Liberation from the shackles of paper - Optimisation of the approach to Document Management

Liberation from the shackles of paper - Optimisation of the approach to Document Management

Liberation from the shackles of paper - Optimisation of the approach to Document Management

Based in Bulgaria, ITR Services EOOD, is part of the GEOTECHMIN Group, providing IT installation, configuration and maintenance to 25 organisations, within mining and construction industries for which the GEOTECHMIN Group occupies a leading position. The companies in the group have extensive experience and expertise in the field of exploration, extraction and primary processing of minerals. GEOTECHMIN Group develops successful activity in open pit mining in the Ellatsite mine and enrichment of copperporphyry gold-bearing ores. The companies also work in the areas of real estate management and investment projects, trade, energy and the environment, agriculture and services.


Amongst the critical services that ITR Services EOOD deploys is print optimisation for companies across the group. This includes software and hardware integration as well as technical support and consultation. “GEOTECHMIN is one of the leading business groups in the Bulgarian economy, delivering a significant contribution to the country’s dynamic and sustainable development and the support that ITR Services EOOD provides is critical to that growth,” emphasises Svetoslav Marinov, CEO of ITR Services EOOD. “We provide business process optimisation, designing innovative resource management systems, hardware and software maintenance for IT professionals, and excellent customer care services.”

Because many of the group’s businesses are still paper-based, ITR Services EOOD introduced a document management solution to streamline its clients’ document management processes and ultimately move them away from their reliance on paper. But the solution was not as intuitive as they expect it from a modern content management system. A lack of strict rules when saving and indexing documents meant the employees still manually equalise the properties of some documents. Therefore, they decided to use M-Files from Konica Minolta. With the solution, ITR Services EOOD achieved a level of process optimisation that was not possible before.
 

quotation marks

Optimising document management processes requires more effort than simply purchasing new software. It requires taking a critical look at an organisation’s operations and minimising the resources required to get things done. Using M-Files has helped us optimise the existing business processes amongst several of our existing clients and has also enabled us to implement and digitalise the document management processes for new clients.

Svetoslav Marinov

CEO, ITR Services EOOD, Bulgaria

Challenge of physical information management

Documents are the lifeblood of the modern business and keeping track of information is only getting more complicated. As new technologies and ways of handling data appear, most companies find themselves under pressure to process, organise, and manage documents adeptly.

The notion of the paperless office has been a subject of discussion for many decades – a desire to reduce wastage, enhance security, generate time savings and reducing costs are many of the known benefits but the reality of achieving this for organisations, both small and big, remains huge. According to Forrester, every 24-hours one billion photocopies are made, with Gartner estimating that the amount of paper in an average-sized company is growing by 25 per cent a year. But, in the wake of Covid-19, document man-agement, notably the reliance on paper, needed to change, in order to support the new working world.

“As a business, we believe a key attribute to our success is striving to be better tomorrow than we are today. Not only are we there to give our clients
reassurance and confidence in their IT infrastructure, but we are continually looking for ways to improve, to benefit our clients. An example of this has been helping them to install digital capabilities across their document management processes,” says Svetoslav Marinov.

Optimising document management processes requires more effort than simply purchasing new software. It requires taking a critical look at an organisation’s operations and minimising the resources required to get things done. By doing this, organisations can gain huge efficiencies which enable them to focus on more mission critical tasks.While many industries have embraced technology over the years, the construction and mining sectors have stayed fairly traditional, remaining heavily reliant on paper. Just walk onto any construction site and you’ll see builders using paper-based architectural drawings and design specifications, or to see paper health and safety manuals. On a daily basis, they can come into contact with all sorts of physical documents, from faxes to reports, to written requests. All of these not only require action, but they also need to be tracked and logged.

“Unfortunately, the realities of managing physical information can be challenging. Things can become easily lost, workflow processes are difficult to track, and document sign off can be a long, laborious affair,” says Svetoslav Marinov. ITR Services EOOD looked to address this challenge across the GEOTECHMIN Group by introducing a document management solution, which would optimise the document management process for clients and ultimately, move them away from their reliance on paper. While the introduction of this system did simplifier some of the document management headaches, there was a belief that more could be done. It was at this point that Konica Minolta (KM) Business Solutions Bulgaria introduced ITR Services EOOD to M-Files.


A digital solution to an analogue problem

Construction projects are big, complex and fragmented. Lots of paper and digital documents are involved, and they typically get stored in multiple archives that are not integrated with each other. M-Files allows to store, find, retrieve and manage information regardless of where the file is stored or what the user interface used is.

“Konica Minolta has a strong heritage within the construction space, which immediately resonated with us,” as Svetoslav Marinov emphasises. Construction and mining companies have a unique set of information management challenges: managing complex projects, offsite access to documents, compliance and quality audits. The fact that the majority of this documentation is still paper based adds to the complexities of tracking and managing information.

ITR Services EOOD previously invested in a document management solution which was designed to take these pain-points away, but it was not as intuitive as they expect it from a modern content management system. As an example, a lack of strict rules when saving and indexing documents meant that the employees still manually equalise the properties of some documents. Again, doing this took time away from people focusing on core activities. “Process optimisation was a key driver for investing in a document management solution – we were not getting this from the current solution in place,” says Svetoslav Marinov.



Enhancing business optimisation through M-Files

M-Files integrates with an organisation’s administrative and executive processes. Defining and monitoring tasks is easiest where the task documents are located. With workflows, the routines of the organisation can be widely automated, and tasks can be assigned to the right individual at the right time. Users receive e-mail notifications about task-related issues, and managers can monitor task progress and approve completed tasks.

Workflows can be used among many processes. In construction this could relate to the purchasing of materials or the need to comply with regulation. In M-Files, a user can define who is allowed to transfer the object from one state to the next and who is responsible for the next workflow task.

In addition to building processes around workflows, what also impressed ITR Services EOOD, was the ease-of-use of the M-Files platform. “One of the biggest challenges we faced with the previous document management solution was, despite enabling us to digitalise a lot of processes, it still required a lot of self-management. The ease of use of M-Files combined with its dynamic workflow capabilities meant we could automate many of our document management processes, creating huge time saving efficiencies for our clients. It’s helped break the paper-based cycle many had become trapped in,” emphasises Svetoslav Marinov.

Supporting the implementation, ITR Services EOOD worked closely with the incumbent supplier Konica Minolta. Commenting on this Svetoslav Marinov says, “Konica Minolta played an integral role throughout the project. From the start they understood exactly what we wanted to achieve and why M-Files would be best placed to support us. Their knowledge and expertise were critical to helping us find the right solution.”

 

More than a document management solution

The success of M-Files within ITR Services EOOD is more than document management, as Svetoslav Marinov discusses. “Using M-Files has helped us optimise the existing business processes amongst several of our existing clients and has also enabled us to implement and digitalise the document management processes for new clients. These benefits are not just seen amongst our clients but our own staff too – process optimisation is critical for any business. Staff want to leverage any tool which enables them to work smarter and more efficiently, and M-Files certainly does that. In a short space of time, we have made great strides in helping clients free themselves from the shackles of paper, building in effective processes around how information is managed and stored, and we see this as only the start. We anticipate a long and progressive relationship working with M-Files.”

 

Challenge

Challenge
  • Construction and mining are traditionally still very paper-based (e.g. architectural drawings, design specifications, health and safety manuals)
  • Construction projects are large, complex and fragmented: Large number of paper and digital documents, usually stored in different archives that are not integrated with each other
  • All these documents need to be tracked and logged
  • Things can easily get lost
  • Workflow processes are difficult to track
  • Signing off on documents can be a lengthy, tedious process
  • ITR Services EOOD had previously invested in a document management solution to address these issues, but it was not as intuitive as they expected from a modern content management system:
  1. Lack of strict rules for saving and indexing documents meant that employees still had to manually equalise the properties of some documents
  2. This took away time from staff to focus on their actual tasks

 

Solution

Solution
Implementation of M-Files:
  • Enables information to be stored, found, retrieved and managed regardless of where the file is stored or what user interface is used
  • Tasks can be assigned to the right people at the right time
  • Users receive email notifications of task-related issues
  • Managers can monitor task progress and approve completed tasks

Advantages

Advantages
  • Liberation from the “shackles of paper” in a short period of time
  • Establishing effective processes around the management and storage of information
  • Automation of document management processes means enormous time savings for ITR Services EOOD’ clients
  • High user-friendliness and intuitive operation
  • Scalable solution, on demand, capable of evolving with the company
  • Connectivity to different internal applications via a unified platform