper


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Counties in Crisis

Many citizens do not realize that lower tax revenue has a major impact on what government can and cannot provide.  As Americans, we are used to deficit spending.  As Floridians, we forget that local government can’t operate the same way the Federal government does.  For Florida counties, lower revenue translates directly into budget cuts.

With budget cuts, every county has had to make tough choices on personnel and services.  Unfortunately, less money does not mean that your county can stop providing services.  The public still expects all services to be delivered quickly and effectively.

The challenge is continuing to provide services with fewer resources.  There is only one answer: Improve your processes so that they are efficient.

The good news is that improving your processes does not have to cost any money, but will actually save money.  Here is an easy 4-step process to efficiency and expense reduction: 

1.    Document what you are doing today
2.    Map out how the process actually looks on paper to improve what you do
3.    Look for the many areas in the process that can be streamlined
4.    Automate the manual steps of your processes

In this edition of our newsletter, we’ll cover the first step in more detail. 

•    Accept that your organization is not operating efficiently.  This is not an admission of guilt.  It is rather an observation on human nature.  Unless your organization continually looks for ways to increase its efficiency, you are not efficient.  This is true for government, nonprofits, small businesses and large corporations.

•    Now that you have accepted the reality of your situation, you need to map out your current processes at a high level.  From a management perspective find out how long it takes to do each function.  Using a county government as an example, how long does it take to get the Agenda finalized?  Or to process an Affordable Housing application? How many people are involved?  What amount of total labor hours did it take?

•    Still from a high level, look at the overall flow of your organization.  Now that you know how long tasks really take, identify the time-consuming areas that need to be improved.  Notice that we still have not documented the details of any of your functions yet.

•    With areas targeted for improvement you can start to map out exactly how your processes are accomplished.  Gather both management and your knowledge workers into a room, and on a white board, draw the process flow.  You will be surprised at what you learn at this stage.  Write everything down and gain agreement on how tasks are actually accomplished.

•    Now that you have documented it, know that it’s wrong.  Not everyone in the meeting will have volunteered all the relevant information.  Meet with people one on one to further gather and refine the process map.

•    Are you done yet?  No!  You need to have another meeting with all the participants again to gain agreement on the updated document based on what you learned in your one-on-one meetings.  Again, you will be surprised at what you learn.

Accomplishing just this first step can improve the efficiency of your processes by 15% or more.  That can translate into serious savings.  We know because we’ve done this for various departments at the state and county level.  To read about some of the departments we’ve helped, please visit http://www.docuvantage.com/document-management-for-government.

We also know that doing this yourself may not be realistic for many counties.  When you add in the politics or human resource issues, many times it’s better to have an outsider assisting you with your business process improvements.  An outsider can ask “the stupid questions” because they aren’t worried about not knowing the answers.  And it’s the answers to these questions that no one in your organization would ask that can bring about the greatest changes. To learn more about improving business processes or rank your organization with a free assessment please visit our 
Special Offers page.

Given that you are in the middle of your budget crisis right now, this is the time for a conversation.  We have created an educational briefing specifically for counties on how to improve your processes and reduce costs.  If you would like us to brief your senior staff, or if you would just like to talk about what we’ve seen work at other counties, please feel free to contact us via email at info(at)docuvantage.com or call our offices at 863.326.6360 ext. 1.


Business Process Mapping

Struggling with bottlenecks? Take your business process management to the next level. DocuVantage will define, streamline and document one of your business processes, and then make actionable recommendations to improve your efficiency.

Start Your Business Process Mapping Now >>

Free Document Management

People tend to shop for the cheap or inexpensive solutions.  When the economy is down, people look even harder for inexpensive solutions to their problems.  However the cheapest solutions may turn out to cost you the most.  My favorite is when the topic of “free” comes up.

So why is it that normally logical people forget all concepts of common sense when they hear the word “FREE”?  Unfortunately there is something about the word “FREE” that turns a normally sane person’s brain completely off.  It is the ultimate bait word, the proverbial “raw meat” in a bear trap.

Recently we have had a number of discussions with people who have described how they can automate their processes or implement a document management system for free.  The way they plan on implementing these free solutions vary from using network storage to using SharePoint.  But really, free?  There is no such thing as free.

Let’s look at the network drive solution first.  In this case free means that they have to organize the storage of their documents on a drive on their network.  They set up the folders, they organize the drives, and they then feel like they have a document repository.  What they wind up with is a bunch of files that no one can find.  They wind up with duplicate files.  And they are no better off than they were before.

Instead of using a document management system that includes document storage, stored by name, type, date and any other reasonable index they can think of, they get files floating on a drive.  The process to get files into their “free” repository is not organized so it’s logical that their files can’t be organized.

Now instead of free, they’ve just wasted time setting up a system that is doomed to fail from the beginning.  Further, they have not accomplished any of the goals of an electronic document management system and that is to improve organizational efficiency, securely protect documents and maintain compliance.

Let’s look at my other favorite “free” concept, SharePoint.  SharePoint is a good technology.  But it’s not a document management system.  You can use it as the underlying technology for a document management system, but it is not one just on its own.  So that means that you either need to build a solution from scratch on top of SharePoint or you need to buy a product that that is built on top of SharePoint.  Again, neither of those SharePoint choices is free.

The most common offenders in the “let’s do this for free” camp tend to be the technical people.  As all of us in the technical world know, anything is possible.  And as many users know, technical people tend to minimize or ignore the amount of work needed to truly make something work.  It’s true that anything is technically possible.  It’s also true that these so called “free” solutions cost more than you ever thought possible, both in capital and lost or wasted time.

The original goal for finding an inexpensive solution is a good goal.  The only way to achieve that goal is to get the right solution at the right price.  The first step is to determine where you are losing money and then how much you are losing.  Now you can figure out the cost versus the benefit.  For example we’ve helped organizations save hundreds of thousands of dollars each and every year by eliminating redundant steps and automating repeatable tasks.  That savings is not what is used to purchase our services or technology.  That savings is what’s left over after they’ve hired us. 

So if your goal is to improve your operational efficiency, then you should look at how you can actually save money by spending a little.  I know that times are tough.  But free really isn’t the answer.  There is an old saying that is so often forgotten: “There is no such thing as a free lunch”. 

To learn more about a cost-effective way to bring document management to your organization download our Four Steps to On Demand Document Management Whitepaper. And unlike our discussion about document management software this is really free!  


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