The Ebb and Flows of Document Management

4/9/2012

Decrease your pain, increase your productivity

Greetings! This is my first Blog post at Archive Systems. I started right before the release of FileBRIDGE Governance and FileBRIDGE Digital. It was a great opportunity to just dive right in and learn all about Archive Systems products, services, and solutions.

So in the past I’ve always been on the document creation side—be it user manuals, newsletters, web content, or video scripts—I was writing and editing it. Document management was always a part of it, but it wasn’t pretty. Here’s an example. The year was 1997. Clouds were still things in the sky. An iPhone was a phone you bought at Spencer Gifts that looked like an eyeball. Tweets were what birds did. And a million modems were dialing in to Prodigy and CompuServe.  I was working as a Technical Writer for a semiconductor company. Really I was just editing what the engineers gave me and sending it out for review. This stuff was so above my comprehension —positive/negative ohms...bits and switches...diagrams that looked like M.C. Escher drew them—I'm having bad flashbacks just typing that.

The review process went something like this. A group of engineers would need to review the document. The first person would review the document and pass it on to the next. They’d review it and pass it on to the next. And so on. There would be about four people reviewing it. Then I’d get the original copy back - sometimes torn up, coffee marked, and riddled with engineer’s notes, some looking like hieroglyphics. So I’d take all these notes and edit the document. Then I’d send it out for another review. The first person would have to go through and try to figure out what the other reviewers had changed. And if the reviewer didn’t agree with a change made, they’d have to go and find out who made the edit. Or, as was usually the case, I’d have to go back to the original and find out who made the change. So this went on for a number of review cycles. This was all for one document. There might be five documents out at a time for review. 

Now as I learn the features available in FileBRIDGE Digital, I think what I would have done to have those for that review process. For example the Flows feature. Flows are workflows for the processes in which documents are managed. An Approval Flow supports either a hierarchical or parallel approval process. A Smart Flow continuously monitors incoming documents and filefolders based on criteria and time, and distributes the document to the appropriate people for response or comments. A Document Space Flow can distribute new documents or filefolders to all authorized users in the defined space for responses or comments.   Or the Check-In and Check-Out feature. In order to prevent two different people editing the same document at the same time, FileBRIDGE Digital is now able to control a master document or filefolder. Users may Check-Out a document – which prevents it from being edited by any other users. The indexed fields of the master document are protected from being edited. Once the document is Checked-In, it can be edited by authorized users.  If I had these features, the pain of the review process would have been greatly reduced and I could have concentrated more on the document creation part of my job, thus increasing my productivity.

This is just one of many “ah ha!” moments I’ve had as I’ve learned about all the features of Archive Systems' product lineup. I’ll be sharing more in upcoming blog posts.

Jim Dolan
Online Marketing Specialist
Archive Systems, Inc.


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