Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ask the Expert; Just the Job: Jim Moffat, Lotus Market Manager for IBM, Explains Electronic Document Management

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ask the Expert; Just the Job: Jim Moffat, Lotus Market Manager for IBM, Explains Electronic Document Management

Article excerpt

Byline: PENNY COTTEE

What exactly is electronic document management?

It's all about cutting down the paper you use, keeping track of documents and improving the flow of work between you and colleagues. For example, instead of mailing out a report to team members to work on and waiting for their amendments to come back, the tools now exist which allow you all to work on the same report, at the same time, on screen, and to track versions of it. It's faster, more flexible, much more secure, and means that, in time, you can say goodbye to filing cabinets stuffed full of paper.

Is the paperless office coming, then?

It's getting closer. When did you last receive a memo on paper, for example?

And your firm has probably already scanned into a central electronic storage area a host of commonly used documents, such as company handbooks and expense forms. Electronic invoicing is becoming more widespread, too. One of the last, tricky areas to crack is people printing out their emails.

How are firms using electronic storage?

Anything you might once have printed out and filed can be stored electronically using software such as Lotus Notes. Reports, PowerPoint presentations, video clips and product information, etc, can all be held on the central server rather than everyone having a copy in their cabinet.

Passwords keep access secure and levels of authority can be set, so staff get to see only what they're allowed to see, which solves the problem of confidential documents being left on people's desks.

How can it improve work flow?

Take a bank, for example, where four people need to authorise a client's loan request. Previously, a paper version would be sent around to each, and it might take days for full signoff. …

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