Monthly Archives: Oct 2012

Copying - Document Management - Hardware - Scanning - Space Management - Storage

What is Filestar?

Filestar is a multi-user document management system for large, medium and small enterprises. Filestar manages documents – both paper and electronic and email in a secure audited archive. Filestar provides a solution for many paper-based processes as well as any process that involves controlled storage and access to documents

Filestar is easy to install, set-up and use but not at the expense of a very deep and broad feature set, capable of handling the most varied of requirements that your business demands. Listed below are just some of them.

1. Powerful Document Indexing

Configure custom document fields to capture information you will use to file and retrieve documents in a manner that suits you. These ‘index’ fields can also be populated from your back office systems like Sage Accounts – for example, entering an invoice number into the document filing window can automatically populate other fields like ‘Supplier’ and ‘Invoice Date’ directly from Sage – this makes the filing process very quick and it also ensures data validation. Furthermore, features like ‘Auto-File’ make manual file naming and destination folder selection redundant – to file a document, simply complete one or more index fields and Filestar will take care of the rest for you. The Filewatcher can even automate the entire filing process for you.

2. Search on document content

Filestar embeds a powerful document content search engine (the same as that used by Apple and IBM’s websites). You can search for any word or phrase within a document or a combination of document meta data and document content. For example, your documents are filed with a Customer Reference Number – searching on this alone could potentially return hundreds of documents. But with Filestar, you can use the reference number in the search field along with one or more other words that may be present within the document – for example: ‘CRN12433 faulty radio’ – Filestar will speedily return only those documents that match the query. Document retrieval doesn’t get quicker or simpler than this.

3. Detailed Audit Trail

Filestar keeps a detailed audit of activity relating to its documents, from the original location that the document was imported from to actions performed by users, including views, version updates, deletions, permission changes and index data changes. The name of the user and the workstation they performed their action from is also stored. Filestar also creates a digital fingerprint of every document it stores – this provides proof that the document is the original that was stored and has not been illicitly replaced or tampered with.

4. Document Permissions and security

Filestar ensures access to its documents is through a centrally managed secure gateway – there is no need to create Windows shared folders for users to access documents – the actual location of the stored documents is totally transparent to the users. Authentication is required by the user when they access Filestar – this can be through Filestar managed user accounts or through integration with your Windows Active Directory user database. Filestar provides fine grained permissions control of documents, folders and entire document categories – you can determine if users or groups of users can see a document, see its content, edit, delete or even manage the document’s permissions. The search engine also fully honours these permissions ensuring that no user can see a document within a search result set that they should not have access to

5. Automated Document Filing

Scan and store documents directly from your scanner/copier to Filestar with no further user intervention. Using Filestar’s Filewatcher module, one or more Windows folders can be monitored for new documents arriving from your scanner. Using zonal OCR, Filewatcher can be configured to identify the type of document that has been scanned (for example, an Invoice) and to extract key data that would be useful for the filing process. The documents are also converted to a fully searchable PDF format. In combination, these features practically eliminate the need for you to manually index and file documents.

6. Automated Business Processes

The Filestar Workflow module allows you to implement sophisticated business processes – such as Invoice Approval or SOP publishing. Workflow processes can be initiated on particular document actions – for example if a new invoice is added to Filestar. Workflow processes can be used to route documents to users and perform automated actions on documents, for example export a price list document to an external web server if it’s status is changed to ‘Approved & Published’.

If Filestar is right for you feel free to give us a call for a 14 day trial on 01268 583 550.

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Document Management - Scanning - Space Management - Storage

5 Secrets to Successfully Deploying Shared Document Scanning Services

The recession has forced organizations to look for new ways to reduce expenses and drive efficiency.  And, the fact is, most organizations could be making better use of their operations infrastructure.

Recognizing this, more companies are considering shared scanning services centers. By centralizing tasks such as scanning, companies can eliminate redundant systems and processes, optimize their workforce, improve control and visibility over corporate information, and reduce overhead.

A Shared services case study

One major insurer has achieved significant business benefits by implementing a shared services centre for its document imaging and data extraction.  Through its shared services centre, the insurer image-enabled business processes for its auto and property claims organization as well as its financial area, centralizing work from field locations. Today, the insurer’s shared services centre processes approximately 60 million pages a year, or a daily scanning volume of about 80,000 pages.

As a result of creating its imaging shared services centre and redesigning certain document processes, the insurer initially saved $4.1 million a year.  And bigger savings may be on tap.  What’s more, the shared services centre is proving itself as a key business partner and strategist for its clients.  The move to a shared services centre also provides the insurer’s departments with a flexible workforce; on slower mail days, the insurer’s shared services centre is able to leverage mostly part-time staff.

Strategies for Success

Unquestionably, shared scanning services can deliver big benefits.  But there are five things that organizations should keep in mind to help ensure the success of their shared services initiative.

1. Perfect your own processes before taking on someone else’s work.

The move to shared document scanning services is about far more than economies of  scale. Your group will be expected to provide leadership in improving your organization’s document-driven business processes.

2. Try to make processes repeatable.

This will help reduce your overhead, accelerate the on-boarding of new applications and allow you to apply best practices across applications, improving quality and throughput.  Similarly, don’t customize processes unless it’s absolutely necessary.

3. Invest time upfront understanding the scanning requirements.

Since you’ll no longer be the business owner of the applications you process, you’ll have to work hard to learn their requirements.  Take the time to thoroughly document the requirements of new applications and to map process flows.  Also consider doing a pilot or proof of concept before you begin production.  Not only will you avoid potential pitfalls, you’ll have an opportunity to identify processes ripe for reengineering.

4. Make sure your hardware and software are up to the task of shared document scanning.

You want to ensure that your hardware and software have the scalability to efficiently process additional volume, as well as the flexibility to handle a range of document types and capture requirements (e.g. colour and grayscale images, high resolution images).  The service level agreements (SLAs) you sign with clients may also place tougher reliability demands on your infrastructure.

5. Win over other departments.

The insurer’s biggest roadblock to rolling out its shared services centre was garnering support from business owners and convincing them of the cost savings, as well as the potential process improvements. One way to convince other departments to outsource to you: develop strong SLAs.  The insurer’s shared services centre offers SLAs for each of its internal clients. While SLAs will vary by client, they will typically cover processing turnaround time and quality.

The Bottom Line

At a time when organizations are looking for ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness, a shared services centre for document imaging and data capture can pay big dividends.  And if you follow the strategies above, you can help ensure that your company achieves maximum return on investment

Post taken from


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Document Management - Scanning - Space Management - Storage

Accountants Document Management under scrutiny

Searching for documents is costing UK Chartered Accountants a staggering £2 million per day in lost fees, according to independent research released today.

The survey, which was conducted by YouGov, revealed that chartered accountants are wasting valuable time trying to locate documents that have been mis-filed, moved to another location or simply lost, costing businesses dearly.Yet despite this, just one in four accountancy practices have replaced their paper filing with digital document management, making it no surprise that only 3% of operate a paperless office.

With more than 270,000 chartered accountants in the UK, and the survey finding that 83% of them waste up to one hour (worth £88 on average*) of their time per day looking for documents, it is little wonder that this wasted time is costing them £2 million per day.

The survey also revealed that accountants waste more time than looking for documents than other vertical markets, with nearly 26% of their time being wasted, compared to 21% in industries such as construction, legal and insurance.

The root cause of this inefficiency is paper; just 3% of accountancies have 91% or more of their documents saved electronically, even though paper documents can easily be lost or mis-filed due to human error.

With only 3% of survey respondents stating that they don’t believe digital document management would benefit them, the question of why more companies have not yet taken the plunge and become paperless leaps to the fore, particularly considering the growing need to efficiently store and retrieve documents for compliance and audit purposes.

When asked what they would do if they were not wasting time looking for documents, 32% of accountants stated that they would concentrate on administration, compared to other industries, which stated 26%, highlighting the sheer volume of paperwork in the accountancy sector and the need for efficient filing.

Only 26% of accountants stated that they would spend time on business development compared with 31% across all other industries. In addition to this, 20% of accountants said that they would go home on time and 12% said they would spend more time with their team.

“Accountancy practices have to deal with and store huge volumes of documents for both compliance and audit purposes, so it’s not surprising that they are struggling to keep on top of each and every file.  But it is shocking to think that chartered accountants are wasting over £2 million just looking for documents,” commented David Morgan, CEO, Invu.

“By simply deploying a document management system, accountants can streamline the management of all documents and records by ensuring that everything is filed electronically and is searchable at the touch of button, saving time as well as improving efficiency and productivity,” says Morgan.

This post was written by Gary Howes and taken from

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Copying - Document Management - Scanning - Space Management - Storage

The Paperless office: Why its hasn’t happened and why its going to

In 2012 the global demand for paper  is expected to exceed 400 million tons for the first time. Before recycling this equates to 7.2 billion trees, after recycling it still tops four billion trees and eliminates  an area the size of Croatia. Remarkably this landmark will be set against a background of flourishing digital media, economic downturn and increasing pressure to live  in an environmentally friendly manner. It is a damning situation: try as we might, we just can’t break our addiction to paper.

This seems to be changing thanks to consumer attitudes and that fact that a paperless office is no longer a headache thanks to new technologies.

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Document Management - Scanning - Space Management

Space Planning Made Simple with Document Management

In the current climate most companies are trying to find a way to reduce their overheads and the obvious solution is to move into smaller offices, large filing cabinets taking up valuable space adds to this problem.

Why not take away the headache and go digital?

If space is problem for you maybe document management is the answer to your problems.

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