Growing up in England, my parents were the children of a World War II family. They were evacuated from London, grew up on food rations and were impressed with a sense of “save everything.” I remember growing up you didn’t leave food on your plate, and you only took what you could eat. My mum (American spelling mom, I know – false of habit) used to wash out zip lock bags and hang them up to dry; when cooking, she would make use of whatever was available. Our attic, shed and spare rooms were running over with “things.” That is not to say we would be fodder for reality television (read: “hoarders”), but there was a certain hesitation to throw anything away – a fear of loss and its devastating punishment.


This palpable resolve to hold onto more than was needed was even more evident when it came to my parents’ professional lives. Both were in a business that was regulated and were required to keep records. As the internet became more popular and email grew as a reliable, no, requisite, form of communication, Microsoft was the dominant player – and upon discovering technology, “My Documents” and “Outlook” suddenly became my parents’ filing system. And forever did they hoard virtual document after document until files (upon replicated files) slowed their system and technology itself. It was then that the promise of efficiency in technology (of hoarding) failed them. Their system crashed… They lost it all. With physical property, it takes an air raid, storm or fire, but virtual property in duplicate, triplicate and more creates a disease of the system. And the system slows until it crashes – the result? Too much hoarding makes you lose EVERYTHING.


When was the last time you went through your email or document files? At home? At work? Just as they found out, I must let you know…


You’ve become a hoarder! It is so EASY to dump an email into an Outlook folder, and before you realize it, you’re saving emails from colleagues that simply say “Thank you.”


It gets worse when you create a file that was for a:

  • Customer…
  • But also a project!
  • AND part of a department!
  • Duplicated on BOTH your local and shared network,
  • And part of a PO…
  • That was connected to a vendor…
  • That needed an invoice…


Well, you get the point. 2-3 weeks from the creation date (or however long your sales cycle is), it takes you at least 10-15 minutes to find the document! Take that figure, multiply by however many employees you have, and multiply it by your (or theirs, or your boss’s) hourly wage and you have got yourself one aspect of the cost of inefficiency.


When we implemented our Document Management System (DMS) at 5i Solutions, Inc. searching for a document turned into seconds! Why? In a traditional “My Documents” folder structure, you can only search for a file by what you called it. Sounds simple right? Well how many times have you called something a “version 2” or “#2,” or done it quickly and just called it “Customer Name” (of course this is your top customer so you have 100’s of files with that name in the title). Our DMS system changes all of that. We can add as many keywords as needed, assign it to both a Vendor and a Customer (or more if needed). For form documents like invoices – you know, the ones that enter our business DAILY – we can automate how they are saved, so no one needs to enter the information. It gets even better: they enter the system into a predetermined work flow. It’s track-able, auditable, and at the end of it we can archive or destroy what we want.


When I lived on the Rocky Mountain range, I found myself in awe of the open crags and great expanses of blunt, unhindered wilderness. It was Mother Nature on steroids – uncontrolled, rampant and vibrant. What if you could regulate that? Our Document Management System (DMS) is the counter those mountains of fiercely gathered documents in your virtual space. It is truly built to enhance your performance where you need it the most. Performance-enhanced Efficiency. Efficiency on steroids.


Now you can enhance your ability to maintain the wilderness of your inbox, paper trails and virtual space. Do you know how much document inefficiency is costing your business?


© 2015 5i Solutions Inc.

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