HOW WILL THIS SYSTEM SAVE ME TIME AND MONEY?
The desire to solve typical problems facing companies providing Engineering Services has strongly influenced the design and evolution of the product, as many small inefficiencies encountered through day to day engineering activity, typically across all personnel involved in every project add up to significant hidden costs. Minimisation, or in some cases, complete elimination of these hidden costs is hugely desirable, given that a mere 15 minute per person, per day efficiency boost across 25 personnel alone could easily exceed $75K per annum in productivity gains. Additional benefit modelling indicates efficiency and associated cost savings may be in the order of $250k per annum (across 25 personnel) including productivity gains available for different business functions and reduction in support system costs.
Additionally, PEDMS allows the value provided through the growing contingent workforce to be maximised to provide greater technical capability with efficient deliverable and work product management without necessarily incurring additional costs associated with providing physical office space.
WHAT ABOUT EXISTING DOCUMENT CONTROL?
Document Control are typically involved in many “micro transactions” - each short in duration themselves, however there is significant hidden cost in interaction between Document Control and all other project participants. The costs of such interaction typically dwarf the cost of the document controller, for some actions, by as much as an order of magnitude. For typical activities (workflow tracking and control, transmittal generation and issue, document number issue, information dissemination, register maintenance), we have either significantly reduced, or eliminated the requirement for Document Control involvement entirely.
CAN I UNDERTAKE COMPLEX REVIEW PROCESSES?
Complex review and authorisation processes are a necessity for Engineering, and system facilitation rather than relying on personnel to follow the rules can save costly mistakes from being made.
Personnel time efficiency in a consulting environment is critical. Typical workflow systems (whether manual or software assisted) typically work on a push basis only. We provide the ability to utilise both Push and Pull, allowing personnel with the requisite authorisations to identify work product they are capable of undertaking, and proactively assisting others when time permits
WHAT ABOUT MY EXISTING FILE AND FOLDER STRUCTURE?
Windows file system directory hierarchies as a means of organising and housing deliverables create many challenges and has significant drawbacks, every one of which has real cost implications:
Inconsistent filing structures and project directory heirarchies, for different projects (organisational / branch merges, or differing structures based on project size or other criteria) can create confusion, and make finding relevant information either difficult, time consuming or both
Moving or renaming files on the filesystem are typical actions to manage superseded documents or embed revision information in the file names can break links between documents and related items. Moreover, such mechanisms rely on individuals all following a manual procedure without error, and leaves no audit trail.
“Where” a document is placed often conveys meaning as to “What” the document is.
File permissions are typically based on this hierarchy, and a simple move of a document or directory (either intentional, or more often than not, unintentional via “drive-by drag and drop”) can create havoc from permissions, definition, references and interpretation perspectives.
No separation between work in progress, and approved documents possible other than reliance on structure (location).
Loss of work product, either accidental (file deletion, or inability to revert to prior work product on demand), or malicious (ransomware, or disgruntled personnel).
Only a single view of information hierarchy, which is structurally imposed.
The cost of continuously, repeatedly having personnel click their way around a file hierarchy day in, day out to perform routine tasks should not be underestimated, both from direct time costs, as well as continuous breaks to thought processes.
Remote personnel (either site based, satellite / non-head office or “Road Warriors”) can cause challenges, given costly IT requirements to accommodate remote working and difficulty securing the organisational boundary.
Clear separation between “What” and “Where”, with day to day focus almost exclusively on “What” a deliverable is, not where it is.
Security boundaries are clearly defined, alteration requires both a deliberate action, as well as permissions to remove from the source security contect as well as permissions to add to the destination.
No document ever moves around the file system, needs to have revision information embedded into the file name or ever have the filename changed.
Full auditability and traceability, including every possible version of every file, without any deliberate action on the part of the user, other than saving the file in the authoring application at typical save points.
Crystal clarity between Work in Progress and Approved documents.
Any number of views, allowing personnel to work in a manner which better suits the work flow for each role – easy customisation to view important files depending on individual, business function or line management
A totally consistent view and access of all information for all personnel, regardless of location, with negligible IT spend other than reliable internet connectivity. The system can be hosted either within the organisation, or in the cloud at your option.
WHAT ABOUT DOCUMENT NUMBERING?
Document numbering can be costly, as can the maintenance of dual or triple numbered documents. We are able to adopt any numbering scheme (and automatically generate numbers if required in compliance with any given scheme), as well as have a mix of schemes where appropriate to minimise the additional burden, confusion and cost of maintaining multiple identities for a given document.
CAN I TRANSMIT DOCUMENTS TO EXTERNAL PARTIES?
Transmittal generation and management is typically laborious, error-prone and generally requires manual acknowledgement by the recipient as well. Our transmittals are largely auto-populated, can be generated directly by any authorised user almost as quickly as an email can be composed, and has automatic recipient acknowledgement and tracking against the underlying documents visible all the way back through the system to the document audit trail.
Additionally, transmittals can be configured to be accessed a set number of times, accessible for a fixed time period. Unique links are generated and each recipient opening the documents is tracked and included in the document audit trail.
DO ALL DOCUMENTS NEED TO BE NUMBERED AND METADATA INCLUDED?
Being feature rich and flexible allows the system to be configiured with custom metadata fields to match the type of documents being utilised. Automated population of metadata is also available in many cases.
Functionality to include supporting documents as 'dependents' is also available and these documents may form part of the background or history for key document and these dependents can exist in the system with no associated metadata.
Reference document functionality is also available to link documents within the database.
CAN I EASILY CONTROL ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS?
Definitely - PEDMS functionality allows documents to be located in libraries, with each library having a set of fully configured security parameters, including grouping of users to provide access, for example:
Approved document only
No audit visible
In every case, users with appropriate security approvals can view every action performed on a document as audit/history.
HOW AND WHERE ARE MY DOCUMENTS STORED?
PEDMS aggressively captures changes to documents, ensuring that change history remains intact, auditable and traceable.
PEDMS safely stores your documents either in the cloud, or on premises with backup and replication strategies configurable to meet your compliance requirements.
Contact us to establish the most appropriate option for your needs.